CORNER BROOK — Watching his father build a couple of businesses gave a city man the drive to help entrepreneurs thrive.
Keith Goulding was acclaimed to the post of president of the Greater Corner Brook Board of Trade at Thursday’s annual general meeting. He’d spent the previous year and a half as first vice-president of the organization.
His father, Tom Goulding built Trepassey Drugs and later took over the West Coast Dispensary in Corner Brook.
“I learned a lot of great lessons from my father in watching him build his business,” Goulding said. “I grew up in that environment and I always felt a strong connection to the business community and entrepreneurs.”
Goulding wants to take the board of trade back to its grass roots.
He hopes to talk to every member of the organization over the next year to find out what issues matter most to his constituency and how the board of trade can help.
“We have a limited turnout to some of these luncheon events,” he said. “It might mean I have to get out and go contact these people directly, myself. I want more opportunities for open dialogue. The communications piece is my big stand. It was the thing I wanted to see increasing.”
He’s hoping to use more electronic surveys like the one performed at Thursday’s meeting to gauge the mood of the members. He’s also hoping polls on the website will give the board insight into its members’ needs.
Goulding he web polls should be able to give him quick feedback on hot-button topics.
In the meantime, he wants to open the lines of communication with the members.
He also wants to grow the organization.
“I think recruiting has to be a priority,” he said. “I think the more members you have the more confident the voice you hear is the voice of the business community at large, not just a small portion of it.
“Most of the businesses in the city are very small and those are the voices you need to hear because they don’t have voices of their own sometimes.”
Board of Trade executive
Keith Goulding, president
Heather Collins, first vice-president
Greg Barnes, second vice-president
Carl Bishop, secretary
David Keeping, treasurer
Darren Brake, director
David Randell, director
Craig Veitch, director
Dennis Waterman, director
Stephen Barker, director
Trina Burden, ex-officio director