Another great fall tradition for the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce and our partners with Backburn Radio is the October “Showcase” event taking place next Wednesday, October 16 at the expansive (and well-used) greenhouse at DeGroot’s Nurseries at 1840 London Line in Sarnia

For several years now, Blackburn has hosted and organized this event—a great time for Chamber members and others to reconnect and discover what’s available in our community from a business standpoint.

Won’t you join us?

Admission is complimentary and Chamber representatives will be there to welcome you, starting at 4 p.m. The event continues until 8 p.m.

“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.”

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

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The fact that Sarnia-Lambton has a “last-minute” mindset is legendary. But at some point, the risk of disappointment is bound to collide with procrastination and that day is almost certainly here.

With spots rapidly disappearing from the Imperial Theatre ticket system (CLICK HERE to check for yourself), securing your tickets for the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Business Achievement Awards night is now an imperative.

“We’re so very excited to have done all the preparations ahead of next Friday’s event,” said Shirley de Silva, the Chamber’s president and CEO. “What’s left is really up to those who we hope will be able to join us starting at 7 p.m.”

Thanks to the generous title sponsorship of Libro Credit Union, this 30th-anniversary presentation of the Outstanding Business Achievement Awards promises to be one of the very best yet.

“The OBAAs have always been our most significant expression of all that excellence in the 15 categories for which we’ll be presenting awards,” said de Silva. “Let’s get ready to enjoy one of the greatest events on the Chamber calendar!”


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Express Employment Professionals, a proud Chamber member, is hosting a leadership training event focused on Emotional Intelligence.

Organized by the franchise company’s Express Speakers Bureau, the Tuesday, November 12 event will run from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Sarnia Golf and Curling Club.

Breakfast—which is included in the $35 plus HST fee—begins at 8 a.m., with the session starting at 8:30 a.m.

The speaker, Danielle Hoeltzel, is director of Organizational Development at Express Employment Professionals International Headquarters, where she is responsible for talent management initiatives such as employee and leadership development, engagement, retention and succession planning for more than 300 employees who work at corporate headquarters.

Emotional intelligence is said to be the ability to identify, evaluate, control, and express emotions, and having it is critical to your success. Organizers say that By attending this session, you’ll be able to build stronger relationships and connections not only with team members, but also with your customers, family, and anyone else you encounter in your daily life.

After this session, you will be able to:

• Recognize the impact emotional intelligence has in your workplace

• Discover the four domains of emotional intelligence

• Identify how negative emotions become a pitfall that limits team effectiveness

Limited seating is available. To register, click HERE. Organizers are requesting registration be completed by Thursday, November 7, 2019.

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Selfies are no longer the domain of duck-faced teenaged girls. (That’s not an insult. It’s a description. Google it.) They’re gaining in popularity among adults and businesses too. Selfies are a way of showing customers and potential customers a “behind the scenes” look at your business. They also are an effective way of telling your business story.

In addition to selfies, photo bombs can be lots of fun as they are extremely shareable content. Photobombs start off as portraits, similar to selfies, but the person in the foreground is upstaged by what’s going on behind him/her.

Here are five types of selfies/photo bombs you should take for your business and post to your social streams:

Your history

A selfie of the business owner in front of something historic about the business or the year it opened. Good ideas include standing in front of an old picture of the business from way back when, standing in front of a former owner’s portrait, or the first dollar made in the business. If you founded the business yourself, recreate a picture of you taken when you first opened and display them side by side.

What makes you unique (and the same)

This picture is all about showcasing your personality but remember it is for business as well. Try taking a shot in front of a favorite collection or hobby, a picture of you in your favorite spot in town, or you enjoying your favorite meal.

When you post it ask a question of your audience, so while it appears to be about you, you are opening it up to a greater connection with them. Have fun with it. For example, taking a picture of you in the morning with your coffee/favorite mug. The caption could read, “You should’ve seen me before I had my first cup. Anyone else unapproachable before their morning coffee?”

 You and your right hand

Not literally.

This selfie is a picture of you and the person (or people) who helps you beyond measure. It could be someone who works for you, or a vendor partner, your entire team, or your best customer. The point of this selfie is anything but self-serving. Show some appreciation on a grand level. Mention how thankful you are for that person in the post.

Answer the most common question asked of your business

This selfie is a unique way of answering the most commonly-asked question you hear in your business. For instance, if you are always asked your hours take a picture of yourself Vanna White style showcasing your open sign and listing your hours. Make it funny and you’re more apt to see shares.

Show the Busy-ness

This idea is more of a photo bomb than a selfie but sneak up on your employees hard at work, or sneak into a meeting and take a picture of yourself with them in the background.

The key to this shot is the caption you use when posting it. Something funny like, “This team is always hard at work, regardless of what I’m doing” makes people laugh. Let’s face it, people identify with jokes about hard-working employees and their bosses.

Selfies and photo bombs lend a humorous air to your social media shares. They delight your audience and show a fun side of your business.

