BCLCA President Also Impacts Chamber
Editor’s Note: The following story comes from the Lake Cowichan Gazette in Lake Cowichan, British Columbia.
Cowichan Lake District Chamber of Commerce’s president of the past six years is a business man.
Eleven years ago, Jim Humphrey retired from the Royal Canadian Navy and purchased a piece of property Beaver Lake.
The previous owner wanted to get out of the mill business, and Humphrey wanted to get into the campground business.
Thus, the Beaver Lake Resort was created. In a massive undertaking, the former mill was torn down and a campground was erected.
As a business owner, Humphrey then did what he encourages all business owners to do; he joined the chamber of commerce.
The chamber of the time was a shadow of what it has become. With only 50 members, and $850 in the hole, Humphrey took on the role of president in 2004.
“The visitor center was closed more than it was open,” he said, of the past situation, wherein the town of Lake Cowichan ran the town’s visitor center. This changed, thanks to negotiations with the council of the day.
Membership has shot up from 50 to 130, and the bank account has gone up to between $60,000 and $70,000.
“You need to have a back-up fund in case you have no customers,” he said, adding that this is enough to operate for a full year without customers.
As the president of BC Lodging and Campgrounds Association, Humphrey has brought with him some political clout. He’s met with premier Gordon Campbell three times, and other high-end provincial figures, such as Minister of Forestry Pat Bell.
“I brought to them Cowichan Lake representation,” he said. “Over the past six years we’ve learned how to work with government better.”
With one year left in his current term, Humphrey said that he’s been president of the local Chamber of Commerce for an unusually long time.
“I would be very happy if someone took that on,” he said.