SPOTLIGHT, WITH J.D. BOOTH

Leading the Chamber of Commerce into the future

CEO Shirley de Silva, on the job for two years, has a new strategic plan and a view for renewal firmly in her sights

When Shirley de Silva first arrived in Sarnia-Lambton just over two years ago, she faced what could be described as a financially stressful situation, an organization that was some $80,000 in the red and clearly needing some managerial assistance.

With an airport management resume in hand but without an ounce of experience in the Chamber network behind her, de Silva nonetheless was successful in turning the ship around, not only erasing the deficit but ending her first year on the job with a small surplus.

Today, armed with a strategic plan intended to renew and reenergize the Chamber, she and a small professional staff are determined to breathe new life into an organization that has been serving the community for more than 100 years.

While de Silva would be the first to admit that challenges remain, she is optimistic that a committed membership and a dedicated board of directors, all volunteers mind you, will achieve the goals set out for them.

As the Chamber looks ahead, events such as this fall’s Outstanding Business Achievement Awards are a sign of good things to come.

Please enjoy this conversation with the Chamber’s Shirley de Silva and share with your network!

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