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With the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce signature event—the 30th anniversary 2019 Outstanding Business Achievement Awards night—coming up on Friday, October 18, now’s the time to secure your tickets!

Often a ‘sold out” event on the Chamber calendar, this year’s OBAA will feature not only a “new look” but some exciting additions that are sure to have us all on the edge of our seats!

“We’re taking a new approach to this year’s OBAA while retaining the core elements, which of course, feature the very best companies and individuals in 15 categories of achievement,” said Shirley de Silva, president and CEO of the Chamber.

“We can’t wait to show you what we’ve been able to put together for this year’s OBAA—our 30th-anniversary event.”

Thanks to the lead sponsorship of Libro Credit Union, the Friday, October 18 event at the Imperial Theatre in downtown Sarnia is shaping up to be another “Outstanding” event.

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased HERE.

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The Sarnia-Lambton Workplace Wellness Committee, a group that works to improve the health of the community through the empowerment of employers and employees, is bringing Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe, a multi-award winning psychology instructor to town to speak on Resiliency in the Workplace.

Dr. Hanley-Dafoe, who specializes in the topic as well as navigating stress and change, and personal wellness in the workplace, will speak on Friday, September 20 at the Lambton College Event Centre.

Tickets for the event, which runs from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., are $40 and can be purchased by clicking HERE.

The Workplace Wellness group is a coalition that includes representatives from Lambton Public Health, the Canadian Mental Health Association, the Industrial Educational Co-operative, the Sarnia-Lambton Workforce Development Board, Lambton County Developmental Services, Belfor Environmental, Rapids Family Health Team, Bluewater Health, the Sarnia-Lambton Business Development Corporation, and St. Joseph’s Hospice.


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When it comes to supplying Lambton County’s farm community with the equipment they need to keep their acreage in tip-top shape, it would be hard to find a better place for them to head than Advantage Farm Equipment Ltd., an enterprise owned by two stalwart families—Hendrick (local to Wyoming) and McNally (local to Inwood).

The business, which is the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce “Business of the Month,” has three locations, including Wyoming, London and Essex, with a total of 30 employees.

Currently an AGCO franchise, the business was formerly focused on Kubota, a brand they still service. AGCO brands featured include Massey Ferguson, Challenger, Fendt (a high-end line made in Germany), White planters, and Sunflower tillage tools.

Congratulations once again to our friends at Advantage Farm Equipment for becoming our “Member of the Month” for August 2019!

Pictured, left to right, are Shirley de Silva, president and CEO of the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce, Murray Melton, Advantage general manager, Don Hendrick, president/owner, and Gail Ann Bondar, the Chamber’s manager of Member Engagement and Services.


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Just a few days remain for you to secure your ticket to next Tuesday’s Chamber Summer Cruise on the Duc D’Orleans II, a Sarnia-Lambton tradition guaranteed to have you seeing the St. Clair River and Lake Huron in one of the best ways possible.

The fun begins at 6 p.m. when the Duc D’Orleans II embarks with members of the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce and our friends from Port Huron—at the Bluewater Area Chamber—for this truly “international” evening of fellowship, networking and entertainment.

DJ Fabien Jagoo, hors d’oeuvres, and cash bar are all featured elements of this great evening, which runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Just $30 a person ($45 a person for non-members).

Be sure to get your tickets by clicking HERE and we look forward to seeing you in just a few days!

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In just a matter of days now—my how the summer is flying by!—the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce will be holding its Summer Cruise on the Duc D’Orleans II and we’d love to count you among the fun-loving passengers.

The big evening comes around on Tuesday, August 13, and the ship’s captain and crew, along with organizers from the Chamber, are already anticipating a great two hours on the St. Clair River and Lake Huron, with food, live entertainment, and conversation.

Tickets for this event are just $30 (plus tax) for Chamber members ($45 plus tax for those who are not yet members).

Click HERE to purchase online.

We’ve also invited our friends from Port Huron’s Bluewater Chamber to come along, so consider this an “international” event that is filled with even more potential for networking than other Chamber events.

The Duc D’Orleans II is a wonderful venue for some summer fun and we hope you’ll join us on Tuesday, August 13—from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.—for an excellent time.


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Artificial intelligence (AI) has significant potential to solve complex problems in communities and sectors around the world. At the same time, it brings forward numerous risks, like bias in automated decision making, that create challenges for government, businesses, employees and individuals at home and abroad.

At the May 2019 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Ministerial, the recommendation of the Council on AI was formally adopted. It is the first international standard for AI policies. OECD recommendations are non-binding but are influential statements that frequently form the basis of international standards and the design of national legislation.

This recommendation is significant for three reasons: First, since there were a large number of nations with significant expert input, it is likely to be adopted widely.

The OECD’s recommendations drew from an expert group of more than 50 members from governments, academia, business, civil society, international bodies, the tech community and trade unions to assist in developing the recommendation.

All OECD’s member countries—including the United States— approved this, alongside non-members Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru and Romania.

The process also underscores the importance of having Canadian businesses at the table early to influence discussions at international standards-setting bodies before the outcomes are enacted domestically. This OECD AI guidance was influenced by not only the OECD’s business advisory group but also from the recommendations from the Business-7 Summit we hosted in 2018.

Second, the recommendation is meaningful for what it contains. It is designed to ensure AI systems are trustworthy and engender confidence in a global framework.

The recommendation consists of two equally important parts:

—Principles for responsible stewardship, including commitments to inclusive growth, transparency, security and safety, human-centric values and accountability.

—National policy recommendations, including that governments invest in R&D, foster digital ecosystems, build human capacity, prepare for labour market transitions and promote international cooperation.

The fact that the recommendation is both value-based and operationally focused makes it both resilient to the test of time and adaptable across many jurisdictions.

Finally, the recommendation allows the OECD to monitor and compare signatories in their respective development and use of AI as well as support the creation of an AI Policy Observatory to allow countries to share tools and best practices, which is expected to be up and running later this year.

Canadian businesses and the burgeoning AI ecosystems across our country will have an important leadership role to play. As Canadian companies explore and adopt AI technology, they can do so in an environment where national and international AI systems are robust, fair and safe.

An early and continued international presence allows us to influence policy at the global level, which in turn builds confidence in our Canadian business community.

This is what will allow Canadian AI to thrive both throughout the country and around the world and what is ultimately needed to create the trustworthiness needed for global principles and national policies to succeed.

The above commentary was provided by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, an organization that counts the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce as a member.

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It started with a recent visit by Shirley de Silva, president and CEO of the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce, and Gail Ann Bondar, manager of Member Engagement & Services, with the senior leadership team at the Town of Petrolia, Lambton County’s second-largest municipality.

With the growing popularity of Petrolia—often billed as “Canada’s Victorian Oil Town—the Chamber is excited to pursue ways that we can build on its strengths and create a new dynamic.

Chamber representatives met with Petrolia Mayor Brad Loosley, CAO Rick Charlebois, as well as Laurissa Ellsworth, director of Marketing, and Denise Thibeault, who serves with the Petrolia Volunteer Business Group.

“Having this opportunity to reach out to our friends and colleagues at the Town of Petrolia was a very well-received opportunity to begin a renewal of our relationship,” said de Silva.

Stay tuned for more information as plans develop later this year.



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Last week’s “90s Trivia Night” was a resounding success, so much so that the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce is likely to plan more of these “fun nights” in the future.

So says Shirley de Silva, president and CEO of the Chamber, who spearheaded the initiative using the services of event planners (and Chamber members) Morena McDonald and Emma Butler of 519 Events & Promotions.

“It really was a special opportunity to engage our members in a unique way and the fact that we sold out was very encouraging,” said de Silva.

Expectations are that organizing similar events for the Chamber calendar will be something for which members can look forward.

“As we continue to develop our strategy for finding new opportunities to connect and develop strong networks among our members, events like the ’90s Trivia Night’ provide a unique space that we will be continuing to explore.”

Thanks go out to the Refined Fool Brewing Co. for hosting the Trivia Night at their 137 Davis Street location in downtown Sarnia.

The winning team—Team Midnight Society—is pictured.

Second place winner was “Team Clueless”; third place winner was “Hot & Ready.”

See more photos on the Chamber’s Facebook page.


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Want your business to stand out in a big way?

When it comes to a highly leverageable opportunity associated with the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce, sponsorship of the Outstanding Business Achievement Awards night’s “Red Carpet Stars” may be just what the marketing doctor ordered.

For a modest fee, your logo can be affixed to a very attractive “star” decal that is guaranteed to get the kind of exposure from a few days before the Friday, October 18, 2019 event that takes place at the Imperial Theatre in downtown Sarnia.

The stars will be a constant reminder during the OBAA week that your business is a proud supporter of this Chamber signature event and all our community’s business advocate does for the advancement of free enterprise and value creation.

Sponsors receive two tickets to the Outstanding Business Achievement Awards night, a $150 value.

“We put together the Chamber’s Outstanding Business Achievement Awards night with the express intention of celebrating and breaking attention to the performance of those companies and individuals who are making a significant difference in our community,” said Shirley de Silva, president and CEO of the Chamber.

“Our Red Carpet Stars program is one of the ways we’ve made it even easier for those whose goals align with ours in creating and sustaining this event to share our passion. And thanks to Libro Credit Uni0on, our lead sponsor for this year’s 30th-anniversary OBAA, we’re able to extend the opportunity to the entire business community.”

Interested in coming on board as a Red Carpet Stars sponsor? Get in touch with de Silva at (519) 336-2400, extension 1, or by email:


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As previously announced, a renewed Member Perks Card program has been launched by the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce, and physical cards—produced courtesy of Starlight Casino Point Edward—are now available for pickup at the Chamber’s office.

The program, which came into effect on Monday, July 15, 2019, is designed to bring member companies and their employees together for added value.

In an ongoing rollout of the program, member companies are invited to contact Gail Ann Bondar, manager of Member Engagement and Services, to register their discount or other offers, which will then be listed on the Chamber’s website.

Shirley de Silva, president and CEO of the Chamber, said the Member Perks Card initiative is intended to add value to existing and prospective members.

Chamber members will be given one card for every individual employee wishing to take advantage of discounts made available by fellow members.

When a member goes to a business enrolled in the Membership Perks program, the discount or special offer will be applied.

It’s that simple for building your business with the help of a fellow Chamber member.


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