Penticton Indian Band gets down to business

Aboriginal communities from across the province are in Penticton this week for Aboriginal Business Match 2013

Chief Jonathan Kruger (seated) and band councillor Joseph Pierre look over some paperwork with CEO Jessie Campbell (seated) of Tourism Penticton and Colleen Pennington

Chief Jonathan Kruger (seated) and band councillor Joseph Pierre look over some paperwork with CEO Jessie Campbell (seated) of Tourism Penticton and Colleen Pennington

Representatives from aboriginal communities across B.C. are in Penticton this week to connect with private sector companies at Aboriginal Business Match 2013.

The convention, with 130 First Nations and 140 companies participating, also features a presentation from Terry O’Reilly, host of The Age of Persuasion on CBC Radio. Changing the Conversation is described as a thought-provoking look at how negative perceptions can be changed.

“I like that ABM is a dynamic way to connect aboriginal communities with a national corporate audience for the purpose of creating a vibrant kaleidoscope of business relationships,” said O’Reilly.

Chief Jonathan Kruger of the Penticton Indian Band said they are honoured to co-host ABM 2013, and are looking forward to making connections for economic development at the event, which runs through Thursday at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre.

“Our council and I have made economic development a priority to create a sustainable future for the Penticton Indian Band. We welcome the opportunity to showcase our portfolio,” said Kruger. “It includes our Arrowleaf project. Adjacent to the City of Penticton we own one of the finest parcels of land in the South Okanagan and have formed partnerships to develop it into a spectacular residential golf destination. This is good for us, the companies working for us and the regional economy.”

Organizers of the event, which is just in its second year, said that no other event in B.C. connects business and aboriginal leaders more strategically, helping develop the largely untapped business opportunities with aboriginal communities.

Delegates are able to choose one-on-one appointments based on detailed e-profiles, developed by all participants and hosted on the ABM website in preparation for the event. Business interests and opportunities are then computer-matched to make the best connections.

“What makes ABM unique and successful is that it is much more than business speed dating. There is nothing random about the contacts delegates make. The event is designed to be focused, prepared and productive,” said Keith Henry, chair of the ABM 2013 steering committee. “The value of ABM is provided through tools used by delegates to gain knowledge about each other’s business assets, expertise and priorities.”