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SMALL BUSINESS WEEK: Echo Lacombe Association continues to focus on connecting residents

Echo Lacombe nominated for Chamber Non-profit of the year
The Echo Lacombe Association donated to the construction of the Worlds Largest Fishing Lure. (Todd Colin Vaughan/LACOMBE EXPRESS)

The Echo Lacombe Association had a busy year and earned a nomination for the Lacombe and District Chamber of Commerce Non-profit of the Year.

Echo Lacombe, which supports local initiatives based on the profits of utility distribution from Echo Energy, is comprised of eight board members working on unique projects in the city of the Lacombe.

Most notably in 2019, Echo Lacombe helped build the World Largest Lure — which is now located on Len Thompson Pond.

Jana Fafard, vice president, said they were surprised and it is awesome to be nominated

“We really appreciate that,” she said.

President Jared Reich said all of their projects are intended to connect Lacombe residents and they take particular focus on environmental, community and historical initiatives.

“We aim for connections between business to business; business to community and consumer to consumer,” he said, adding their is a new added focus on wellness programs within the city.

“We are starting to get a decent chunk of money every year and their are quite a few potential places to put it,” he said.

Currently, Echo Lacombe is supported through natural gas and electricity profits — but Reich said they are looking to add home Internet in order to help the community further.

“Pretty much everyone who has a house has electricity, natural gas and Internet and I don’t know anyone who is a huge fan of Telus or Shaw — they just want their Internet. If they are already an Echo member, it will be super easy for them to add that to their bundle,” he said.

Fafard said one thing about Echo Lacombe that helps it work is the visibility of their projects. The Worlds Largest Lure and the Echo Lacombe Stage at the Lacombe Memorial Centre are both examples of Echo projects.

Fafard said the original vision of Echo Lacombe —”To improve the quality of life in Lacombe by fostering a collaborative environemnt focused on cultivating innovation, nuturing a business-friendly culture, promoting sustainable growth and creating a safe, inclusive, vibrant and healthy community” motivates the entire board to keep a visible, positive presence in the community.

Fafard said the diverse perspectives of the board leads to many unique ideas.

”I think it is because we all live and have families in this community. We all want to see positive things happen and this is a great way to do it. You have to pay a bill anyway,” he said.

She added is grateful to the person who nominated Echo Lacombe.

“Everyone is nominated is worthy and it is nice to see people are thinking Echo,” she said.

Reich added Echo Lacombe is growing that is what keeps him motivated.

“We looking forward to doing more things in the future that are going to provide the same satisfaction to everyone in town,” he said.

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