Local chamber welcomes new GM - Grant Haven
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Local chamber welcomes new GM

Local chamber welcomes new GM

By Lee Griffi
The Woodstock Chamber of Commerce has announced the hiring of a new General Manager.

Mike Crabbe joined the organization on March 4. Born and raised in Woodstock, he has had an opportunity to gain a deep understanding of the community through both his professional background, as well as though his volunteerism.

“Joining us after years of dedicated service with United Way Oxford, Mike has been able to see firsthand how the power of community and creating a strong network of like-minded people can make change and positive growth for all. Mike’s management experience expands from non-profit, in his role as General Manager for Theatre Woodstock, as well as corporate retail management through his position as a Store Manager for Loblaw’s Joe Fresh in the GTA,” said board chair Ifhan Hudda. “Mike is excited to bring his unique business perspective, and ability to connect people, with him to his position here,” he added.

Crabbe said he’s excited to start his new role working with former general manager Kim Whitehead to grow business in the city. “Kim and I and the chamber are excited about the growth of downtown Woodstock. It’s nice to see development in the downtown is starting to reflect that more.” He added the mission of the chamber is to connect businesses to businesses and with customers and communities. “When we have growth opportunities, we are well-positioned to be able to bring people together and help each other thrive.”

Whitehead has been the lone employee at the chamber for some time and when asked if more resources are needed at the chamber to offer more help, Crabbe said he’s thrilled she is staying on in a reduced role. “She’s moving into a part-time position to help oversee the operations. She and I will work together, and this is a great moment for growth at the Woodstock Chamber of
Commerce.” He joked the move is somewhat of a soft step into retirement. “We love her too much and she’s so well engaged in the community that she continues to want to be a part of the organization.”

The chamber is hoping to grow the number of businesses in the city’s core, particularly with the Woodstock Streetscape Project coming in the future. “We need that for the sake of the Business Improvement Area. The city of Woodstock has hired an economic development officer, and they have a great team there. They are intuitive to the needs of the downtown,” said Whitehead. “A vibrant downtown makes for a vibrant community,” she added.

Hudda added he is confident the team of Crabbe and Whitehead will result in improvements. “We are filled with a sense of excitement and optimism. With the addition of Mike and Kim’s experience, we are confident that this dynamic blend of experience and fresh perspectives will lead to remarkable achievements.”

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