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Date ArticleType
9/14/2016 Chair's Message
Chair's Message - Opal Rowe


Dear Chamber Colleagues,

Six years ago when I left my Bay Street job to start my home care business, Living Assistance Services, like most self-employed people, one of my primary concerns was not having extended health care benefits. I vowed to myself that as soon as I grew my business I would invest in health care benefits for myself and for my full time employees.

Two years ago, I was seeing my neurologist after trying several types of medications for my chronic migraines. She told me of a new treatment that cost approximately $1,000 per session.  She concluded that the cost would be worth it and, if I had health insurance, it was well worth considering. 

As she spoke about the treatment benefits, the cost and insurance, I started thinking about the Chamber Group Insurance Plan. As soon as I left my doctor, I called our Group Insurance representative Rod Johnson to get more information about the program.

Thanks to my Chamber membership, my team and I now have health insurance at a surprisingly affordable rate.  Not only have my personal health issues been addressed but the health care benefits we offer have made my company a more attractive employer.

I am very grateful to be able to take advantage of affordable insurance through my Chamber membership.  But I am struck by how very few members know of all the variety of Chamber benefits available to them.  The Richmond Hill Chamber of Commerce has a lot to offer but many of our benefits are underutilised or unknown. 

Last year, my predecessor, the Hon Bryon Wilfert, began promoting the Chamber`s benefits as ‘The Chamber Advantage’.  The focus was on networking, particularly strategic alliances and government affairs.

As a member of the Chamber, a Director on the Board and your new Chair, I strongly believe in The Chamber Advantage.   However, many people see the Chamber as primarily just another organisation that puts on some networking events. But we are so much more!   

I would like to see more members benefit from the discounts on professional services and products offered, more members doing business with each other, and more members utilising the Chamber to promote their products and services.

Our mission is to enhance YOUR success. 

Together we are stronger.  Together we can do so much more to ensure that you get maximum returns from your investment in the Chamber.  If each and every member maximize their Chamber Advantage, the Chamber will be well its way to accomplishing its mission.

As your Chair this year, my goal is to promote and educate members on ‘Maximising the Chamber Advantage’.

I look forward to finding ways to proactively engage the membership for feedback so that your elected board can be a better voice for your business in Richmond Hill.

I leave you with one question:  How will you maximize the Chamber Advantage this year?

On behalf of the Board of Directors, thank you for electing us to serve you.   We look forward to working with Elio and his amazing team to help you maximize your benefits this year.

Opal Rowe
Chair of the Board
Richmond Hill Chamber of Commerce