Drawing Strength From Connections and Community

Written by Leslie Courchesne, CEO of the Tri-Cities Chamber

First published in the Tri-City News on Thursday, May 26, 2022

The weather is warmer, patios and parks are bustling, in-person events have returned, and summer is near. But there are still challenges facing our business community here in the Tri-Cities, and war continues to rage in Ukraine. I visited the Kyiv Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s website, wondering if it would still be online. It is. I can only imagine how that chamber, and others across Ukraine, are rising to the challenge of doing all they can to
support their members and communities from wherever they are now. Our hearts go out to Ukrainians. Our chamber published a statement on the crisis in Ukraine, providing more information on where our members can find ways to help, including the Ukrainian Canadian Congress website at ucc.ca.

It is during times like these that we do not take for granted our ability to safely gather together, to celebrate business excellence, break bread and network, or launch and grow our businesses.

On April 30, we held our 2021/2022 Business Excellence Awards Gala, presented by Douglas College. Some of our region’s most exceptional leaders shared the spotlight as we celebrated the accomplishments of the Tri-Cities business community’s finest at the 450-person sold-out event. Congratulations to all nominees, finalists,
and recipients. Thank you to all sponsors, attendees, and to our two esteemed panels of award judges, who did not have an easy task with so many excellent nominations received!

We held our Economic Summit on Wednesday, May 11, presented by Rise CPA. Thank you to keynote speakers Vaughn Palmer, award-winning journalist and Vancouver Sun columnist, and Brendon Ogmundson, Chief Economist, BC Real Estate Association, as well as panelists Dr. Kathy Denton, Douglas College, Adel Gamar, GLG Ltd., Jerry Gratton, Trailblaze Partners, and Kari LaMotte, Envol Strategies. From the captivating keynotes to the engaging panel discussion, the 100 attendees had the opportunity to learn from influential thought-leaders on the B.C. political landscape, economic recovery, the future of work, the housing market, and more.

June is National Indigenous Peoples History Month. On Thursday, June 2, the Chamber will host our first Lunch with Leaders, as we welcome sχəpχeyləm si:ýém, Ed Hall, Chief of kʷikʷəƛ̓əm Kwikwetlem First Nation, at the Vancouver Golf Club. Chief Hall will speak on the history of his people and this land, reconciliation, and the
upcoming KFN business park.

Join us for a Multi-Chamber Networking Event at the Fraser Valley Bandits home opener, on Saturday, June 4, at the Langley Events Centre. And our annual Golf Classic returns to Westwood Plateau on Thursday, June 30. If you don’t have your tickets yet, don’t delay — a limited number of spots are available for this highly anticipated

On the horizon, we also have exciting initiatives with the Tri-Local Collective, including Savour the Summer beginning on May 29 — which highlights a different cuisine at local eateries every week from June until September — and the launch of our Tri-Local beer. Stay tuned as more information will become available on TriLocal.ca.

Thank you to all of our members for your support to enable us to serve you. We continue to work hard on providing excellent benefits, events, and programs, and advocating for you to all levels of government on issues that help strengthen business. If you haven’t yet joined us, please do.