Monica Dale took her oath of office as President of the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce on Monday afternoon before Mayor Christian Provenzano and members of City Council. Joining Dale was new Chamber First Vice-President, Paul A. Johnson and Chamber of Commerce General Manager, Shelley Barich.
Dale officially began her term as Chamber President on July 1st and will serve in this capacity until June 30th, 2016. She takes over from Mark Barsanti who held the position for an extended period from January 1st, 2014 until June 30th of this year.
Barsanti, who is the previous owner of the local Canadian Tire retail franchise, will continue in an official capacity with the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce as Immediate Past President and as a member of the organization’s Executive Committee.
Dale, is a Commercial Account Executive with Dawson & Keenan Insurance Ltd. and a native of Sault Ste. Marie. In addition to her involvement with the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce, Monica is Chair of the IBAO (Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario) Young Brokers Council, A Board member of OSAID (Ontario Students Against Impaired Driving), Past President of SIBA (Sault Insurance Brokers Association) and a Board liaison for STRIVE Young Professionals Group, a committee of the Chamber of Commerce.
Dale notes that as she assumes the role of Chamber President, the organization is enjoying renewed interest and support from the from the business community. She references a recently implemented strategic plan, focused heavily on advocacy on behalf of local business as well as an emphasis communications as drivers of the agency moving forward.
“The new strategic plan for our local Chamber will ensure the agency stays true to its mandate to be the recognized voice of business in Sault Ste. Marie,” states Dale. “That means that we are going to continue to engage our local elected officials, at all levels of government, on issues that impact our members. We’re going to continue to advocate for policies and legislation and by-laws that are positive for business but are also acceptable for all parties involved.”
In recent months the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber has actively engaged municipal officials and City staff on issues such as the proposed introduction of development charges and the new signage by-law. The agency has also added its voice to concerns about the proposed Ontario pension plan and provincial electricity rates.
Dale made a brief statement to City Council as part of the Oath of Office, at which time she reminded council that the business community has considerable vested interest in seeing the Sault succeed. She invited the City to view the business community as a resource and an asset and to tap into the insights, knowledge and wealth of experience that the business community can offer.
Johnson, who is assuming the role of First Vice President, is partner at the local law firm of Laidlaw Paciocco Dumanski Spadafora & Johnson LLP; he will assume the role of SSMCOC President effective July 1st, 2016. Also serving on the Chamber Executive is Second Vice-President Jason Naccarato who is the Principal at the real estate development firm, Northern Advancement Capital Inc. and Ron Spadoni, who is serving his seventh year as the Chamber’s Treasurer who is a partner at the local KPMG LLP.