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Srecko Ponjavic new Chamber president

Srecko Ponjavic

Outgoing president Emily McTighe passed the gavel Thursday to new Fort Macleod Chamber of Commerce president Srecko Ponjavic.

The Fort Macleod Chamber of Commerce has a new president.
ATB Financial business lender Srecko Ponjavic took over leadership of the 50-member business promotion group from outgoing president Emily McTighe on Thursday at a luncheon meeting at Luigi’s Pizza and Steak House.
McTighe held the position for eight years.
“I have really enjoyed my time as president and I’m appreciative of the people who supported me through the years,” McTighe said. “I’m confident Srecko will do a great job, and I urge people to support him as president.”
Ponjavic, 25, comes to the post with an enthusiasm to inspire fresh business initiatives in Fort Macleod.
“I’m looking forward to the opportunity, and the challenges,” Ponjavic said. “I see an opportunity to add significant value to the business community here in Fort Macleod.”
Ponjavic is new to Fort Macleod — he’s been with ATB Financial as agricultural and independent business lender for about a year.
“Being a new citizen of Fort Macleod, and my position at ATB Financial as a business lender, gives me a unique ability to approach the chamber with a fresh perspective on the economics of the town and how to further develop it over the coming months and years,” Ponjavic said.
“In my view a strong Chamber is a net positive to a community, and will in turn increase our bottom line as a business community.”
Ponjavic said his short-term plans as head of the Chamber of Commerce are to continue events already planned for the coming year with a focus on increasing membership size and participation from the business community.
“My longer term focus is to promote and leverage existing and new opportunities — such as the police college — within the chamber to see where we can add value to our business community. I want the chamber to be an open forum to all businesses where we can collaborate for future successes within the town. I look forward to being the voice of that collaboration.”
Ponjavic grew up in the Lethbridge area on a farm where he says in his teen years he “learned the production and effective cost management side of the business.”
“I come from an immigrant family whose values of hard work and prudent long-term planning have been instrumental in our success,” Ponjavic said.
Ponjavic now holds two degrees from the University of Lethbridge — a Bachelor of Science in agriculture with a concentration in agribusiness, and a Bachelor of Management in finance.
“While in university I still had key decision-making responsibilities on the farm,” Ponjavic said. “And in university I started my own business as an independent contractor for Vector Marketing in Lethbridge. I was a knife salesman. Vector was a great experience and very profitable for me as well. During my time there I was a field sales manager and led my own sales team. We were the No. 3 branch across Canada and I was personally a Top 20 salesman in the country.”
“It was these past experiences that allowed me to attain my current position at ATB Financial.”
Ponjavic also started a farming and land holding company with his father earlier this year.
“I’m just your everyday normal guy who enjoys helping others,” said Ponjavic, whose friends call him Stretch. “This is why I work as a lender: it’s very rewarding to me to see my clients succeed through my help.”
So . . . the new president of the Fort Macleod Chamber of Commerce is a man whose public life revolves tightly around business. But so does his personal life, he said. Ponjavic acknowledged he’s a business head inside and out.
“My personal interests lie in investing and macroeconomic effects on financial markets,” Ponjavic said. “Sounds lame, I know, but I’m a huge CNBC and BNN junkie.”
However, Ponjavic has also involved himself in Rotary Club events in Fort Macleod — and he’s also a member of the Fort Macleod Golf Club.
“Every banker has to golf, right?” he laughed.
“I love golf, and playing basketball, working out, and enjoying what life has to offer, hanging out with friends, taking in movies and concerts . . . and my guilty pleasure is playing Call of Duty on-line. I’m one mean sniper!”

Outgoing president Emily McTighe passed the gavel Thursday to new Fort Macleod Chamber of Commerce president Srecko Ponjavic.

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