Freeport, Bahamas – During recent remarks at the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce (GBCC) 2018/2019 Installation Ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister Hon. K. Peter Turnquest noted he was not about to make any big announcements, but added that residents should continue to be encouraged because “things were going to be okay in Grand Bahama this year.”
Addressing the new board, the DPM acknowledged the important mentorship role GBCC played in the government’s Small Business Program. These ‘mom and pop’ businesses are instrumental in expanding opportunities, generating economic diversity and building resilience for the Grand Bahama community. “The Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce has always been committed to growing the small business sector. As you turn over your leadership to a new board of Directors and Officers, I trust your commitment will not waiver.”
GBPA Director Rupert Hayward, past and present Chamber directors, members, friends and family were in attendance to support the new Executives, who were presented their credentials from immediate GBCC Past President, Mick Holding. New Chamber President, Greg Laroda Sr., now the 26th President of the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce said it was “a privilege and an honour” to be installed as President. Laroda speaking for his new Executive Board noted that they were all pleased to represent the business community and thanked everyone for the confidence in them, to carry on the business of the organization.
Laroda stated that his vision is to extensively grow the membership of the organization, and make the Chamber an “all inclusive” and truly island representative, not just Freeport. “Wherever there is Commerce on Grand Bahama, the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce wants to be there. When it comes to covering Grand Bahama from that stand point, let us be like the sun, ZNS, and now the GB Chamber of Commerce.”
During his acceptance speech, Laroda noted that the mission of the Chamber “is to provide the network to sustain, promote and support business development, to encourage growth and expansion in a healthy, clean environment.”
He emphasized that community support is important to the work of the Chamber and encouraged persons to assist by volunteering for committees.
The celebratory atmosphere in the Grand Ballroom of the Lucayan Hotel was filled with food, music, and fun, courtesy of a raffle for fantastic prizes donated by Aliv, and a 50-inch flat screen television donated by Grand Bahama Power. Guests also received giveaways from GBCC.
The newly elected officers installed for the 2018/2019 Term are President Greg Laroda of Buckeye Bahamas Hub, 1st Vice President Daniel Lowe of City Associated Enterprises, 2nd Vice President Dan Romance of Bradford Marine, Treasurer Ormand Saunders of Conet Bahamas and Secretary Ralph Hepburn of Underwater Explorers Society. Directors installed are Leslie Davies-Baptista of Paint Fair Ltd, Tax and Economic Research Committee; Lawrence Palmer of Freeport Insurance Agents & Brokers, Small Business Development Committee; Carmel Churchill of Doncar Management, Public Relations Committee; Denis Knowles of Microtech Sales, Industry & Economic Development Committee; Dave McGregor, of Grand Bahama Power Company, Industry & Economic Development Committee; Christine Van de Linde of Grand Bahama Port Authority Ltd, Fundraising Committee and Antoine Brookes of Island Traders Shop & Ship.
Serving the second year of a two-year term are Directors Charles Pratt of Grand Bahama Port Authority Ltd, Small Business Development Committee; Kiara Jones of Keys Bahamas Realty and Adrian Carey of Scotiabank.
For more information on becoming a member interested persons can visit gbchamber.org, The Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce on Facebook or visit the office on South Mall Drive. The Chamber will host its monthly luncheon in February. The regular luncheon is held on the last Wednesday every month.
Established in 1981, the mission statement of The Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce is “to provide the network, to sustain, promote and support business development to encourage sustainable growth and expansion in the Grand Bahama economy and within a healthy and clean community environment”. The Chamber’s membership body is comprised of small, medium and large businesses on Grand Bahama who represent the business community on the island. The Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce strives to protect the interests of businesses through working relationships with the Government of The Bahamas and the Grand Bahama Port Authority.