Photo courtesy: www.tourismkelowna.com Photographer Brian Sprout - Picture BC Photo courtesy: www.tourismkelowna.com Photographer Brian Sprout - Picture BC Photo courtesy: www.tourismkelowna.com Photographer Brian Sprout - Picture BC Photo courtesy: www.tourismkelowna.com Photographer Brian Sprout - Picture BC Photo courtesy: www.tourismkelowna.com Photographer Brian Sprout - Picture BC Photo courtesy: www.tourismkelowna.com Photographer Brian Sprout - Picture BC Photo courtesy: www.tourismkelowna.com Photographer Brian Sprout - Picture BC Photo courtesy: www.tourismkelowna.com Photographer Brian Sprout - Picture BC

Changing a Community based on what we Buy

by Admin 24. October 2014 07:52

Business is changing. Is this a bad thing? Heck no! There’s been a serious trend towards blended value return on investment and large social impact. We’re seeing collaboration from multiple sectors. We’re seeing sponsor dollars being spent towards engagement, as opposed to signage, and we’re taking an added consideration into our purchasing.

How do we incorporate social and financial practices into our bottom line? How do we change a community based on what we buy? This morning at the Okanagan Changemakers Buy Social Breakfast, we talked about social purchasing and the idea of moving towards a blended value business model, incorporating price and quality, as well as green and social practices. So, how can our supply chain and what/how we buy really effect out community, and by how much?

Buying local keeps 2.6x the money in the economy. To put a dollar figure on things – for every $100 spent locally, $46 stays in the local economy, whereas the alternative, we only see $18 staying local. That’s a huge leap!

So what exactly is “local”? Local comes in 3 different forms:

1.       Local

Local refers to those businesses that are directly supporting the local economy. Those sole proprietorships, farmers markets, those who support local artisans in their organizations as often as they can.

2.       Largely local

These are bigger operations, still based in BC but are businesses that may have branched out or expanded into other locations.

3.       Local champions

These are businesses that support local through B2B interactions. This could be ordering your office supplies through a local company.

 

By supporting local purchasing, we can make an impact. “If you can get front lines to buy in, the rest is just enabling them,” as put by Roger Wheeler, attendee. Local purchasing, and encouraging this, is not only going to change at the CEO level. This shift needs to be both a change in leadership goals, as well as a change in awareness for those making the daily purchases. Educating administrative and support staff, anyone who takes care of ordering, and having the front line employees backing this end goal is what is going to make this happen.

With more demand, there will be more orders. With more orders, we will see more social impact. Can it really be that easy?

We want to hear your thoughts! #BCBuylocal and join the discussion.

For more information on buying Local: http://locobc.com/

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Playing "Matchmaker" to Young Professionals and their Futures

by Admin 21. October 2014 10:47

Kelowna: arguably one of the most beautiful cities in BC. With rolling hills full of vineyards and bike paths, and an incredible entrepreneurial spirit -  it’s no wonder that so many students and young professionals are choosing to call it home.

There’s just one problem; an associated stigma that in order to get a job in Kelowna, you have to leave Kelowna. Though this may not be entirely true, it is in fact, a handshake community. And for some young professionals this can be detrimental during their post-grad decisions.

So why not break through that stigma then? Do we really want these students leaving to Alberta?

                                         

With Launch Students into Business, the Kelowna Chamber will be playing ‘matchmaker’ to young professionals and their futures.

“Having that interaction with business professionals is crucial. At the end of the day it really comes down to who you know, not just what you know,” says an Alumni student from Okanagan College. “There’s a benefit to the professionals too; It allows them to be seen in the eyes of these young professionals and is a great tool for recruitment and learning who the upcoming talents are.”

Becoming a connector for the Launch Students into Business program is easy. You give 45 minutes of your time to a student for one-on-one meetings that they they steer, and afterwards provide them with two referrals to other industry professionals you feel they should know.

If it’s such a handshake community, why not give these students the opportunity for the handshake? 

