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From the Desk of the CEO Jill Raycroft

This is coming out late this week as we're pulling together all the events we have coming up this month!  And, following a crazy weekend of collaboration, network and advocacy at the OCC AGM & Conference last weekend in Hamilton, of course - it should be just as busy here.

After our first day of information sessions and round table discussions, we were let loose at the Cotton Factory in Hamilton - what an amazing venue and somehow the staid and oh-so-professional Chamber people couldn't stay seated when Dwayne Gretzky (an awesome band) started to play.  It might help an event team when the outgoing OCC Board Chair is the President & CEO of Music Canada.  Anyway, we were back to working hard on Saturday with a full four hours reviewing the policy recommendations put forward to the Ontario Chamber that will lay their work out for the next year (once we get through the election).  If you're interested in seeing this 221-page document that represents the advocacy work done across Ontario - you can find it here.

I'll follow this up early next week with an email because I know we're going to be asking you to do a lot and we understand you simply don't have time.  If you do have something you'd like considered by our political candidates in the upcoming election on June 7th, we've tried to make our latest survey as painless as possible and your chance to tell us more - it's quick, just 5 questions!  We plan to use your input here to develop both the conversation on May 16 at our Lunch & Learn (have you heard?? OCC President & CEO Rocco Rossi is coming - and he's an incredibly dynamic and passionate speaker) and again at the Belleville Chamber debate on May 24th.  

But before those events happen - May is Sexual Assault Awareness month and we are launching our new Lunch & Learn sessions on Thursday, May 10th with a workshop/round table discussion on what  harassment and violence looks like in the workplace with tools on how to protect both the employer and the employee.  It is incredibly important you understand the rights of each and hope the discussion will dispel myths and misunderstandings.

And I'll ask you to back up even one day earlier and hopefully join Emily and me when we share our China experience on Wednesday, May 9.  We have some amazing pictures to share and some key tips on traveling in China.  This trip is an incredibly affordable adventure for Chamber members at $2,379 - including your airfare, accommodation, meals and transportation for most activities.  Optional tours are also available but we'll tell you all about that on the 9th (at the Travelodge).

For more information on these events, please review the Chamber Chat this week - details are posted accordingly.