Newsletter – September 2019

Back to School is here which means back to a routine for many, and Business as usual for others. Here a the Chamber office we are busy planning fall events.

We NEED your help. Please consider nominating a well deserved candidate for our Awards of Excellence. The nomination form below to tell us about the great things happening around town.

Another way to help us recognize the great things happening in and around Ingersoll is the Positive Post Campaign. On September 15th we will be randomly selecting a winner of a $500 shopping spree at Tremblett’s Independent.  You can win by simply posting a positive comment about a product or service you received by a local business with #positivepost and tag the Ingersoll District Chamber of Commerce.
Save the date in your calendars for our Awards of Excellence on October 17th, I hope to see you there!
Tammy Jeffery-Larder

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce GoodLife Founder & CEO David 'Patch' Patchell-Evans as the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient at the Ontario Business Achievement Awards (OBAAs) being held on Thursday, November 14 at the Beanfield Centre in Toronto.

The OBAAs are the most recognized industry gala in the province focused on celebrating business success. Award recipients exemplify why Ontario is the best place to live, work, and do business. Each award recipient is selected by a panel of judges whose background and experience provide the needed independence to select award recipients that epitomize the spirit of the OBAA categories.

The OBAA Lifetime Achievement Award is given to a proven achiever and strong contributor to Ontario's economy; a pioneer in their defined business industry who has had a positive impact on the province.

"We are pleased to announce David 'Patch' Patchell-Evans, Founder and CEO of GoodLife Fitness as the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at this year's Ontario Business Achievement Awards," said Rocco Rossi, president and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. "This award is given to an individual who demonstrates leadership in an Ontario industry that has a significant positive impact for the province and beyond. Over the last 40 years, Patch's hard work, dedication and innovation have helped to grow GoodLife to over 12,000 employees and 1.5 million members. His business acumen and ongoing service within the community has and will continue to positively impact the lives of Canadians."

From the purchase of his first club in 1979, Patch has built the largest chain of fitness clubs in Canada; the fourth largest in the world; and the largest in the world owned by a single individual, with over 400 clubs across the country. In 1993, with a focus on bringing education and legitimacy to the fitness industry, Patch founded Toronto-based canfitpro. It is now Canada's largest fitness education organization with over 24,000 members.
Patchell-Evans was initially speechless upon receiving the news directly from Rossi which, for anyone who knows Patch, is quite the feat for the animated and passionate entrepreneur.

After having time to reflect, of this honour Patch said, "I believe everyone has a birthright to be healthy. To live long. To feel good. To have energy. To have vitality. I've made it my life's work to help people believe in themselves, help people believe in their own capabilities. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for recognizing my capabilities and thank you for honouring me with the recognition of my life's work. Ontario is where GoodLife started 40 years ago this year. I bought my very first club in London. It's where our home office is. Today, Ontario is home to 225 GoodLife and Fit4Less clubs and over 750,000 members. Ontarians have always been exceptionally passionate about their fitness and health, whether it's our 8,224 associates or our members. That passion has given me the platform to grow the company and help people not just across our great country, but across the globe."

Patch has given over $25 million to various non-profits across Canada. In 2007, he was awarded the Canadian Medical Association Medal of Honour for contributions to Autism treatment and research. In 2012, GoodLife Fitness pledged $5 million to the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre at University Health Network, establishing the first-of-its-kind private/public collaboration to help the estimated 1.3 million Canadians suffering from heart disease.
Patch holds many honourable titles including CVCA Entrepreneur of the Year, Canada's Most Admired CEOs, Ontario Chamber of Commerce Community Builder Award, London Chamber of Commerce Corporate Icon Award, International Cult Brand Award and Honorary Doctor of Laws from Western University. However, his favourites are Dad and Husband. Patch has two daughters, Kilee and Tygre, and is married to Olympian Silken Laumann.

The OBAAs, which celebrate incredible innovations and achievements, is unique in its engagement of a broad range of industry sectors and sizes from across the province. Patchell-Evans will be honoured and candidly share the story of his success at the OBAA Gala on Thursday, November 14, 2019 at the Beanfield Centre in Toronto.

Reconciliation means many different things to many different people, but a new report finds most agree success depends on small, focussed actions undertaken day-by-day.

On June 19, 2019, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce sat down with business, post-secondary education, community economic development and Indigenous leaders in Thunder Bay to hear what they had to say regarding reconciliation, what it means to them, their communities and their businesses.


The Canadian Chamber of Commerce report, Lessons in Reconciliation: What We Heard in Thunder Bay, captured the perspectives of Indigenous and non-Indigenous business, community and post-secondary education leaders from the second of three roundtablesin Western, Central and Atlantic Canada.


"What we heard in Thunder Bay was that successful efforts at reconciliation are rooted in a multi-directional exercise, where everyone has a responsibility in moving forward. We also heard that Indigenous peoples often have more skills for economic development than they're given credit for.  Recognizing this is key to reconciliation," said Susanna Cluff-Clyburne, Senior Director and Lead, Indigenous Policy.

"It was clear that one critical ingredient of success is recognizing reconciliation for what it is; an opportunity, not an obligation.  We heard how many businesses and Indigenous peoples have based their successful relationships on this belief. We'd like to see government do the same," concluded Cluff-Clyburne.


The report's lessons for government include:
·        Explore the social and economic potential of Indigenous peoples, communities and partnerships.
·        Recognize that to be successful you must seek outside assistance from business and Indigenous communities.
·        Research and document the capacity of Indigenous communities for project planning as well as developing procurement RFPs and determining Indigenous set asides.
·        Acknowledge that you may have an institutional racism issue in your workplaces that are a result of decades-old policies and practices. Audit your workplaces to find out if this is the case and take steps to ensure your workplaces are as welcoming as possible to Indigenous and other under-represented peoples. This could include mandatory training on the histories of Indigenous peoples for those in roles that involve working with Indigenous peoples or issues that affect them.


·        "Choose some priorities, set measures for success, get down to work and get them done."


Download the full report here. The Lessons in Reconciliation report on discussions with Indigenous and non-Indigenous business and community leaders in Saskatoon was released in June. The report for the Fredericton roundtable will be released this fall.
The Voice of Canadian Business
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is Canada's largest and most representative business association, which speaks with one unified voice on behalf of nearly a quarter million businesses. The Chamber's job is to help Canadian businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions grow their business. We do this by helping them connect to each other, new opportunities, providing essential business services, and influencing government policy on their behalf. For more information visit or follow us @CdnChamberofCom.