Valerie Payn
Valerie Payn, President & CEO

As the New Year falls upon us, I am nostalgically reflecting on an incredible year at the Halifax Chamber of Commerce. On behalf of the Board of Directors and the Chamber staff, I would like to thank you for your dedication, passion and engagement this past year.

Since the unveiling of our new Strategic Plan in 2013, the Chamber has been working tirelessly on a number of key focus areas as identified by you, our members. Our Create a Positive Business Environment and Grow and Nurture the Skilled Work Force Task Forces were involved in the Education Review and the Tax and Regulatory Review. We supported the Mayor in his efforts towards allowing Permanent Residents to vote in the municipal elections. If approved by the province, this would be a first in Canada – talk about leading the way!

Our events of this past year certainly did not disappoint. Our year started off with a bang by celebrating Halifax’s risk takers and innovators at the Halifax Business Awards. Early in the year we also had Premier McNeil speak at one of our Distinguished Speakers Series Luncheons, drawing a crowd of over 700 people!

We’ve had an incredible line-up of speakers discussing topics like innovation, youth retention, education, major projects and so much more. These speakers are leaders in their industries and our members certainly benefited from their advice and expertise.

The Yes! Campaign has taken off in a way we could’ve only dreamt about a year ago. Chamber staff even participated in Nocturne this year handing out Yes! pins to over 2000 visitors. If you haven’t seen our Yes! pins while out at one of our events, I suggest you talk to one of our 15 staff members. They’ll have you saying yes to growth, yes to diversity and yes to innovation in no time. They’d even be happy to send you enough Yes! pins to share with your network.

Now, I could end this message to you saying that this was a busy, yet successful year for the Chamber – but it’s been so much more than that. 2014 has been the year for the Chamber and I cannot wait to see what 2015 brings for us, for you, our members and for Halifax. This is our opportunity to make 2015 bolder, brighter, and stronger than the year before. Bring it on 2015!

I’d like to wish you a relaxing and joyful holiday season. I look forward to seeing you in 2015.