The Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce held its annual general meeting last Wednesday.
In addition to presentations from the Chamber President Stuart Bostock, Chief Executive Officer Wil Pineau and Treasurer Wayne Cowan, the meeting saw the election of a new Chamber Council.
The 2010 Chamber Council will include President Stuart Bostock, who took over in March 2009 after the resignation of Eddie Thompson, David Kirkaldy as vice-president, James O’Neill as president elect, Wayne Cowan as treasurer and Colin Reid as secretary.
The elected councillors are Patricia Bell, Barry Bodden, Shane Howe, Michael Joseph and Johann Moxam.
Mr. Pineau presented the developments and highlights of the past year, which included the Chamber’s participation in the constitutional modernisation discussions in the Cayman Islands and the UK as part of a more proactive relationship the Chamber has established with the government and policy makers.
‘Advocacy is one of the main reasons why members join our organisation,’ Mr. Pineau said. The Council held meetings with government and discussed ways to cut costs to reduce the national debt and identify new revenue sources.
‘Many of the Chamber’s recommendations were accepted and some are still being considered by the government,’ said Mr Pineau.
Chamber membership increased to 734 corporate and associate members, he added, ‘making our business association the largest and in the Cayman Islands.’
On an operational level the Chamber has approved a five-year strategic plan that identifies key initiatives to further enhance the ability of the Chamber to serve its members through programmes and services.
Mr Pineau mentioned Leadership Cayman, a six-month leadership programme designed to promote community leadership, as one of several new initiatives the Chamber launched during the past year.
Mr. Bostock, in his president’s address, identified innovation, investment, integration and involvement as the important factors for success in today’s world.
An active and involved membership is the real strength of the Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Bostock said. He encouraged members to continue this effort and find their individual way of becoming engaged in one of the many programmes supported by the Chamber.
Doubting the government’s long-term planning ability, Mr. Bostock said it is up to the private sector to develop a national vision and agree on key drivers for the success of Cayman.
He proposed a comprehensive membership survey to identify these main drivers and suggested a Future of Cayman Forum in partnership with the government and the wider community to discuss and agree on strategies for the future.
With regard to integration, Mr. Bostock stated: ‘Many diverse people have played a part in the country’s success …We must capture our history and culture but celebrate our diversity and use this unique environment to our advantage.’