As the New Year falls upon us, I am nostalgically reflecting on an incredible year at the Halifax Chamber of Commerce and our city. On behalf of the Chamber, I would like to thank you for your dedication, passion and engagement this past year.
Since the unveiling of our new Strategic Plan in 2013, the Chamber has been working tirelessly on a number of key focus areas as identified by our members. Our Create a Positive Business Environment and Grow and Nurture the Skilled Work Force Task Forces were involved in the Education Review and the Tax and Regulatory Review. We also supported the Mayor in his efforts towards allowing Permanent Residents to vote in the municipal elections, which, if approved by the province, would be a first in Canada. Talk about leading the way!
Our events this past year certainly did not disappoint. Our year started off with a bang by celebrating Halifax’s risks takers and innovators at the Halifax Business Awards. Early in the year we also had Premier McNeil speak at one of our Distinguished Speakers Series Luncheons, drawing a crowd of over 700 people! We’ve had an incredible line-up of speakers, discussing topics like innovation, youth retention, education, major products and so much more. Our members certainly benefited from the advice and expertise from these industry leaders.
The Yes! Campaign, which has taken off in a way we could’ve only dreamt about a year ago. Our staff even participated in Nocturne this year, handing out Yes! pins to over 2000 visitors. If you haven’t seen our Yes! pins yet, I suggest you talk to one of our 15 staff members. You’ll be saying yes to growth, yes to diversity and yes to innovation in no time. They’d even be happy to send you enough Yes! pins to share with your network.
Now I could end this message to you by saying that this has been a busy, yet successful year for the Chamber – but it’s been so much more than that. 2014 has been the year for the Chamber and for Halifax. I cannot wait to see what 2015 will bring for us. This is our opportunity to make 2015 bolder, brighter and stronger than the year before. Bring it on 2015!
I’d like to wish you a relaxing and joyful holiday season. I look forward to seeing you in 2015.
Valerie Payn is President & CEO of the Halifax Chamber of Commerce, a position she has held for over 20 years. Mrs. Payn is a recipient of the Canadian Progress Club Women of Excellence Award for Communication and Public Affairs, and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce Executive of the Year Award. She has also been named one of Atlantic Canada’s Top 50 CEO’s by Atlantic Business Magazine.