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Meet the new president of the Greater Westside Board of Trade

Bobby Bissessar is a collaborator.

Collaboration with the Greater Westside Board of Trade, the City of West Kelowna, Westbank First Nation, Interior Health, Westside businesses and non-profits, Tourism Kelowna and his dance partner.

We just had to throw that last one in because Bissessar partnered with Nica Graziotto earlier this year for the Swinging with the Stars fundraiser for the Central Okanagan Hospice Association.

This month, Bissessar was elected the 2023-24 president of the Greater Westside Board of Trade.

"Guided by a commitment to collaboration, innovation and community growth, I am eager to embark on this journey with this dedicated and passionate team, building on the solid foundation that exists," he said.

"Together, we will champion the interests of our diverse business community, fostering prosperity and resilience on the Greater Westside."

</who>Bobby Bissessar, sales and marketing director at The Cove Lakeside Resort, is the new president of the 300-member Greater Westside Board of Trade.

Just recently, when Bissessar was vice-president of the board of trade, it joined forces with the City of West Kelowna to lobby Interior Health for extended hours at the West Kelowna Urgent & Primary Care Centre at 2484 Main St.

The lobby worked -- hours have been increased from 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm weekdays and 11:30 am to 8:30 pm weekends and statutory holidays to 11:30 am to 8:30 pm seven days a week.

A lobby that started during COVID is coming full-circle.

The Greater Westside Board of Trade lobbied government for pandemic financial support for businesses in the form of zero-interest loans and grants.

That happened and loan payments are due in January.

The board of trade is asking for no-penalty extensions for businesses and additional resources as companies navigate post-pandemic, high-interest-rate, high-inflation economic tough times.

"The board of trade movement is great for local business," said Bissessar.

"All you have to do is get involved and enact real change. It doesn't matter what size of business you are or what industry you are in. You can make a difference."

The 300-member board of trade is the voice of Westside business advocating to all levels of government, it offers group medical, dental and disability insurance coverage to member businesses and puts on networking events and guest-speaker luncheons.

Bissessar works on the Westside as director of sales and marketing for The Cove Lakeside Resort and Outback Lakeside Resort in Vernon.

Previously, he was sales and marketing manager at The Shore in Kelowna and before that marketing manager for Argus Properties' four Kelowna hotels -- the Eldorado, Manteo and Four Points by Sheraton Kelowna Airport and Hampton Inn & Suites Kelowna Airport.

He is vice-president of Kelowna Pride Society and did his diversity and inclusion training with the Canadian Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.

Bissessar is also a director on the Tourism Kelowna board.

In his spare time, and when the weather allows, he can be found paddleboarding on Okanagan Lake and checking out Central Okanagan restaurants.

</who>Directors on the 2023-24 Greater Westside Board of Trade. Top row, from left, John Whitehead, Stephanie Oliver, Bobby Bissessar, Dr. Lauren Tomkins and Rebecca Myers. Middle row, from left, Scott Beaton, Tina Bisson and Bryan Fitzpatrick. Front, from left, Kenneth Carr, Amber Hall and Julie Pringle.

Here's the Greater Westside Board of Trade's 2023-24 list of directors:

- President: Bobby Bissessar, The Cove Lakeside Resort

- Vice-presdient: Bryan Fitzpatrick, Pushor Mitchell Lawyers

- Treasurer: Scott Beaton, Beaton Rettich Waters business consultants

- Secretary: Tina Bisson, Manchester Signs, Graphic Design & Printing

- Past-president: Amber Hall, Telus Small Business Solutions

- Heather Robinson, executive director, Greater Westside Board of Trade

- Julie Pringle, Snap Commercial Photography

- Dr. Lauren Tomkins, West Kelowna Integrative Health Centre

- James McCormick, Valley First Credit Union

- John Whitehead, John K. Whitehead & Associates executive coaching

- Kenneth Carr, PostNet

- Rebecca Myers, COBS Bread

- Stephanie Oliver, Porrelli Law

- Jenny Money, Westbank First Nation Economic Development Commission

- Rod Aubichon, Kelowna Metis Society and Terracom Systems

- Dominic Rampone, West Manufacturing

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