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.
©Colin Maclean/TC Media
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.