London Chamber of Commerce to Launch New Strategic Planning Process
Diversity and Inclusion to be Central Themes
The London Chamber of Commerce is in the process of overhauling its strategic plan. With a new CEO at the helm, and a business, political and cultural landscape that has been dramatically altered over the last two years, we felt that now was the right time to examine our role in the community and to plan a path forward.
Over the next several months, we will be engaging with members, stakeholders, and community partners to help us develop this new strategic plan. And while we will continue to be advocates for business, and provide great networking and professional development opportunities, the Chamber of the future has a much greater role to play in building a stronger community and ensuring that London’s diversity is well represented within our organization.
Accompanying the Strategic Plan, the London Chamber will also be implementing an Indigenous Engagement Strategy.
This will be a critical component of moving forward with the strategic plan as London Ontario is situated on the traditional territory of the Attawandaron, Anishinaabeg, Haudenosaunee, and Lunaapeewak peoples who have longstanding relationships to the land, water and region of southwestern Ontario.
Indigenous peoples participate in the economy of the City as business owners and partners, and the London Chamber has a responsibility to ensure that respectful relationships are upheld through frameworks of reconciliation.
“The Board and staff of the Chamber are absolutely thrilled to be working with these talented professionals. ” said new CEO, Graham Henderson. “Our process is going to be unusual in that we have an EDI expert, Nicole Kaniki, on our team. This is designed to ensure that the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion are embedded in our very DNA.”
"We are also immensely privileged to have Tia Kennedy on board who will be working with Nicole to undertake an Indigenous engagement project. The goal here is to honour the business community’s obligations under Call to Action 92 from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. We have already taken first steps in doing this by undergoing Anti-Racism training with the incomparable Rumina Morris.
Tia and Nicole will organize and meet with between 25 and 30 Indigenous individuals and groups for sessions to collect information about their experiences (or lack thereof) with the London Chamber of Commerce
They will collect recommendations and guidance to ensure that we have a rich storehouse of information that will inform the development of a report that will set out best practices for engaging with Indigenous business owners and community members. It is our duty to ensure that the findings of their work are widely shared with the London business community.”
Aileen Murray, the Chamber's strategic planning consultant for the project said, "The Mellor Murray team is excited to be working with the London Chamber at this pivotal time. Together we will build a strategy that addresses diversity, equity and inclusion, advancing the Chamber, its members and the local economy."
Meet the Team
The London Chamber of Commerce is proud to be working with these amazing professionals who will guide us through the Strategic Planning Process:
Aileen Murray Ec.D.(F) Mellor Murray Consulting
A recognized leader in economic development and tourism and a trusted advisor in building community capacity, Aileen has assisted municipalities, non-profit organizations and businesses to establish and achieve their goals. Aileen provides thorough analysis, practical solutions and achievable strategies and programs based on her experience in economic development, tourism, strategic planning, governance and community engagement, including 15 years in the municipal sector
Dr. Nicole Kaniki, Director Senomi Solutions Inc.
Nicole is a research methodologist with equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) expertise skilled in strategic implementation of organizational EDI that is meaningful, intentional and sustainable. I am committed to EDI that engages and allows the work to be informed by equity deserving groups through trust building in all aspects of organizational processes.
David Campbell Jupia Consultants Inc.
David is the President of Jupia Consultants Inc., an economic development consulting and research firm based in New Brunswick. Previously, he was Chief Economist with the New Brunswick Jobs Board Secretariat. In that role, he led the development of economic policy and economic development strategy for the Government of New Brunswick. David has more than 25 years’ experience as a consultant and working with industry, not-for-profit organizations and governments across Canada. He has strengths in economic impact analysis, economic and labour market reviews, return on taxpayer investment (ROTI) analysis, sector development and investment attraction
Tia Kennedy, Indigenous Advocate
Tia is from Oneida Nation of the Thames, born just outside of Walpole Island First Nation. She carries both Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee Teachings. Tia has worked with various First Nations communities and non-indigenous organizations across Turtle Island to create more equitable relationships. Her work is focused on a community-based and a heart-centered approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Tia believes everyone has unique gifts to apply for happier and more fulfilling lifestyles. Tia uses the two-eyed seeing approach of applying both the indigenous and western lenses to build harmonious relationships. Kiinew kwe consulting allows participants to develop the necessary skills, knowledge, attitudes, and values to promote meaningful and effective interactions with Indigenous peoples. Through various training and tools, Kiinew kwe empowers employees and employers to address discrimination and learn how to great genuine interaction within the workplace.