Mark O'Keefe is new president of Greater Summerside Chamber of Commerce

Colin MacLean
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Jonathan Greenan, left, president of the Greater Summerside of Chamber of Commerce, and incoming president Mark O’Keefe share a laugh during the organization’s annual general meeting Wednesday. O’Keefe is taking over the chamber presidency.

SUMMERSIDE — Mark O’Keefe unofficially took over the presidency of the Greater Summerside Chamber of Commerce Wednesday.

O’Keefe ,vice-president of finance at Vector Aerospace Atlantic in Slemon Park, will officially assume the role from Jonathan Greenan on Feb. 19 during the chamber’s annual president’s dinner. But Wednesday was the organization’s annual general meeting and O’Keefe’s first real chance to take the reins of leadership.

The St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador native spoke highly of the work done by his predecessor and the staff at the chamber and vowed to continue to rebuild the organization.

“I’m very excited to start a new year,” said O’Keefe.

“I think we did a lot of good things in 2014 - it was a bit of a transition year for the chamber. We tried to move towards really adding more value for our members and . . . trying to move the business community forward.

“We’re going to try and continue that in 2015.”

As the outgoing chamber president, Greenan wished his colleague well in the job, saying he has his work cut out for him. But adding that he’s up to the task.

“I’m excited to be handing over the presidency of our chamber to someone like Mark O’Keefe,” said Greenan.

“I’m excited for what Mark’s going to do. I’ve worked with him over the past year and he’s been a great help and I know the chamber is in great hands with him.”

As for what chamber members and the community at large can expect from O’Keefe in 2015, he said he’s going to try and get back to basics by focusing on things like being the voice of local business in the media, doing outreach within the community and creating value for chamber members.

At the end of the day, it’s all about attracting new business and people and keeping them here, he said.

“We want to focus heavily on a people strategy. We know that we have outmigration of young people, we certainly want to try and tackle that and make Summerside a place where young people want to stay, build a career and have a family,” he said.

Organizations: Greater Summerside Chamber of Commerce, Vector Aerospace Atlantic

Geographic location: SUMMERSIDE, Slemon Park, Newfoundland and Labrador

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Recent comments

  • Bill Kays
    Bill Kays
    February 17, 2015 - 16:39

    He says "At the end of the day, it’s all about attracting new business and people and keeping them here." So, is this a some new revelation, some new strategy? NO. It's the SAME OLD, SAME OLD, SAME OLD. It's always been about attracting new people and keeping them here. Give me a break. I read in this story nothing but FLUFF, meant to lull the masses back into their trance. LET'S MOVE FORWARD. Try taking a step back. Back to time tested methods that worked. Why must we profit from our neighbors? Another way to say the same thing is "why must we secretly steal from one another"? People should read about the history, the roots, of the CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE. Whatever happened to "equal pay for equal work? Our "systems of commerce" need to change in order to free the people. It is these systems of commerce that enslave and bind the people as if we were in chains. FAIR AND EQUAL TRADE is the old way. Profit and greed are two sides of the same coin. I argue that there is no difference between them. If I could trade you $1. of potatoes for $1. of carrots, that would be fair and equal trade. If I trade you only $1. of potatoes for $2. of carrots, that is not a fair and equal trade, I am taking advantage of you, I am profiting, from you. It is this imaginary 'system of commerce' that said it is ok. A system is a means of control. The key is to control the systems. Who does that, who controls these systems? I say change or get rid of the system because you cannot even refuse to co-operate with it. You are born into this system. You have no right to refuse it, and last time I checked we are born into bondage, with each newborn child owing approximately $40,000. as their share of the federal and provincial debt. Why should our newborns be born into this bondage? Why have we the people, let it get this bad