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Katies vision for the Grafton Chamber

L-R Grafton Chamber of Commerce vice-president Justin James, president Katie Kelemec, Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis and NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW and Minister for Small Business John Barilaro, during his recent visit to the Clarence Valley. Image: Lynne Mowbray.
Grafton Chamber of Commerce president Katie Kelemec has a vision for local business growth and prosperity. Katie grew up in Grafton and attended Grafton High School. After completing year 12 she travelled overseas for a year before returning to Australia and working as an accounts officer in large commercial law firms, in Brisbane. During this time Katie said that she was accepted into university and went on to receive her Bachelor of Business, majoring in Human Resources Management/Management. “When I moved home to Grafton, I quickly realised that there is no other place I would rather be than the Clarence Valley,” said Katie. “I worked as a HR manager for years, learning from some amazing people before the opportunity came up for me to start my own consultancy business [KTK Consulting] in 2014. “One of the first things I did was to become a member of the Grafton Chamber of Commerce. “The Chamber has been so supportive of me and of the whole community and I felt very lucky to be a part of such a wonderful group of people. “I was motivated to take on the job as president, as I value the work of the Chamber and wanted to ‘give back’ to my local community; a community that has given me support. “My vision for the Chamber is to bring together the goals of the Chamber, the Council and the local community as a whole, to create a stronger voice. “It was an honour to become president of the Chamber however, the strength of the Chamber is the executive team and the members. “We are currently in the planning stages of setting our specific goals for 2017. “The key areas we are looking at are; youth engagement, economic development – bringing new business to the valley, tourism and marketing the chamber, to create a stronger voice. “Our goal is to try and reinvigorate, motivate and inspire the local community and businesses in the Clarence Valley and to help raise our community profile. “The Chamber acts as a conduit between the community and local, federal and state government. We are the voice of the community, lobbying for local business and local jobs. “An example of this is that we are in discussions with the preferred consortium for the new Grafton Gaol and pushing for local participation in all phases of construction.” The Grafton Chambers informative monthly breakfast meetings have proved to be a huge success. It gives the community the opportunity to find out firsthand the latest updates on important issues within the Clarence Valley, eg. bridge and highway construction issues, correctional facility and policing issues etc. It also provides the opportunity for the community to speak to the committee and communicate their thoughts. Katie attributes the success of the Grafton Chamber to the diversity of the executive committee. “The committee are a diverse group ranging in age, experience and occupation with years of experience [between them]. “I think that it is this diversity that makes us strong, along with our commitment and respect for each other,” she said. For more information about the Grafton Chamber of Commerce: