Published On: Monday, 06 March 2017

Vernon Launches ‘Chamber Certified’ Program

Vernon Launches ‘Chamber Certified’ Program
It was overflow seating only as more than 200 people attended the Greater Vernon Chamber’s Nominees Luncheon that recognized all the nominees for the 2017 Business Excellence Awards. (Photo Credit: Vernon Chamber of Commerce)

- Dan Rogers is the General Manager at the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce and can be reached at

VERNON - The Province proclaimed February 20-24, 2017 as Chamber of Commerce Week to recognize the steadfast commitment of chamber’s across the province including the Greater Vernon Chamber in supporting local businesses, boosting economic development opportunities and providing critical resources for businesses and organizations.

The Greater Vernon Chamber celebrated with a couple of events during Chamber Week and also launched its Chamber Certified program that provides members with material to promote themselves. That community spirit resonates well with consumers and it’s why the chamber launched the program to help local retailers show off their chamber pride.

“For over a century, chambers have been working hard to identify the issues impacting businesses at the community level and then acting to make things better,” said Dauna Kennedy Grant, Greater Vernon Chamber president.

“Whether acting as advocates on important issues impacting our many members or by providing programs such as our “Chamber Certified”, the chamber is a champion for creating greater prosperity across the North Okanagan.”

Right now for example, the Greater Vernon Chamber is leading the effort to advocate for attainable housing in the Greater Vernon area. This initiative is ensuring local government’s focus on keeping development costs low and regulatory processes efficient.

By doing so the cost of development is kept in check making housing more affordable. This in turn makes the community more attractive to those looking to re-locate to the Okanagan and that stimulates the local economy by providing well paid jobs. Population growth then brings more people into the region to help pay for the public services that everyone enjoys.

Aside from its advocacy efforts, the chamber also provides members access to benefits ranging from the chamber’s extended health care plan to point of sale machines for those in the retail sector, all of which helps its members become more competitive and tap into programs that help with the bottom line.

The chamber also provides the platform for connections to be made that helps drive business and ultimately prosperity for the region. The upcoming Business Excellence Awards is an excellent example of not just the networking opportunities the chamber provides but also the major role the chamber plays in celebrating the entrepreneurial spirit in the Greater Vernon area.

● ● ●

The finalists are now set for the 2017 Business Excellence Awards following the Chamber’s Nominee’s Luncheon. Predator Ridge, ThermoTech Insulation and Bannister Honda lead the way as all three were named a finalist in two different categories.

Predator is up for Tourism Excellence and Employer of the Year while Pat Loehndorf of Bannister Honda was named a finalist for Business Person of the Year and Community Leader of the Year. ThermoTech Insulation is a finalist for Small Business of the Year while Roy Wood of ThermoTech is among the top three for Business Person of the Year.

There were 127 accepted nominations in 12 different award categories ranging from Non-Profit Organization of the Year to the Manufacturer of the Year. The winners in each category along with the Business of the Year and will be announced at the Business Excellence Awards Gala in mid March.

“This is an exciting time of year as we get to celebrate the many businesses, organizations and individuals that are driving prosperity in our region,” says Markus Schrott, Chamber vice-president. “We sold out the Nominee’s Luncheon and expect another big crowd for the Awards Gala.”

The Awards Gala is the North Okanagan’s largest business event of the year. This year’s theme is “Birthdays, Balloons and Black Ties” in recognition of Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation and the City of Vernon’s 125th birthday. The Annual event is presented by Valley First - A division of First West Credit Union.

● ● ●

Finally, the Greater Vernon Chamber is pleased to welcome a number of new members including Avalon Event Rentals, Altair Capital, Econolodge, Neutron Factory Works, Elevated Construction, Go with Gusto Coaching, and Vernon's Water Store. Welcome to the Chamber network, the most influential business association in the country!