Whatever her religious affiliations, Deborah Benhayon was a first-rate president of the Lismore Chamber of Commerce, according to one member.
Five of nine board members stepped down at an extraordinary general meeting on Monday (October 29), including Universal Medicine (UM) members Deborah Benhayon (ex-wife of Serge Benhayon) and Ray Karam.
However a chamber member, who did not wish to be identified but has no affiliation with the group, told Echonetdaily ‘the board recognised Deborah did a very good job as president’.
‘The majority, I think, resigned because they didn’t like the pressure being put on Deborah to resign by non-members,’ he said.
‘Whatever you think of Universal Medicine as an organisation, I don’t think there is any evidence she ever tried to favour the group.
‘But at the end of the day, the noise from people who are not even chamber members baying for her blood just became too much.
‘There are 370 businesses in the chamber, up from 200 when Deborah took over.
‘Of those, only 20 were UM affiliates.
‘Did they have a disproportionate influence?
‘Not on those numbers but the fact of the matter is that they turned up for meetings,’ he said.
He added that he did not have a lot of time for some of the new committee.
‘Some of the new guard are actually the old guard, from back in the days when the chamber was a useless rabble,’ he said.
The new board
- President – Rodney Jenkins (Director – Lismore Property Managers)
- Vice President – Patrick Healey (General Manager, NORPA) – returning
- Secretary – Sarah Smith (Dealer Principal/Director, Lismore Toyota) – returning
- Treasurer – Stephen Oliver (Local Business Manager, Lismore G&C Mutual Bank)
- Casey Withers (Owner, Makoda Boutique/ Small Biz Specialist ANZ).
- Chris Knight (Owner, Thai Satay Hut)
- David Martin (Managing Director, ezi-make)
- Paul Deegan (Managing Director, Rosecot Pty Ltd) – returning