The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce has a new president and CEO. Greg Dunnett is set to take over as CEO of the 177-year-old organization on Monday. Dunnett, a born and raised Hamiltonian, told The Spectator that the city is a “great place” to work and that “I want it to continue to get better” as it enters a transformational phase.
Dunnett’s appointment comes months after Keanin Loomis stepped down as CEO of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, a position he held for nine years. Loomis is now running for mayor of the city in the upcoming municipal election.
While the organization searched for a new full-time CEO, Marie Nash, chief operating officer, served as interim CEO. Now that the search is over, Dunnett, 41, is bringing a vision to the table to make “Hamilton a better place to live, and a better place to work.”
According to Dunnett, the city, which is home to over 15,000 local businesses, is in the process of undergoing “incredible numbers of positive changes.”
According to Dunnett, the potential changes include ongoing and upcoming projects such as rapid transit and the downtown entertainment district, which would expand business opportunities for Hamiltonians and create more jobs.
“If you see cranes in a city’s skyline, that’s a sign that the city is thriving,” he said. While there will be many opportunities for community businesses in the future, Dunnett said he is aware of the immediate challenges that Hamilton businesses are facing, such as the aftermath of the pandemic and sky-high inflation.
“The last few years have been difficult for the business community in Hamilton,” Dunnett said.
The first step would be to engage with the partners and identify the best ways that the chamber can help the business community grow going forward, Dunnett said. “What are the problems and how can we help advocate to reduce friction points and then help grow the overall business community?”
Dunnett noted that one of the main tasks for long-term goals will be to close job and skill gaps. “We need to make it easier to start a new business in Hamilton,” he said, “we need to continue to develop a pipeline of talent as new skills are required.”
Hamilton has been suffering from a labor shortage, which has been exacerbated by the pandemic. But first, like any person starting a new job, Dunnett said he will spend the first 100 days understanding the immediate and long-term needs of the business community in Hamilton and aligning his goals “with what our membership needs.”
“My job is to advocate on behalf of the business community,” he said, which would come from understanding the Hamilton business community.
Dunnett spent two decades in executive roles for the 2021 Grey Cup Festival, which will be held in Hamilton for the first time in 25 years. He also oversaw the entry of Forge FC into the Canadian Premier League.
Source : thespec