Category: News

Sailing the Rhine: Holiday Markets

Limited space. Fifteen cabins have been reserved at a special rate for members of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce!

The Oakville Chamber of Commerce introduces an inaugural River Cruise Trip in partnership with Expedia CruiseShipCentres Oakville South! 
Embark on a romantic journey through Rhine River November 29 to December 9, 2019. Enjoy the beautiful landscapes of the Swiss Alps and explore the historical architecture. Visit Basel, Switzerland; Strasbourg, France; Karlsruhe, Mannheim, Rudesheim, Koblenz and Cologne, Germany; and Amsterdam, Netherlands. 

All Inclusive Excellence
The distinguishing hallmark of the Crystal River Experience is undiluted excellence. Aboard ships purposefully designed for today’s most sophisticated travelers, the ambience is carefree yet luxurious, engaging yet relaxing

Legendary Expertise
Built on over 28 years of expertise of serving luxury customers, Crystal River Cruises carefully crafted itineraries follow the Rhine River with Crysal’s award-winning fi nesse, venturing into the heart of iconic destinations adorned with castles and palaces, vineyards and forests, monuments, art and holiday markets!

Oakville Chamber members who register by December 10th earn a $200 per person discount and $650 USD onboard Stateroom Credit!

Learn more.

The Oakville Chamber of Commerce is hiring a Director, Membership Development

 Position and Job Title Job Title: Director, Membership Development Hours: Full time, permanent Reports to: President Salary Range: $55/70,000 Location: 700 Kerr. St. suite 200, Oakville, Ontario Summary The award-winning Oakville Chamber of Commerce representative of 1,100 member businesses of all sizes and sectors is seeking a dynamic, high energy and self-motivated Director, Membership Development to join our team.  Responsibilities include new member sales, up sells and membership retention as directed by the President. The successful candidate will be a strong communicator and have demonstrated sales experience in a member based organization.  This position works collaboratively with the Chamber Team to best meet the needs of new and existing members. Sales & Retention
  • Identify prospective Chamber members and implement a monthly sales plan;
  • Develop metrics with the President: sales, member visits, calls, and member conversions;
  • Develop a thorough understanding of the various Chamber membership levels and the benefits each provides a business;
  • Develop a retention strategy and work with Chamber Staff to strengthen membership renewal;
  • Develop a strong working knowledge of the Chamber and its various programs and promote to the membership;
  • Secure advertising revenue as per the Chamber’s approved sales target;
  • Participate in various Chamber meetings, events and activities;
  • Represent the Chamber at community events to enhance the Chamber brand within the community;
  • Always represent the Chamber professionally and positively.
Other Duties
  • Assist with events as required;
  • Database maintenance;
  • Support Chamber advocacy work;
  • Other duties as assigned by the President.
Preferred Background, Experience & Qualifications
  • Minimum three years outside sales experience;
  • Membership sales and membership based organization experience preferred;
  • Excellent presentation skills;
  • Experienced with Microsoft Office, Excel, Constant Contact, Database Programs and Social Media Channels;
  • Excellent organizational and follow up skills.
Personal Attributes
  • Highly motivated with B2B sales experience;
  • Excellence in relationship building and relationship sales;
  • Thorough knowledge of Oakville business community and Chamber;
  • Ability to set and meet goals;
  • Excellent selling and closing skills;
  • Strong sales and prioritizing focus;
  • Excellent follow up skills;
  • Excellent networking skills.

Apply now!


Tim Caddigan Appointed Oakville Chamber Chair

The Board of Directors of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that Tim Caddigan has officially begun his term as Chair of the Board. Tim was sworn in by Mayor Rob Burton at the Oakville Chamber’s Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, September 11th.

Tim has served as a member of the Oakville Chamber Board of Directors since 2012 and on the Oakville Chamber’s Executive Committee as Vice-Chair of the Chamber Board since 2016.

Tim Caddigan is the Senior Director, Programming and Community Relations at Cogeco. Cogeco Connexion is the second largest cable operator in Ontario and Québec in terms of the number of basic cable service customers served. It provides its residential and small business customers with video, Internet and technology services through its two-way broadband cable networks.

