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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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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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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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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