After 12 years leading the Oakville Chamber of Commerce, President John Sawyer is stepping down. John says “the timing is right for both myself and the Chamber.” He went on to say; “We have built a truly outstanding team, we are at record membership and we are in a strong financial position. I will certainly miss it but am looking forward to the next chapter in my life.”
John has been recognized for his leadership by a number of organizations. In 2014 the Chamber Executives of Ontario awarded John the James Carnegie Memorial Award for his leadership and work as a mentor to his colleagues in the Chamber network. In recognition of his community service John was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal and the local Rotary Clubs named John a Paul Harris Fellow. The Chamber Executives of Canada at their annual meeting last year named John the Chamber Executive of the year for Chambers with 1,000+ members.
Under John’s leadership the Oakville Chamber has grown to over 1,200 member companies that collectively employ over 42,000 people.
Twice during the past three years the Canadian Chamber has awarded the gold medal to the Oakville Chamber in the annual national Chamber competition; last year for producing the best Chamber video and in 2015 for building community partnerships. The Ontario Chamber has also recognized the Oakville Chamber with awards for its programing and advocacy work. The Chamber Accreditation Council awarded the Oakville Chamber Accreditation with Distinction. In order to be accredited a Chamber’s governance and programing are measured against best practices across the Chamber network. Accreditation with Distinction has only been earned by approximately 10% of the Chambers of Commerce or Boards of Trade in Canada.
The Oakville Chamber annually hosts between 55 and 65 events per year. Many of those events feature high profile business and political leaders. Over the past few years the Chamber has hosted leading CEO’s, the Governor General, Prime Ministers, Premiers, Cabinet Ministers, Government officials, diplomats and celebrities who have visited Oakville to speak at Chamber events.
“John will be missed. He has done a remarkable job over the past 12 years and will be hard to replace” stated Ken Nevar, Chair of the Chamber’s Board of Directors. “The Board has undertaken a rigorous search for John’s successor and we expect to be able to make an announcement in that regard in the coming weeks. John has agreed to stay on until the end of March to help with the transition in leadership.”
Canadian Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Perrin Beatty reflected on John’s tenure with the Oakville Chamber of Commerce “We will miss John’s leadership – not only at the Oakville Chamber of Commerce but also as a leader in the Canadian chamber network. John’s sense of humour and his “can-do” attitude have inspired his team to achieve great things for his members and the community of Oakville. The team at the Canadian Chamber wishes you and Marianne many years of happiness and health.”
Details regarding a retirement celebration will be released at a later date.