ORILLIA – Mark Goode, 2012 president of the Orillia District Chamber of Commerce, has passed the gavel to board member Jed Levene.
A founding partner of Georgian Bay Financial Inc. on Mississaga Street West, Levene has been a chamber member for five years. He is a certified financial planner, chartered life underwriter and financial management adviser.
“Being part of the chamber is the best way to connect to the business community,” he said.
Levene’s goal as president will be to continue pushing the “shop locally” message, he said.
“The shop locally message was successful when it launched and I think the business community bought into that in a big way.”
Shopping locally isn’t just about spending dollars in Orillia, but it’s about recognizing local businesses are the heart of the community, Levene said.
Business leaders and professionals in Orillia make events like Streets Alive!, boat shows, car shows and sidewalk sales possible, he said.
“People need to recognize that,” Levene said. “Supporting local businesses just doesn’t keep dollars in Orillia, but it keeps all these community events possible.”
Levene is looking forward to working with the chamber’s new board.
“We have a great group of board appointees and I’m looking forward to hearing their ideas on how to further explore the shop locally message,” he said.
During his year as president, Goode — president of The Mortgage Man-Dominion Lending Centres on Memorial Avenue — is most proud of the improvements at the Port of Orillia. The Orillia District Chamber of Commerce runs the Port of Orillia for the city. The city invested $2.7 million in the dock project.
“The main thing we got done this year was the docks,” Goode said. “It was a huge project for all of us to get done, so we’re obviously very, very proud of getting the docks.”
Along with new docks, there were upgrades to the washrooms, gates added to the docks, electrical and water hook-ups, Wi-Fi was added and new computers were brought in.