ON BOARD: The Lismore Chamber of Commerce & Industry is calling for people to stand for election to its board. The LCCI's aim is to create a strong, united and thriving business community.
ON BOARD: The Lismore Chamber of Commerce & Industry is calling for people to stand for election to its board. The LCCI's aim is to create a strong, united and thriving business community. CLAYTON LLOYD

Lismore chamber rebuilds after tumultuous year

AFTER a tumultuous year, the Lismore Chamber of Commerce & Industry has announced it is seeking new people to join its board.

The chamber was decimated when former president Deborah Benhayon resigned in October last year, claiming she had been attacked and "personally threatened” after her former husband Serge Benhayon failed in his Supreme Court defamation case against blogger Esther Rockett.

In that case the jury found Mr Benhayon, the leader of Universal Medicine, was the leader of a "socially harmful cult”.

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Ms Benhayon has been Universal Medicine's chief financial officer since 2009.

Several other board members followed Ms Benhayon's lead and also resigned from the chamber.

Lismore Property Managers director Rodney Jenkins was elected as the new president and an extraordinary meeting was held to fill casual vacancies.

LCCI said it was seeking members interested in being part of a reinvigorated board.

An LCCI email gave notice an extraordinary general meeting to be held on Wednesday, February 13, "for the purpose of conducting a by-election to fill the six current vacancies on the Board of Directors”.

LCCI executive officer Elise Taylor said when the vacancies occurred, those with previous experience were asked to help hold the fort.

"Past board members were recruited to ensure a business as usual approach,” she said.

"They won't re-stand but we greatly appreciate them coming back to help out in an interim role.”

Ms Taylor said the four members who did not resign last year would remain for the rest of their elected terms.

She said Patrick Healey, Sarah Smith, Paul Deegan and Steven Oliver, would soon be joined by up to six new board members.

"While we need a minimum of seven board members, we have already spoken to a number of people and I feel confident we will fill all the vacancies,” Ms Taylor said.

Nominations must be received by 4pm Wednesday February 6.

For more information contact: Lismore Chamber of Commerce - Executive Officer on 0448 833 806.