Bill McKinney

New Parksville and District Chamber of Commerce president Bill McKinney says he will ask for more from the board

Formerly in financial services, new prez is now in what he calls ‘the swag business’

After 35 years in the financial services industry with what’s now called RBC, Bill McKinney retired to Parksville in the year 2000.

That didn’t last long.

“I retired for seven days,” said McKinney, the new president of the Parksville and District Chamber of Commerce. “After mowing my lawn every day and re-arranging my closet and garage I said: I need a job.”

He has owned and operated Ideal Images since that time. It’s the promotional product industry or, as McKinney said, “the swag business.”

McKinney, 68, is no stranger to those who have lived in Parksville for any amount of time. He’s been active in Rotary and was the president of the Beachfest Society, the Oceanside Generals and the Parksville Community and Conference Centre. He is currently president of Inclusion Parksville, formerly called the Parksville and District Association for Community Living. He was the city’s citizen of the year in 2005.

McKinney has been involved with the Parksville chamber for about 14 years, including time as a director and vice-president. He said there are similarities to selling financial products — or golf balls with your company logo — and being president of the chamber.

“It’s about building relationships with people,” he said. “The skills transfer very easily.”

McKinney is married to Dee, who is also a local small business owner and a director on the chamber’s board. McKinney seems to have a clear vision about the chamber’s work.

“The biggest role of a chamber is speaking on behalf of members to municipal, provincial and federal governments,” he said. “It’s advocacy. It’s about asking ‘is there an easier way to do business?'”

He also has a vision for the year ahead as the chamber president — Dee and the rest of the board might have to expect a little more work.

“There are some things I want to accomplish and I think I can convince the board the ideas have merit,” he said. “I’d like the board to become more responsible and accountable for some programs” like membership and fundraising. “It can’t be left just to the staff to do that.”

McKinney said some of his other goals for his one-year term — traditionally presidents get re-elected and serve one more year — include upgrading the chamber’s website and being part of the economic development plan outlined in a recent NEWS story by chamber executive director Kim Burden (see

www.pqbnews.com/news/375439751.html).

“The economic development plans that will go into place in 2017, I think will have a huge, positive impact in the business community,” he said.

McKinney also said the chamber can play a role in wider community issues like homelessness, where the chamber could help match their members who have certain skills and services with the needs of the Oceanside Task Force on Homelessness. He also said he would like tourists and residents alike to get a better impression of the city as they enter its boundaries.

“There is work to be done by merchants, government and the chamber to improve the entrances to our city.”

Just Posted

CRIME: Thefts of vehicles, TVs, $300 in meat in Parksville QB area

Pair of prawn traps also stolen from Nanoose Bay

Prolific Parksville graffiti tagger gets 1 year of probation

Man was in breach of previous court conditions when arrested again

Qualicum Beach gaming company awarded virtual reality game of the year

Cloudhead Games lauded as it teases new project with ‘industry giant’

Parksville martial arts student earns first international gold

Training pays off for Cascadia Martial Arts pupil Gucela

Single-use retail plastic bags to be banned in Parksville March 1

Over the next few months, the city will undertake public education outreach

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Team Canada gold medal winners for first time in world curling championship

Team Canada earned gold in Kelowna at the 2018 Winn Rentals World Mixed Curling Championship

B.C. passenger caught smoking weed in a car issued $230 fine

Saanich police did a field sobriety test on the driver and deemed it safe for him to drive

Payette invites critics to ‘come and spend a few days’ with her

Governor General Julie Payette made her first official to B.C. back in March

More pot stores expected in B.C. in coming ‘weeks and months’: attorney general

Attorney General David Eby and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth visited the new BC Cannabis Store in the province’s Interior

Telus launches charitable foundation to help vulnerable youth

The Telus Friendly Future Foundation complements other social initiatives by the company, including Mobility for Good

Police say suspicious death of B.C. artist ruled a homicide

Patrick Zube Aylward’s body was found in a residence on a rural road outside of Seton Portage, west of Lillooet, B.C.

Temporary roads being built in areas affected by landslide in northern B.C.

Emergency Management BC news release says Disaster Financial Assistance is available to eligible residents of the Peace River Regional District who may have been affected by the landslides

B.C. tickets win big in Lotto Max draw

Jackpot carried over; B.C. tickets share Max Millions prizes

Most Read