Board Chair & President & CEO Message

Stefan Wiesen, Chair of the Board of Directors 2017 – 2018

I am honoured to be granted the opportunity to serve as Chair of the Board of the Guelph Chamber of Commerce for the upcoming year 2017-2018. As someone with experience working locally both in the for-profit and non-profit sectors, I am keenly aware of the Chamber’s role as a community builder across sectors. The Chamber represents the voice of businesses and organizations throughout our community, at City Hall, provincially at Queen’s Park and nationally in Ottawa.

For almost two hundred years, the Chamber has been helping to shift Guelph from a small town to economic powerhouse. Recorded minutes from Chamber meetings that date back to the 1940s, demonstrate the Chamber’s role as a collaborative player whose mandate has always been to continue growing our community. With the implementation of our Strategic Plan 2015-2018, we will be the leading business organization providing thought leadership to drive community growth and economic prosperity. Over the coming years, our continued mandate to facilitate and drive opportunities for growth and prosperity will be evident.

The Chamber will concentrate on four specific strategic goals that will help the organization set the national standard for fostering community prosperity. These include

  • Advocating public policy that situates Guelph as a leading business centre
  • Optimizing and diversifying Chamber communications and programming to maximize Member experience, facilitate greater Member-to-Member connections and attract new Members
  •  Ensuring that the Chamber achieves the highest standard of operational excellence and contributing to the achievement and recognition of community excellence
  • Enhancing government, community and business decision-making by supporting a data-enabled economy

As a member based organization, the Chamber’s role is significant and its responsibility substantial. While the Guelph Chamber is many things to many businesses, organizations and individuals – Advocate, Connector, Communicator, Facilitator, Thought Leader – for key stakeholders it is also that of a community advocate and community leader. Let’s celebrate our past successes and attack our future challenges – together.

 

Kithio Mwanzia, President & CEO

The Guelph Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business in the Guelph community.  With more than 900 members, we have been recognized by the Chamber Accreditation Council of Canada (CACC) with its highest level of distinction.  Accreditation with Distinction is a formal acknowledgement that Chamber of Commerce have been successfully evaluated by the CACC against rigorous national standards of policy, service and performance.  This distinction places the Guelph Chamber in an elite group of Chambers of Commerce in Canada that are demonstrating to the business community that our Chamber is run in a strategic and professional way and that the operations reflect national standards of business excellence.

With a strong commitment to our Mission Vision and Values, the Guelph Chamber of Commerce continues to be a strong advocate for business.  We work closely with all three levels of government on issues that affect business.  A few good examples of initiatives we have engaged in include red tape reduction, bolstering opportunities in manufacturing, agriculture and trade and municipal policy innovation to ensure the cost of doing business in Guelph is kept competitive.  Each year, we make presentations to the federal, provincial and municipal governments.  We engage in the City's budgeting process and we champion business needs and issues during election campaigns.  The Chamber's advocacy committee takes a proactive approach to the challenges that the business community faces and they provide thoughtful and dynamic solutions that formulate the public proposals that the Chamber brings forward.  We pride ourselves on providing thought-leadership and playing an important role as a solutions provider.

In addition to our wide array of advocacy efforts, we provide many networking and educational events for our membership.  With more than 50 events each year, there is certainly something for everyone.  We aim to be the connector of choice for our membership.  We know how important it is to be networked within the community.  Our events range from education and training sessions both large and small, like Business After 5 networking, our very popular Annual Golf Tournament and our annual Guelph Awards of Excellence event which attracts more than 400 business and industry leaders as well as government officials each year.

Lastly, we make every effort to ensure that we are able to also provide a thorough suite of services that can help benefit your business.  We have a plethora of valuable benefits that can be accessed through the Chamber, such as the Chamber Group Insurance Plan, Credit & Debit Card Merchant Discount Rates, or savings through our fuel savings program.  We offer businesses a full suite to ensure their Chamber membership means savings for their business.

The Chamber team is dedicated to ensuring we provide the highest level of service and help your business reach its highest potential.  If you have any questions, please drop me a line at Kithio@guelphchamber.com or stop in, I would be pleased to discuss the Chamber with you.  If you like what we are doing, spread the word, or let other businesses know.  We appreciate your membership and we appreciate your referrals as well.

Wishing you the very best and continued success in your business.

 

Kithio Mwanzia
President & CEO
Guelph Chamber of Commerce

 

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