FORMER Wodonga Golf Club professional Bernie Squire has joined the city’s chamber of commerce as its business manager.
Mr Squire has spent the past four years in a senior role with Wodonga-based finance firm Quadrant Securities, but his position was made redundant in November.
After previously working with V/Line and Ballarat Council, Mr Squire came to Wodonga in 1997 and was the resident golf professional for eight years until 2010.
He also operated two retail golf shops, including the House of Golf on Melbourne Road before joining Quadrant, which is part of the AMP group of companies.
“I am passionate about shopping local and buying local,” he said.
“I understand the internet is starting to have a big impact.
“Local businesses need to develop a competitive mindset by either developing an online presence, price-match where they can or value add in other areas.”
He takes over the position previously performed by Alison Reid and will be based in the TAFE building in central Wodonga.
Mr Squire said one of his aims was building the chamber’s membership base from 310.
“A big focus is to grow the membership base and have our collective become more powerful because of our size,” he said.
“They also need to feel they are getting value from their membership dollar.”
One of his immediate tasks is helping businesses through the Elgin Boulevard re-alignment works which have closed High Street at the former railway crossing.
His appointment follows the recent change of presidents at the chamber.
Dysons Bus Lines regional manager Brett Drinnan took over from Peter Barlow late last year.