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To our Calgary business community,

One year ago, I stood in front of you at the 2018 AGM, only a few weeks into my role at President and CEO of the Calgary Chamber. I say again what I said then – it truly is my honour to lead this team as the voice of the business community.  

Thank you to all our members for once again putting your trust in us.  

2018 had many highlights. We launched a new purpose in September; to build a business community that nourishes, powers, and inspires the world. Thank you to everyone that contributed to shaping this purpose.  

The purpose was supported by a simultaneous communications initiative “It’s Grow Time” – a rally cry that was met with resounding support from all facets of our business community.  

Part of this new purpose included reviewing and refining our goals as an organization.  

Our goals for the Calgary Chamber are to:

  1. Build the brand reputation of the business community 

  2. Be the Podium of Record 

  3. Create the catalyst for business growth and transformation 

So, how did we do in starting to reach these goals in 2018?

  • The Chamber gained 347 new members, bringing our total membership up to 1,555 companies.

  • We launched the first cohort of GenYYC with 40 participants, and had additional businesses engage with our CEO Peer Mentoring and Ignite programs.

  • We were featured in almost 2,500 media stories, our website had almost 360,000 page views and we shared our messages to a social media audience of 29,000.

  • We hosted 15,612 event attendees at 81 events throughout the year.

  • During our events, we heard from a total of 152 speakers, including business thought-leaders, entrepreneurs, politicians and international leaders.

2018 was a year with both successes and challenges. I know that the work we are doing is valuable and makes a tangible difference to the business community. 

However, the lessons learnt in 2018 have also shown me that we cannot sustainability rely on investments to buffer our operations. And it is time we do something about it. As a commercial entity, founded and funded by business we need to look and operate like the community we serve. Our challenge for the next few years is to create a path to sustainability.

As a Chamber, we need to develop a long-term fiscal plan to ensure we can continue to deliver the high-quality services that we are known for to the Calgary business community.

Our path focuses on things that we are good at; business to business growth and policy. We deliver on this through great content driven events that are relevant to our business community, a focus on bold and sharp advocacy and a leaner and more efficient operating environment, tighter budgets, and thinking strategically about how to utilize our investments to drive sustainable operations and growth.

As business leaders and owners these will be very familiar strategies.

We contend that by dialing into our strengths the Chamber can enhance its position as a leading influencer in this city.

We have been at the center of the crossroads since before Calgary was established, and we intend to continue to push for what is best for those that choose to make Calgary their home. 

We will continue to fill this role, as we have for the past 127 years.  

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Sandip Lalli
President & CEO
Calgary Chamber