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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In 1832, George Muller arrived in Bristol, England to take charge of a small church called Bethesda Chapel where he served for 64 years until his death in 1896. Early in his work at Bethesda, Muller was struck by the overwhelming number of orphans who roamed the streets with nowhere to go for food and shelter.

In this era of Britain’s Industrial Revolution, children as young as seven years old were forced to work in dangerous factories in horrible conditions. It was not uncommon for orphans to lose their lives in this state-sponsored child labour environment. Some of the boys and girls were forced to work as chimney sweeps in the most deplorable conditions. They were a type of indentured servant, bought by the chimney sweep master from financially poor parents. According to information gathered from various chimney sweep websites, these young chimney sweeps were to climb up, inside the chimney, brushing the flue as they went, and they weren’t done until their heads poked out of the chimney top. Due to their fear, these children were often reluctant to climb up the chimney. In order to motivate them, many masters would force the child up the flue and then light a fire. Since the child couldn’t come down, they had no choice but to climb up the flue. If a child happened to die while inside the chimney, another child was sent up the flue to help remove the deceased child.

Moved by what he saw, George Muller felt called to make a difference in the lives of the many ragged children running wild in the streets destined for slavery and forced labour. At a public meeting on December 9, 1835, Muller communicated his vision to his congregation about starting an orphanage. On April 11, 1836, Muller opened the doors of his first orphanage where he took in 26 children. Seven months later, on November 28, 1836, the second orphanage opened. In September of 1837, a third orphanage was opened. Over the years, more than 10,000 orphans were housed in the orphanage started by Muller. Not only did Muller provide food and shelter, but he also provided education to over 120,000 children through the 117 schools he established. He was actually accused of raising the poor above their natural station in life. At his funeral in 1896, the streets were lined with multiple thousands of people, some having climbed trees lining the funeral procession, attempting to get one last glimpse at the man who cared enough to make a difference.

The Power of Purpose

People and teams need purpose. They not only need to ask the question but need to have an answer for, “why do we exist?” An NFL team coming out of training camp and into the regular season lacking purpose will lack the passion and direction to reach the game of games, the Super Bowl. Studies show that people without purpose are vulnerable to boredom, anxiety and depression. Without purpose, individuals will drift aimlessly through life and through their professional careers. When people have purpose, they have focus, direction, desire, aspiration, resolve, determination, tenacity and a will to achieve. They are not deterred by setbacks, delays, or impediments. Fredrick Nietzsche, the German philosopher said, “He who has a why, can endure any how.” George Muller had a “why.” His purpose was to lift orphan children out of a life of neglect and slave labor by providing them with food, shelter, education, and an understanding of their purpose in life.

The Power of Passion

Passion is the fuel in the engine of purpose. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines passion as, “a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something.” Author Michael Nolan wrote, “There are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only a few that will catch your heart, pursue these.” Leaders can tap into the passion of their teams by casting vision. Helping others to see the end result of something that’s yet to be accomplished is the key to good vision casting. When George Muller shared his vision for starting an orphanage, he had two schillings in his pocket and never asked a person for a single donation, yet throughout his years in ministry work, he raised what is considered to be over $70 million in today’s dollars. He cast a compelling vision for what could be and then got to work to make it happen.

The Power of People

When people are motivated by a compelling vision, there’s no stopping great things from happening. It’s been said that teamwork makes the dream work. The power of people to accomplish goals and objectives can never be overlooked. Michael Jordan said, “Talent wins games, teamwork and intelligence win championships.”

As leaders in industry and in our communities, may we be alerted to the needs of others and harness the power of purpose, passion and people to meet those needs.

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With the recent “first day” opening of the Holiday Inn Express property, located on Venitian Boulevard in Point Edward, operator Vranco Hospitality Corp.—which also operates the adjacent Hampton Inn and Best Western Guildwood Inn—is adding to a network of more than 5,700 hotels worldwide.

The new property has been in ‘full speed ahead” development since last September’s final approval of the development by the Village of Point Edward Council.

“We are thrilled to open the new Holiday Inn Express,” said Darko Vranich, president and CEO of Vranco Group. “We’ve operated hotels in Sarnia and Point Edward for a number of years and are proud to add t his new hotel to this great community.”

The property includes a 24-hour access fitness facility, heated swimming pool, and meeting facilities.

Pictured on the “first-day opening” are, from left, hotel staff members Louis Jaketic, Brittany Wheeler, Karen Meloche, Karen McQuade, Monica Gonsalves, and Tim Akin-Adaramola.

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