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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.
“ 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
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”?
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.