Furthering the effort to get students connected, UBCO will be holding an event on November 4th promoting jobs in the Okanagan. Career Days is a way for UBC to offer transformative learning experiences for students while developing meaningful, mutually beneficial partnerships with the community.

The Speed-Networking & Social will be this year’s biggest networking event at UBC’s Okanagan campus. You’ll discover how UBC students and soon-to-be graduates can be an ideal addition to your workplace—either in internship, co-op, or long-term roles: they’re bright, motivated, hard-working, and educated in the latest theories and technologies. More generally, this event is about engaging UBC students with surrounding communities.

To register for Career Days

ubc.ca/okanagan/management/community/connecthire/involvement/ubco-careerdays/participating-organizations/registration.html

To learn more about Launch Students into Business: http://www.kelownachamber.org/chamber/launch.aspx

We are so lucky, being surrounded with so much innovation and inspiration on a daily basis. Whether it be your morning commute over the lake, or looking out onto the rolling hills of vineyards and biking trails, it’s hard to argue that the Okanagan’s beauty isn’t worth fighting for. 

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Women in Leadership – What does it mean to you? Who do you think of?

by Admin 17. October 2014 11:25

It’s not about how “anything he can do, she can do better,” nor is it a battle of the sexes. It’s asking the question and taking the time to see what needs to change in order to enable more and more women to take the leap and rise into these positions.

The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce Women Leadership Network is taking on this challenge with help of a research student at Okanagan College.  We are looking to develop that helping hand and encouraging peer mentoring.

One of our initiatives, the Inspire Series, will be a catalyst to foster this nurturing environment. Throughout the year we will be hosting a circuit of events bringing women in leadership together in small, intimate groups. We’ll hear from women who have inspiring lessons to share, the events that shaped their lives, what they learned about themselves and being a leader.

Casual exchanges vary as we get to know each other beyond our job titles. Before and during dinner, new acquaintances strike conversations that are as diverse and varied as the professional women attending.  After our speaker, there is an opportunity to ask questions and talk about women in leadership, the challenges we face, and the remarkable journeys taking place all around us.

Who are the women in leadership that you look up to? We’ve all had mentors, or those who have provided the leg up. What was it they did that furthered you along, what is it about their leadership style that allowed for the culture of growth? Every journey has variables, but its collaboration and peer mentoring that will bring us together.

So, I pose you the question: what do you feel needs to change? 

-KCC Contributor 

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Throwback Thursday! Kelowna Chamber Past Presidents Remember the year of their Reign

by Admin 9. October 2014 08:00

Recently the Past Presidents of the Kelowna Chamber got together over a nice hot breakfast at Deli-City to discuss the current initiatives of the Chamber, past accomplishments and milestones, and discussed our goals for the future. They had some great insight and advice, and reminisced about the community as it was, while they were Presidents of the Chamber.

Read on to meet some of the Kelowna Chamber's Past Presidents, learn of the highlights of their terms as presidents, and realize the changes they advocated for. You will likely recognize many of the names, as these individuals are still influential in our community, proving their leadership is not one-dimensional and that their title was well earned:


Nick Frost- President in 1983. One highlight from Nick’s time was the relocation of the Chamber from a little office building on the other side of the bridge to where we are now. The position of Vice President was also created during this time. Walter Gray was his Past President.

David McLean- President in 2005. The University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus was being launched during this time and the Chamber put in a lot of work to help make that happen. David said that Ken Bessason was his Past President and was a great mentor.

James Patterson- President in 2008 which was also the 100th anniversary of the Kelowna Chamber. A few highlights from James’ year were the opening of the bridge, passport office and the removal of the Coquihalla tolls. Laura Thurnheer was his Past President.

Laura Thurnheer- President in 2007. A highlight from Laura’s year was the passing of the second crossing. Kevin Crookes was her Past President

Ken Bessason- President in 2004. Ken was on the board for the Chamber for 6 years and was also on the BC Chamber board for a couple of years. He is now selling real estate. His Past President was Ken Ficocelli.

Steve Thompson- President in 1997 and is a current MLA. Steve said the Chamber was a great training ground and that strong advocacy is critical. He is pleased to continue representing the community. Lorne Ettinger was his Past President.


Wes Shields- President in 2010. Wes was successful in taking issues that were unpopular with the Canadian Chamber but were very beneficial for our community, to the AGM and having them passed. Norm LeCavalier was his Past President.

Lawrence Salloum
- President in 1973. One of Lawrence’s main influences during his time was having the Chamber play a major role in the development of the Coquihalla.

Catherine Comben- President in 1996. Focused on partnerships during her time. She has recently been elected into UBCO Senate. John Merritt was her Past President.

Lorraine McGrath- President in 2001. Lorraine was particularly proud of the wine resolution that was passed unanimously at the Canadian Chamber Annual General Meeting during her year. Todd Sanderson and David Rush were her Past President’s and they worked on a 3 year strategic plan. Lorraine also sat on the board for the Chamber.

      Paul Mitchell- President in 1988. A couple of highlights from Paul’s year included encouraging and forming better relationships with First Nations and the agreement to build the Connector.

      David Bond- Past President and current Partner at KPMG.  

      Curtis Darmohray- Current Chamber President and Partner at Pushor Mitchell. Curtis still has a busy 6 months remaining on his term as President. 

      Current CEO of the Chamber, Caroline Grover thanked all of the Chamber Board Presidents for their hard work and expressed that she couldn’t imagine what life would be like if all of their efforts and accomplishments weren’t in place today. Can you?  

 -KCC Contributor 

410 Businesses visited by Business Walkers from EDC, Chamber and City

by Admin 7. October 2014 08:40

October already!  WOW. Several of the staff, Board and Ambassadors kicked off small business month by participating in the Business Walk yesterday. Approximately 410 businesses were visited!

 

It was a great day to be out visiting local businesses for the purpose of gathering information from owners and managers about the general state of commerce, specific to their area of town.

  • The Business Walk is an annual regional initiative coordinated by the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission.  Business organizations and stakeholders throughout the Central Okanagan come together for a common purpose: to gather information from a large number of businesses in a short period of time. 
     
  • The surveys are treated confidentially and entered into a database which is used to create reports around four specific questions.  The reports will be used to identify areas for program development, action and improvement. 

Detailed results of the Business Walk will be released by the COEDC

 

If we didn't come knocking at your door - we hope to catch you next year.

 

-KCC Contributor 

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Our lakes shall remain clean

by Admin 29. September 2014 14:00

As I drive down bridge hill and across the William R. Bennet Bridge I take in the glorious view of Okanagan Lake and am nearly blinded by the sparkle of the sun's rays glistening off of the surface. Oh what a beautiful place we live in! Most Okanagan residents love to take advantage of our clean, swimmable, large-enough-to-accomodate-the-busiest-boating-day lakes, but there is one thing we might be taking for granted; that is the fact that it is not infested with the dreaded Quagga and Zebra Mussels.

Smaller than their cousins that you might find on your favourite restaurant menu, Quagga and Zebra Mussels pose a serious and costly threat to aquatic ecosystems, salmon populations, tourist destinations, hydro power stations and other infrastructure facilities throughout western Canada. Native to Eastern Europe and Western Asia, Quagga and Zebra Mussels have caused millions of dollars in damage to the Laurentian Great Lakes area and have cost the North American economy billions of dollars to control. Look at what they've done to this shopping cart pulled out of an infested lake. Just imagine what they'd do to a boat's pipes?! 

 

With boaters likely getting in their final cruise in this past weekend, Kelowna Chamber Board President and our CEO were accross the country at the Canadian Chamber's AGM, with a resolution in tow to stop these pesky creatures from hopefully never making an appearance in our neck of the woods.  

This resolution recommended that the federal government take steps to:

1.    Enact legislation that empowers the Canada Border Services Agency to detain, inspect and refuse admission to Canada to any vehicle contaminated with zebra or quagga mussels.

2.    Facilitate cooperation among the states and provinces whose waters are not already contaminated by zebra and quagga mussels.

