1. INTRODUCTION 2. ENVIRONMENTAL SCAN SQUAMISH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE 2014 STRATEGY WORKSHOP BUILDING THE STRATEGIC PLAN

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1 BUILDING THE STRATEGIC PLAN INTRODUCTION The Squamish Chamber of Commerce conducted a strategy workshop in May A comprehensive environmental scan was conducted and priority strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities to the Chamber were identified. On February 18, 2014 the Squamish Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and Executive Director undertook a day of planning that was facilitated by Catherine Rockandel, an IAF, Certified Professional Facilitator. The objective of the February 2014 planning session was to update the environmental scan, discuss the focus of the vision elements, and review the progress on objectives identified in 2013, while discussing some of the issues that had emerged over the past nine months. The following summary captures the discussion at the workshop. 2. ENVIRONMENTAL SCAN The Board and the Executive Director reviewed the 2013 strategy documents prior to the 2014 workshop to identify changes in the community and operating environment as well as any gaps that may have emerged. These included: The Chamber is no longer operating the Visitor Centre o Implications: Reduction in revenue for Chamber The Chamber no longer has a lease at the Adventure Centre o Implications: Need to consider alternative office space/ new physical plant options. Other shifts included: Strengths that the Chamber has that could be leveraged: The election of the new Board and the revised governance bylaws has improved the internal and external perception of the chamber Membership is growing and is up to 500+ members Successfully provided educational support for new businesses Weaknesses that if addressed could open up opportunities for consideration The chamber has limited data about members and their needs The Board team has been revitalized with new energy and new members but it has not delivered results due to clarity of priorities and limited resources related to operational capacity over the past year The Chamber currently under performs in terms of advocacy Half the board is re- elected each year for a two- year term. The implication is that it is difficult to make long- term decisions when the decision makers change. Opportunities Match the operational capacity with skill levels of Board. Resolve the structural governance issue so that Board members are clear about their role as Directors, committee chairs and members Improve advocacy of the Chamber on specific policy issues. Clarify the role of the Chamber on major projects 1

2 Partner with Start Up Squamish and other groups to improve member value Define specifically what members perceive as value added benefits of their membership Threats The economy is uncertain which may lead to weak economic growth for Squamish businesses A new social enterprise called Start Up Squamish is focusing on stimulating economic and business development. It is focusing on collaboration and business start- up acceleration. It may be perceived to overlap with some of the Chamber services or the role of the Chamber is an election year in the District of Squamish and throughout British Columbia 3. MISSION The existing mission statement provided a foundation for the 2014 planning. The Squamish Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in the community by actively supporting business, economic growth and diversification 4. VISION The Board and Executive Director reviewed the vision elements identified in the 2013 strategy workshop. Certainly, while the following vision statement requires some ongoing work, a concept that focused on the two pillars of advocacy and services that deliver membership value began to take shape. In the next five years the Squamish Chamber of Commerce will deliver exceptional membership value by taking a leadership role in advocating for the interests of Squamish businesses and providing member services such as networking and educational events, mentorship opportunities, policy positions and partnerships with other organizations. 5. PRIORITY GOALS In consideration of the overarching priority to deliver membership value, the Squamish Chamber of Commerce will accomplish its mission by focusing on three goals. Be an advocate for economic development Improve membership retention and engagement Enhance communications and stakeholder relations The administrative, governance and financial objectives in section support the goals. The 2014 work plan would identify how through specific action steps the Chamber administration and related committees would deliver on each of the objectives. The Board also discussed how they would evaluate the various activities in 2014 in terms of key performance measures (KPIs). It was suggested that a cost benefit analysis would be undertaken. If it doesn t create maximum value for resources extended for the membership, we shouldn t be doing it. In surveying the members the Board has begun the process of identifying what members value. This can then be used to create evaluation criteria for future activities moving forward. 2

3 5.1. SQUAMISH CHAMBER 2014 PRIORITIES Be An Advocate Squamish businesses continue to face a myriad of challenges from competition to regulatory issues, to labour shortages, etc. The Chamber has a leadership role to play in advocating to various levels of government regarding policy development, regulatory and land use decisions, working with industry partners and stakeholders to support members to address the challenges and facilitate economic development. Identify policy issues of importance to members Advocate and work with government, Squamish Nation, and industry stakeholders to develop policies and solutions Develop KPI s to benchmark and evaluate advocacy performance in annual work plans Support Membership Retention and Engagement A thriving, growing, and engaged membership is integral to the Squamish Chamber of Commerce s success and operations. The Chamber must ensure members are engaged in its work and kept informed about business, regulatory and policy issues that could potentially impact Squamish businesses. Improve our understanding about member s business and sector based needs Engage members to be part of the change by getting involved in committees that are aligned with the members interests Develop and implement activities that provide opportunities to network, connect, and stimulate collective business growth Support the delivery of professional development and business education programs to increase the value of membership Develop KPI s to benchmark and evaluate membership retention and engagement performance in annual work plans Improve Communications and Stakeholder Relations The Squamish Chamber will play a leadership role working with government, Squamish Nation and industry stakeholders where relevant to communicate key environmental, social and economic benefits contributed by businesses in Squamish. Develop the communications, public and government relations role of the Chamber as the "Voice of Business" in Squamish Improve communications effectiveness with members about activities of the Board. Confirm key communication program messages. For example: learn, grow, exchange and be supported. Share business success stories to build optimism and recognize local business success Increase use of technology as a communications tool with both members and community Develop KPI s to benchmark and evaluate communications and stakeholder outreach in annual work plans 3