Tim is a member of the senior management group at Cogeco, where he leads a team that provides television programming and public relations activities in various markets throughout Ontario. They work closely with multiple stakeholders and community leaders including all levels of government. Tim’s role includes Federal regulatory adherence and human resources oversight for approximately 100 employees.

Tim is also an active member of the broadcasting and telecom industry with a solid grasp of marketing, public relations and media relations. Tim is a graduate of the Queen’s University School of Business. He is a strong supporter of local communities and has volunteered his time with various groups and organizations.

“Tim brings a wealth of business experience and knowledge to his new role that will contribute to the ongoing success of the Oakville Chamber” stated Immediate Past Chair Ken Nevar. “Tim has provided his expertise to the Board as a Director for six years and has been a member of the Oakville Chamber’s Marketing Committee for six years. I’m looking forward to Tim’s leadership throughout the coming year.”  Ken Nevar has completed his term as Chair of the Board, and Oakville Chamber President Drew Redden congratulates him on an outstanding job. “Ken’s background and experience helped frame our research, advocacy and recommendations throughout his term as Chair. The Oakville Chamber hosted many special guest speakers including Former Prime Minister the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney, The Honourable Perrin Beatty, President & CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, and Randy Pilon, CEO of Virox Technologies Inc. I also thank Ken for all of his support throughout the transition to my role as President.”

Ken Nevar will be recognized for his contribution to the Chamber at the Annual Chairs Dinner where Tim Caddigan, along with the incoming Board of Directors, will be introduced to the community. This formal evening includes a networking reception, dinner and raffle.
The Oakville Chamber is pleased to present the 2018/2019 Board of Directors:

  • Tim Caddigan, Chair of the Board – Senior Director, Programming & Community Relations, Cogeco
  • Ken Nevar, Immediate Past Chair of the Board – Executive Advisor, Cooper Construction Limited
  • Mark Emmanuel, Vice Chair & Chair Elect –  District Manager Halton & Hamilton, Union Gas Limited
  • Jennifer Kazmaier, Vice Chair – Owner, CalaCare Limited
  • Doug Eglington, Vice Chair – Chairman, Euro-Line Appliances Inc.
  • Barry Wylie, Treasurer – President, Canadian Club of Halton 
  • Cameron Neil, Corporate Secretary – Associate, Feltmate, Delibato, Heagle LLP
  • Lisa Azzuolo, Director – Chief Marketing Officer, Bennett Jones LLP
  • Kris Barnier, Director – Vice President Government Relations, Genworth Canada
  • Todd Courage, Director – President, Courage Distributing Inc.
  • Mary De Sousa, Director – Consultant, FirstOntario Credit Union
  • Caroline Hughes, Director – Vice President Government Relations, Ford Motor Company of Canada Limited
  • Joni Lien, Director – Owner, SupperWorks
  • Ben Molfetta, Director – Co-Founder, Core Online Marketing
  • Rafal Piotrowski, Director – Partner, PwC
  • John Piper, Director – Owner/Operator, Piper Foods Inc./McDonald’s Restaurants
  • Christine Szustaczek, Director – AVP Communications, Public Affairs and Marketing, Sheridan
  • Ruth Victor, Director – President, Ruth Victor & Associates 

  • Ron MacLean keynote speaker at the 64th Annual Chairs Dinner

    AcclaRon MacLeanimed Canadian Sportscaster and Oakville resident Ron MacLean will be the keynote speaker at the Oakville Chamber of Commerce’s 64th Annual Chairs Dinner. The Chairs Dinner will take place on Wednesday, September 12th at the Oakville Conference Centre.

