NOTE: The province of B.C. has once again declared a week in February as Chamber of Commerce Week. This year, it runs Feb. 12 to 16, and the Langley Advance Times, worked with the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce to put together a series of stories to inform people in Langley about the local business organization and what it does to bolster and advocate for companies in this community.
Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce’s team consists of four people with a vast array of talents and years of experience in the chamber realm.
During Chamber of Commerce Week, chamber chief executive officer (CEEO) Cory Redekop took the opportunity to introduce himself and the rest of the team.
Redekop joined the chamber in May 2022 as the CEO, and brought 13 years of experience in the commerce industry with other organizations.
“I was excited to take this opportunity to lead the chamber in my home community,” he told the Langley Advance Times.
He lives in the Yorkson neighbourhood with his wife and daughter, and as CEO he oversees the operations for the chamber to ensure its mandate and role in the community is being met.
A highlight for him has been meeting and getting to know the businesses in Langley.
“It was a priority for me for the chamber to be more active and present in the community, and it’s been great to meet, discover, and tour some great businesses doing amazing things in Langley,” Redekop said.
Since joining the chamber though, he has come to appreciate and enjoy the diversity of the businesses community in Langley.
“Chambers represent and serve the entirety of the business community, [so] we engage on countless issues – from hyper-local things like roads and planning and zoning, to big macro issues at the provincial and federal level,” he said.
“Because we bring the breadth of the business community together, the types of people and businesses I get to meet… represent every walk of life, size of business, and sector or industry.”
Currently, Redekop says the team is working to build an organization that is welcoming, engaged, and one people want to have on their side.
“I hope people can feel and see that in the Langley chamber,” he said.
Mills joined the chamber in late 2021, and is now the events lead and membership coordinator.
She was inspired to join after her father passed away, who was a longtime entrepreneur.
“I saw the opportunity to apply for the events coordinator position, and I knew he would have been happy with this choice,” she shared.
Mills has always been passionate about events, saying she has an “entrepreneur’s heart,” and planning opportunities for chamber members to network and educate each other.
“I knew this is where I needed to be, connecting the Langley business community together. I’m blessed to have met so many amazing business owners in my position.”
In her role, she does more than plan events. Mills also looks after sponsorships and membership renewals, and she said each can can be very different.
She is also part of the Langley Women in Business Network, and she said that experience has taught her a lot about the local business world.
“I really enjoy the smiles on everyone’s face when they attend an event. The smile on people’s faces when I can help them warms my heart when I see people making meaningful connections,” Mills shared. “I love what I do.”
She noted easy ways to support local businesses can start with sharing their posts online, leaving a review, and promoting them to friends and family
“If we all lifted each other up rather than tearing each other down, the world would be a much better place. Your vibe attracts your tribe!”
Tirschman joined the Langley chamber in late 2022 as the administrative lead.
“I’m the first face you’ll see when you visit, and the voice on the phone that is here to help,” she chuckled.
She had moved to Langley from out of province in 2019, and was looking to build a sense of community around her, as a former business owner herself.
Tirschman looked to the chamber because its always had a personal touch in connecting a large group of small, medium, and large businesses with community spirit and support, she explained.
Since joining, she has enjoyed the networking events and advocacy efforts.
“It is rewarding to help connect and help people in business and the community in whichever way we can,” Tirschman said.
In her position, Tirschman helps members with registration to events, signing up new members, and promoting members’ businesses.
For the new year, she is looking forward to welcoming new members and continuing to support the Langley business community.
Alfaro is the newest team member at Langley chamber, having joined five months ago as the membership lead.
He is the point of contact for anyone interested in joining the chamber, or to learn more about how the chamber works with local businesses.
“I joined the Langley chamber because I wanted to be more active in my community, and support and promote local businesses,” he told the Langley Advance Times.
Since joining, the Willowbrook resident said he has made many new connections.
A highlight for him already has been seeing firsthand how people foster and build networks with different industry leaders at each event the chamber hosts.
Learn more about Langley chamber at langleychamber.com.