4 Enhance Financial, Administrative and Governance Capacity To support the three priority membership focused goals, the Squamish Chamber will enhance its administration, governance and financial capacity. Develop succession for key staff and board positions Strengthen governance policies and procedures o Ie: TOR and role descriptions for committees Develop a long term (5 year) financial plan o Continue to focus on organizational self sufficiency o Fund program expansions Develop a risk management strategy 6. APPENDIX 6.1. Project Tracking Update: Accomplishments, Roadblocks & Actions The purpose was to identify key accomplishments and implementation obstacles in A whole group discussion identified what worked well, what needs to improve and what activities are being carried forward in Accomplishments in 2013 Identified and addressed many past problems Board interactions were positive and collaborative. Functioning board. Reviewed and implemented a new governance model Strategic plan and work plan for 2014 Member to member discounts Formed functional Committees. Member engagement on committees Created an economic development summary & recommendations delivered to DOS Held six courses that were well attended. First aid, food safe Created position of Executive Director and created job description Actively participate in BC and Canada Chamber meetings Stable membership with some growth. Increased by 5-10% Benchmark member survey completed Initiated steps to create spirit program Chamber was a positive news story rather than negative Advocacy for members in District ie: Economic Development Committee Resolved the Visitor Centre question. Disposed of Visitor Info Centre. Completed draft KPI s and 5 year plan Reviewed and created bylaws, policies and procedures documents 4

5 Roadblocks Encountered in 2013 Challenge of shifting culture from a working/administrative board to policy/governance board Unclear understanding of governance No implementation of signage recommendations of Economic Development proposal Competitive fears regarding sharing Spirit program knowledge Implementing follow ups on the Economic Development summary and survey Too many priorities created lack of time management Limited operational capacity to executive economic development recommendations Limited staff capacity to develop programs Not communicating current initiatives and accomplishments Not communicating value to members Need more member engagement ie: committees Limited committee capacity Actions Carried Forward in 2014 The following actions represent activities that were not completed in 2013 and are being used to inform the 2014 work plan being developed by the Executive Director Business Development mentoring workshop engagement Gathered resources for spirit program development and implementation carried forward Ongoing workshops certified programs (first aid) Finalize and approve KPI s Clarify Board Governance model (Policy/Governance Board vs Working/Administrative Board) Develop strategy for surplus funds that have been identified Website online Identifying a new physical plan Member engagement new member handbook Identify non- members and recruit Execute new business ambassador program and linked in Chamber page Creating strategy and plan for new physical plant tied to value for members. Need to determine location, funding. Long- term perspective. Conduct analysis based on Chamber s needs 6.2. Focused Discussion Issues and Questions Identified for Further Clarity How do we keep track of the bigger picture? What project tracking tool can the Executive Director (ED) use to manage the work and ensure that committee chairs are aware of deadlines and activities that need to be undertaken? For example: design and implement annual member survey. Improve Chamber report processes. For example: Committees report to ED with updates and ED reports to Board. Membership value is more than just ten lunches a year. Clarify priority projects that are related to what members have said they value about the Chamber Important to define what the membership values in terms of benefits. It was suggested that a focus for programs that could be communicated might include: o Learn mentoring and speaker programs for business start ups 5

6 o Grow mentoring and networking to support emerging businesses o Exchange networking, successful experience sharing, and discount programs o Be Supported advocacy and stories 6.3. Human Resource Policy Discussion The purpose of the discussion was to build understanding about current human resource issues and policies for staff, volunteers that serve on committees, and the board. Need to clarify board members roles and responsibilities in relation to the Executive Directors responsibility. Directors need to know who is managing deliverables and what they are accountable for and what the ED is managing. o The discussion focused on the role of the Board, in terms of reviewing and approving the workplan developed by the ED. The Board would then evaluate the ED s performance in terms of managing the deliverables in relation to the KPI s identified. o An example of a Committee Terms of Reference (TOR) was shared and discussed in terms of managing committees. Next steps include developing TOR for committees that includes: Purpose/Role of Committee; Responsibilities/Activities the committee is undertaking; membership/recruitment; Chair appointment; frequency of meetings, in person/telephone; resources; reporting How do we recruit members to serve on committees? Who should be doing the recruiting? o Each committee chair would be the champion for the committee but all members of the Board and the ED could recommend individuals to be on committees What is the best way for the Chamber to manage its limited human resources given the priority goals and objectives? o Discussion focused on the role of the ED as managing actions, providing direction to the committees on the tasks required to meet the deliverables identified in the workplan. The Human Resources Committee is supporting the ED through a hands- on approach. It has discussed expectations with the ED and is currently collaboratively reviewing the workplan with the ED. This is an investment in the ED who previously managed the Chamber to grow his capacity to lead the organization. Directors Bryan and Jeff Cooke are providing additional mentorship support. The following timeline identifies expectations and deliverables for the upcoming year o Late October early November 2013 HR Committee reviews expectations. ED developing workplan o Draft workplan presented to HR committee by March 3 rd ; final draft for approval at March Board meeting o Monthly Progress Report (April, May, June, etc) meetings between HR committee and ED o Quarterly Progress Reports by Membership Committee (Q1- Mar14, Q2- June14, Q3- Sept14, Q4 Dec14) Annual Evaluation of Executive Director in late February, prior to AGM to allow for reports and recommendations to be brought forward to membership by Board at AGM Other business discussed by the Board included: o Timelines and budgets are required for the human resources plan 6

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