    Known for his quick wit and encyclopedic hockey knowledge, MacLean reaches millions of homes across the country on Coach’s Corner and Roger’s Hometown Hockey. He has interviewed the greatest players, coaches, and personalities in the sport, and is a master of seeking the best in substance and entertainment from his guests.  MacLean is a multi-Gemini Award winner and a two-time recipient of the George Gross Award, which honours excellence in sports broadcasting, and he is a former Level 5 referee for the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association. Ron MacLean has been proud to call Oakville home for the past 32 years. “The Chamber is thrilled to present Ron Maclean as the keynote speaker at the 64th Annual Chairs Dinner.  It is always exciting when we have the opportunity to profile one of our local residents who is so well regarded on the world stage” stated Oakville Chamber President Drew Redden. “Ron has a wealth of experience to share; from his early days as a referee and radio broadcaster, to his time on Hockey Night in Canada and covering many Olympic games, to his role as host of Hometown Hockey. We cannot wait to hear Ron’s stories.” At the Chairs Dinner outgoing Chair of the Board Ken Nevar will be recognized for his contribution to the Oakville Chamber. The incoming Chair and Board of Directors will also be introduced to the community at this formal event which includes a networking reception, dinner and raffle.
    Event Details:
    Date:    Wednesday, September 12 Time:   5pm Networking Reception; 6pm Dinner Gala Location: Oakville Conference Centre 2515 Wyecroft Road, Oakville You can register for the 64th Annual Chairs Dinner online, by emailing, or by calling the Chamber at 905-845-6613. Tickets are $125 for Chamber members and $175 for non-members. Tables of eight are available.  

    Live Stream Lunch Survey

    Live Stream Lunch Logo

    Over the summer, the Oakville Chamber of Commerce launched a pilot project for their new online series Live Stream Lunch. Over the course of 6 weeks, the Oakville Chamber went Live on Facebook Thursdays at noon with an industry expert.

    View our Live Stream Lunch playlist on YouTube for the 6 Live Stream Lunches.

    Please take a few minutes to provide us with feedback on the Live Stream Lunch series. Take the short survey now.

    Annual General Meeting 2018

    The Oakville Chamber’s 2018 Annual General Meeting will take place on Tuesday, September 11th. The meeting will be held at the Quality Hotel & Suites (located at 754 Bronte Road), and will begin at 3:00pm. 

    All Oakville Chamber of Commerce members are invited to attend.  Details of the Annual General Meeting have been e-mailed to all Chamber member designated representatives.

    If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Oakville Chamber at 905-845-6613 or

    Oakville Chamber looks forward to working with Stephen Crawford and Effie Triantafilopoulos on making Oakville more competitive

    The Oakville Chamber of Commerce congratulates Stephen Crawford and Effie Triantafilopoulos on being elected in the ridings of Oakville and Oakville North-Burlington. The Chamber looks forward to working with the new MPPs on key issues such as government accountability, small business development, and infrastructure. Making these policies a priority will create an environment that will encourage business and economic growth.

    The Oakville Chamber also extends its congratulations to Premier-Designate Doug Ford and the Ontario PC Party on winning a majority government.

    “We congratulate Stephen Crawford and Effie Triantafilopoulos on their successful campaigns” said Drew Redden, President of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce. “The Oakville Chamber wants to thank all of the candidates for putting their names forward this election and for discussing our Vote Prosperity platform during the campaign. We also thank Kevin Flynn for his years of service as MPP for Oakville.”

    Regulatory burden undermining business competitiveness, new Chamber report finds

    Regulate Smarter

    Canada’s regulatory system is smothering business in Canada, thanks to a growing mix of complex, costly and overlapping rules from all levels of government. A new report by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, and supported by the Oakville Chamber of Commerce, Death by 130,000 Cuts: Improving Canada’s Regulatory Competitiveness, calls on governments to modernize their regulatory frameworks and give businesses in Canada room to thrive.

    “Inconsistent and unpredictable rules and processes are making it difficult for businesses—whether large or small—to keep up and comply. This leads to our businesses being less competitive and Canada becoming a less attractive place to invest, start or grow a business,” said the Hon. Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “Regulations are designed to keep us safe and to create a level playing field. But when they start to smother businesses, that becomes a real problem.”

