The Estevan Chamber of Commerce is looking for a new executive director.
Michel Cyrenne announced in late June that he is leaving the chamber to become the new director of development with the Great Plains College, which is based out of Swift Current. He'll be in charge of their scholarships and fundraising initiatives, as well as their athletics program.
The job will allow him to be close to home. Cyrenne grew up just outside of Swift Current.
“I have a lot of family in Swift Current and the surrounding area, so that was pretty attractive to me,” said Cyrenne. “But the position itself interested me, too.”
Some of the projects that the Estevan chamber has worked on recently have combined the needs of business and education, he said, and he is intrigued by the possibility of working with a college.
It was still a difficult decision to leave Estevan. Cyrenne and his family have been in the Energy City for more than six years, and he said they have enjoyed their time in the community.
During his tenure, the chamber's revenues have soared from around $200,000 to about $600,000. Their membership numbers have increased, and they have promoted the community and the businesses sector through such new events as Beach Bash, and the biennial Estevan Business Excellence Awards and the Estevan Energy Expo.
“The chamber has also gotten back into the lobbying and the advocacy side of things as well,” said Cyrenne. “I think that was an important component that was maybe missing from the chamber of commerce.”
An economic development plan was released last year. It was a big undertaking by the chamber, he said, and they're starting to implement some of the concepts, such as the Energy Expo, and working with the Southeast Regional College to bridge the needs of labour and education.
“It's been an exciting and challenging part of the position, and I think it's nice to have that plan in place now,” said Cyrenne.
The community has seen a lot of growth, too. There is new housing available in Estevan, and the Saskatchewan Energy Training Institute started to operate during his tenure with the chamber.
Estevan's been a great place to work, and he said it has a “phenomenal” business community.
He believes that the new executive director will be tasked with several challenges: ensuring that the chamber continues to grow, meeting the needs of the membership, and capitalizing on potential opportunities.
Cyrenne's final day with the chamber is July 31.