Valley’s Chamber of Commerce No. 1

By Erin Haluschak – Comox Valley Record
Published: June 01, 2010 3:00 PM

Dianne Hawkins admits she has been feeling as though she’s been in a bit of a daze the past few days.

“All still a little bit of a deer in the headlights,” she admits.

Hawkins is the executive director of the Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce, and this past weekend, her and a team of members from the chamber received the award for Chamber of the Year at the BC Chamber of Commerce annual general meeting and conference, the first time the Comox Valley branch has received the award.

“When (past chair) Daren (Hancott) started talking, I heard this thing about the bagless initiative and I thought, ‘Oh, this is us!’” remembered Hawkins about the awards ceremony.

“When I look back … the chamber has made huge strides on municipal, provincial and federal levels,” added Hawkins, who recently finished her last term on the BC Chamber board. “As a whole, the organization has really raised its profile. We’ve had many strong community members as leaders.”

Comox Valley president Jeff Lucas says the nomination comes from a variety of initiatives the chamber put in place during the past year.

Lucas admits the award is a big honour for the chamber.

“About halfway through (the presentation) the hair on my arms began to stand up. It was an overwhelming feeling of surprise,” he noted.

“It was chosen by our peers and they’ve said, ‘Comox Valley, you’ve done a lot of fabulous stuff.’”

In addition to the win, Hawkins has been nominated for the first time for the Canadian Chamber of Commerce Executive of the Year Award, with the winner to be announced in September at a ceremony in Gatineau, Que.

Lucas noted the chamber will use the win to continue planning strong ideas for the next year.

“The future is looking bright for the chamber.”

Read it in the The Record.

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