Thursday, March 13, 2008

Edmonton’s business leaders set to explore Prince Rupert

Members of Edmonton’s Chamber of Commerce are getting set to pack their bags and head west, ready to not only exchange pleasantries with Prince Rupert’s business community, but to check out such local economic engines as the Container Port and Ridley Island.

The Director’s retreat will begin on Sunday and carry over through Monday, a two day session designed to learn more about what has been nicknamed “Alberta’s port” by many political and business leaders in that province.

The Wednesday Daily News gave a bit of a preview to the hectic schedule that the 17 directors will have while in Prince Rupert.

Edmonton chamber heading to Rupert for gathering
By Leanne Ritchie
The Daily News
Wednesday, March 12. 2008
Pages one and five

In the coming week, members of the Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce will be hearing from two sets of speakers that are likely to attract interest from beyond the local business community.

The Edmonton Chamber of Commerce - one of the largest in Canada with more than 3,500 members - has chosen Prince Rupert for its annual directors' retreat March 16 and 17. The directors have arranged their schedule to include a breakfast meeting with members of the Prince Rupert business community.

The Edmonton Chamber of Commerce and World Trade Centre president, Patrick LeForge - who is also president and CEO of the Edmonton Oilers - will address Prince Rupert's business community at a breakfast meeting, Monday, March 17, at the Crest Hotel at 8 a.m.

The local chamber is very much looking forward to welcoming the group to Prince Rupert.
"This visit by the Edmonton Chamber is an excellent opportunity to expand Prince Rupert's' business horizons in a variety of sectors - especially in tourism, trade, and retail," said Wendy Prystay, the local chamber president.

LeForge will discuss, 'Strategic leadership and the importance of networks and partnerships in a changing global environment'. In addition to the presentation, they are offering an Edmonton Oilers jersey as a door prize.

In addition to addressing business members at the breakfast meeting, the group of 17 Edmontonians will host a meet-and-greet with the directors of the Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce, hold meeting sessions, and take a tour that includes not only the Fairview Terminal, PR Grain and Ridley Terminals, but also the cultural and historical aspects of the city.

Then, on Wednesday at the Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce lunch meeting, the World Wildlife Fund's Pacific Regional Vice President, Chris Elliot, and Washington Marine Group's President and CEO Stephen Frasher, will jointly present 'The Business case for Going Green' to the Prince Rupert business community.

This event will take place at Chances Convention Facility starting at 12 noon.

In a climate where many still see businesses and the environmental groups as fierce opponents, the Washington Marine Group (WMG) and WWF have an environmental stewardship agreement that sees them working together on an approach that includes protection initiatives as well as efforts to improve the way WMG manages its environmental aspects. These efforts focus on climate change, planning and protected area efforts on British Columbia's North Coast, air and water emissions, and waste reduction.

"The timing of this presentation is perfect, as the chamber is involved with the Green Taskforce and sees some exciting and challenging times ahead. There's a lot of potential for business coming from green initiatives. While there will almost certainly be challenges, these green initiatives will create opportunities-and that's exciting," said Bart Carrigan, vice-president and chamber representative on the city's Green Advisory Task Force.

The cost of either event is $25 and reservations can be made by calling the chamber office at 624-2296 or by stopping in at the visitor centre in the Atlin Terminal between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. between Monday and Friday.

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