Upper Ottawa Valley and Greater Arnprior Chambers of Commerce Set to Merge

Bringing the business community of the Ottawa Valley closer together

The annual general meeting of the Upper Ottawa Valley Chamber of Commerce took place February 22nd at the Ottawa Valley Business Summit where member businesses voted to approve a proposal brought forward from the Greater Arnprior Chamber of Commerce to accept its members into the Upper Ottawa Valley chamber network.

“We are delighted to welcome our neighbour businesses,” says Cyndi Mills, President of the Board of Directors for the Upper Ottawa Valley Chamber of Commerce.  “Our region has a heritage of fellowship, and we aim to build a strong business community across the Ottawa Valley to connect, collaborate, learn, and grow together. “

“This offer to expand our catchment region to accept Arnprior and Area aligns well with our strategic plan and allows us to provide valuable programs and services to a broader network of businesses with all the opportunities that affords,” adds Kelly Hollihan, Executive Director.

Alicia Ott, President of the Board of Directors for the Greater Arnprior Chamber of Commerce, spoke to the assembly about the importance of alignment, collaboration, and partnership across a broader region.  The combined efforts of two offices under the direction of a strong volunteer board with an entrepreneurial spirit and vision promises to deliver greater value for membership with the chamber of commerce.

On behalf of its current member businesses, the Greater Arnprior chamber will purchase memberships with the Upper Ottawa Valley Chamber of Commerce for 2024 with all the benefits these bring.  The board and leadership will then workshop the plan and logistics to formally amalgamate; with the members reviewing the plan for approval at the next Annual General Meeting a year from now.  In the meanwhile, personnel and resources will be directed to support the Arnprior and area members and campaigns to strengthen and grow the business network across the entire region.

“I am genuinely excited about the opportunities this amalgamation brings and the positive impact it will have on all our businesses. This strategic expansion reflects not just an integration of businesses, but a commitment to fostering a resilient and dynamic Ottawa Valley business community. Together, we build, connect, and pave the way for a future where partnerships transcend boundaries, creating opportunities for all to thrive,” says Ott.

Along with this motion, the member businesses approved the chamber’s five-year strategic plan and the slate of directors which added Alicia Ott, Sandra Swain, and Crystal Hogg to the board.  Lindsay Wilson, Rebecca Gill, and Chris Neff also joined as ex officio advisors in their roles as Economic Development officers for Arnprior, Whitewater Region and the Township of Laurentian Valley.  This grows the Board of Directors to 12 elected directors including Cyndi Mills, Maria Robinson, Christelle Sam, Christine Mitchell, Mike Thompson, Emma St Pierre, Travis Richards, Andre Mickovitch, and Valerie Hyska plus 5 ex officio advisors including David Wybou and Heather Sutherland.