President's Message

Fort Frances and District is standing at the open door of a brilliant growth opportunity.

Our community and area holds a unique position in Canada and the global community as recently recognized by the National Geographic Society.  We have a distinct culture, history and surrounding environment which most of the world envies.  It’s time for us to talk about these things and show the world what a fantastic place we live in!  We may take much of it for granted, but for visitors it opens up a myriad of exciting new experiences, adventures and discoveries.

Often local people don’t see tourism as a viable lead industry here, but in truth tourism growth profits in Ontario have outstripped mining, forestry and manufacturing combined.  Communities like ours across North America which have lost their primary industries have rebounded as better, stronger and more economically stable than before by embracing tourism and recreating themselves.  Kenora, without a new large industry, is an excellent example of this.  They’ve worked smart and hard to capitalize on their tourism potential and it’s now a place people want to live in and visit.  It has become a “destination”.  Fort Frances and District can take ownership of developing the wonderful untapped resources we have, attract many more visitors, and create a new economic driver.  If or when new industry comes to the area we will have lost nothing, just made ourselves stronger.

Hello, my name is Jenny Greenhalgh,

Since moving to Fort in 1992, I have worked at the RBC, the Mill then at NCDS for almost 20 years, ten of them as Executive Director. During my time as Executive Director I increased the NCDS workforce from 4 to 15 – this was achieved through entrepreneurial development, albeit under government contracts.  It has always been my passion to maximise potential, improve and grow opportunities which may present themselves. The growth and success of NCDS was achieved through team work, helping individuals and businesses to be the best they could be.  That is the path I see for the Fort Frances Chamber.  Our recently resumed collaboration with the provincial body, the Ontario Chambers of Commerce is providing opportunities for Chamber members to benefit from discounts on such things as Purolator Services, Chamber Group Insurance Program, Payworks, First Date and free specialized training.

My vision for the Chamber is to proactively embrace the evolving changes both in the local economy and community, while initiating other new courses of action.  I would like our focus to be on assisting business owners, helping businesses to profit and grow, to capitalize on supporting and expanding tourism, and to become a ‘go-to’ resource for the area as a whole and for visitors.  In order to ensure the ongoing development of ‘home grown’ entrepreneurs, the recently formed Young Entrepreneurs Committee will encourage the fostering of new ideas and skills in our local business world from which we will all grow and benefit.

The Chamber is the voice of business in Fort Frances and has the ability to strengthen the future of our business sector.  With input and participation from our membership we are about to embark on several new tasks including the development of a strategic plan to provide a foundation and clear objectives to move forward.

 The Chamber will of course continue to provide, participate and partner with all the previous endeavours including the Business Awards, the Business & Community Expo, Market Thursdays, Canada Day, Peace Pull, Peaceful Border Days, Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship (Quest for the Best), International Dragon Boat Festival, Chili Cook Off, Oktoberfest and Festival of Frost to name just a few.

I am sincerely looking forward to working with you all!  Together we can build a showcase illustrating the true potential of Fort Frances and the District, while celebrating our future vibrant economy.