New directors join Ladysmith Downtown Business Association

During its annual general meeting, the LDBA welcomed new board members and outlined its plans for 2013.

A new year means new discussion around the Ladysmith Downtown Business Association’s membership boundaries.

During the Ladysmith Downtown Business Association (LDBA)’s annual general meeting Jan. 17 at the Ladysmith Little Theatre, president Lesley Parent said the association will take a harder look at expanding its boundaries for membership this year.

“As you know, we’re having more non-profit societies and more associate members that are coming on board with us,” she said. “We have businesses that are opening up across the highway, Oyster Bay Quay, we have development that’s going to be happening around Peerless Road. There have been many times we’ve looked at expanding our boundaries to include all the businesses.”

Going forward, the LDBA will launch a new website in February, will continue promoting the 10% Shift and will offer a PST seminar and a Healthy Heart seminar next month.

The association will move forward on all these initiatives with a bigger board of directors, as Cathleen McMahon, Rob McIntyre, Kim Judson and Sean Jonas became directors during the annual general meeting. They joined a board that includes president Lesley Parent, vice-presidents Jack Tieleman and Teresa McKinley, treasurer Tammy Leslie and secretary Brian Van Acker.

Parent thanked the new directors for coming on board.

“We really appreciate the help,” she said. “We really, truly are a working board. We have a lot of fun, but we do get the job done. I feel really lucky being part of this association for the last six years because all the people that are at the top are all working, and we genuinely like each other, which really helps.”

An annual general meeting is also a time to look back, and Parent described 2012 as a challenging year for the LDBA directors.

“Our numbers went from 11 to six,” she said. “We’ve always had a very strong and passionate core executive, and this year has certainly proven that.”

Past president Jenna Forster thanked Parent and the rest of the board for taking on more responsibility unexpectedly when she had to step away for health reasons.

“These folks just stepped right in and took care of what needed to be taken care of, and I think that says a lot about this board and about the passion these guys have,” she said.

Success stories from the past year include working with the Town of Ladysmith, the Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce and the Leadership Vancouver Island “Shift Happens” team on the 10% Shift initiative, working with the Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Ladysmith on an economic development plan, offering seminars, launching a newsletter, and the new Old Tyme Christmas event in early December.

The success of Old Tyme Christmas led to a partnership with the Festival of Lights Society, as Cliff Fisher, who is president of the Festival of Lights Society, approached the LDBA after the event, and the two groups are now working together to apply jointly for grant funding to be used for both events, noted Parent.