One of Fort Macleod’s newest business owners is the new president of the Chamber of Commerce.
Becky Housenga of GoingGreen — EnviroClean Inc. was elected during the Chamber’s annual general meeting at the offices of Avail CPA.
“I am excited to work on a more active relationship with the members of the Fort Macleod Chamber and other local businesses as well,” Housenga said of her new volunteer role. “As in my own business, I believe that these relationships will encourage a positive membership atmosphere.”
In addition to Housenga, the Chamber executive includes vice-president Linda Henning, treasurer Brian Nelson and directors Tony Walker, Emily McTighe, Andrew Beusekom, Brent Feyter and Kimberly Vanden Broek.
Housenga ran a private day home from 1997-2003 while her children were young, and then joined CIBC for five years, becoming a loans and mortgage specialist.
From 2011-’16 Housenga was land administrator with Synergy Land Services before joining Fort Macleod Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) as administrative assistant.
While with Synergy Land Services, Housenga was involved with organizing the community Christmas dinner and learned first-hand of the giving nature of Fort Macleod residents and businesses.
“Once I started working at FCSS I truly began to see what a huge heart our town residents really have,” Housenga added. “With Fort Macleod’s beautiful Main Street and historical buildings and the many small businesses, I feel that it is a very welcoming place to be.”
It was a conversation with an older friend regarding her frustrations with the recycling system in Fort Macleod that led to Housenga owning and operating her own business.
“She was feeling frustrated and discouraged with her recycling,” Housenga said.
The woman found it challenging to deal with the heavy doors on the town’s recycling trailer, and the frustration of often finding the bins inside full and having to take her recyclables home.
“She mentioned that where she used to live someone came around and picked it up for her and would love that service here,” Housenga said. “I researched curbside recycling and developed a business plan, then started picking up recycling on Thursday evenings with 10 clients.”
GoingGreen — EnviroClean Inc. is a door-to-door recycling services that now has 200 clients in Fort Macleod, Coalhurst, Pincher Creek and the Crowsnest Pass.
Last year GoingGreen recycled 82,000 kilograms (180,779 pounds) of material.
“The best part of owning and operating this business is benefiting from my own positive client interaction,” Housenga said. “I strive to create a positive and easy service and my clients respond very appreciatively.”
Housenga got involved with the Chamber of Commerce shortly after starting GoingGreen — EnviroClean Inc.
“I heard from others that it is a great way to network with other community businesses, a place to develop professional relationships, and help to encourage growth of your business which in turn helps develop growth in the community,” Housenga said.
The Chamber of Commerce has a vision of a promoting a strong economy in Fort Macleod while serving as a voice for business.
Housenga likes that the Chamber is heavily involved in community events, including the Citizen of the Year and business awards, the antique sale and show, the Moonlight Madness late-night shopping event and the Santa Claus Parade.
“My goals during my time as president are to learn more about how the Chamber works as a whole,” Housenga said. “I look forward to working with the other executive and Chamber members to assist in running the Chamber as it is meant to be, committed to engaging businesses and encouraging the economic growth and sustainability in Fort Macleod.”
Housenga wants to hear from other business owners what they would like from the Chamber of Commerce.
She also encourages business owners to get involved with the Chamber to strengthen the organization and their own businesses.
Fort Macleod residents can also help the Chamber by continuing to shop locally while sharing their thoughts with business owners.
“Take a little time and get to know our business owners, see what’s new but also what’s been here for a while but may have changed,” Housenga said. “We really do live in a small town with a big heart — residents and businesses alike.”