3.    Support the establishment of a non-contamination perimeter about the Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER).

4.    Provide appropriate support to provinces engaged in combatting zebra and quagga mussels in their waters.

We are pleased to report that with a slight revision to include Canada's waterways that have already been affected by the mussels, our resolution was approved by the Canadian Chamber's member chambers of commerce and boards of trade, representing 200,000 Canadian businesses.

Our resolution is now a policy position of the Canadian Chamber and its members and will be pursued with the federal government over the coming months. 

So the next time you take in a view of one of our inviting lakes, remember our victory. Together we will stand-by in hopes that our policy to protect our lakes, will grow up to become a law to protect our lakes.

 

-KCC Contributor 

Taking the Lead with Ryan Walters at New Executive Series

by Admin 24. September 2014 13:48

“ How hungry are you?” A question that Ryan Walters frequently asks – and no, he isn’t referring to what he should make for dinner, or if you would like one serving or two. This former NHL wonder joined us for an inspiring night on Leadership last week, with TEC Canada and BDO, kicking off this great new series.

When talking about leadership, there are a few key things that likely come to mind. What is it that makes a good leader? Are they born, or are they taught? “Both” Ryan says, “the four most common traits people look for in a leader are honesty, forward-looking, inspiration, and competency.” – and arguably, he may be right. If these are the traits that people identify as those a leader should have, it’s not only having those traits, but it’s learning how to show them. The easiest way? “Get them into your conversations,” says Ryan. Take forwards-looking as an example. Saying that you are looking forwards to meeting someone, or catching up, is an easy way of connecting with them on a more meaningful level and reiterating this positive leadership trait; a win-win situation. It’s working these qualities into our daily lives, and it’s identifying how to be the best leaders we can be.

Another key to effective leadership that Ryan identified was positive business interactions. As explained by Ryan, “a business with 5 positive interactions to 1 negative interaction is just doing ‘good,’ it’s those with 6,7 and even 8 positive interactions that are really showing noteworthy leadership!”  

Summed-up in a diagram (perfect for those logical thinkers) we get this:

  

In short, the ‘P’ and ’F’ stand for past and future with the +/- referring to positive and negative. The past negatives are those events that deflate you. They aren’t usually the best to remember and tend to get you down – sort of like an ex as pointed out by one participant. The future negatives are those events that evoke fear in us. “I’m going to lose.” “Today is going to be a bad day.” These are the events that paralyze us. Together, these two things maker up what Ryan calls the ‘defensive zone,’ putting a clever spin on hockey terminology. This is a mindset that we often find ourselves in during times of change and re-evaluation.

The upper half of the diagram then, is our offensive counterpart. This makes up the “You can do it,” and “it’s going to be okay” type of mindsets; the lighter, more positive side of things. We may find ourselves here during a period of growth, or change. These are the qualities that both regenerate and activate our cultures. Being able to evaluate where it is we sit, and how we can get to where we, as leaders, want our organizations to be is an important ability to have.

So, we will leave you with the question – where do you see yourself? Where do you see your organizational culture? And how can you do better? – or, as Ryan would put it, “How hungry are you”? 

  

-KCC 

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Kelowna should be proud of its Young People

by Admin 22. September 2014 12:25

September is a month of new beginnings for many... the beginning of a new school year for students,  the beginning of the meteorological autumn for the northern hemisphere, and the beginning of Top Forty Under 40 presented by BDO.

The latter is a joint venture between the Kelowna Chamber's Young People in Business Committee; JCI Okanagan and The Daily Courier, and wouldn't be possible without the support of BDO.

Basically,Top Forty Under 40 is a 40-week campaign highlighting outstanding individuals in our community who are under the age of 40. They are featured weekly on the front page of the Business section of the Wednesday edition of The Daily Courier.

The response to the program has been overwhelming and the calibur of the nominees, staggering. Kelowna truly is the home of many well-rounded and established young people -  and we're thrilled to show our support and salute them.

-KCC 

   
 
 

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