Category Members

Next Tuesday, April 2 is “Touch Base Tuesday” and Chamber staff are looking forward to seeing members between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. for an informal connection.

Look it as an opportunity to put a “face to the names” of people who are committed to making the Chamber experience an even better one.

There will be coffee and treats, but even more important, a chance to connect on a one-on-one basis.

We hope you keep “Touch Base Tuesday” in mind as you’re “out and about.”

And we look forward to seeing you next week!

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In just a few weeks, we’ll be seeing flashes of green just about everywhere, and the Chamber is getting in the mood as we approach our April Business After 5 event.

Thanks to sponsorship by Libro Credit Union, which is hosting the event at their 1315 Exmouth St. branch in Sarnia, Chamber members and guests are sure to get in the springtime mood, all the while planting seeds of new business.

Why not put this event in your calendar right now!

We’re looking forward to seeing you on Wednesday, April 17, starting at 5:15 p.m for this particular event.

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NOVA Chemicals, the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce “Business of Year” in 2018, is sponsoring a unique opportunity designed to connect its construction workforce with businesses in Lambton County. Aimed at contributing to the local economy and in keeping with their commitment to be a “good neighbour” during construction of their growth projects, FindIt Lambton offers the opportunity for local businesses to promote their services through a mobile app.

From food and beverage services to rental accommodations, retail, entertainment and more, the app is intended to be a one-stop shop for tradespeople working on NOVA Chemicals’ construction projects to find what they need in Lambton County.

As a first step, Chamber members and other businesses are encouraged to visit www.finditlambton.ca to create a FREE business listing. Directory listings are fully customizable and can include photos and your business’ unique selling points. There is a wide range of search categories that make it easy for users to find you.

On Thursday, April 4, Chamber members are invited to join NOVA Chemicals to kick off the FindIt Lambton initiative. Businesses may sign up on the FindIt Lambton website, or at the event, which takes place at Collide Coworking (148 Front St. N, Sarnia). The event is from 4 pm to 7 pm with brief remarks at 4:30 pm.

NOVA Chemicals is moving forward with two significant projects for its Ontario operations involving a capital investment of approximately $2 billion CAD. With these projects, NOVA Chemicals is not only expanding its St. Clair Township asset base and improving competitiveness but also bringing new technology to Ontario, growing manufacturing exports and strengthening the area’s long-term economic viability.

They estimate their projects will result in significant construction employment opportunities — 800 to 1,000 workers at peak. Initial estimates are for several million construction labour hours, with the majority sourced from the local area. They also estimate these projects will create approximately 150 permanent full-time jobs between NOVA Chemicals direct hires and contractors, including an estimated spin-off impact of approximately 750 additional new jobs in the local community.*

Click here learn more about NOVA Chemicals.

*Based on the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada’s commonly used multiplier effect for investments in the manufacturing sector of five indirect jobs from every direct job.

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A research project designed to identify retention challenges faced by international students  has received funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

The $19,700 grant was received as part of a joint presentation from the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the County of Lambton, the Sarnia Lambton Local Immigration Partnership, Sarnia Lambton Workforce Development Board, and YMCA Immigration Services.

A ceremony acknowledging the project was held last Friday, with local MPP Bob Bailey in attendance.

“I look forward to seeing the positive results of this valuable research project,” said Bailey.

The project also explored hiring practices of local businesses, with a goal of identifying additional challenges and opportunities to economic diversity, gaps in the skill sets of candidates, as well as succession planning and entrepreneurship.

Organizers extended a special thank you to Lambton College for the support received in connecting international students with project researchers.

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Chamber Ambassadors, or “Chamber Champions” are a treasured group of volunteers who host ribbon-cutting,  groundbreaking ceremonies and celebrate milestones with Chamber members.  Part of what makes the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce community work so effectively is welcoming new members and sharing what is happening with everyone.

With that in mind, Chamber staff and the Chamber Champions are inviting members to share achievements.

We really want to celebrate each other and in order to do that, we need you to inform us.  Got something going on that we can talk about?

Reach out to Gail Ann today—by email (gabondar@slchamber.ca) or phone (519) 336-2400—to get started.

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Representatives of the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce—Board chair Ryan Bell and President and CEO Shirley de Silva—will be heading to the provincial capital later this month to engage with legislators and their staff as part of Advocacy Day 2019.

