After an extensive search the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce (NBDCC) has selected Peter Chirico as its new President and CEO.
The President and CEO has the overall responsibility for the complete operation and staff of the NBDCC as it involves programs, planning, working under the policy guidelines of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee and acting in accordance with policies, procedures, and bylaws of the business lobby group.
Chirico told a news conference this morning that he "looks forward to the opportunity and challenges that are out there."
Chirico says the Chamber is going through a transition with new governance and with his past experience, it seemed like a good fit.
"I look forward to a great team working with the staff at the Chamber making sure we are representing the businesses here the best way we can.
"Thanks for having the faith in me," he added.
Chirico says one key part of the mandate is to look closely at the five-year strategic plan.
“That will be the first priority, is with the board and working together and setting that five-year strategic plan and then how we are going to implement that plan will be right next from there,” he said.
Chair Brad Gavan said he "welcomes Peter Chirico as the President and CEO of The North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce. Peter has over 35 years of private and public sector experience.”
Chirico returns to the spotlight after some stressful times including some health issues and even a libel suit against current city councillor Mark King.
As well Chirico, as the City’s Director of Community Services Director, shouldered much of the blame for the Memorial Gardens cost overrun, which started at $12 million and ballooned to over $16 million.
He attempted to return to his job in October of 2015, but returned to find out he was locked out.
Chirico, a former deputy mayor, didn’t want to comment on the past this morning.
“That’s the past, I am very proud of my history, I am very proud of previous teams that I’ve worked with have accomplished and it is the past, we are looking forward to the future,” he admitted.
“There’s always should have, could have, would have, all of those things but I think as you age you mature somewhat and you say,’ next, it’s time to move on,’ and I believe this is a great opportunity to be back involved with the community, because I love this community.
“This community is my home. This is where my kids live, this is where we are living and sitting on the sidelines and not being involved in the community. That was probably one of the biggest issues and I wanted to get back involved and stay involved.”
Chirico doesn’t expect the past to create any barriers in working with the Mayor and the city in the future.
“Mayor McDonald was here this morning and certainly we’ve always had chats and remained in contact with each other,” he said.
“So talking about whether there will be issues with politicians, I say no and my door is always open, it’s always been open. I’ve remained in contact with many of my previous colleagues and I look forward to re-establishing those contacts again.”
While the new position will take up a lot of his time, Chirico wouldn’t rule out politics again in the future.
“I think that always remains open. I think certainly my focus is on the Chamber, this new role as president and CEO. We have lots of things to do and this is sort of fringe politics you could say, because we are advocating on behalf of business,” said Chirico.
Chair Brad Gavan, who was not at the press conference, said in a release, he "welcomes Peter Chirico as the President and CEO of The North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce. Peter has over 35 years of private and public sector experience."
Past Chair John Strang said the Chamber evolution means it has taken a dramatic turn to meet changing business climate in North Bay.
“With the switch to the governance style board, we recognized that some internal structures had to change, and one of those was the hiring of a president/CEO and Peter was the guy who came through the process so we are excited to have Peter here. From an advocacy standpoint alone it makes so much sense,” said Strang.
Officials with the Chamber add that the Chirico position is a two-year contract.