More economic development is the best way for St. Albert to keep taxes down, says Marg Mrazek, the new board chair for the St. Albert and District Chamber of Commerce.
Mrazek was sworn in as the new volunteer chair Wednesday afternoon by Mayor Cathy Heron, replacing former chair Mark Stoneleigh.
She said she wants to continue working closely with the city. She is excited to see the twinning of Ray Gibbon Drive start and wants to see the Lakeview Business District developed.“I’d also really like to work closely with seeing more development and taking advantage of the Villeneuve airport. I think it offers some great opportunities for businesses that might want to fly people in and out,” she said.
St. Albert has a strong business community, Mrazek said, and she wants to get the message out that St. Albert is open for business.
“I think we have to let people know what we have to offer. And hopefully we can work with economic development at the city and work as a team so that we can let people know that we are open for business,” Mrazek said.
While she has been asked to be chair in the past, Mrazek said the timing wasn't right until now.
“I always believe that when you’re going to take a job you give your full self to it and I'm ready to do that to the chamber. I really firmly believe in the chamber and what it's doing,” she said.
Mrazek has lived in St. Albert since 1972. Before she became a lawyer, university lecturer and well-known community volunteer, she started off her career as a nurse.During her career, Mrazek has served as the vice-president of patient care services at the Misericordia Hospital and was a senior partner at Reynolds Mirth Richards and Farmer LLP. She has served as the vice-chair for medical research at the Alberta Heritage Foundation, chair of the province's fatality review board, chair of the Government of Alberta’s midwifery services review committee, and vice-chair and interim chair of the Board of Governors for Athabasca University. Mrazek was also appointed to the Queen’s Counsel in 2004.
Mrazek has also served on the City of St. Albert's economic sustainability advisory board and in 2018 she served as the chamber’s chair of the government affairs committee.
Former chamber chair Stoneleigh said his year in the seat was a roller coaster ride with many high points.
Stoneleigh was proud to represent the chamber at the Alberta and Canadian Chambers’ meetings and said one of the highlights of his time as chair was speaking on behalf of businesses in December during a public hearing on council's proposal to start a municipal utility corporation.
“That felt so good, and having an impact,” Stoneleigh said.
The advice Stoneleigh has for the incoming chair is to keep an open mind and be flexible.
“You need to be flexible and keep an open mind and just trust yourself trust your experience and your instincts.”