January 29, 2020
Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
BC Housing CEO Shayne Ramsay with Chamber CEO Catherine Holt, event sponsors David and Elizabeth Jawl of Jawl Residential Ltd. and Chamber Chair John Wilson.
BC Housing CEO addresses Chamber members
More than 100 Chamber members and guests attended a sold-out Business Leaders Luncheon featuring
BC Housing CEO Shayne Ramsay

Ramsay outlined the work his organization is doing to help the homeless, and how those efforts complement the need to create more workforce housing in Greater Victoria and across BC.

Ramsay then sat down for a question-and-answer session with Chamber CEO Catherine Holt.

See photos as well as video highlights from the event.

Special thanks to event sponsors David and Elizabeth Jawl of Jawl Residential Ltd.
Jawl Residential: Member since 2019
Check out CTV Vancouver Island's coverage of our Jan. 28 luncheon for more on why we need workforce housing.
VIDEO: BC Housing CEO Shayne Ramsay and Chamber CEO Catherine Holt discuss workforce housing at our Jan. 28 Business Leaders Luncheon.
Chamber CEO Catherine Holt stands beside Board Chair John Wilson and Vice-Chair Kris Wirk.
Chamber CEO planning mid-year change
We have some big news at The Chamber this week. Our CEO, Catherine Holt, has let us know she’ll be leaving the position on June 1, after four years on the job. 

Here’s a statement from Catherine about her decision:

“I have enjoyed my role immensely, which made this a hard decision. The Chamber is a vital, positive force for change in our region and it has been a privilege to get to know the many individuals and organizations that are the members of The Chamber.

And it has been a true pleasure to work with the small but mighty Chamber team to provide excellent customer service. They rise to the occasion every time.

The Chamber is always changing with the times. Over my four years we have had excellent engagement with senior government leaders at the federal, provincial and municipal level. I have spoken out on behalf of our members on many issues of importance including the role of business innovation in climate solutions, the importance of child care as an economic issue, the need for regional transportation planning and delivery, the critical need for affordable housing for our workers and that we all require a safe community.

I’m also proud that our membership has become more diverse and, consequently, more influential. I know I’ll be leaving The Chamber in good hands and in a good place.” 
Chamber Chair John Wilson said the search for a new CEO will begin in February. Please watch our Job Board for details. 

“The Chamber has benefited from having someone of Catherine’s stature, background and ability leading us for the last four years,” John said. “We are very sorry to see her move on but The Chamber is ship shape and we will continue to work together to build good business and great community.”
Find your next employee
Do your 2020 resolutions include hiring more staff? The Chamber has a plan to help.

Our recently launched job board is for Chamber members only, with proceeds being used to recruit workers from the rest of Canada to Greater Victoria — the best place in the country to live, work and play.

Every Chamber member receives one free job post annually. Learn more here .
Chamber Member Tip of the Week

“The most important thing to retaining an employee is creating a sense of belonging. If your employee feels they have the autonomous ability to support a purpose greater than themselves, you have gone a long way to ensuring their happiness and devotion to your team.”

Tony Drolet, Owner of Elite Promotional Marketing
The Chamber comes with numerous benefits for your team, including The Chamber’s Group Insurance Plans.

Contact us for details.
Brian Small had huge role in building our community
One of the most influential people in the 157 year history of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce has died.

Brian J. Small, who served as Chamber General Manager for 25 years and played a pivotal role in the economic development of Greater Victoria passed last Friday. He was 85.

“He was a great connector,” said Cedric Steele, who served as president of The Chamber while Brian was the general manager. “He had a very small staff and worked day and night trying to make things happen.”

Brian led our organization from 1969 to 1994. His advocacy efforts helped create jobs and educational opportunities that allowed many young people to remain in Greater Victoria instead of leaving to further their careers in other cities. Brian and The Chamber were instrumental in establishing engineering, business and law schools at the University of Victoria, as well as the development of Camosun College’s Interurban Campus and securing a site for Pearson College. Brian was well known for embracing the advocacy style of the times. He reportedly lobbied for business while lobbing balls during weekly tennis matches with BC Premier Bill Bennett.

"Brian was sought out by hundreds of people to help make the 'right' business connection for their project or idea," said Linda Kitchen, who worked with Brian for 14 years as operations manager of The Chamber. "His love and vision for the film industry for the region was one I’ll never forget – often spending a good part of his day working on finding the right location for a producer."

In 1970, Brian’s tenacity in attracting Hollywood producers resulted in the creation of the Vancouver Island South Film and Media Commission. In 1980, an ad The Chamber purchased in Time magazine featured Brian as Manager of the Capital Region Economic Development Commission encouraging businesses to locate in Greater Victoria. It resulted in more than 500 inquiries — including from Canadian Tire, which went on to open five stores in our region. 

Terry Farmer, whose businesses include Accent Inns, chaired the Chamber’s board of directors from 1972 to 73.

