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Seven Squamish Chamber of Commerce directors quit

Ron Anderson steps down after 23 years

It was Resignation Week at the Squamish Chamber of Commerce.

Over the course of less than seven days a total of six members of the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors resigned their positions.

That's after the resignation of the treasurer, Mark Stevens, in mid-March. President Jasmine Henzcel, resigned on Friday, March 30.

Ana Santos followed with a letter of resignation on Friday and soon after she delivered her notice, Ron Anderson announced his resignation as a Chamber senator.

Gina Ball stepped down from the executive on Monday, April 2, along with Michelle Ellis. When Stevens stepped down as treasurer, Ellis moved into the position left vacant by Stevens. Denise Jimmo tendered her resignation on Tuesday.

"There is an adversarial climate where most decisions are charged and contentious," Henzcel wrote in a news release announcing her resignation. "I serve on the board as a volunteer because I am public-service-minded and public service is something I normally find fulfilling and enjoyable. When the climate removes any enjoyment or fulfillment, I feel life is too short to be doing something that is proving miserable instead of enjoyable."

Santos wrote similar reasons for her resignation.

"I spend a great part of my life contributing to my community as a volunteer and I find all my volunteer endeavours satisfying, fulfilling, beneficial to all and personally enriching," Santos wrote. "However, at the table with the Squamish Chamber of Commerce Board, I have reached a point where I constantly feel my contribution of time and effort is neither valued nor productive, hence my resignation."

Anderson is stepping back from the Chamber of Commerce after 23 years of leadership with the organization. He held the position of Senator and previous to that he was president for four terms and held almost every position there is on the board at one point.

"It appears that a very small group of people, members and non members of the Chamber of Commerce are criticizing my appointment and the process in which I was appointed," wrote Anderson in his resignation letter.

He said he was honoured to be named a senator to the organization.

"I tender my resignation so that the slate is clear and the process is transparent, those that wish to craft new bylaws and policies can do so unencumbered," wrote Anderson.

In a telephone interview, Anderson said he would be reviewing his company's Chamber membership at the end of the term to determine if the membership will be renewed.

Patrick Stafford-Smith, first vice president, is the highest-ranking director left on the board.

In a news release published the morning of Wednesday, April 4, Smith said the remaining board members would carry on with their obligations under Smith's leadership as the acting president.

"The remaining members on the board are enthusiastic and committed," Smith said in the release. "We look forward to developing and launching new initiatives focused on driving value for the members we represent."

The board of directors scheduled another meeting for April 10 to determine next steps and priorities of the new board.