Category Members

Size matters, but so does having a local presence in the business of mortgage lending.

As the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce “Member of the Month” for June, Sherwood Mortgage Group, part of the Mortgage Architects Planning Network, has both covered.

With some 54 agents in all, Sherwood Mortage Group has been in the community for nearly 10 years—established locally since August 2009—with two agents supported by administrators.

Lead by Erin Hamilton, Sherwood Mortgage Group has a focused team of two agents in Sarnia-Lambton, supported by two administrators.

Erin is pictured (middle) with Shirley de Silva—left—and Gail Anne Bondar.

Sherwood Mortage Group specializes in providing comprehensive information and advice around mortgage, with professionals staying on top of the latest guidelines and rules in an ever-changing industry.

Congratulations to Sherwood Mortgage Group, part of the Mortgage Architects Planning Network, for being selected as the Chamber’s “Member of the Month.”

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With the nomination period well underway for the 2019 Outstanding Business Achievement Awards, we continue our series highlighting the various categories under which you can put forward your favourite business (or individual).

The Sarnia Lambton Business Achievement Awards (OBAAs) is the most recognized industry gala with a single focus on celebrating business success.

Now in its 30th year, this year’s OBAA will take place on Friday, October 18 at the Imperial Theatre in downtown Sarnia.

Nominations can be done online. Just CLICK HERE to get started.

This week’s feature categories are Inclusivity and Agri-Business of the Year.

Inclusivity

Celebrating what makes us different is important for many reasons, not least of which is that those differences are what makes us stronger. As a forward-thinking champion of inclusive principles, the employer selected will be living out an attitude that recognizes how important it is to build momentum in this area. Showing how inclusivity can be part of a competitive advantage is just part of what this award category demonstrates. The key is to drive respect, value and support through activities that take place on a daily basis.

Criteria:

  • Clearly demonstrates leadership and commitment through recruitment initiatives that focus on reaching the broadest possible talent
  • Provides access to mentoring tools and programs, including ones that support inclusivity including support for accessibility initiatives and assistive devices for those with disabilities, new immigrant employees, women in leadership, those who identify as LGBTQ, and members of visible minority groups.
  • Leadership programs built on a solid foundation of inclusion and accessibility training.
  • Ensures programs for employees from diverse backgrounds stay current on networking opportunities, customer products, services and programs targeted to diverse groups, including community activities, donations and volunteer opportunities.
  • Create/support initiatives to meet or exceed accessibility standards for premise design and IT development for both employees and/or customers
  • Builds a workforce that reflects the diversity of the customers and communities we live in and serve.

Agri-Business

Sarnia-Lambton remains one of Canada’s most diversified regions as defined by its mix of industrial and agricultural sectors. For those engaged in driving value through agri-business, this award is an opportunity to celebrate both the success and passion for growth and excellence in the agricultural sectors.

Criteria:

  • significant achievements as a senior leader in building, rejuvenating or expanding a business in the food, agribusiness or beverage sectors;
  • developed and communicated a clear vision and direction for sustainable growth and prosperity at both a corporate and industry level and;
  • Regarded as a good corporate citizen and demonstrates social commitment.

Next week’s feature categories: Business of the Year and Social Responsibility.

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With the nomination period well underway for the 2019 Outstanding Business Achievement Awards, we continue our series highlighting the various categories under which you can put forward your favourite business (or individual).

The Sarnia Lambton Business Achievement Awards (OBAAs) is the most recognized industry gala with a single focus on celebrating business success.

Now in its 30th year, this year’s OBAA will take place on Friday, October 18 at the Imperial Theatre in downtown Sarnia.

Nominations can be done online. Just CLICK HERE to get started.

This week’s feature categories are Non-Profit and Outstanding Customer Service—Business.

Non-Profit

The Non-Profit category is designed to recognize and reward excellence and innovation among non-profit organizations whose work results in significant social impact within and external to the Sarnia-Lambton community.

Criteria:

  • Displays visionary leadership
  • Customer focused
  • Can demonstrate a commitment to volunteers, employees and partners
  • Demonstrates corporate citizenship and/or community leadership
  • Can show a growth in sales, services and/or growth in the number of individuals served and/or expanded programs and services
  • Recognition of innovative campaigns
  • Demonstrated Social Impact

Outstanding Customer Service—Business

We all want to be well cared for when it comes to doing business. An organization that excels in providing outstanding customer service is bound to get our attention, and drive value throughout the community as a place that we want to send our family, friends and colleagues.

Criteria

  • An organization that goes above and beyond the job and/or consumer expectations
  • High quality service from beginning to end – the amount and quality of assistance given to customers
  • An organization’s behaviour or activities that help improve morale and public relations

Next week: Inclusivity and Agri-business.

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When Nicole Crosby came to Sarnia-Lambton from the London area about 12 years ago, she was already an experienced financial service professional, having worked in banks in that area.

And while she knew practically no one in this area, she was determined to do something about it.

That something was to join the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce and become active in the business community.

‘I knew I needed to get to know people and I knew the Chamber was a great way to get to know the community and in particular the business people here,” she said. “Since then, I’ve probably served on every single one of the Chamber’s committees.”

Earlier this year, Nicole joined the board of directors of the Chamber, a logical step as far as she is concerned.

“I’ve continued with the Chamber as a way to maintain business relationships,” Nicole added. “At one point, I was self-employed and Chamber membership is not only a great way to network but just to get to know what’s going on in the community. It helps keep me aware and involved.”

Is there a Chamber member that you feel would make an interesting profile for this newsletter? Let us know! Send an email to Chamber president and CEO Shirley de Silva

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The local franchise office of Express Employment Professionals is once again partnering with the Inn of the Good Shepherd as part of its Brand It Blue, a company-wide philanthropic initiative.

This will be the third year that Express Employment Professionals, a member of the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce, has worked with the Inn, with a food drive being hosted at its 347 Christina Street N. office.

Donations of non-perishable food and personal care items will be accepted through Friday, June 21, but as Bruce Hein, franchise owner said, the firm’s clients are also being encouraged to participate in the food drive (Express Employment employees will pick up the donations.

On June 22, Express volunteers will deliver items to the Inn.

Over the last two years, nearly 200 local businesses have participated in the food drive.

“The summertime is an especially difficult season for food banks,” said Hein. “The donations we receive will help provide meals for families in Sarnia-Lambton.”

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When it comes to games that bring together an enthusiastic crowd and give those competitive souls among us the “fix” they need, there’s nothing like a Trivia Night challenge.

If we’ve described one of your passions, you’ll want to mark Wednesday, July 17 on your calendar as the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce hosts a “90s Trivia Night” at the Refined Fool Brewing Co.’s downtown location (137 Davis Street).

Tickets, which can be purchased HERE, are just $15 and there are ONLY 50 tickets available for this event. Registration starts at 6 p.m. and Trivia Time is from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

There will be prizes, food, fun (and yes, beer). We’ll keep this on our radar and hope you will too!

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This month’s Business After 5, which takes place on Wednesday, June 19, is being made possible by our friends at Starlight Casino Point Edward.

This event is a great opportunity for some networking and reconnecting for Chamber members, especially as summer begins to heat up.

Starlight has a lot to show off, especially after its recent makeover and rebranding and the Chamber is delighted to play a part in helping spread the word.

Expect a warm welcome on June 19 as Starlight Casino Point Edward shows just how inviting it can be!

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In what turned out to be a highly competitive process, four local women—Carlie Pitka, Nicole Newman, Stephany Borthwick, and Laura Batista—were the top prize winners of “WIN This Space,” an annual program organized by the Sarnia Lambton Business Development Corporation.

The winner’s prize package presented to Lovewell Birth Collective included a one-year membership in the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce.

The LIVE finale took place at the Lambton College Event Centre last Thursday.

The top prize of a one year’s lease on a commercial space will help kickstart Lovewell Birth Collective’s entrepreneurial journey.

We look forward to welcoming Lovewell Birth Collective to the Sarnia Lambton Chamber community, said Shirley de Silva, President and CEO.

