April 29, 2016 – Message from Chamber President, Natalie Sims – “In her first few weeks as CEO, Nancy Shaw is quickly learning the ropes of the GOCC. In a short period of time we have spent a great deal of time on the phone or together in meetings or at event’s. In this brief period, I have quickly gotten to know her much better.
I understand that many members of the Chamber may not know Nancy very well or at all, and considering the volume of demands on her schedule at this time it might just not be easy to catch her for a brief chat. With that thought in mind I felt I should help you, the Chamber Member, get to know Nancy Shaw.”
What was it that interested you in the CEO position at the GOCC?
NS – I was very excited to be a part of the business community in Oshawa. I saw this as a great opportunity with such potential to make a difference in the Chamber and ultimately to help businesses grow and thrive in Oshawa.
Membership growth and membership engagement are an ongoing challenge for many Chambers of Commerce. How do you intend to improve those at Oshawa?
NS – First, by reaching out to the businesses and encouraging them to get involved. I want to add more value to what the Chamber can offer a business and to be relevant to the Chamber Members. We are moving forward into an exciting new chapter in the GOCC’s history, as many businesses start to recognize this and see what value their membership brings them, then, the more businesses will respond.
After 3 weeks in the job, what do you see as your biggest challenge ahead?
NS – For me personally, it is not trying to do it all on my own, use my resources wisely and trying to keep the work life balance.
Over the years the GOCC has had a stereo type of being the “old boys club”. Why do think that was?
NS – I can’t speak to the past as my focus is on the future which will be an inclusive and professional group of members working together for all businesses in the GOCC.
Are we, the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce, relevant?
NS – Yes, as long as we stay focused and change with the needs of business.
What do you think is the single biggest challenge facing business in Ontario today?
NS – Hydro Rates, without a doubt.
You grew up in Oshawa/Whitby, where did you go to school?
NS – Oh, there were a few during my childhood but the milestone school years were at College Hill Public School, Anderson Collegiate and of course Durham College.
If there was one thing you wished Mayor Henry would do differently in the city, what would it be?
NS – To continue to keep a tight focus in targeting and encouraging business to settle in Oshawa. Especially in light industry and technology.
I know you have always been active in the community. What have been some of your passion projects over the years?
NS – Parkwood, The Abilities Centre, Pro-Action Cops and Kids, Special Olympics Gala, Tribute to the Troops, Police Appreciation Dinner and Awards.
What is one characteristic you believe every leader should possess?
NS – Confidence.
Can you name a person who has had tremendous impact on you as a leader? Why and how did this person impact your life?
NS –I would first have to say my parents. It started with the basics, like my father teaching me how to have a “business” handshake and telling me to have eye contact with those I speak to. I would also have to say my husband Ken, he is my constant support, always reminding me to strive for more and encourages me to be the best I can be!
In your employment history you are often remembered for your time working with Jim Flaherty. What is one of your favorite memories?
NS – We were visiting the brand new Ontario Court House and we got stuck in the one side of the underground garage and on the other side were a number of Justices there to meet us who were desperately trying to get us both in! There were so many laughs in that garage!
What do you like to do when you are not working?
NS – I enjoy walking, reading and of course the game of golf.
What book would I find on your night stand currently?
NS – The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Biography.
Give me one word that describes you the best?
NS – Encouraging.
My final question just since it is hard to avoid these days…Trump or Hillary?
NS – Ha, I will have to defer to my Board of Directors for a decision.