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The Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce celebrated 16 winners, both from companies and individuals at the Imperial Theatre in downtown Sarnia, as part of its 30th-anniversary Outstanding Business Achievement Awards

“We were delighted to celebrate along with our winners this year, which was our 30th Anniversary event,” said Chamber president and CEO Shirley de Silva. “The OBAAs are always a wonderful opportunity for the business community to demonstrate a level of excellence that both motivates and encourages everyone involved. This year was no exception.”

The title sponsor of the event was Libro Credit Union.

The categories and the winners in each category included:

Cool Place to Work (sponsored by the Chamber), won by Bluewater Health.

Tech-Novation (sponsored by CIBC), won by Terrapure Environmental Sarnia.

Marketing & Promotions (sponsored by Bluewater Power), won by Odd Duck Compression Socks.

Health, Safety & Environment (sponsored by Industrial Education Cooperative), won by MJ Waste Solutions.

Non-Profit (sponsored by LEHDER Environmental Services), won by Rebound Sarnia-Lambton.

Outstanding Customer Service—Business (sponsored by RBC Royal Bank), won by Bluewater Power Group of Companies.

Inclusivity (sponsored by COGECO Business Solutions), won by Lambton Public Health.

Agri-Business (sponsored by Cargill AgHorizons), won by Moore Agricultural Society, home of the Brigden Fair.

Exporter of the Year (sponsored by Global Affairs Canada), won by Great Pretenders.

Social Responsibility (sponsored by Pinchin Ltd.), won by St. Joseph’s Hospice.

Entrepreneur of the Year (sponsored by Sarnia Lambton Business Development Corporation), won by Bruce Hein of Express Employment Professionals.

Outstanding Customer Service—Individual (sponsored by TMRWW Inc.), won by Laurissa Ellsworth, Town of Petrolia.

Business Leadership (sponsored by MNP Accounting, Consulting, Tax), won by Janice McMichael-Dennis, Bluewater Power.

Member of the Year (sponsored by Imperial Theatre), won by Helen Cole.

Business of the Year (sponsored by Scotiabank), won by Artopia Gallery & Framing.

Chamber Champion (sponsored by Past Chamber Chairs), selected by the Chamber’s Board of Directors, won by Dante Cateni, Terrapure Environmental.

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It’s an October tradition that continues this year with the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce teaming up with Blackburn Radio for this month’s Business After 5.

“The opportunity to catch up on what our members have been up to this summer is always part of what brings us to this event,” said Shirley de Silva, president and CEO.

“Add in the extraordinary work that Blackburn Radio has put into this event, and we’re absolutely confident that this year will be just as popular as ever.”

The Wednesday, October 16 event takes place at DeGroot’s Nurseries on London Line and runs from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

“We’ll see you there!” said de Silva.

Pictured is Carla-Ann Anderson, operations administrator for Bluewater Regional Networks, which participated in last year’s Showcase event.

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The overwhelming popularity of this year’s Outstanding Business Achievement Awards, now in its 30th year, has prompted organizers to reach out in appeal for more judges than usual ahead of the Friday, October 18 event, which will be held at the Imperial Theatre in downtown Sarnia.

“We have already received more submissions than last year and have given many organizations an extension. We anticipate double what we had last year!” said Lisa Isaac, who is chairing this year’s OBAA committee.

“If you are able to give some of your time before September 28th to help make the 30th anniversary a success, we would really appreciate it!”

Referrals through your networks would also be appreciated. Contact Lisa Isaac directly by email: info@lisaisaachr.com.

 

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People buy from people they know, like, and trust. While you might be in the right place at the right time when someone is up against it, and they may buy from you once without knowing, liking, or trusting you, for them to return, you’ll need more than luck.

Know and trust generally come along when you establish yourself as a likeable business with a human behind it. It’s difficult for people to like you if they don’t trust you unless you’re a villain and then being untrustworthy is your business.

For most of us, that is not the case. You can’t like someone you don’t remember, so let’s get to work on establishing the like part of the sales equation.

Share Your Reason

Think of how filmmakers or storytellers get us to like the main character. One of the ways is that they place him or her on a quest, or up against a challenge, that we want them to succeed in.

Often it’s one we identify with. Share your reason for doing what you do. There’s probably someone in your audience or potential audience who can identify with your convictions and story. Passion is contagious.

Find Commonalities

In order to find commonalities, you need to share things about yourself outside of your business and how it came to be. Share your likes, be positive. Share what you love about your community or your love for bacon.

Be genuine and people who see your social media posts or read your content will begin to identify with what you’re sharing. They’ll jump in and say “me too” and you’re one step closer to getting them to like you.

Ask Questions

If they’re in your store or business ask them their opinion on something and really listen to their answer. On social media ask what they think or what their preferences are.

