President's MessageA.J. (Tony) Ryan

It is my pleasure to present the Venture Kamloops 2017 Annual Report. Those of us that are fortunate enough to call the Kamloops area home know what a great community we have, and the entire Venture Kamloops organization – staff, leadership and Board of Directors – is dedicated to ensuring that Kamloops continues to be a dynamic community, with sustainable economic growth opportunities and a magnet for attracting and retaining both businesses and people.

2017 saw Venture Kamloops assist 180 businesses, in 20+ economic sectors, with their Expansion, Start-Up or Attraction inquiries. We hosted or partnered with other organizations to provide five educational sessions for businesses, including a very successful LinkUp event that was attended by over 200 entrepreneurs. We developed an exciting new pilot program called VK Accelerate to provide new retailers an opportunity to test and refine their business ideas with support from knowledgeable local experts. We continued to develop and update web-based tools to provide entrepreneurs with the data and support they need to help start or grow their business.

Our Vision, “Venture Kamloops – catalyst for an economically thriving and sustainable community” sets the tone for our Strategic Plan, the guiding document for our organization. The Board of Directors provides strategic, responsible guidance to the organization, and ensures that the annual activities and goals of Venture Kamloops are aligned with the current Strategic Plan. Originally adopted for 2014 - 2018, the Strategic Plan focuses on five (5) key areas: Industrial Lands; Economic Sector Services Hubs; Employment Growth; Strategic Partners; and Organization Excellence. As part of our commitment to sound governance, 2018 will see us developing a renewed Strategic Plan for the next five years.

It has been my privilege to serve as President of the Board of Directors since mid-2017. The Board is comprised of local representatives, with a wide variety of business experience and acumen. With their insight, expertise and dedication to ensuring that Venture Kamloops continues to provide value to our stakeholder, it continues to be a pleasure to work with them. I would like to take this opportunity to thank retiring Board member Greg Munden, of Munden Ventures, for dedicating the past six years to helping ensure our success. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our Executive Director, Jim Anderson, for his hard work and leadership. This past year has seen a lot of turnover in staff at Venture Kamloops, and Jim has recruited an outstanding staff team to support and grow the organization, with new and innovative approaches to economic development that are recognized on a regional, provincial and national level.

Please take the time to review the 2017 Annual Report – I trust that by doing so, you will gain a better appreciation for what Venture Kamloops is, and what support and services we offer.

- A.J. (Tony) Ryan, VK President