10 Top Achievements for 2008

 

All of our achievements this year were successful due to the great support of our members. We thank you for your continued involvement and look forward to working with you in the New Year.

2008 was a busy year for the Chamber and identifying the top achievements was a difficult task due to the amount of programmes, events and other initiatives undertaken by the Council and staff over the past 12 months.
 
This year we added several initiatives to the Chamber list of activities: we saw the re-introduction of the Financial Assistance, Scholarship, Training & Education Guide and our annual Careers Expo as part of our focus on membership value and our continued commitment to education; we awarded the first Lifetime Achievement Award in Education at the 2nd Annual Golden Apple Awards to Mrs. Islay Conolly; and we changed venue for the annual Expo and added technology and innovation as a major component of the event, becoming the Business & Technology Expo.
 
All of our achievements this year were successful due to the great support of our members. We thank you for your continued involvement and look forward to working with you in the New Year.

Improved organizational performance
The Chamber office in Macdonald Square in George Town is the epicentre of the work of the organisation and serves as an important meeting place and home base for the Council, staff, members, community and non-governmental organisations. New brochure racks, new furniture, new exterior and interior signage, upgraded computer and software programmes and training room facilities were added in 2008. These improvements allow the staff to increase productivity and provide exceptional customer service for the members, residents, visitors and investors. CEO Mr. Wil Pineau achieved the Certified Chamber Executive designation (a first in the Caribbean), Programmes and Events Manager Mrs. Joanne Diaz-Berry and Operations Manager Mrs. Kerry Pratt each attended international conferences to expand their knowledge of best practices in Chamber management.

Engaged members on important issues
Understanding the views of the membership on important national issues remains an important objective for the Chamber Council and staff. Membership surveys, industry forums, email surveys, luncheons and public discussions enable the Council to develop and communicate policy positions on socio-economic policies that promote and protect the interests of the membership and the wider community. Legislative changes and policies, constitutional modernisation, procurement policies, port development, statistical gathering, employment, labour and term limit policies, trade relations and economic development are among the topics that the Council discussed and sought the views of the membership.

Provided exceptional networking opportunities
Connecting members with new and existing customers and informing the public about new products and services offered by member businesses remains at the forefront of the Chamber’s mission. Each year thousands of persons attend Chamber events such as Business After Hours, special receptions, Chamber luncheons and public forums. Networking enables businesses of all sizes numerous opportunities to engage in discussions that lead to business development and contacts. Whether serving as a host or a visitor, Chamber networking opportunities are one of the best valued added benefits of membership.

Supported small businesses
Small businesses represent more than 80 per cent of the membership so it is vital for the Chamber to focus its efforts on supporting and promoting the success of these businesses. Special training courses on fraud prevention, marketing, financial management and accounting, supervisory skills and marketing and promotions generated excellent response from small business owners who were seeking to improve their businesses. Networking and marketing events such as the Business Expo, Business After Hours and the Discount Card programmes and communication tools such as the www.caymanchamber.ky and THE CHAMBER quarterly review enabled this sector to promote themselves to both local and international customers. New programmes are also being developed that will assist this sector to reduce costs and improve profitability.  

Provided a forum for community decision making
The Chamber serves its members and the wider community by providing forums for discussion on important issues. Addressing a national issue or contributing to discussions on industry specific topics in smaller groups, the Chamber provides opportunities for different positions to be communicated and consensus to be reached that is in the best interest of the community. The Constitutional Forum allowed political leaders to discuss their positions on the modernisation process in a format that allowed the public to understand the positions taken by each group. In this way, the Chamber is serving its members and the community to create the best environment to live, work and conduct business.

Increased membership involvement
Membership participation is the key to the Chamber’s ongoing success. More members participated in programmes, sponsored events and submitted their views on issues of importance in 2008 than ever before. This level of involvement strengthens the foundation for continued success and demonstrates the membership’s commitment to the Chamber’s mission to support, promote and protect business and community success. Hundreds of members volunteered their time, talent or treasure by serving as mentors, cleaning up the environment as part of the Earth Day activities and enrolling in programmes such as career awareness visits, Professional Development and Training Centre and Junior Achievement.

Strengthened and established new partnerships
Successful businesses depend on productive relationships to increase profitability. The Chamber Council and staff strengthened existing and established new partnerships with Government, the membership, the media and non-governmental organisations during 2008. These partnerships enabled the Chamber to broaden its sphere of influence and to maximize its resources to build positive relationships that produced tremendous benefits for the membership and in many instances the wider community.
 
Supported youth and workforce development initiatives
Developing and supporting initiatives that stimulate youth and workforce development opportunities remained a key priority area with the redevelopment of the Professional Development and Training Centre, the reintroduction of the Career, Education, Training and Job Expo at the University College of the Cayman Islands and the release of the Financial Assistance, Scholarship, Training and Education Guide. The Chamber continued its support of Mentoring Cayman, Junior Achievement, Career Awareness visits to our schools, financed graduation awards and organized more than 40 training workshops and courses to assist businesses to improve productivity which leads to increased profitability.

Expanded trade opportunities

We live in a globalised world and the Cayman Islands is an important player. Reaching out to trading partners in North, Central and South America, Europe and Asia became a key strategy in 2008 as the Chamber Council, staff and membership travelled to Panama to attend the Expocomer Trade Show and created new opportunities for trade between local and international businesses. The Chamber leadership and staff also attended regional meetings and conferences and interacted with consular offices, international media and trade and business associations to communicate information about Cayman’s business climate and the numerous investment opportunities that exist both for Caymanians and investors. 

Improved communications

Promoting members’ products and services and expressing their views on important local, regional and international issues remains one of the main objectives for the organisation. The Chamber used its website, quarterly magazine and weekly e-bulletin to keep the membership, media and the world community informed of the various activities and positions that the Council took on key issues affecting the membership and the community. THE CHAMBER magazine received the coveted American Chamber of Commerce Executive’s Award for Excellence; the only Chamber magazine to receive this high honour. Through these various communication avenues, the Chamber received its highest visibility averaging one media release per day in 2008.

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