CEO & President's Messages

Amy Kendall, Chair & CEO, Board of Directors 2014 – 2015

It is my privilege to take on the role of Chair for the Guelph Chamber of Commerce for the next year & I am very excited about all the great initiatives on the horizon.  My first involvement with the Chambers of Commerce was six years ago when I started working at Conestoga College.  I became involved in a committee & have been involved in some capacity ever since.  I am continually amazed by the scope & role of the Guelph Chamber of Commerce & other Chambers including their impact when teamed up with the Ontario & Canadian Chambers of Commerce.  Chambers are a united & strong business voice & advocate.

Businesses, organizations and communities benefit and thrive from the hard work of the Chamber, the staff and hundreds of volunteers that make the Chamber an integral component of so many initiatives here in Guelph.  This organization has taken on challenges, initiatives, activities and opportunities that support so much of the business growth and development in Guelph and the surrounding area.

We advocate, connect and educate but we also do so much more.  Through collaboration with other members, partners, the city team and the community we are a stronger, more powerful organization because of the work we do together.

Just when I thought we had completed most of our goals, new ones emerge and we are assessing where our focus for the next year should be.  We are looking forward to working with the next sitting of provincial parliament and we will also help to inform candidates and voters in the upcoming municipal elections. What I have found is that the Chamber is able to adapt in order to tackle any challenges that comes its way.

The main focuses of the year are:

  • Business development and growth
  • Energy initiatives
  • Workforce development and growth
  • Adding to the already diverse business membership

I am excited to be a part of an organization that supports, collaborates, leads and strives for continuous improvement for its members, businesses and the community.  I look forward to learning more in this role and ensuring we share and communicate the great work of our members and the business community as part of the Chamber's mandate and focus on growth in Guelph.

Amy Kendall
Chair and CEO 
Guelph Chamber of Commerce

Mr. Lloyd Longfield, President and CEO

We are very excited with the transition of the Guelph Chamber of Commerce over the past few years.  We are now supporting up to 18 incubator businesses in our building, with spaces available on a monthly rental basis.  It is gratifying to see businesses use the Guelph Chamber of Commerce to develop key contacts, strategies, and work with Innovation Guelph, also in our building, for funding and mentorship services.  We have also seen a shift to younger business people developing their careers, learning from our events as well as from the people they meet here.  The Guelph Chamber has had an increasing membership from community benefit organizations, helping us with our city building focus, and bridging the four pillars of sustainability with economic, social, cultural, and environmental balance.  Our co.lab.o.rate magazine showcases this work beautifully.

Our committees have been working hard on developing strategies to adjust to changing business needs:

  • For Guelph's Workforce Development, coordinating information with high schools, college and university
  • Looking at Energy Transition, as we look at the rising costs of electricity and demand on water supply
  • Our Advocacy Committee is preparing positions for local, provincial, and federal governments.  Guelph is looking at municipal tax and service, highway development around Morriston, improving social service support and delivery
  • Our new Events Committee is looking at what programs we need to present, how we present programs, and how to provide sector specific information to help different industries
  • Membership & Marketing has a focus on new ways to communicate using mobile devices, as well as dividing Guelph into business zones to have neighbouring businesses get together regularly
  • The Industrial Committee is looking at the great strides being taken on improving productivity and competitiveness within our manufacturers and processers
  • The Food & Agriculture Committee has prepared a series of panel discussions from the impact of the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement with Europe to the next generation of farms as well as improvements in protein production

One of our challenges on the road ahead is to better reflect our increasingly diverse community with members from different backgrounds.  We are also exploring further developing our mentorship programs between retiring people and our next generation entering the workforce.  We also see continuous education using new technology as an emerging opportunity.

All of this work is done by engaged business people like you.  We draw on the community expertise and support with a staff of seven who are committed to doing background work as business people go back to the business of creating prosperity in Guelph.

The Guelph Chamber of Commerce represents the voice of business contributing to economic growth, profitability, competitiveness and community involvement for all types of businesses and business people in Guelph.

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