Vernon chamber buzzing

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce will be busy the next few months as it hosts a series of networking events.

Businesses and entrepreneurs will have a lot of choices for events over the next few months. Davison Orchards is hosting the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce Business After 5 event on Tuesday, Aug. 16. They are also co-hosting the Vernon Tourism Exchange on the same date so this will be an excellent time to network and make some new business contacts.

In September the Vernon chamber is partnering with BC Hydro for the first-ever Vernon Chamber Powersmart Conservation Challenge for Business. We launch on Sept. 1 with a green breakfast and a guest speaker from The Green Step, an eco-venture foundation, followed by a panel discussion with well-known local speakers Dave Weatherill from Briteland and Robin Baycroft from Silver Star Mountain Resort.

Running throughout September and October, Vernon-area businesses will be challenged to implement four new conservation tactics to reduce energy and conserve resources. Once complete, participants can enter a draw for valuable prizes, including one complimentary new, or renewal, membership with the Vernon Chamber of Commerce. There will be more news on this in the coming weeks.

Also in September, we are having our annual general meeting at the Prestige Hotel in Vernon at 7:15 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 16. Members will hear the annual report and vote in a new round of directors. Anyone interested in running as a director should call the chamber office at 545-0771 to obtain a nomination form.

Okanagan College is hosting the annual back to school period Business After 5 Event on Tuesday, Sept. 20. Also on the education theme, join Kazia Mullin in a Chamber U program on “Reaching Your Local Market On the World Wide Web” in the Vista Room at the Lake City Casino.

The last event in September is our first-ever Explore Vernon and Area Trade Show. This should be really exciting as we are inviting businesses from the North Okanagan and Shuswap chambers to come to Vernon and join our local members in the show. There will be a “speed networking” session in the afternoon for the businesses and a trade show for the public starting at 4 p.m.

October brings us up to Small Business Week, and to kick it off, we have a special guest speaker, Terry O’Reilly from the CBC Radio Show, The Age of Persuasion. O’Reilly’s background in advertising and his insight into the world of media and marketing will make for a very enlightening breakfast at the Prestige Hotel. This will be one of the best $25 (non-members $35) you can spend, and we will sell out, so do not wait to buy at the door. This presentation is kindly co-hosted by our partner UBC Okanagan.

During Small Business Week proper, join us Tuesday, Oct. 18 for the biannual Business After 4 Making Connections Trade Fair, at the Okanagan Valley College of Massage Therapy, second floor above Nature’s Fare at 3400 20th Avenue.

One of biggest buyers of goods and services in Vernon is The Corporation of the City of Vernon. Ever wanted to get a piece the city pie? Find out how at Chamber U on Oct. 26, once again at the Lake City Casino Vista Room.

Please register for all events in advance with the Vernon chamber office by calling 545-0771, or e-mailing to

George Duffy is the general manager of the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce.