Posted On: Wednesday, April 3, 2019
When you look back at the key economic news from 2018 it makes you happy to live in the Blue Mountains. Raging trade wars, high consumer debt levels, historically low oil prices and unusual behaviour by World Leaders are big concerns but are seldom top of mind when we roll out of bed to greet another day in the best place in the world to live. Canada is one of the most desirable places to live on this planet and the Blue Mountains is among the best in Canada.
We saw big changes in our Community in 2018 but none more significant than a brand-new Council, Mayor and Deputy Mayor and all but one of them new to their roles. Blue Mountain Village continued to drive tourism to the area and introduced a fantastic new attraction for the holidays, called Blumination. Our key economic centres of agriculture, tourism, boutique manufacturing and development continue to deal with the labour shortage while managing growth and innovation. Our population continues to track as one of the oldest in Ontario, but the issue is recognized, and plans are in development to address the causal factors of attainable housing, transit, daycare, diversification of and new job opportunities. We are in the midst of a boom driven by migrating baby boomers but this wave will not go on forever and we must leverage it to create sustainable long term growth and prosperity.
The Blue Mountains Chamber of Commerce continues to be active in advocating for action on the key economic issues. Three of our current board members sit on the Economic Development Advisory Committee which has been reformed and strengthened by the new council to include representation from the transportation, attainable housing and sustainability committees. We continue to push for the creation of a comprehensive economic development strategy and are encouraged that it has been funded in the current budget. We continued our very successful After 6 Networking program with four events in 2018 and plan to host seven in 2019. We hosted a very successful All Candidates Meeting that was filmed and aired by Rogers and webcasted.
We were enthralled by international speaker and futurist, Jim Carroll at our last AGM and are pleased to have Scott Kress, Everest Climber - one of only 50 people in history to climb the highest peak on each of the 7 continents, and ski to the North and South Poles - to come and speak to us at this year’s AGM. Scott will be speaking about Leadership, Teamwork and Culture… things as equally important when climbing a mountain as they are in our everyday business.
Our membership continues to increase and more importantly, active involvement from our membership is on the rise. Our decades old bylaws have been completely rewritten and will come to a vote at the AGM. We are in the final stages of a plan to renovate our little yellow cottage on the East side of Thornbury. The board and I feel we are making a positive impact and will strive to do even better in 2019. We are stronger together and if you have time to help, please reach out to assist on our committees.
Sincerely Steve Simon President,
Blue Mountains Chamber of Commerce
Each year, the Blue Mountains Chamber of Commerce has the pleasure of recognizing member businesses with an official award ceremony at our AGM. There are six categories and nominations are open year-round for the Business Recognition Awards. The Blue Mountains Chamber of Commerce held their Annual General Meeting on March 27 and those receiving special recognition for their businesses are listed below:
Carol Kordts Customer Service Excellence:
Cedarpost Window & Doors sponsored by TD Canada Trust
Economic Impact Award:
BLUmination Dream Trail sponsored by The Blue Mountain Village Foundation
Above & Beyond Site Ehancement Award:
Thornbury Bakery Café sponsored by the Town of The Blue Mountains
Above & Beyond: Sustainable Innovation Award:
Beaver Valley Outreach sponsored by The Town of the Blue Mountains
Entrepreneur of the Year:
Season Leone of Culinary Desgins/Cured sponsored by The Centre for Business
Entrepreneur of the Year:
Serge & Agness Fiorino of Chuck Burger, Mile High Poutine, Royal Majesty Café and Camino Taco
sponsored by The Centre for Business
Business of the Year:
Blue Mountain Veterinary sponsored by Secure Insurance Solutions.
The following is the slate proposed by the Nominating Committee as directors of the Blue Mountains Chamber of Commerce Board for the year 2019-2020:
Stephen Simon, President President and owner of Lifestyles North Marketing and Team Leader of Lifestyles North Real Estate in Thornbury and member of the Blue Mountains Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC)
Tony Poole, Vice President Former insurance company CEO, and storeowner of (with wife Josie) Sincerely Yours, on Bruce St., Thornbury. BIA board member and member of the Blue Mountains EDAC.
Elijah McCaffrey, Treasurer Owner of Help First Aid and a long-time volunteer firefighter in the Blue Mountains
Keita Inoue, Past President Owner/operator of Design Office Zen, a web development company in Thornbury.
Simone Sterio-Risk, Director. Associate publisher and marketing consultant with Our Homes magazine
Andrew Seigwart, Director. President of the Blue Mountain Village Association and vice chair of the Blue Mountains Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC).
Gavin Leitch, Director. Associate lawyer at Scheifele, Erskine and Renken, with an office on Bruce Street.
Sheri Johnson, Director. Certified nutritionist and mindfulness coach. Owner of homebased business, Sheri Johnson Coaching.
Laurie Blair, Director. Co-owner of Alair Homes Collingwood. Previously B&B Owner of Blair Manor in Fergus. Served on committee for Stephen Lewis Foundation.
Location: St. George's Anglican Church
Location: L.E. Shore Library
Location: L.E. Shore Library - Story Tower
Location: Blue Mountain Village
Location: L.E.Shore Library
Location: St. Georges Anglican Church Clarksburg