Gord sat on the Resort Community Labour Market Steering Committee in 2013. The committee conducted research to identify labour market trends and community impasses, while providing innovative solutions to BC’s Resort Municipalities. Gord served with a variety of local non-profit boards and Regional Boards, including the alternate for Tofino on the UNESCO Clayoquot Biosphere Trust. He endeavours to facilitate or moderate regional and local community meetings, forums and roundtables.
From 2010 to June of 2014 Gord offered his entrepreneurial spirit and balanced approaches to the Tofino-Long Beach Chamber of Commerce as its Executive Director. He helped to grow the organization to 330 Chamber members in a town of only 1900 people, double its budget and develop a strategic plan for wider community recognition in the province. Gord is particularly proud of developing, hosting and organizing a series of sponsored monthly luncheons, green breakfasts, business workshops and the quarterly mayor’s breakfasts.
The BC Chamber of Commerce was impressed enough to give the Chamber of the Year 2013 – Honourable Mention Award to the Tofino – Long Beach Chamber. (www.tofinochamber.org) for its innovation and business leadership. The BC Chamber admired the manner in which the local Chamber grew its relevance to its business community by bringing in top-tier speakers at reasonable cost. Last year the Chamber raised $70,000 in in-kind donations to host high profile speakers including politicians Elizabeth May, Carole James and Naomi Yamamoto.
This Chamber also won council support and funding to: look at creating a local economic development commission; to breath new life into the dream of a “Higher Learning Centre” in the Pacific Rim region in collaboration with First Nations, local government, non-profits and businesses; and to secure matching funds to continue the popular Ambassador program to enhance tourists’ experiences through knowledgeable local residents.
“The Tofino – Long Beach Chamber of Commerce is an inspiring example of a small Chamber punching above its weight and helping to tangibly lead its community forward. We congratulate this Chamber for its innovation, strategic thinking and sheer hard work.”(John Winter, President and CEO, BC Chamber of Commerce)
2003 saw Gord as a founding committee member to create and develop today’s flourishing Tofino Public Market.
As a successful entrepeneur over fourteen years, Gord founded a variety of enterprises from natural clothing and retail stores to a vacation rental business. All were founded on strong, balanced, economic, social and environmental values. Gord’s strong voice for business, his solid network of business contacts on Vancouver Island, the province and the country, as well as his unwavering defense of the environment on which the economy of the local community depends, have earned him the respect of his colleagues.
Most recently, Gord’s completion of a Certificate in Community Economic Development from Simon Fraser University in 2013-2014 added more tools in aid of development of sustainable local economies.