From Our CEO
The Surrey Board of Trade is a vibrant, growing organization providing a forum for debate on critical issues. We are an innovative public policy solution provider and a destination for networking with other members of Surrey’s regional business community. Its association with a network of Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade around the world – in this 450 year old industry – gives us a uniquely credible voice.
And in fact though I’ve been with the organization for now over 22 years starting from the bottom, working my way to the top – I’ve stayed this long because we are lead by a dedicated team of board directors, volunteers and staff.
And in the mandatory forum called an Annual General meeting I highlighted my role in managing the Surrey Board of Trade’s operational performance, how we have brought in new ideas for the benefit and value to our members, how we have elevated our profile and how we couldn’t do it without the support and expertise of our members on the various teams that we have.
For the Surrey Board of Trade, as a not for profit organization, financial support is derived solely from membership fees, sponsorship and service contracts. I run this organization as a business – we can’t go into a loss and we need to watch our expenses and save a bit for future unknown expenses or capital investments.
The Surrey Board of Trade speaks for the business community at public hearings and to the media. It is a recognized voice of business. Again we’ve received extensive media coverage from local and national media.
The Surrey Board of Trade’s comprehensive Strategic Plan is owned by both the Board and Staff – in partnership together. We continue to push the boundaries and innovate the organization through projects, community involvement, advocacy initiatives that puts Surrey at the forefront of discussion.
As we look into the future of the Surrey Board of Trade and our region and ask the question, “what it could be”, there are important issues, questions and opportunities to be considered for the Surrey Board of Trade in new economic times. We are not the organization that we were ten years ago, nor could we have stayed that way, to be relevant. Certainly it isn’t easy to please everyone.
In our comprehensive strategic plan we reflect on the following:
- Can Surrey and the South Fraser Region achieve new standards of economic vitality and livability that are equal to or beyond that enjoyed by other successful areas?
- Can we develop the range of quality economic, cultural and educational opportunities needed to move our region forward and become one of the nation’s most livable?
- Can we engage the business community in maintaining a laser-like focus on strategies that will indeed create a higher standard of livability for Surrey and the South Fraser Region?
- And Related to these objectives, can the Surrey Board of Trade achieve new levels of productivity, commitment, leadership and impact?
- Are we structured and positioned to effectively carry out our mission and adopted strategies on a regional basis?
- Can we provide the necessary human, volunteer and financial resources required to carry out our mission, objectives and adopted strategies and reflect our basic values and vision?
Our marketplace is constantly changing – paradigms are shifting – and economic conditions are dynamic with new demands – which create new expectations for proactive and responsive leadership by the Surrey Board of Trade.
There is an increasing demand on the Surrey Board of Trade for value-added services, programming and leadership, which accelerates the demand for new and expanding resources.
Our Business Plan Goals for the year included meeting the goals of:
Business Attraction (Creative Economy)
Business Research (Economic Scorecard)
Business Training & BRC – International Centre
Policy Development and Advocacy
Workplace development (skills shortage) and Youth Entrepreneurship
There have been many results in this fiscal year. But in the interest of time, I’ll conclude by saying that my goal, always, is to ensure that the Surrey Board of Trade is the center of business support. The events that we have align with these initiatives and that of the Advocacy Teams. We don’t just have a speaker event for the sake of having a speaker – every program that you see through your emails aligns with the growth of this organization, through a certain theme that is promoted – such as Environment, International, Innovation, Transportation and more. It is all to do with driving the economy of your business and your City.
We support as many community initiatives that we can– earlier you saw our Youth Team providing proceeds to Surrey Libraries. At our Business Awards you saw the announcement of the support of the Ronald McDonald Family Room Capital Campaign. Others are: Surrey Children’s Festival, Surrey Food Bank, Surrey Writers’ Conference, Canadian Cancer Society.
And I continue my National Film Board appointment by our Federal Minister of Heritage has given the SBOT and Surrey greater national recognition, and now, a 3-year appointment by the Federal Minister of Defence and Multiculturalism as Honorary Captain of the Royal Canadian Navy.
Through the strong membership and staff that we have – the Surrey Board of Trade is able to meet its mandate to support you. Expect to see some additional staff at the Surrey Board of Trade as we continue to grow.
I thank our vendors and sponsors that support the Surrey Board of Trade. They are role models and without their support we could not operate the Surrey Board of Trade.
Let’s continue to power up entrepreneurial success in Surrey. Let’s continue to risk, care, dream, expect and expand our networks, locally, nationally and internationally.
CEO, Surrey Board of Trade