November 8, 2022 Message to the Membership

Posted on November 8, 2022 in

November 8, 2022 Message to the Membership

I had the pleasure of attending the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce’s 39th Annual ABEX Awards this past weekend, and it was indeed a pleasure to attend. Reason being, we weren’t the ones putting it on, so I wasn’t the least bit worried or stressed about the weather, which if you recall, wasn’t all that hospitable on the weekend.  

Unfortunately, many of the 500 or so guests that were planning on attending chose not to for good and safe reasons. My best guesstimate would be that about one-third, or maybe even a little higher, were no-shows. Most of those in that category were likely from out of town because I’m told that many of the province’s highways, if they were open, were still treacherous. 

For those of us who were there, however, were provided with a great opportunity to meet new people, hear about thriving businesses in other parts of our province, and reacquaint with familiar faces and friends. I’m always floored by this particular event, because of its provincial scope, which shows there really is so much more going on here in our province than what I realize.  

A big congratulations to all nominees and winners in the various ABEX categories – particularly to those from the NSBA membership – and there were quite a few of those, by the way. 

“Why is he talking about another organization’s event,” you might be wondering. Good question. Well, I do so for two reasons. First, I still find it amazing how other organizations are ‘returning to normal’ in this post-pandemic world. For our good friends at the SK Chamber, for instance, this was their first in-person awards program in three years. Indeed, their last in-person ABEX Awards gala was held in the fall of 2019. 

In contrast, your NSBA has held three such events – awards banquets, that is; albeit in a modified fashion in 2020 – in that same timeframe. I don’t raise this to toot our own horn, but rather to point out that for some people, this was their first networking event in nearly three years. 

Because we at the NSBA have been going pretty steady with a stream of event offerings over that timeframe – in a safe and regulated way – I find it hard to fathom that people have been avoiding business networking events for so long. I don’t know this for certain, but I imagine that they’ve also cut back on their personal get togethers as well. I don’t know if this is dedication, a little overboard, or just being uber sensitive and/or cautious. But one thing I do know is that it’s a shame. 

OK, so there’s reason No. 1 for you: returning to normal. The second reason I raise it is because the ABEX Awards had a theme of Solid Gold. Well guess what? We are about to begin our public-facing 2023 Business Builder Awards promotion and awards applications are soon to be open and guess what our theme was going to be? You betcha, Solid Gold. And so now, we’re having a debate about whether or not we should be changing our theme last minute. (Now my BBA Committee, staff and Events team are the ones saying, “Why is he talking about that?”) 

Fair question, because indeed this is drawing the curtain back more than a wee bit to see what’s going on behind the scenes. But I wanted to explain that we chose our theme (firstly unbeknownst to us that the SK Chamber’s was that very theme) but also because we are going to be using the Business Builder Awards as a means to celebrate the NSBA’s 50th year. And 50th anniversaries are Golden Anniversaries. 

And unlike the SK Chamber, whose Solid Gold theme was personified by tasteful colour accents and décor throughout the room, our Solid Gold theme was to be more along the lines of a ‘70s theme and hit records. In other words, quite a bit different. 

So now, I turn to you. Is it wrong for us to go ahead with our Solid Gold theme? Some may see it as a copy cat of our friends at the SK Chamber, which it isn’t. But perception is reality, so there’s that. Or, should we proceed as we intended, with our Solid Gold theme, with the differences being explained (and in my view, obvious). 

OK, now’s your chance to weigh in, please let us know your thoughts. I’m curious to know what others think. Many of you know how to get a hold of me (because I often get feedback on these little messages). For those who don’t, just send me a quick note at: 

Your opinion matters, so I look forward to hearing from you. 

Until next time, be safe, be smart, be considerate, be well, but most of all, be kind. 

Keith Moen 

Executive Director 

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