This past quarter was an exciting one at the Chamber, highlighted by the announcement of Deborah Yedlin as our incoming President and CEO, effective July 5, 2021.
With a strong background in business, community, and academia, Deborah will bring a collaborative and forward-thinking approach to the Chamber. She has been observing, commenting, and writing about business and politics for more than two decades, as a journalist for the Financial Post, Globe and Mail and Calgary Herald newspapers. Yedlin’s career to date has also included time working on Wall Street and Bay Street, during which she developed a strong understanding of finance and investment.
I am confident that under her leadership, the Chamber will be stronger than ever, and will continue to serve the Calgary business community well as we recover and emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.
As we move toward reopening, stopping the spread of COVID-19 and protecting our economy continue to go hand-in-hand. Last month, we launched our Rapid Testing Program in partnership with the Government of Alberta and the Alberta Chambers of Commerce. The program provides rapid test kits to businesses and non-profits to help keep employees safe and stop the spread of COVID-19, particularly in workplaces.
While testing and following public health guidelines is critical, vaccines are our best shot at overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic. In light of this, we have launched a vaccine campaign to encourage all Calgarians to get vaccinated so we can stay healthy and reopen our economy. Vaccinations will play a significant role in re-opening our economy and in restoring consumer confidence. If you miss dinners out, live music, hugs, and time with family and friends, I encourage you to get vaccinated.
In addition to the announcement of a new CEO and continued support of businesses to reopen safely, we are celebrating our 130th anniversary of supporting our business community. To celebrate, we are making it easier than ever for businesses to join the Chamber, with current and new members eligible to receive a 50 per cent discount on their annual membership for 2021. New members can access this discount until the end of June, and current members will receive it when they renew in 2021. We work closely with our members to deliver policy solutions, cultivate connections, and deliver services and events that nourish, power, and inspire our business community.
Along with our collective thanks in the form of a member discount, I would like to share my personal thanks to the Calgary business community for trusting me to lead your Chamber over the past several months, amidst some of the most challenging times our city has seen. It has been one of the greatest honours of my career to have served businesses over the past several months, and I leave this role with great optimism for the future of our agile, resilient, and entrepreneurial business community.