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New chamber chair Garry Wetsch steps into role

Wetsch takes over the role from 2021 chair Curtis Crouse.
2601 Garry Wetsch C
Garry Wetsch was welcomed as the 2022 chair of the St. Albert and District Chamber of Commerce during a virtual luncheon on Jan. 19, 2022. SUPPLIED/Photo

From crisis comes opportunity, says Garry Wetsch, the new chair for the St. Albert and District Chamber of Commerce. 

Welcomed during a virtual luncheon Wednesday, Wetsch will replace former chair Curtis Crouse. During the meeting, both Crouse and Wetsch spoke of the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, as the pandemic enters its third year. 

“Times are changing and challenging,” Wetsch said. “By working together and treating all with respect, we will again prove that the St. Albert district is the place to do business.”

Meeting attendees watched video of Wetsch and new vice-chair Mike Howes being sworn in by Mayor Cathy Heron at City Hall, and a video weaving together clips of 16 chamber chairs from 1988 onward, passing the gavel to one another.

As a long-time resident of St. Albert, Wetsch said he is “very pleased” to have been elected to serve as chair of the volunteer board. 

“I have a strong appreciation of St. Albert,” Wetsch said. “Both as a place to live, and to the business that builds our community.”

Wetsch said he believes 2022 will hold many of the same challenges from the previous year, adding that leadership will be particularly important as St. Albert grapples with an “ever evolving economic landscape.”

Former chamber chair Curtis Crouse congratulated Wetsch, along with chamber staff, whom Crouse said were invaluable in their dedication in 2021. 

“I’ve learned so much and met so many great and passionate people in the past year,” Crouse said. 

Crouse noted that when he stepped into his position, he would have pictured a different end come 2021’s close. 

“For the past year, businesses have been struggling through waves of restrictions,” Crouse said, noting the chamber continues to provide resources and updated information for businesses. 

Wetsch said one of his goals will be to ensure the chamber is committed to supporting and serving all its members, and to attracting new business to the community.

Additionally, he said he will work to support regional initiatives such as the Edmonton Region Hydrogen Hub and Villeneuve Landing Network supporting Villeneuve Airport projects. 

Involved with the chamber for three decades, Wetsch also served as a councillor on St. Albert city council from 1974-77. Experienced in both business and law, Wetsch has been with land development company Landrex since 2010, where he currently works as a corporate advisor. 

He said he wants to continue to make sure St. Albert’s chamber remains “one of the strongest chambers in the country, if not the best.”