Mississauga, Ontario (April 25, 2013) - Over 300 attendees came out to a 1960's-themed event at Mississauga Board of Trade (MBOT)'s Annual Chair's Gala, held April 24, 2013 at Mississauga Convention Centre.
The evening's decor, food and entertainment was based on the popular movie, "American Graffiti" and the theme was "Where were you in '62?"
The Annual Chair's Gala occurs in the spring every year and celebrates the hard work of the previous year's chair. This year the guest of honour was MBOT's 2012 Chair, Grant Clark, President, Solutions for HR Inc., whose leadership and dedication helped the board through many hurdles.
Clark is currently concluding his seventh year on MBOT's Board of Directors, and has been instrumental in the organization's development of its current Strategic Plan that will position the organization as a key leader, representing, serving and connecting business in Canada's sixth largest City.
Clark has been an active member of MBOT's various initiatives such as the Executive Committee for the past five years; the Policy & Government Relations Committee; the Research Innovation Commercialization Centre and Advantage Mississauga, to name a few.
"Mississauga Board of Trade's Annual Chair's Gala serves as the forum to honour the outgoing Chair for their volunteer leadership, dedication and commitment to the organization," said emcee Jake Dheer of Rogers TV.
"The quality of life in a community can be measured by its level of volunteerism. Many invaluable community organizations, programs and initiatives depend of the contributions of volunteers, and Mississauga Board of Trade is no different."
Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion was invited to the stage to say a few words before the presentations began.
"Tonight I want to pay tribute to all the volunteers that have served the Mississauga Board of Trade over the years," said Mayor McCallion. "I don't know what our city would do without all the volunteers... [they] are the backbone of so many organizations in our city."
Mayor McCallion also spoke about the importance of promoting Canada as an opportunity for investors and exporters; the growing healthcare and biotechnology sectors in Mississauga (quipping the small municipalities of Toronto and Montreal have nothing on Mississauga), and the importance of the business community.
"The business community must work together. You can't have government working here," she said, pointing to the left, "and the business community working here," she said, pointing to the right. "We have to work together."
Mayor McCallion continued, "The Board of Trade can do so much, and it has been a great supporter. I'm very pleased with the programs [MBOT] is running."
Guests were first welcomed into the main lobby for a cocktail reception, which featured live entertainment by The Beatlers, a 1960's Beatles Tribute Band and opportunities to begin bidding on the many silent auction prizes available. Individuals were then seated for dinner and formal remarks.
MBOT President & CEO Sheldon Leiba and 2013 Chair Karen Ras kept things lively with a creative introduction of Clark, via a slideshow of himself and his family life, throughout the years. They also highlighted his strong presence at events, his passion for business, and overall leadership to MBOT.
"Grant embodies what it means to give back to your community," said Leiba. "He is one of those volunteers and leaders who has made a tremendous impact on the active, vibrant, successful and influential Mississauga Board of Trade you see today, and on our community."
The gala also featured a special presentation to Paul Lucas of GlaxoSmithKline, the 2013 recipient of MBOT's Lifetime Business Achievement Award.
The award honours a leader that has achieved business success and made significant contributions to the community, and most in the city would agree that Lucas fits the profile, being a well-valued, tenacious and savvy business professional.
Lucas, former Chief Executive Officer of GlaxoSmithKline Inc., served as its President since January 1994. He has been with GlaxoSmithKline since September 1986, and has more than 20 years experience in the Canadian pharmaceutical industry.
"This award was introduced four years ago to recognize a great Canadian business leader for their exceptional business success, contributions to our national economy and personal commitment to community," said Dheer.
Past award winners Harold Shipp (inaugural recipient in 2009), Mayor Hazel McCallion (2010), Iggy Kaneff (2011) and John Keiser (2012) were all present at the event, making the evening extra special.
The celebration concluded with a silent and live auction, which included items such as a trunk-full of wine, a day with Mayor McCallion, a ride in a vintage car and more!
MBOT would like to extend a special thank you to all the event sponsors and volunteers for their help in making the event such a success.
TD Commercial Banking
Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D)
FRIEND OF CHAIR SPONSORS:
City of Mississauga
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.
University of Toronto Mississauga
Minute Man Press
Mississauga Convention Centre
Hollywood Tickle Trunk
Artes Media Productions
As the voice of business since 1976, Mississauga Board of Trade is a private-sector, not-for-profit business organization representing approximately 1,500 businesses, employing 65,000 people in Mississauga. MBOT is well positioned to meet the needs of business by using its considerable influence at all levels of government. As the forum for business, MBOT works together to influence public policy and promote a better understanding of the marketplace among policy makers, media and the general public.
President & CEO
Mississauga Board of Trade
905-273-6151 ext. 27