    As the U.S., our largest competitor and trading partner, has recently implemented significant corporate tax and regulatory reforms, Canada cannot afford to fall further behind. Today’s report identifies opportunities to increase public and investor confidence in Canada’s regulatory systems and provides clear recommendations to government on how it should be done.

    “The Oakville Chamber partnered with the Canadian Chamber to release this important report” said Drew Redden, President of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce. “It supports the results from the latest Advocacy Survey we distributed to our members, in which over 70% stated that regulations are unreasonable and excessive. I look forward to meeting with our local elected government officials to discuss how we can work together with regulators and businesses to improve the competitiveness of our regulatory systems.”

    Some of the recommendations to improve regulatory competitiveness include:
    1. Immediately convene a government-business regulatory competitiveness working group. The working group would develop recommendations for the federal government to measure and reduce cumulative regulatory burden. It would also develop recommendations for governments to ensure a consistent application of regulatory guidelines across jurisdictions and ensure the adoption of best practices by regulators.
    2. Give regulators economic growth and competitiveness mandates to ensure economic impacts receive appropriate consideration in decision-making while preserving necessary protections.
    3. Increase federal leadership in eliminating internal trade barriers to trade through clear goals, timelines and accountability as part of the Canadian Free Trade Agreement.
    4. Validate the quality and consistency of regulatory cost-benefit analyses from departments and agencies before regulatory proposals are submitted for Cabinet approval.
    5. Improve regulatory consultations through earlier engagement with stakeholders while ensuring processes are transparent and evidence-based. Project-based public consultations should be time-limited and focused on projects, not other policy issues.
    6. Make overly prescriptive regulatory frameworks more flexible to better accommodate rapidly changing business environments by moving to risk- or outcome-based regulations where appropriate.
    7. Increase regulatory alignment with Canada’s trading partners by integrating regulatory cooperation into free trade agreements and design new regulations with alignment by default where it is in Canada’s economic interest to do so.

    Read the full report. 

    Learn more at

    2018 Provincial Election Candidates Meeting

    Unable to attend our Candidates Meeting on Thursday, May 17 , or want to watch it again, you can watch it on YourTV Burlington/Oakville on Cable 23 or HD Cable 700 at the following date/time:

     Oakville North-Burlington Debate

    • Thursday, May 17 – Live at 6:00pm
    • Friday, May 18 – 12:30pm
    • Friday, May 18 – 8:30pm 
    • Monday, May 28 – 7:00pm
    • Tuesday, May 29 – 10:00am
    • Saturday, June 2 – 10:00am

     Oakville Debate

    • Friday, May 18 – 7:00pm
    • Saturday, May 19 – 12:00am   
    • Saturday, May 19 – 1:00pm
    • Monday, May 28 – 10:00am
    • Sunday, June 3 – 1:00pm

    YourTV Burlington/Oakville also has the debates available online: 

    Watch the Oakville North-Burlington debate.  

    Watch the Oakville debate.

    Inclusivity In The Workplace – Chamber Members and Local MPs Weigh In

    Recently, the Oakville Chamber had the opportunity to participate in a round-table on inclusivity with the federal government and local businesses in Oakville. Many inclusive employers encourage others to embrace becoming inclusive organizations because it can lead to greater work productivity and competitive advantages. 
    We asked two Chamber members to share their thoughts on inclusivity and this is what they had to say.

    Mandy Rennehan – CEO, Freshco

    When and why did you decide to become an inclusive employer?

    I can’t say it was a conscious decision. My business strategy has always been to lead with my heart and hiring is no different. I lovingly say I hire misfits — they are all unique and don’t fit into a stereotypical mould, and it works. My staff is from all walks of life, different ages and backgrounds. I firmly believe in hiring based on personality and bare potential, a resume is just a piece of paper and skills can be taught. I hire the right person for each job and it shows. My staff are happy, dedicated, and invested in the success of Freshco.

    Would you encourage other businesses to become inclusive employers and why?