The event, which is organized by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (of which we are members), will include visits with several Provincial Government ministers and staff, with opportunities to have conversations outlining the position of businesses regarding various issues.

The full-day event will include attendance at Queen’s Park question period, town hall meetings with government and opposition MPPs, small group consultations with senior government officials, and a closing reception with MPPs.

‘These conversations are very important as we continue our advocacy efforts on behalf of Chamber members,” said de Silva.

“Although this is an event that brings together representatives from Chambers across the province, we’ll be making sure that issues that are of local importance are part of the conversations that take place.”

The Advocacy Day event takes place on Monday, March 25 at Queen’s Park in Toronto.

 

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For those who are Irish (or, like most of us, just want to be), next week’s Business After 5, the monthly networking event organized through the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce, is one you surely won’t want to miss.

It’s just a few days after the “official” day but the Chamber is taking every opportunity to make sure you won’t forget how “Saint Patty’s Day” can be celebrated in style.

To make this successful, organizers, including our sponsor for this event, LEADWAVE Technologies, are coordinating with BrownStones Sports Lounge and Restaurant, located at 1000 Finch Dr, Sarnia, right at the corner of Finch and Wellington.

As anyone who’s invested some serious networking effort will already know, these events are seen as key, not only to meeting new people in our business community, but building ongoing relationships that make doing business even more enjoyable.

Has it been a while? We’d love to catch up and there are people at the Chamber’s monthly Business After 5 gatherings that can help you make those connections, even if you’re new to the community (or the Chamber).

 

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When it comes to visibility of business leaders in our community, it would be hard to miss someone like Kathleen Mundy, even if you weren’t aware that she’s on the Board of Directors of the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce.

For starters, Kathleen has had numerous careers, including as a Realtor and, more recently, as a franchise owner of several Little Caesars restaurants in the area.

But none of that happened by accident. Kathleen, who serves as Third Vice Chair in her Board role with the Chamber, essentially bootstrapped her Little Caesars business over the years, having first pledged to herself and others (and then achieving the goal) of opening “five stores in five years.”

She’s also the kind of entrepreneur that delights in sharing her passion for business creativity with others, one reason that she continues making the kind of connections that continue to drive value in others.

In short, Kathleen serves as a model, not only for women in business, but for those who aspire to do great things.

If you know Kathleen (and chances are several of our readers are already connected), be sure to give her a “thumbs up” for all the great work she continues to do.

 

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In addition to handling the customary details associated with the Annual General Meeting of the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce, including a review of reports, members welcomed two new board members—Nicole Crosby of BMO and Robert Gee of CIBC (both pictured).

Members and guests also heard the inspiring story of Liwordson Vijayabalan, who last fall won the Chamber’s “Entrepreneur of the Year.”

Vijayabalan—Li to his many friends—told the story of how his mother, a single parent, arrived in Sarnia-Lambton with no money and not even the ability to speak English.

Eventually, at least in part due to the generosity of the people behind Habitat for Humanity, his mother and siblings were able to create a new life here, which underscores his commitment to the vitality of the region.

We captured his remarks here for you to share:

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Express Employment Professionals, the local office of the international staffing franchise, has won a “Best of Staffing Talent” award for providing superior service to job seekers.

The company, a Chamber member, began as a franchise operation in 2006 with owner Bruce Hein at the helm.

The ranking of companies like Express Employment Service is provided by ClearlyRated, a U.S. based firm that uses a survey program to help service providers measure the client experience, build online reputation, and differentiate on service quality.

On average, the company says, the talent of winning agencies are 1.7 times more likely to be completely satisfied with the service provided compared to those placed by non-winning agencies. Award winners make up less than 2 per cent of all staffing agencies in Canada and the U.S. that earned the Best of Staffing Talent Award for service excellence.

Express Employment Professionals received a score that is said to be significantly higher than the industry average.

“It is an honour to receive this award for the third year in a row,” said Bruce Hein (pictured). “Our team is privileged to work with such outstanding associates and we are humbled to receive this recognition.”

Express Employment Professionals has its international headquarters in Oklahoma City. The firm has more than 800 franchises in Canada, the U.S., and South Africa.

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