I have been a resident of Okotoks for 27 years....yes 27 years!!
When we moved here in 1994 I didn’t know a single soul other than my husband and my 14 month old son. Okotoks had just under 8000 people, 1 set of lights and everyone knew everyone on a first name basis.
The slogan was “The Spirit of Youth”
Growing up my parents were very involved in their community. My grandfather was active on school council and involved in many clubs and organizations. Volunteering is in my dna. My first job in town was working for the Lorenowicz family as a waitress in their family restaurant. They became an extension of my family. I immersed myself in the town, went on to work for the Weibe family at Chicken Chef, the Wolfe family at Home Hardware, Hi Ho Esso, Riverside shell, Smitty’s, Okotoks and High River, ATB Financial, & First Calgary Okotoks.
In 2006 I was nominated by Marg Cox to run as a director for The Okotoks Chamber of Commerce. I was successful in being elected as a director. I had no idea what my role would be or why Marg thought I would be an asset to the board but I served 2 years as a director, was elected as Vice President, then President!
I took the role by storm, working tirelessly to inform and engage the business community about the benefits of being part of the Chamber. The membership was growing faster than I could keep up as a volunteer.
As I transitioned into Past President, I had a bigger vision, to keep the momentum going. We developed a role to hire an executive director that would be a liaison with the business community, the town, the Alberta Chamber and Canadian Chamber of Commerce. After an exhaustive search by the board of directors, I was asked to consider taking on the role myself. After all I knew exactly what we wanted, had the relationships with the business community and council, it was a natural transition.
I worked tirelessly, visiting every business I could. I created a respected, valued organization that helped businesses navigate the legislation and represented them by attending council meetings, hosting round tables with municipal, provincial and federal leaders, and government officials. I took the chamber of commerce from 295 members to over 450 members in 1 year, winning Chamber of the year in 2013. I learned about governance, setting policy, passing bylaws, and the processes involved in meeting fiscal responsibility.
I am passionate about this community, the foothills and the future for our residents. When the disastrous floods happened in 2013, my first call was to Yousra Johma the President of the High River Chamber. I spent countless hours assisting their chamber and set up drop off locations in Okotoks for clothes, food, necessities, and reached out to our business community who graciously and generously pitched in to help our neighbours.
I have a can do attitude, I have served on many volunteer boards, such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, The Okotoks Food Bank, The Okotoks Car Show, Sheep River Clean up, the Okotoks Parade, Light Up Okotoks, Chili fest, Okotoks Library, the Okotoks Pro Rodeo and many more.
Over the last 27 years I have have watched the town grow into a booming community of over 30,000 residents. Our population is young, 1/3 being under the age of 15 and 2/3 under the age of 44. We are a leader in protecting and preserving the environment, we have amazing community programs and a growing business and residential community.
With the growth of D’Arcy ranch, the Wedderburn lands and the Tillison development on the horizon, Okotoks needs a councillor that knows this community, the challenges we face with exponential growth and the dedication and drive to spend the next 4 years seeing it through. I don’t know all the answers, but I will devote and dedicate my time to ensure your voices are heard.
On October 18th, vote Cheryl Actemichuk
Contact Cheryl at:
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