 

 

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With the nomination period well underway for the 2019 Outstanding Business Achievement Awards, we continue our series highlighting the various categories under which you can put forward your favourite business (or individual).

The Sarnia Lambton Business Achievement Awards (OBAAs) is the most recognized industry gala with a single focus on celebrating business success.

Now in its 30th year, this year’s OBAA will take place on Friday, October 18 at the Imperial Theatre in downtown Sarnia.

Nominations can be done online. Just CLICK HERE to get started.

This week’s feature categories are Marketing & Promotion and Health, Safety & Environmental Leadership.

Marketing & Promotion

The Marketing and Promotion category will showcase organizations looking for ways to communicate everything their firm does to stand out from the crowd. There’s little point if no one knows what great work an organization does, which is where marketing and promotion prowess comes into play.

Criteria:

Demonstrate a well-designed and executed outreach plan geared to expanding a product/service/business reach through various marketing & promotion strategies. Show creativity and forward thinking in advertising design and/or market outreach strategies.

Health, Safety & Environmental Leadership

Recognizes an organization or business that demonstrates leading environmental, social, and health and safety performance.

Criteria:

Demonstration of leadership in the following sectors:

• Corporate Governance: Third-party recognition of HSE management system (ex. IEC Safety Management Assessment; Ontario Certificate of Recognition (COR), ISO 14001, other accreditation.

• Risk & Crisis Management: Emergency response planning. Participation in CAER. Enrollment/active use of My CNN. Evidence of company emergency response processes linked to municipal response processes.

• Environmental Reporting: Environmental performance targets set and tracked related to site conditions, process emissions, waste reduction, housekeeping, etc.

• Social factors: Workplace processes that motivate, recognize and support employee involvement in HSE initiatives. Support of an active Joint Health and Safety Committee. Active involvement in HSE related associations and demonstrated leadership in the field.

• Performance: Absence of adverse regulatory reporting/exceedances. Incident data maintained and performance recognized as a strong performer vs. peer groups.

Next week: Non-profit and Outstanding Customer Service—Business.

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Accessibility in Canada is inadequately addressing the barriers nearly four million Canadians face. Within the next 20 years, that number is expected to soar to over nine million, but by creating a more accessible Canada, there is a potential to unlock $16.8 billion in GDP by increasing our economy’s productive capacity by 2030, according to the Conference Board of Canada.

Ultimately, improving accessibility not only betters the quality of life for persons with disabilities but would also dramatically increase their labour force participation and consumer spending. Our members have vocalized finding and retaining skilled staff among their top issues, yet there is an entire pool of educated and qualified Canadians with disabilities who are waiting to be hired. With job retention rates 72% higher among people with disabilities, it makes good cents sense to invest in creating an accessible work environment.

Assessing Accessibility

With one in seven Canadian adults currently living with a mobility, vision or hearing disability, tangible improvements in the built environment are needed to improve accessibility and to promote equality and inclusion for Canadians with disabilities. At our annual general meeting and convention, held last fall, more than 300 local chambers of commerce voted in support of a policy resolution to make Canada truly accessible and inclusive by recommending the federal government adopt the Rick Hansen Foundation’s Accessibility Certification Program as a voluntary complement to the accessibility requirements of the National Building Code. The program provides the roadmap for the adoption of universal principles and a way for all levels of governments to work together to improve the built environment.

But, the responsibility for the built environment can’t fall solely on the government. Businesses must lead the way in improving accessibility in their workplaces. From contrasting floor and wall colours to adjustable desk heights, there are a number of measures businesses can implement.

Including Inclusiveness

Acknowledging the value that inclusion can bring to an organization and the positive impact it can have on the Canadian economy, we built our headquarters to respect the design priorities reflected in the Rick Hansen Foundation’s Accessibility Certification Program and achieved certification this past September. The program measures the level of meaningful access beyond building code, and is based upon the holistic user experience of people with varying disabilities affecting their mobility, vision and hearing.

It is time to access the ability of all Canadians, which is why we are encouraging businesses across Canada to be early adopters of this program and to be leaders in helping build a more accessible nation.

This “5 Minutes for Business” comes from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce which includes the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce as one of its members.

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