The Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce (GBCC) will officially welcome the 2019 Executive Board at their Annual Installation Ceremony on Friday, January 18 th, at the Grand Lucayan Resort in Freeport. Minister of Finance, Hon. K. Peter Turnquest, Deputy Prime Minister of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas, and former President of The Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce will be the guest speaker and will help induct the board. The twelve new Board members were elected during the Chamber’s annual elections in November 2018. The organization has continued to experience steady growth in membership throughout the years, and currently boasts just over three hundred registered members. GBCC Executive Director, Mercynth Ferguson, noted “we have a diverse group of Business Executives who have been elected to the new board. Everyone is ready to get to work, and they have put together an ambitious agenda, but one I feel is attainable with the support of the wider business community.”
Since its inception in 1981, the GB Chamber of Commerce has diligently focused on attracting all sizes of businesses to the organization to create a diversified membership. Many feel that the Chamber has served as a gauge for the growth and development of business on the island, often acting as a bridge between the business community, the Grand Bahama Port Authority and the Government. Being sworn in will be GBCC President, Gregory Laroda, who works for Buckeye Bahamas as the Senior Director of Government Relations, and a former board member 2017/18 will take the new leadership role for the year. President Laroda wants to dismiss the perception that the functions of the Chamber of Commerce are only beneficial for large companies like his and those who are licensees of the Grand Bahama Port Authority, “Our plan is to grow our membership to reach businesses outside of the Port Area and work closely with more small businesses,” said Laroda. “The Chamber ‘Help Desk’ is a great resource to help small business owners and we want to work on helping these businesses grow. We all need to become more social media savvy, tech-savvy, and national in our scope.” The new President is also keen on the opportunity for GBCC to have some input on Government reforms to policies that will affect the way Bahamians conduct businesses in The Bahamas.
Laroda’s fellow board members are – 1 st Vice President Daniel Lowe, 2 nd Vice President Daniel Romence, Treasurer Ormand Saunders and Secretary Ralph Hepburn. Directors; Lesley Davis-Baptista, Lawrence Palmer, Antoine Brooks, Carmel Churchill, Dennis Knowles, Dave McGregor, Christine Van Der Linde. Serving second terms as Directors are Kiara Jones, Charles Pratt, and Adrian Carey. Tickets for the nearly sold-out event are available at the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce office on South Mall Drive for $60. The GBCC now holds a luncheon for these events, finding attendance improves and more people are eager to attend.