IT was a good-bye with appreciation Jan. 18 as the Terrace and District Chamber of Commerce held a wine and cheese to recognize departing executive director Erika Magnuson-Ford

New executive director takes reins at Terrace and District Chamber of Commerce

Michelle Taylor has deep roots within the Terrace business community

MICHELLE TAYLOR may be new to her position as executive director of the Terrace and District Chamber of Commerce, but the connection between it and her family runs deep.

Grandfather Ted Taylor was president of the chamber in 1976 and its manager in 1978 while father John Taylor was the manager from 2004 to 2007.

Longtime Terrace and area residents may remember both Taylors for the store Taylor’s Men’s Wear (“Where Quality Matters” as its slogan) which was located in the spot now occupied by Northwestern Specialty Foods.

“So that makes three generations,” notes Michelle Taylor who officially takes over on Jan. 26 from departing executive director Erika Magnuson-Ford.

Taylor has been a resident of Terrace since kindergarten with the exception of some years away in Prince George and Kamloops.

“I had experience in both places with the chambers there,” said Taylor.

That included representing companies she worked for at annual general meetings of the B.C. Chamber of Commerce.

Now firmly back in Terrace, Taylor’s been absorbing everything that Magnuson-Ford, who has been the executive director since mid-2015, can pass along on the chamber’s 2017 ‘to do’ list.

It’s a comprehensive document with one major event already on the horizon – the chamber’s annual business expo being held this April 21-22 at the Terrace Sportsplex.

It’s the 27th such business event to be held in Terrace and the 24th one in which the chamber has been directly involved.

The theme this year is “community,” something Taylor says she’ll keep at the forefront because of the work Magnuson-Ford has done in increasing the visibility of the chamber within the area and developing relationships as a result.

“She’s done so much to make members know there is an open door here to our membership – to let our members know what we can do for them,” said Taylor, referring to the 282 members.

“It’s important we continue to be relevant to our members and to the community.”

This year is also significant for the chamber because it is the 90th anniversary this year of a group of local entrepreneurs receiving certification from the Canadian Board of Trade to establish a body known as the Terrace and District Board of Trade. That was in April 25, 1927.

Magnuson-Ford, who is leaving Terrace because her husband’s job was transfered to Prince George, says that looking back, she is most pleased with a project she started to visit chamber members at their business locations.

“Michelle will continue that. It’s so important to make that connection with our members, to listen to them and to put a face to a name,” she said.

She’s also pleased with the rejuvenation of the chamber’s annual Business Excellence Awards, the late fall showcase in which the community votes to choose top businesses, individuals and organizations in a variety of categories.

“It’s a lot of work, but it’s a lot of fun,” Magnuson-Ford noted.

Rounding out her list of recent chamber initiatives is building its membership list so that members are not only connected to the chamber but also connected to each other.

“We’ve put a lot of work in telling members what the chamber can do for them,” said Magnuson-Ford.