President’s Message

April 10, 2018

Hello everyone. As we move ahead in 2018, and speaking for our Chamber team, I hope you can all look forward to a positive year of growth.

I’d like to report on our Annual General Meeting that took place on March 20. A principal item on the agenda was the election of Directors. I am pleased to announce that the following nominees were elected:
∙ Curtis Brumfield – Walmart Logistics – Harmony
∙ Geoff Carter – O’Farrell Financial
∙ Lynn Chauvin – Chaucor
∙ Shannon Lebrun – Corus Entertainment
∙ Carolyne O’Reilly – Winmar Cornwall
∙ Allison St. Jean – Canadian Cancer Society

These Directors join incumbents Meagan Bingley and Milena Cardinal. Justin Towndale remains City Council Liaison. The election of the Executive Committee took place at the Board’s 2018 inaugural meeting on March 28 and I am gratified that Board members elected me to another term as President. Joining me are:

∙ 1st Vice President: Patrick Larose – Transcontinental Media
∙ 2nd Vice President: Todd Lihou – Heart of the City
∙ Treasurer: Shawn Filion – Desjardins Wealth Management
∙ Denis Carr remains as Past President

2018 promises to be a year of activity and I am looking forward to working with the new Board.

The Chamber’s most celebrated event, the annual Business Excellence Awards and Citizen of the Year Banquet was held on February 24 and close to 250 business professionals were guests as we saluted the various winners.

The 2018 Banquet was of particular significance as it was the 30th anniversary of the event and as part of the evening, the Chamber’s Executive Manager, Lezlie Strasser, was recognized for her 30 years of dedication to the Chamber and the one who played a significant role in establishing the Business Excellence Awards.

On a more serious note, the Chamber and its provincial counterpart, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), are clearly aware of the significant impact that recent increases to the minimum wage and expansion of labour and employment standards are having on all businesses. Another component of Bill 148 that has many of our members concerned is the revised process by which employees are paid for statutory holidays.

The minimum wage increase, coupled with the changes in statutory holiday calculations have had a serious impact on the area’s business sector. A number of our members have reported they have been forced to reduce employee hours and, in some cases, staff layoffs. Your Chamber will continue to work with its Ontario counterparts and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce in lobbying the government for change.

Now to a lighter note. Pub Nights for 2018. The February and March Pub Nights at Boston Pizza and Glengarrian were well attended and I hope to see many of you at Stomping Grounds on Tuesday April 24.

Plans for the 2018 Spring Home & Leisure Show are well underway and a number of exhibitors have already secured their place. This is the premier, consumer focused event and one that brings close to 4,000 consumers from all across the region. If you have not already booked, I encourage you to take advantage of a huge captive audience to showcase your products and services. For more information, and to book your spot, contact Lyette at the Chamber office.

After the Spring Show, we’ll be gearing up for the spring’s most popular networking event. It’s the Chamber’s annual Golf Day and it’s scheduled for Wednesday, June 6 at Summerheights Golf Links. It’s an event that consistently earns great reviews and the Chamber looks forward to another successful event.

The Chamber is the voice of the business community and our voice speaks for you. I’d like you to know that we can speak most effectively when we hear from you. Do you have an idea or a business issue you’d like us to address. If you do, contact our office and let us know. We’ll take it from there and we look forward to hearing from you.

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