Acknowledgment for a local Champion


submitted by Business Improvement Association

Four years is a long time in public service, especially as a volunteer. Four years as the volunteer Chair of the Board of Management of the Old Town Kemptville BIA can feel much longer on some days, and extremely rewarding on others.

Dealing with people who are experiencing high anxiety, high levels of frustration and heightened fear because of the pandemic can make for some very difficult days and sleepless nights. Even during non-Covid times, the life of a small business owner can be precarious. Being their champion means personal sacrifice as you take on their causes, their concerns and their burdens.

Then there are days where you get to savour the sight of hundreds of people laughing, smiling and enjoying themselves at a special activity that you’ve spent months organizing. Or maybe you’ve helped a small business owner through a difficult time with some sage advice, connecting them with someone who can help them or simply by listening when they needed someone. These days can make it all seem worth it.

Debbie Wilson

Debbie Wilson has seen her fair share of both. No matter the situation, it was handled with grace, humility and empathy, even when it may have been the hardest thing that she could possibly do. Her commitment to the community that she calls home and to the Old Town Kemptville BIA is rightfully considered legendary. Always ready to step forward in a time of need and always ready to step backwards when credit is given, Debbie has crafted a standard to aspire to as a community volunteer.

It was a sad day when we received Debbie’s letter of resignation from the Old Town Kemptville BIA Board of Management. However, it had to happen. She had already served a full four-year term as Chair and a number of years as a Board Director before that. She gave it her all every day and it was time for someone else to step forward.

It was a happy day back in the fall of 2019 when she finally received some long overdue recognition as she was chosen to receive the Bill Thake Memorial Economic Development Leadership Award at the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville Economic Development Summit. There is no one more deserving and who exemplifies true leadership more than Debbie Wilson.

“I am honoured that the Board has entrusted me with the responsibility of the Chair position. Debbie left an indelible mark in her term and some very big shoes to fill. I look forward to the challenge of continuing her legacy of supporting Downtown Kemptville businesses and the greater community”. – Meagan Cumming, new Chair of the Old Town Kemptville BIA Board of Management.

A grateful Board, BIA members and volunteers extend their heartfelt gratitude to Debbie for her many hours, many personal sacrifices and considerable list of accomplishments in service to the Old Town Kemptville BIA. We know that you’ve got much more to give the community Debbie, and we wish you the very best as you continue to serve a grateful community. Godspeed to you, our champion!


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