Since starting her position as manager at the Vanderhoof Chamber of Commerce in January this year, Julianna Brooker said she’s planning for growth in the coming months.
“Right now we have around 113 members. So I want to try to get that up to like 150 by the end of the year if possible,” Brooker said.
Before starting her position with the chamber Brooker worked on a four-month project with the District of Kitimat-Stikine researching the education system in Northwest B.C.
“We looked at how to keep kids who graduate in the area and how to connect with businesses to promote apprenticeships — so that people stay in their communities versus going off to Prince George, for example,” Brooker said.
“I really liked it and I thought it was pretty interesting to learn more about the local communities… So I thought the business aspect was kind of related.”
Brooker was born and raised in Vanderhoof. She completed a bachelor of science and biology, and a bachelor of arts and psychology at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops.
After that she studied French for a year in Montreal, Quebec. Now she’s finishing up her master’s degree in biology through the Harvard University Extension School.
The chamber took results from its last outreach campaign to the Vanderhoof District Council and is looking at doing more of that. Outreach has also been an opportunity for Brooker to get to know the local business landscape.
“We’ve been doing a lot of interviewing businesses lately because it’s been pretty hard for them during the COVID pandemic,” Brooker said.
“That’s been great to figure out where we’re at and what they would like from us in the future… It would be good if we could get some more members here in the next few months.”
Brooker said one of the main benefits to being a member is advocacy since the chamber can advocate for businesses with local government.
Members can also access employee gift certificates, reduced membership fees, deals between member companies and networking opportunities through the chamber.