COMMUNITY RELATIONS COMMITTEE
The mission of the Steinbach Chamber of Commerce is to unite and represent Steinbach and area businesses in the belief that the resulting economic growth and stability provides an enhanced quality of life for the entire community. This statement rings true as many local business owners understand how important it is for their business and employees to be interwoven into the fabric of our local community.
The mandate of the Community Relations Committee is to bring business and community together. Over the years, the Committee has supported this statement by way of coordinating various community events and participating in community initiatives. As a Committee representative, we look for ways to celebrate many local business successes and support tourism to our community; we would have to say that this year presented huge hurdles in being able to follow through on any of those initiatives.
This year, our legacy event, the Pioneer Days Parade, was a casualty of COVID, as were several other new initiatives.
Our Committee is proud to report we are still able to realize on Steinbach Burger Days!
- This is the third year the Steinbach Chamber of Commerce is hosting Steinbach Burger Days. The number of restaurants is up 60% over last year for a record number of 16 restaurants participating.
- This event generates great community involvement and captures significant social media attention while providing gourmet delights for the southeast region.
On behalf of our Committee, I would like to thank the membership for their support and invite them to give us feedback and ideas to continue to foster a spirit of community here in Steinbach.
Submitted by Committee Chair, Eric Klippenstein – Steinbach Credit Union
Matthew Penner – Print Studio One
Tessa Masi – YWAM Island Breeze Manitoba
Becky Deschouwer – Rocky Mountain Equpment
Kristy Hill – YWAM Island Breeze Manitoba
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
The mandate of the Business Development Committee (BDC) is to promote and support growth and development of the business community. The BDC works effectively to organize these learning opportunities in various ways as we learn from those who have pursued their vision in the business community over time, by hosting Professional Development presenters, and developing the young leaders of our region.
This year changed the way we lived and learned; by mid-March, all plans were put on hold or re-tooled.
We provided the Young Leaders Breakfast Series for a second season, using the same model as in 2019 - developing the leadership skills of 25 more young leaders in our community. The sessions, ‘Introduction to Leadership and Personal Style’ and ‘Conflict Resolution and Team Dynamics’ are based on personal assessment and ‘inventory’. With the stop to social gatherings, the April meeting was held virtually with little time to plan. The other remaining two sessions, ‘Business Fundamentals’ and ‘Sustainability in Leadership’, were postponed, and rescheduled for September and October.
Additional learning opportunities were presented through Lunch & Learn events. Our January event focused on Financial Fluency led by Rick Battistoni of MNP. In May, we changed format and offered two online learning opportunities – “Making Conflict Productive” with Darrell Kehler, and ‘Navigating Legal Implications & Business Impacts from COVID 19” with TDS Law.
The Mentorship Roundtable Event is scheduled for November, and we anticipate another sold out night as has been in years past.
We took on a new role as well in communicating with our membership about the valuable, cost-free resources available to help business start-up, grow or reach new markets. This is being communicated through the website at this time.
Looking ahead, we anticipate another year of providing opportunities for growth and development and bringing our members together to encourage one another as we continue to build this community.
Our Committee has changed over the past year, and we are grateful to all those who faithfully contribute to the work.
Submitted by Committee Chair, Frieda Wiebe – Straight A Transfer Ltd.
Adam Neustaedter – Gold Key Realty
Gemma Brown – SNJ LLP
Gerald Banman – Harvest Insurance
Jo Unger – Dairy Queen
JP Craft – Paul Craft Financial
Rick Battistoni – MNP
Stacey Gagne – Signex Manufacturing
MEMBERSHIP SERVICES COMMITTEE
The mandate of the Membership Services Committee (MSC) is to develop and implement effective marketing, mentoring, and membership programs to achieve Chamber retention and recruitment objectives.
The following is a summary of the key areas of focus for our Committee in 2020:
Membership Growth & Retention
The Steinbach Chamber of Commerce has seen significant growth over the past few years. The business community faced some unprecedented challenges in 2020 due to COVID-19, so the focus of the MSC shifted in response. Over the course of the year, the MSC has worked to connect with our members to see how they are doing and how we can best serve them. While many of our efforts look different in 2020, we have successfully maintained our membership numbers.
The Summit Organization Development Mixer was hosted on November 7, 2019 and was very well attended. YFC Backstage hosted on February 6, 2020 and, again, we saw great engagement and connection amongst our members. Our next mixer was virtual as we adapted to the rapidly changing pandemic landscape. We plan to gather again in-person in November 2020.