All social media posts should either educate, entice, or entertain. With selfies you have the last one covered brilliantly.

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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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Time is running out to secure some of the “best seats in the house” for the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce 2019 Outstanding Business Achievement Awards, which takes place on Friday, October 18, 2019, at the Imperial Theatre in downtown Sarnia.

Tickets are available ONLINE by CLICKING HERE.

“We are expecting a very strong turnaround at this, our 30th-anniversary OBAA,” said Shirley de Silva, the Chamber’s president and CEO.

“Now’s the time to make sure you get your ‘best available’ seat!”


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Members of the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce have been specifically asked for their opinions on a local initiative to establish a Business Improvement Area encompassing the downtown area of the City of Sarnia.

“The Chamber, which obviously plays a key role in advancing issues on behalf of our members, has been asked to weigh in on this initiative,” said Shirley de Silva, president and CEO. “We’d like to hear from our members and will be summarizing their reaction and forwarding those opinions on to those who are advocating for the establishment of a BIA.”

Emails can be sent to de Silva by CLICKING HERE.

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The Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce has formally reached out to all registered candidates in the upcoming Monday, October 21, asking for their position on business-related issues.

Those UNEDITED positions, which will be between 250 and 300 words, will appear in the Chamber’s Thursday, October 17 newsletter.

The candidates contacted include (in alphabetical order): Brian Everaert, People’s Party 0f Canada; Marilyn Gladu, Conservative Party of Canada; Adam Kilner, New Democratic Party; Thomas Laird, Christian Heritage Party; Carmen Lemieux, Liberal Party of Canada; and Peter Smith, Green Party of Canada.

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Those of you who’ve seen The 10 Commandments, starring Charlton Heston, may recall the account of the plagues that came upon Egypt, most notably the plague of frogs.

Like those near-apocryphal events, we can sometimes feel overrun by all the things we need to get done. There was no escaping frogs. They were everywhere. Frogs were in their houses, bedrooms, beds, ovens, even in their jars of flour.

Sometimes it can feel that same way when our to-do list grows exponentially, as we go from one meeting to another, taking on more action items to complete. Everywhere we turn there is something that needs to be done. No matter where we are, whether at home, in bed trying to sleep, making dinner, or with our friends, we think about all the tasks that need our attention.

When Pharaoh had seen enough frogs he summoned Moses to finally put an end to the problem. When Moses asked Pharaoh when he wanted Moses to take action, Pharaoh replied, “Do it tomorrow.” With millions of frogs in the land of Egypt and the opportunity to rid the land of the problem, Pharaoh did what so many of us do when overwhelmed by a growing list of demands: he delegated it to tomorrow. Pharaoh, the King of Egypt, in one act, became Pharaoh, the King of Procrastination.

Overcoming procrastination is never easy but there are some steps that can be taken to help move toward a more aggressive approach to completing tasks, satisfying commitments, and fulfilling responsibilities.

Summarize the Problem (Tasks)

Creating a to-do list is one of the most important components of completing and fulfilling one’s obligations. Too often people attempt to keep a running list of all their tasks, promises, and commitments in their heads only to forget what was promised to whom and by when.

Don’t forget, there’s an app for that. Task management software and apps by the dozen are available to assist in one’s effort to compile and track all your to-dos. Ta-da List, Evernote, and Remember the Milk, are just a few of the more popular apps that can be downloaded. If writing out a list of tasks is simpler, then grab a piece of paper and do so. Use a journal to track your daily list, a wire-bound notebook or a Franklin Planner, but whatever you do, write it or log it somewhere.

Prioritize the List

Since thoughts of what to do come at us randomly, it’s good to list the items as they come. Take the time to list all that you need to do and then assign a priority rating to each item. Develop a priority rating schedule that works best for you but you may want to consider 3 priority categories to choose from such as:

  • tasks that must be done promptly or immediately,
  • tasks that should be done soon, and
  • tasks that can be delayed without any problem.

Capitalize on the Opportunity to Do It Now

Once your list is summarized and prioritized it’s time to capitalize on the opportunity to do it now. Get to work on completing the items on your list, check them off as you go and move unfinished tasks to the next day. Keeping a prioritized list will minimize your thoughts to procrastinate and help you get more things done, allowing you to sleep better at night.

Remember, when there are frogs in your flour, act now!

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There’s a principle in business and in life known as “the law of reciprocity” and Chamber members can take full advantage of this when they deal with their fellow members or others in the business community.

Basically, it can be summarized as follows:  “If you do something nice for me I’ll do something nice for you. I feel obligated to reciprocate.”

For example, if two people go out to lunch and one of them picks up the bill, the other one almost always offers to pay for it next time.

Here’s what former Chamber executive (and now expert advisor) Frank Kenny has to say about how this “law” can effectively work in a networking situation.

The lesson, of course, for veteran networkers or those who are just beginning to build a cadre of professionals who you can trust—and who will trust you—is to first think of what you can do for others.

And good luck!

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