    The richness of an inclusive team is the diversity of opinions and points of view. If everyone at Freshco came from a similar background and thought and acted the same way we wouldn’t evolve and grow as quickly as we have. The beauty is having team members raise their hands with fresh ideas, wicked-smart questions, and new challenges that continue to push Freshco to be #1 in the industry.

    Julia Hanna – Ritorno

    When and why did you decide to become an inclusive employer?

    I have always been an inclusive employer. It felt like the right thing to do and proved to be beneficial to my business. From the very beginning, we were able to build successful employee/employer relationships through inclusive employment.

    Would you encourage other businesses to become inclusive employers and why?

    I would absolutely encourage all businesses to consider inclusive employment. I have found that there are numerous rewards. The employees that I have hired have been appreciative of the opportunity. They give 100% commitment to learning and often have been the most reliable employees.


    Working collaboratively with government is important. Weighing in on the issue of inclusivity our local members of parliament had this to say.

    MP Pam Damoff – MP Oakville North Burlington

    What does inclusivity mean to you and why is it important?

    Building inclusive communities means fostering fair and equal opportunities for every Canadian and ensuring that Canadians living with disabilities have the same opportunities to find good, well-paying jobs, make a contribution to their communities and the economy, and build a better life for themselves and their families.

    A huge component of that is accessibility. We must remove the barriers – both physical or otherwise — that prevent individuals from participating fully in all facets of our community and ensure that persons living with disabilities have fair and equal access to workplaces. However, making workplaces accessible is just one part of the process.  We must also ensure that we are fostering inclusive workplaces by proactively reaching out to businesses and organizations to share the benefits of people living with disabilities, as well as reaching out to people with disabilities for work opportunities and recognizing the valuable contributions they can make to our workplaces and communities.

    One of my goals is to make Halton the most inclusive community in Canada. To do that, we must encourage businesses to have an inclusive employment strategy and the accessibility to ensure that all persons who wish to do so can find and meaningful work and receive a competitive wage for that work. Accessibility is about getting through the door while inclusivity is about creating an atmosphere where everyone is welcome and belongs. 

    Why do you think business should consider becoming an inclusive employer?

    Having an inclusive employment strategy is also good for businesses. Business owners in my community who have made their workplace inclusive say that it created a positive atmosphere for their employees and the business and allowed their business to become more efficient. Inclusive employment benefits our economy, creates workplaces with higher group performance and profits, and a broad range of social and economic benefits from a community perspective. 

    Yet, Canadians living with disabilities still face barriers in participating in the labour market. Having open and honest roundtable discussions about the barriers to employment for individuals with disabilities is an important first step in changing perceptions. We must offer meaningful job experiences to individuals of all skill levels. There are agencies who can assist businesses to both hire and accommodate those living with disabilities, and the Government of Canada has programs that can assist businesses be successful. We recently launched the Opportunities Fund (OF) which helps persons with disabilities prepare for, obtain, and maintain employment or self-employment to increase their economic participation and independence. You can learn more at

    MP John Oliver – MP Oakville

    What does inclusivity mean to you as a politician and why is it important?

    In order for everyone in Canada to succeed, we need to know the challenges and barriers that people of diverse communities face. We can only fix problems when we know that they exist in the first place – that’s why it’s so important for folks of all backgrounds to have a seat at the table. This is particularly important in politics, where hearing from diverse perspectives is essential for changing legislation for the better, and investing in the right projects to create meaningful change in our communities.

    Why do you think business should consider becoming an inclusive employer?

    Much like in politics, businesses can only benefit from having further diversity involved in making decisions. Many Canadians who require additional assistance to succeed in the workplace are not able to reach their full potential, simply because businesses lack the infrastructure to accommodate hiring employees with disabilities. The Government of Canada knows that hiring Canadians with disabilities is an important resource for businesses, which is why we support businesses looking to become more inclusive through the Enabling Accessibility Fund, Skills Link and the Opportunities Fund.

    If you would like more information on becoming an inclusive employer please visit:

    Community Living Oakville
    Discover Ability
    Ready, Willing and Able