Involve them in your rebranding by crowdsourcing some of your marketing decisions. People like being involved and if you really listen to, and then act on, their advice, they’ll remember it and like you more because they see you as someone who values what they think. That’s all a lot of us are looking for.

Anticipate Your Customers’ Needs

As a business you are in a position to help, whether it’s helping someone look better, feel better, be entertained, or whatever it is you do for your customers. But you are also in a position to solve problems or answer questions. Use your content and social media to help customers with problems they face in their lives.

If you run a boutique, you can create posts about unique gifts for the women in your life. If you are an accountant,  create helpful checklists of things people should track throughout the year for effortless taxes. Be helpful. Anticipate what your customers need and then give it to them. If they know they can count on you, they will return again and again.

In today’s competitive market place it’s hard for your product alone to set you apart. Often it’s the things behind your product that will help you make a name for yourself. It’s the service, personality, and assistance you provide. These are the things that make people like you and they are also what keeps people coming back.

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Looking for a way to help celebrate some great achievements by business people in Sarnia-Lambton?

We know of no better way than to nominate a company or individual for the 2019 Outstanding Business Achievement Awards, a night of special recognition that takes place on Friday, October 18, 2019 at the Imperial Theatre in downtown Sarnia.

But the first deadline in a months-long process leading up to that event is THIS FRIDAY, AUGUST 2.

That’s the day when nominations close, which means you have just HOURS to complete your nomination form.

CLICK HERE to get started with our very brief, very easy to use online form.

And we’ll see you on Friday, October 18!

Looking for tickets to this event. CLICK HERE to purchase online.

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Robert Gee, who is now manager of Agriculture and Commercial Banking at CIBC, is relatively new in the Sarnia-Lambton community, having moved from London where he was employed as a tax consultant just two years ago.

But Robert has dived right into the business community, not only in his CIBC role but with the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Community, where he is a member of the Board of Directors.

“It was in one of my first conversations with the Chamber that I discovered just how important the role of advocacy is, how the Chamber’s influence at various levels of government, municipally, provincially and federally, positively impacts the business of members,” he said.

“That really sold me on joining the Chamber and becoming active in what the organization does on behalf of small business,” said Robert.

He also appreciates how welcoming the business community has been as he finds his footing in his new home.

“People have really been extraordinarily welcome, which is something I very much appreciate.”

Robert Gee can be reached by email at

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It’s an annual event now in its ninth year and the Town of Petrolia expects this year’s “Shop Like Charlotte” which will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 9;30 p.m. on Friday, September 27, 2019, to be one of the best yet.

The ticketed event—$25 at all Petrolia banks—includes a wine reception sponsored by Pelee Island Winery and the Victoria Hall.

“Shop Like Charlotte” features food sampling, giveaways, draws, and in-store demos, plus a grand prize worth more than $1,000 in gift certificates, one from each participating store.

The Petrolia Volunteer Business Group is organizing this longstanding event and all proceeds go to the CEE Hospital.

For more information, contact Denise Thibeault of the PVBG at (519) 464-8420.

 

 

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Organizers of this year’s Bluewater BorderFest, which takes place August 8-11, 2019 at Centennial Park, are offering a 15% discount on tickets purchased for members of the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce.

The link to purchase tickets online can be found HERE and the 15% discount is valid until next Wednesday, July 31 (end of the day).

Use discount code SL CHAMBER at checkout.

Featured performers at Bluewater BorderFest include:

—Tyler Farr and Jerrod Neimann (Thursday, August 8)
—Big Wreck and Tokyo Police Club (Friday, August 9)
—Dennis DeYoung (pictured) and the music of STYX with Mark’s Farner’s American Band (Saturday, August 10)
—Lou Gramm (voice of Foreigner), Kelly Keagy of Night Ranger, and John Payne of ASIA (Sunday, August 11)

 

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The Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce is partnering with our friends in Port Huron—the Blue Water Area Chamber—for a Cruise on the St. Clair River aboard the Duc D’Orleans II.

The event, which is NOW TAKING PLACE ON TUESDAY, AUGUST 13, will begin on the Duc D’Orleans II dock at 297 Front Street, Sarnia. The cruise runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Tickets for this event are $30 (Canadian funds) plus HST and can be purchased online by clicking HERE.

“We’re very excited to partner with our friends in Michigan for the return of the Chamber River Cruise, a return to a very popular tradition at the Chamber,” said Shirley de Silva, president and CEO. “We hope to see you there!”

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Nominations can be done online.   Please click “read more” below and get started.

For nomination online form  CLICK HERE .

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

The OBAAs, which celebrate incredible innovations and achievements, is unique in its engagement of a broad range of industry sectors and sizes. We will be celebrating this year on Friday, October 18th.

 

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