Long-time business servicesofficer Tammy Delaronde was appointed as a new director at Tewatohnhi’saktha this week.
Delaronde officially transitioned to her new role at the Kahnawake Economic Development Commission (KEDC) on Monday, November 9 after working as the interim director of Business Services for the past two years. She is replacing Barbara McComber, who stepped up and became interim CEO in 2018 in the absence of former CEO Kyle Delisle.
“It has been a pleasure to work with Tammy over these many years and I have the utmost confidence that she will continue to identify and address the needs of our businesses,” said McComber, who recently retired after 25 years of dedicated service.
While she’s already well versed with the position, Delaronde, who has been working at Tewatohnhi’saktha for the past 21 years, said the whole hiring process was still quite nerve-racking.
“I was ecstatic when I heard I had been selected,” said the 47-year-old first-time director.
Delaronde explained that over the years, McComber slowly let her take on more responsibilities, which helped her build strong relationships with other services within the community.
Delaronde has a plethora of applicable expertise that makes her an excellent fit for this post. This allows her to feel confident in this new challenge.
Along with her many years of practical experience, she has a bachelor of arts degree with an emphasis in Native management and economic development from Trent University, and a certificate in economic development credit analysis, finance, entrepreneurial and small business development strategies, from the International Economic Development Council.
Even though Tewatohnhi’saktha is currently navigating the second wave of the pandemic, Delaronde said her vision includes starting to plan for post COVID-19.
“We are trying to look into the future and not just troubleshooting,” she said.
This means working on programs that can address all of those in need, as she explained. Delaronde wants Tewa to look into ways to not only help the most vulnerable businesses get out of this safe and sound without having to close doors, but also for everybody to move forward.
“There are businesses that are able to keep going and we don’t want to forget about them and focus only on survival for the others,” said Delaronde.
As she’s approaching her new role with an optimistic outlook, she’s also well aware of the economic difficulties brought on by the pandemic. With most events and powwows being cancelled, she explained it was especially hard for the artist industries, but highlighted that most companies were based at home and didn’t have a second rent to pay while being out of work.
Delaronde acknowledged that it’s been ongoing, intense work at the business services department since March in order to keep the community afloat. Through the implementation and administration of funding such as the Kahnawake Emergency Relief Measures Fund for individuals, along with other regular duties, the mother of three said she barely took any time off.
“I celebrated my nomination by working harder,” she said with a laugh.
Amidst the hard work, Delaronde said her intentions are to stay as long as possible and even joked with her colleagues about being there for another 20 years.
Virginie Ann, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eastern Door