By Colin MacLean
SUMMERSIDE — Wednesday was a time of farewells and new beginnings as many of the city’s business community gathered for the 113th Annual Greater Summerside Chamber of Commerce President’s Dinner.
There were goodbyes for outgoing chamber president, Todd Clark, who was thanked repeatedly for his hard work and dedication.
And there were welcomes for his successor, Patrick McSweeney. McSweeney was officially sworn in as president of the chamber during the dinner.
During his speech he thanked his various supporters for their understanding, advice and well wishes.
His first order of business, he said, will be to find a replacement for Bill Schurman, who, until this week, was executive director of the chamber. Schurman left that post recently to become UPEI’s new director of athletics and recreation.
“Billy and I were just getting to know one another and I thought we were both looking forward to my year as president together. Boy was I wrong,” quipped McSweeney.
He also promised to stay the course on chamber business, and continue with a theme laid down by his predecessor — encouraging collaboration between Summerside-based business groups.
“We have many groups in Summerside trying to improve the business community and to make it and the surrounding area a better place to work and do business,” he said.
“We need to encourage these different organizations to continue working with each other and to find ways to share ideas and resources.”
During his short speech to the hundreds gathered for the dinner, Schurman thanked them all for their support and even made light of his seeming penchant for job-hopping in the last few years.
“It’s been kind of like the movie ‘Groundhog Day.’ I have my old boss. An old boss. My new boss. Another old boss,” he said as he gestured around the room.
For more information about the Greater Summerside Chamber of Commerce, go online to www.chamber.summerside.ca.