Thank you to our Mixer hosts who collaborated with the Chamber and invested time, effort, and money in offering a quality event to our membership. Thank you also to our members for their understanding and continuing engagement as we offer virtual events.
Business Excellence Awards
The Business Excellence Awards exist to recognize and celebrate the great work that is being done within our business community. This year, the MSC will host a full day virtual event broadcasted via local radio, with a dedicated page on SteinbachOnline.com, and videos on Facebook Live to allow for maximum involvement from our membership and the community as a whole.
The Membership Services Committee extends a big thank you to the Awards Nomination and Selection Committees for their engagement and enthusiasm.
Submitted by Committee Chair, Brett Adnum - Golden West Broadcasting
Bonnie Schott – Smith Neufeld Jodoin LLP
Tracy Ouellet – Norima Consulting
Elvin Krahn – BDC Business Development Bank of Canada
Noel Fillion – RBC Royal Bank
Samuel Teichroew – Smith Neufeld Jodoin LLP
EASTMAN IMMIGRANT SERVICES (EIS)
A work organization is an integrated system that depends upon the performance of everyone who is a part of it and on the interrelationship of the individuals. As a new program director to Eastman Immigrant Services, I have observed the opening statement to be true for all the staff at the organization in the year 2019-2020. Each one works as part of a team and is passionate about the work they do and the clients they serve. This is also evident in positive comments we hear from new and returning clients. This has been a year for growth, expansion, learning and COVID challenges.
Here are a few Eastman Immigrant Services highlights for 2019-2020:
The EIS team noticed that many of their clients were coming down from the Interlake Region because their local services were so limited. Recognizing the need, EIS proposed the idea of an expansion to Immigration Refugee Citizenship Canada. IRCC and the Steinbach Chamber of Commerce decided the expansion made sense and approved the move. Their new boundaries include communities such as Grand Rapids, Ashern, and Gimli and Selkirk. We are working at setting up a permanent office in the Interlake that can offer the same programming, workshops and events presently offered to the immigrants of southeastern Manitoba. To reach that goal, EIS hired Lee Eun Kim to oversee their new settlement office as both Settlement Facilitator and Settlement Worker in Schools.
English for Work
Many newcomers come with a good base of English yet often struggle with effective communication and as such are missing out on promotions and or not even working in their field of expertise. The English for Work program specializes in workplace English. The purpose of our English classes is to equip newcomers/immigrants with English language skills and a better understanding of Canadian culture in the workplace so that they have opportunity in their career through advancement or continued training. English 4 Work is focused on meeting the needs of participants as language learners in their pursuit of employment or training through innovative and creative ways. In January to June 2020 we ran three continuous intake classes, one class devoted to English language learners at the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 or 6 level, and one class CLB 7 and 8 level and the third is a computer class.
In March 2020, EIS decreased the amount of staff in the office and served clients remotely with settlement staff rotating working from the office.
With the announcement that all non-essential businesses needed to be closed April 1-14 inclusive, EIS decided and prepared to have all staff work from home. ESI phone system was set up, so phone calls were forwarded to one cell phone and were then directed appropriately.
Staff was set up to communicate using the GoToMeeting platform, so we were able to have face-to-face communication. Clients were able to access our emails and phones and were informed about our remote services via emails, website, Facebook, and WhatsApp.
May 19, we began working back in the office on a rotational basis with a maximum of six staff in at a time from Monday-Thursday. Fridays all staff work from home as that day was reserved for a thorough clean and disinfect.
EIS proceeded with in-person meetings on June 1. We continued with staff in office on a rotation as previously determined and added in-person meetings for clients by appointment only. At all times, we continued to meet our public health obligations set forth by the province.
I would like to thank the EIS staff for their dedication this year. Also, thank you to the Chamber of Commerce for their support and encouragements as we worked in partnership to assist newcomers, making the transition to a new community a positive experience, both for the newcomer and the Eastman and Interlake regions.
Submitted by Gwen Reimer – EIS Program Director
Marina Klassen – Receptionist
Lee Eun Kim - Settlement Facilitator - Interlake
Erna Friesen – Settlement Facilitator
Marcel Marinho – Settlement Facilitator
Joshua Madula – Settlement Facilitator
Rene Schulz – Settlement Worker in Schools
Sheena Friesen – Settlement Worker in Schools
Viktoria Vladimirova – Employment Facilitator
Guillaume Shirru – Local Immigration Partnership
Komal Mahant – Volunteer & Integration Coordinator
Amber Reitsma – Communications Coordinator