As the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce marks its 90th anniversary it’s mandate to keep the interests of the business community top of mind has failed to waver, according to the incoming president.
Ken Dennis is set to take the helm of the local chamber and of all the events and happenings it has become known to host for the community.
“Over the years the chambers in Langley have spearheaded many community events, parades, dances, Miss Langley contests, many different causes but still the same mandate – to help the business community in Langley thrive,” Dennis said.
Dennis, founder of the Dennis Network of Companies, which represents a number of corporations in the technology, financial and business development sectors, previously served as vice-president of the organization.
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“I’d like to thank outgoing president Brad Kiendl for his steadfast work over the past couple of years, as with all businesses the challenges associated with COVID-19 required a different way of thinking and working,” Dennis reflected.
“Additionally, CEO Colleen Clark and the entire chamber of commerce team have helped to modernize our communications platforms and helped maintain this important business resource for the community. I believe the chamber of commerce is well positioned, thanks to their strong efforts, to continue being an advocate and resource for the two Langleys.”
In addition to advocating and providing resources to the business community the chamber has long been celebrating its members.
“[Our] golf tournament has been a sold out event over the past six years with many fantastic sponsors returning year over year. Golf has also become one of our best networking events with the steak and lobster dinner at the end of the night,” Dennis said.
“The Business Excellence Awards has become our flagship event of the year hosting over 350 people year over year. They will continue and like everything in life and business will evolve over time adding new features and new awards.”
Since 1996 the chamber has organized the Business Excellence Awards. October’s celebration showcasing excellence in the community will mark the award’s 25th anniversary. The event will be held virtually on Oct. 21.
Years before those awards were established, the chamber was recognizing the HD Stafford Good Citizen of the Year since 1980. Each year the award is presented to a Langley resident who “contributes towards bringing together business and citizens to make a difference in the community.” The award is in memory of the late Harold Stafford, an individual, the chamber described, who epitomized what a good citizen should be.
The chamber is also known for hosting monthly dinner meetings, that provide members with an opportunity to network and learn from engaging keynote speakers but also community events.
“We are hosting our first in-person meeting in September (21) and we will have to see how it goes, COVID-19 wise, month to month after that,” Dennis cautioned.
“Over the past several years we have focused on education and information for businesses, hosting over 400 events, webinars, roundtables, coffee and conversations, women’s events, just to name a few,” he added.
Focus of issues has also evolved through the years, Dennis noted, from keeping border crossings open, or expanding, or transportation issues including Highway 1.
“The chamber has always been in the forefront leading the way on these issues,” he said. “We lobbied for the Pattullo Bridge Crossing, expansion of the Port Mann [Bridge], the building of the Golden Ears [Bridge] and the widening of Highway 1.”
“These different issues go as far back in the minutes as 1931.”
For a list of upcoming events visit the issues top of mind for the chamber visit www.langleychamber.com.
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