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St. Albert business owner becomes Alberta Chambers of Commerce chair

Jodie McFadzen owns three businesses and previously served on the St. Albert and District Chamber of Commerce
Jodie McFadzen. SUPPLIED/Photo

Alberta’s new provincial Chambers of Commerce chair is a St. Albertan who says she’s excited to be a voice for the province’s businesses.

Businesses in Alberta face many challenges, said Jodie McFadzen, who owns workplace safety and insurance consulting practice JLM Solutions as well as Penzen Limited, a company that makes maintenance manuals for construction projects, and the St. Albert UPS store.

"It could be not having enough people to hire, it could be … homelessness in their community, which then turns to crime … Maybe certain businesses need to get their products out of their own community and expand but don’t know how to do it,” McFadzen said. “The Alberta chamber tries to help them with many different areas, because every area has different challenges, and there's not one that's more important than the others.”

The Alberta chair supports chamber events around the province and is also an envoy, sharing the needs of businesses with government figures such as the premier and her cabinet whenever the opportunity arises. McFadzen said that she’s already familiar with many provincial politicians, as meetings between the board and elected representatives are typically scheduled for when every board member can attend.

The chair role is all about representing struggling businesses and establishing trust with policymakers, McFadzen said. “The more they see us, the more we get heard.”

The position lasts for 12 months, and all Alberta chamber board members work their way from treasurer to chair over a period of years.

“When I started my first company, it was a home-based business, and the chamber is what kind of brought me out of my shell,” she said of her time on the St. Albert and District Chamber of Commerce board.

It’s what made her so committed to the organization, and how she was eventually recommended for a spot on the Alberta Chambers of Commerce.

In addition to running three businesses, McFadzen served eight years on the St. Albert and District Chamber of Commerce board and seven years on the Alberta Chambers of Commerce board.

“I’ve got to be very organized,” McFadzen said. “I'm a Type A personality — so I love my charts.”

Alberta chambers had their annual general meeting last weekend. The event is a chance for chambers around the province to decide on policy priorities.

Previous years’ policy targets have included reforming certain income support programs to allow recipients to work more hours without income support cuts and delivering affordable electricity to rural and northern communities.

About the Author: Riley Tjosvold

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