Whether it’s the long list of small feats, or the ever-growing list of significant, more life-altering actions advocated for or initiated by the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce, the prez is proud.
As the chamber marks its 90th anniversary of serving Langley and its business community, outgoing president Brad Kiendl took a moment to reflect.
“I’m proud to be involved with an organization that has been a part of Langley for as long as the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce (GLCC). It is a remarkable achievement for any organization to last 10, 25, or even 50 years, never mind the 90 years the GLCC has been a part of Langley representing businesses.”
In 1931 a group of business leaders came together to form the Langley Board of Trade. They joined together because they recognized a simple truth: the role of business is more than just creating and providing goods and services people want or need. They knew then what is known today: business matters in more vital ways.
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“Whether it be connecting people in the business community, helping new businesses find their footing, or advocating at all levels of government the GLCC has been at the forefront for its business community” for nine decades now, Kiendl said.
Admittedly, the services provided by the chamber have changed through the years. As an example, in 1986 – with Expo 86 in Vancouver – the Langley chamber joined many chambers across the province in providing visitor services in the community. Today the community relies on Discover Langley City and Tourism Langley for those services.
Similarly, back in the 1980 and ’90s the Langley chamber was also host to a business information centre. And while some of those services they still offer today, many of those duties have been taken over by the municipal economic development staff.
The chamber has been hosting, partnering, or participating in small- and large-scale events since the beginning, from its own networking events, awards celebrations, and business trade exhibitions to its roles in community happenings including parades, significant sporting events (like the Summer Games), and – of course – Langley’s single biggest charity event, the Langley Good Times Cruise-In.
But the single most important role for the chamber – in all its incarnations through the years – has been its advocacy.
Advocacy has always been the heart of the chamber in its role as the voice of local business, Kiendl said.
The chamber, for instance, was key in changes to lobbying for street lights in the city decades ago.
In 1944 the board was discussing bridge tolls on the Pattullo Bridge.
In 2016 the board was advocating for mobility pricing on the bridges and highways.
Highway #1 improvements and expansion has been a topic of conversation at the board table pretty much since inception.
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And, while under the direction of Lynn Whitehouse, the chamber was instrumental in keeping and expanding services at the Aldergrove border crossing.
Likewise, the chamber has been front and centre pushing for SkyTrain service that are now promised to Langley.
Those are just a few of the chamber accomplishments through the years, Kiendl said. And it makes him proud to be just a small part of it.
“Thank you to our members of all shapes and sizes, from all backgrounds and from all corners of Langley. Businesses have faced different issues since 1931, how we address those issues has changed over the years. But the spirit of why the chamber exists has never changed. We are the voice of business,” Kiendl boasted.
“All current and past board volunteers, current and past staff, and all of our current and past member businesses should be proud of everything the GLCC has accomplished and the community that Langley has become over the last 90 years,” he added.
“We will continue to be the voice of business at all levels of government, whether we’re advocating for large infrastructure projects or small policies to make doing business in Langley easier, the GLCC staff and board members look forward to many great years in Langley ahead.”
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