La Ronge and District Chamber of Commerce held an annual general meeting in September where Giant Tiger store manager, Dennis Caplette, was appointed president. It was Caplette’s first time attending a meeting.
“I was very flattered.” Caplette says of his initial reaction. “And honoured that people thought enough of me as a person that they thought that I’d be a good candidate and being able to help the businesses.”
Although Caplette had been a member of the Chamber of Commerce for fivr years, the general meeting in September was the first meeting he had ever attended. He had attended that particular meeting because one of the other members had invited him and he happened to have free time that day, a ‘coincidence’ he surely appreciates.
“I was invited by one of the members as well.” Caplette said. “It was an opportunity that I had freed up, so I decided to go in and check it out and next thing I new I was elected the president. And so, it’ll be interesting to see what happens from there.”
Caplette is hoping to bring in more businesses as members to the Chamber and to bring more business opportunities to the town as he believes La Ronge is the hub of the north and that there’s room to grow.
“I feel that La Ronge is the hub of the north.” Caplette said. “And I feel that we have the ability to grow and become a stronger and healthier community and I think by doing that and giving what La Ronge is truly about that it will create some new business interest from other businesses to come to La Ronge.”
Caplette is “looking forward to the challenges” and is optimistic about the future not only for the Chamber but for the community as well.
“I’m appreciative of the opportunity.” Caplette says of his new role. “I’m grateful, like I never forget where I come from and the things that I’ve learned in helping me be a more positive and contributing member of the community of La Ronge. I think it’s really important that we get the opportunity to do that. I’m gonna reach out to the businesses here in town and try to create that atmosphere, so I’m really looking forward to the challenge and we’ll see where it goes from here.”
One of the questions raised at the general meeting was about the lack of inclusivity with the band and whether anyone would try to integrate the band into the Chamber.
“I’m hoping that we’re gonna be able to make that inclusive.” Said Caplette. “So that everybody feels like they’re a part of this. What it’s more about is everybody coming together as a group of businesses and trying to support the community and do what we need to do here, so I definitely want to reach out to them and make sure that they are definitely part of this.”
The focus of the Chamber of Commerce is to create an attractive and competitive place to do business, but Caplette’s vision is more than just business, it’s about an attractive community as well as a great place for businesses.
“One of the things we take pride in is being able to give back to our communities.” Caplette says. “And to ensure that we’re a very honoured organization that gives back to our communities, it’s one of our founding principals in the way that we operate, so it’d be nice to bring that type of attention to the businesses in La Ronge.”
If Caplette’s big smile is of any type of measurement, then he seems very happy to start this new chapter for himself and for his community.
“I’m hoping that I’m gonna be able to do a good job for them (Commerce).” Said Caplette.
“And for the community. I’m looking forward to the challenges and glad to be doing it.”