Lianne Thomlinson led off the Chartwell Langley Gardens Alzheimers Walk. Chartwell’s community relations coordinator, Thomlinson is also a director of the WWBA. (Dan Ferguson, Langley Advance Times)

Langley business neighbours join forces in association

Walnut Grove and Willoughby businesses are working together as the WWBA

By Bob Groeneveld/Langley Advance Times

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Business people from Walnut Grove and Willoughby walked together last week to bring more attention to Alzheimer disease and to raise money to fight it.

It’s just one of the things that the business people of those two communities have been doing together lately.

Just last March they got together to form the Walnut Grove-Willoughby Business Association (WWBA), building on the Walnut Grove Business Association that started in 2009.

WWBA executive director Lorrie Lacey said the business group partnered with Chartwell Langley Gardens Retirement Community for the May 25 effort.

Starting on June 6, the WWBA will hold regular networking meetings on the first Monday of every month.

Until now, the group has held “what we call quarterly meetings,” said Lacey, with guest speakers who talk to members on issues of interest, for instance crime, motivation, social media, networking.

“The [Langley Township] mayor has spoken at meetings,” Lacey noted.

The non-profit organization has about 150-200, with any membership dollars raised going directly back into the community.

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As an example, Lacey noted the WWBA’s support of a breakfast program at Walnut Grove Secondary School.

Although the area claimed by the WWBA runs north from 72nd Avenue to the Fraser River, between 192nd and 224th Streets, membership and networking meetings are open to all Walnut Grove and Wiloughby area businesses, as well as anyone who does business inside that area, like alarm companies, for example, said Lacey.

The WWBA is not directly associated with the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce, “but we work with them,” said Lacey, “and many of our members are also members [of the GLCOC].”

The next major event of the WWBA is its annual Golf Classic on July 16 at Redwoods Golf Course.

The WWBA Golf Classic has parallel goals of benefiting local businesses and providing an opportunity for professionals to network and build connections, and raising funds to help build the communities of Walnut Grove and Willoughby.

Anyone wanting to get involved, as participants or as sponsors, can contact Lacey at admin@wgba.ca or or call 604-897-0992.

The WWBA’s aim is to provide members with information to improve their economic performance, and to proved them with a voice to speak out on issues important to the business community.

“Our goal is to acquaint new residents, shoppers, and visitors to North Langley with everything our membership has to offer,” explains the group’s website at wgb.ca. “We are committed to assisting our members to achieve growth and success by providing networking opportunities, forums and educational sessions.”

The WWBA board of directors includes Kimberly Wishinski of Kids in the Grove Preschool and School Age Care, Ron Knight of McDonald’s Restaurants, Garry Reimer of Remax Lifestyles Realty, Natasha Alikova of Alikova & Associates, Grant Sauer of Grant Sauer Notary Public, and Lianne Thomlinson of Chartwell Langley Gardens.

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