“Brian was one of the most supportive, dedicated, enthusiastic and innovative people I knew and he set the tone for the magnificent Chamber that we have today,” Farmer says. “Brian was a trailblazer and we are fortunate to have had Brian working with us for all those years.”

The Chamber extends our condolences to Brian’s family and the many close friends he made during his years with our organization. A celebration of Brian's life will be held on Feb. 6 at 2:30 p.m. at McCall Gardens and the Sequoia Centre, 4665 Falaise Dr.
McCall Gardens and The Sequoia Centre: member since 1962
University of Victoria: member since 1976
Vancouver Island South Film and Media Commission: member since 1980
Camosun College: member since 1981
Pearson College: member since 2017
Canadian Tire: member since 2018
City invites businesses to discuss homeless issues
The City of Victoria is hoping to work with businesses to discuss the challenges posed by homelessness, mental health and addictions.

Business owners and staff can sign up to participate in a panel conversation on Jan. 30 facilitated by Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps. The panel will consist of people with a variety of perspe ctives who can speak to challenges they are facing and the work being done to address these issues.

The event — Our Community: Business, Homelessness, Mental health and Addictions — is being held Thursday, Jan, 30, from 7-9 pm, at Victoria City Hall.

The evening will also include opportunities to sign up for:
  • A CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) analysis of your business by VicPD
  • Participation in the Existence Project
  • Participation in de-escalation training provided by the Downtown Victoria Residents Association
City of Victoria: member since 1962
Join The Chamber for lunch
Wed., Mar. 4| 11:30 am - 1 pm
Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort
100 Harbour Rd.
The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia is undergoing some of its most significant and innovative reforms since it was created in 1973.

Hear from Chair Joy MacPhail about how ICBC is working collaboratively with government and stakeholders to make rates more affordable, mitigate claims costs, restore ICBC to financial stability, and improve care for British Columbians. This is your opportunity to ask questions and share your ideas with Joy. 
Wed., Feb. 19| 7:30 am - 9 am
Sandman Hotel Victoria
2852 Douglas St.
Sponsored by:
Thur., Mar. 19| 4-7 pm
Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort
100 Harbour Rd.
Sponsored by:
Stay protected while traveling
Looking to make sure you’re covered for your next vacation? With Teladoc Telemedicine Services, an exclusive benefit of Chambers Plan Group Insurance, you can talk with a doctor by phone or video conference from anywhere in Canada or the U.S.

Members can receive a diagnosis, treatment recommendation, and even be prescribed medicine when necessary. Members can consult a physician about non-urgent medical matters by video conference or by phone, from wherever they are, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Chambers Plan offers the Teladoc Telemedicine service at no additional charge to all plan members and their dependents. With the Chambers Group Insurance plan, you can customize an employee benefits plan that meets your needs.

Whether you’re visiting family in Canada or starting a trek around the world, Chambers Plan also provides comprehensive voyage assistance to ensure you and your dependents are safe while starting your next adventure. Benefits include trip interruption protection, telephone interpretation services, and thorough medical & legal assistance. 

Looking for more information on how to take advantage of these benefits? For over 17 years, Jack Insurance and Financial Services has helped Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce members design a Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance plan reflecting the size and requirements of their businesses. For more information, contact Jack Insurance by clicking here.
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Members Around Town
A mammoth birthday 

The Royal BC Museum is celebrating a very special 40 th birthday. Woolly, the world’s most-photographed mammoth, has now been an iconic part of the museum for 4 decades. Although woolly mammoths went extinct 10,000 years ago, Woolly will be celebrating with
Royal BC Museum: member since 1994
Young Entrepreneur of the Year

Erin Boggs, co-owner of Robinson’s Outdoor Store will be awarded the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award next month. Awarded by the Family Business Association, Boggs is a fourth-generation downtown business owner in a company that has served the community for over 90 years.
Robinson’s Outdoor Store: member since 2005
Feeding Victoria’s “hidden hungry”

A partnership between The Root Cellar, Thrifty Foods, Red Barn Market, Fairway Market and The Victoria Foundation aims to provide fresh food to 50,000 people in Victoria that are unable to afford consistent healthy meal options. This initiative diverts over 4,000lbs of food waste from landfills every day, and helps feed 8 schools, 9 indigenous communities, numerous other areas/ facilities. 
The Root Cellar: member since 2011
Thrifty Foods: member since 1981
Red Barn Market: member since 2019
Fairway Market: member since 1988
The Victoria Foundation: member since 2004
Malahat Skywalk

The Malahat Summit will soon be home to a 650-metre wooden skywalk which will provide panoramic views of the Saanich Inlet. With construction starting shortly, the project aims to target nature-based tourism as well as cultural tourism. 
Malahat Nation: member since 2019
Welcome to our newest members!
Member to Member discounts
Wittich Environmental Services Ltd
Monarch Trancework
Iris Optometrists and Opticians View Street
Charge Fitness
Victopia Co-working Space
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