PRESIDENT’S REPORT –
A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats … THANK YOU!
“Power is like wine - intoxicating when consumed in large quantities by people who are not used to it.” ~ Plato
Five delegates of the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce attended the BC Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting last month in Victoria. Sadly, none were invited to sit as the Speaker of the House. Amid this backdrop of seething political uncertainty and despite the thrum of legislative angst, we are Langley proud to announce that all six policy resolutions sponsored or co-sponsored by your Chamber were approved on the floor by the over 125 member organizations of the BC Chamber of Commerce. The policy resolutions are as follows:
- Elimination of the 7% PST on Legal Fees
- Strengthening BC’s Hop Industry - An Opportunity for Renewal
- Keep BC Business Moving
- East-West Connector between Abbotsford Airport and Highway 99
- Reinstatement of the Business Vote in BC
- Return to 3 Year funding agreements for Licensed Charities
Please join us on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 for the 86th Annual General Meeting of the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce. Our keynote speaker will be Marco Iannuzzi, noted philanthropist and wide receiver for the BC Lions football team. We will also hold our election of the Board of Directors for the next term and inauguration of our incoming President, Jack Nicholson.
As my Reign of Terror culminates to an end, I take this opportunity to thank all of our past, present, and future Boards of Directors, committee members, ambassadors, and past Presidents for the relentless and sometimes thankless volunteer work that you do. Also, my eternal gratitude to the “hardest working” staff in show business: the notorious Jaclyn Van Den Berg (when available by car phone), Chantelle Bowles, and Lori Watts.
In 2016, our Succession Task Force oversaw the recruitment of a new Executive Director and the transition of our staff leadership after 31 years of inimitable dedication and service by former Executive Director, Lynn Whitehouse. I was honoured to have presided during this transition and attended a plethora of events with Lynn, my favourite being the christening of the expanded Aldergrove Border Crossing as the “Whitehouse Border Crossing”. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to Lynn, the Chamber titan, for her enduring contribution to the Langley business community. Lynn always said that you needed to know “who’s who in the zoo…”. If that is the case, then Lynn is the zookeeper, and I am the walrus.
To that end, I thank our current Executive Director, Colleen Clark, for taking the job. She’s a dynamo. Big shoes to fill but you wear them like Christian Louboutins. I am confident that our leadership remains unmatched. Langley will continue to dramatically “punch above its weight class” in the BC Chamber community and, if not, feel free to “crack some skulls” until it does. (And, yes, that is an esoteric “The Breakfast Club” reference.)
Last, I wish to thank, you, the membership. We are the fifth largest Board of Trade in the Province of British Columbia, with just under 1,000 member businesses. Without your support, none of this is even imaginable. Much to the chagrin of staff, I have often employed the aphorism, “a rising tide lifts all boats”. This phrase is originally from a speech by John F. Kennedy, who had co-opted the same from, all of places, the New England Chamber of Commerce. What I mean by that is: the Langley business community does not have to be a “zero-sum” game, in that, your gain is my loss. Your gain is not solely my loss. We can all win. We can all prosper by creating the best environment for business. Successful Langley businesses invest and reinvest in our community, they hire employees, offer unparalleled local products and services, source and shop trusted local suppliers, and are your most loyal customers. When our businesses thrive, they donate and support the over 75 non-profit organizations that are members of the Greater Langley of Commerce. A rising tide lifts all boats. Membership is your boarding pass, the Chamber is your ship, and I am profoundly humbled and grateful to have served two years as your Captain.