February 3, 2011 |

Rozbicki elected top leader of Chamber

Ned Rozbicki is the new president of the Haines Chamber of Commerce.

Rozbicki, 43, has lived in Haines 20 years and works as an independent insurance agent and operates a kayak shop. He operated kayak tours in Haines from 1992 to 2005.

He said his plans include "amping up" the group’s shop-at-home efforts, as outlined in a goal-setting exercise by the group last year. As that effort also has been prioritized by the downtown revitalization committee, Rozbicki said he would be joining that group.

"My personal goal is for businesses to reach out more to locals, to make a partnership. One can’t exist without the other in a town as small as this. It’s about quality of life for all of us."

By April, he hopes to roll out a new "buy local" campaign, focusing on giving customers something back for shopping here. "We need to say how much we appreciate their business and how much we want to serve them better."

The Chamber board also will have monthly meetings with borough manager Mark Earnest. "We’re definitely encouraging all chamber members to communicate their concerns to us so we can consolidate them to the borough on a monthly basis… We want to have a strong, cooperative relationship with the borough," Rozbicki said.

Chamber members last year voted to become more involved in local government, and at least one chamber member is present at assembly meetings.

The group will retain its emphasis on economic development and a priority will be trying to recruit new members, Rozbicki said.

Other chamber officers include Patty Campbell, vice-president, Brenda Jones, treasurer, and Greg Schlachter, secretary.

The chamber board includes Judith McDermaid, Adam Patterson, Greg Schlachter, Joyce Town and Nick Trimble.

The group’s next luncheon will be held Tuesday, Feb. 22, with Margaret O’Neal of the Juneau Economic Development Council. O’Neal will hold a forum on loans available from JEDC, Wednesday, Feb. 23 at the public library.