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St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce introduces new Executive Board

SATURDAY, 19 JANUARY 2013

PHILIPSBURG–The St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce on Friday introduced its new Executive Board and unveiled its plans for the year.

The new board is headed by Tamara Leonard as President, Hubert Pantophlet as Vice President and Treasurer Sidharth “Cookie” Bijlani. Other members of the board are Immediate Past President Arthur Bute, Immediate Past Vice President Ludwig Ouenniche and members Charlise Philips, Abdul Meyers, Ajay Rawtani and Stanley Lint.

Thanking the board for placing confidence in her, Leonard told reporters at a press conference on Friday that the new board will be working in the best interest of the community.

She said the board will continue projects started by the former board and see that these projects are finalized. These include the public/private partnership which she said began two years ago. She expressed hope that this will be up and running during the early part of this year.

She also listed the internal upgrading of the Chamber, the redesigning of the website, training and development and the rebranding of the chamber as other initiatives that the new board will embark on. The Chamber wants to reach out to the business community to have a bigger input in the functioning of the chamber. “We want to reintroduce the Chamber to the community,” she said.

Leonard said the chamber wants to focus more on training and development and that it will be hosting regional conferences and events for businesses to get more exposure and get an opportunity to boost their businesses and network.

Vice President Hubert Pantophlet said the face of the chamber is shifting where older members are making room for younger business persons. He said he had been happy to have a female serve as president and another promising female as board member.

The new board and Executive Director Claret Connor fielded questions from reporters covering a range of subjects at Friday’s press conference. Also present were Bijlani and Philips.

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