Outgoing Chair’s Message: Tim Caddigan
This month brings to close my two-year role as Chair of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce. I accepted the nomination with the expectation that beyond the opportunity to give back to the community, it would also provide great learning opportunities for me personally. I expected challenges that would demand creative solutions, surrounded by talented people on the board and on staff – all of which came true. In fact, the past two years have been tremendously rewarding both personally and professionally.
March brought about the unexpected. I remember reading posts on social media at the close of 2019 with people expressing relief that that year was behind them. I think now most of us yearn for the good old days of that last good year! The Pandemic has affected everything we do and that impact is felt profoundly in our small business community.
I could not be more proud of how our chamber reacted in perhaps its greatest time of need. Instead of pulling back on services or retrenching our programs, Oakville Chamber staff increased engagement with all levels of government and with the business community. They successfully ramped up communications, gathering information on programs and distilling the information into regular messages for the community. Roundtables with political leaders brought real stories from business leaders directly to the decision makers. What is not widely known, is that government policy changed as a direct result of the work of our chamber. And smaller chambers reached out to our chamber for help and guidance, often using content created by our team. Our Chamber’s help for the business community reached well beyond the borders of Oakville. Staff at the chamber, under the leadership of Drew Redden didn’t just elevate their game, they dove in with a commitment that was nothing short of impressive.
So as I look back on my time as Chair, I will take many things away from the experience. Perhaps the most consequential thing however, will be the importance of a strong business community led by an influential Chamber of Commerce. I want to sincerely thank the staff for everything they have done to make my job easier. We are lucky to have an incredible group of professionals serving our membership. I also want to thank each of the Directors that I have had the privilege of working with. I have learned something from each of them. It has been an honour to serve as Chair for such a talented board and important organization.
Finally, I want to wish Doug Eglington much success. I have pledged to Doug my total support and encouragement during his time as Chair. The future of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce looks bright and the membership is in good hands.