Oakville Chamber of Commerce hosted the BDC Small Business Week 2015

Vince De Palma President & CEO Shred-It International
Oakville Chamber of Commerce hosted the BDC Small Business Week 2015

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Janet Bedford

Janet Bedford is a broker with Royal LePage in downtown Oakville, with 20 years of real estate experience. Along with helping her clients find the perfect home or sell their home, she is often found photographing the many events that take place in Oakville. She has written extensively for various publications. Janet is a graduate of MacMaster University.

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The Oakville Chamber of Commerce hosted the BDC Small Business Week 2015 focusing on “Knock Down Barriers. Dare to Grow.”

Kerry Colborne, Chair of the Board of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce, says “ This is a very important week for the Chamber as it provides the opportunity to recognize and celebrate all the small businesses do to create prosperity in this great Town of Oakville.”

Lunch n Learn Speakers: Laura A Mason Account Executive at LinkedIn and Husam Jandal International Speaker & Digital Marketing Thought Leader. Photo Credit: Janet Bedford

Lunch n Learn Speakers: Laura A Mason Account Executive at LinkedIn and Husam Jandal International Speaker & Digital Marketing Thought Leader. Photo Credit: Janet Bedford

Partnering throughout the week with the Business Development Bank of Canada, PwC and FirstOntario Credit Union, three fantastic events were designed to thank the businesses for their “Sacrifice, hard work and innovation” and to inspire them to “knock down barriers and dare to grow”.

In Kerry’s opening address at the kickoff breakfast, she asked,” Did you know that small to medium sized businesses represent 99.8% of all Canadian companies and employ 64% of private sector workers?”

The Oakville Chamber membership alone is made up of over 1,100 businesses. Vince De Palma, President and CEO of Shred- It International ULC, was the keynote speaker at the kickoff breakfast, where he told the story of “One man, a truck and an idea.” From Start-Up to Global Leader, De Palma shared the Shred-It journey.

“What does every big business have in common?” he asked. The answer – “They all started as a small business!” Shred-It was no exception. It was an idea that blossomed. Shred-It recently sold a part of its assets for 2.5 billion dollars. “The secret to making a business work,” according to the leaders, “is the strength of relationships, the strength of employee – partners and knowing the importance of people.”

Shred-it has become the world’s leading Secure Information Destruction Company. It serves more than 150,000 clients around the world through 140 branches on five continents. Shred-It was founded by the late Greg Brophy in 1988 and incorporated in 1989. Fundamentally he believed they would be a better institution themselves if they were to build great companies that would survive well past their ownership.

A compelling vision, Vince De Palma says, “We built a great leadership team. If we are going to deliver service, we have to have to have good employee- partners who are passionate about their jobs and focused on their customers.”

In addition to shredding and protecting your paper and your documents, Shred-It has had other interesting projects over the years. Vera Wand had some out-of-date wedding dresses shredded to protect her brand. The police have uniforms shredded so one does not show up at Value Village, at your Halloween party or somewhere that would not be appropriate. The carpet from the US Senate was shredded. Pocketbooks are also shredded regularly.

Kerry Colborne Oakville Chamber of Commerce Chair and BDC's Area Manager,  Marybeth Edge. Photo Credit: Janet Bedford

Kerry Colborne Oakville Chamber of Commerce Chair and BDC’s Area Manager, Marybeth Edge. Photo Credit: Janet Bedford

Later in the week, Chamber members enjoyed the Business After Hours Trade Show and the opportunity to network with over 75 Trade Show Exhibitors, business professionals and entrepreneurs over delicious complimentary drinks and appetizers. To conclude an amazing week, the Small Business Week Lunch and Learn focused on Social Selling: Winning Strategies for Media Success. These dynamic presentations by Laura A Mason and Husam Jandal highlighted optimum techniques for establishing and growing your professional brand through social media.

The Oakville Chamber of Commerce values its relationships and services the Membership through Advocacy, Discounts, Networking, Events and Insurance. Check the website at www.oakvillechamber.com to learn how a Chamber membership could help to grow your business,

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