NEXT IN LINE? Bella Casa owner Tony Goodman is in the running to replace Ben Riches as the Gympie Chamber of Commerce president.
NEXT IN LINE? Bella Casa owner Tony Goodman is in the running to replace Ben Riches as the Gympie Chamber of Commerce president. Renee Albrecht

Tony G could lead new era for Gympie Chamber of Commerce

LOCAL businessman Tony Goodman has confirmed his hat is in the leadership ring as the Gympie Chamber of Commerce looks to replace outgoing president Ben Riches.

Mr Riches, who served two years in the role, was one of five previous management committee members who opted not to re-nominate for positions at the group's annual general meeting last Friday night.

The other four included AgSolutions Australia CEO Julie Williams, former Chamber vice-president Garry Davison, Sharon Hansen and Justin Lippett, who has relocated to the Sunshine Coast.

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Jess and Ben Riches at the 150th Gympie Race Meet at the weekend.
Jess and Ben Riches at the 150th Gympie Race Meet at the weekend. Philippe Coquerand

Adam Madill of the Madill Motor Group, and Polleys Coaches owner Warren Polley join Mr Goodman, secretary and treasurer Sharlene Makin and Scott Sutton on the board.

Mr Goodman, who owns and operates Bella Casa in Mary St, said he was in the process of speaking with local and state government officials on his vision for the Chamber should he officially assume the presidential role from next week.

He said two others had expressed interest in joining the board.

Chamber of Commerce secretary and treasurer Sharlene Makin commended Mr Riches and the other outgoing members for their commitment to volunteering.

"It is sad to see them go, but understandable. Juggling this kind of commitment while having families and your own businesses is very difficult,” Mrs Makin said.

"Each of them brought their unique experiences and had different strengths, which benefited (the Chamber) greatly.

"Ben started with a clear aim for improvement across the board and he definitely achieved it.

"I have a lot of confidence in Tony's ability to continue on that improvement and find a better balance. We want to have much more of a voice with all three levels of government, because good business is good for everyone.”

Mr Riches said the "rapid growth” of his online marketing firm Enriches Business had contributed to his decision to step away.

"There were lots of challenges in the role, but it was a very fulfilling and very rewarding experience,” he said.

"I was happy to see Chamber membership grow significantly in my time, and we were proud of putting on the Ignite Business conference, which is the biggest business event we've had in Gympie.

"Every member in the chamber volunteered their time and put their best efforts in to help it grow, so I definitely thank all of them.”

The new management committee will be finalised at the first official meeting following the AGM next Wednesday, December 5.

Gympie Times


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