Richmond News


Date ArticleType
9/27/2017 Press Release

Chamber gives students a head start on business in Richmond

A New Generation at the Table
Students are getting a head start on business in Richmond

“And what do you want to do when you grow up?” It’s not the most common topic of conversation at the boardroom table but it was heard often last Wednesday at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel. Over 70 students from across Richmond School District 38 were mingling with established business people and professionals before a panel began, featuring some of our City’s most inspiring business leaders- Rick Ilich, Founder & President of Townline Group of Companies, Peter Dhillon, Chairman of Ocean Spray Cranberries Ltd., and Darrell Jones, President of Overwaitea Food Group. with Moderator, City Councillor Alexa Loo.

“We started trying to better engage Richmond young people last year, with our first Women in Leadership Luncheon ,” says Matt Pitcairn, President & CEO of the Richmond Chamber of Commerce. “The students there were incredibly engrossed and our own members gave us overwhelmingly positive feedback. They loved the chance to get to know someone who was just starting to look at their career path and exploring the options. A lot of these students were already leaders – at school and our in the community.”

“Business education, and the soft skills like networking, can be such an advantage to young people. The panelists we hosted last week echoed that sentiment. We have a real opportunity to give Richmond young people a head start,” concluded Pitcairn.

Since that first Women in Leadership Luncheon, the Richmond Chamber of Commerce has sought to expand that education available to young people.

In 2017 the Chamber launched a revamped Scholarship Fund, named after longstanding employee Carol Young. Rather than reward essays and academic accomplishments (recognized by many scholarships) this award is based on a 2-3 minute video and the student’s ability to succeed despite adversity. This year, they’re offering up to 3 awards of $2,500.
The Chamber also partnered with the Richmond Public Library on their Summer Young Entrepreneurs Program, which trained a group of young people in all aspects of starting a business over 8 weeks.

On Monday, on this week, the Chamber hosted an Entrepreneur’s Panel with the Young Entrepreneur Leadership Launchpad (YELL) for a class of 25 students. Students left inspired, and with a greater capacity to identify innovative solutions in their community.

The next major event to integrate students with the business community is the Richmond Chamber of Commerce’s “Women in Leadership 2.0” panel October 5th, featuring Sue Paish, CEO of LifeLabs, Rachel Lewis, COO of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC, and Tara Bosch, Founder & CEO of SmartSweets .Tickets are still available for this event and can be found at . 100 students are expected to attend.