Post Event Report


“This was an exceptionally inspirational and worthwhile event. Thank you so much for another fantastic day!” – Dale Lutz, Co-Founder, Safe Software, Surrey, BC

“Well organized, motivating and educational conference. Again I came away refocused and with new tools.” – Christina Goh, National Sales Manager, Santieva Water Systems Inc., Delta, BC

“A fantastic evening—it’s rare to be able to share a room with like-minded Christian entrepreneurs and to hear such inspirational and quality speaking.” – Markus Gildemeister, Project Manager, Axiom Builders, Vancouver

“I would recommend this event. It’s an inspiring event for emerging leaders. The content would be great for young entrepreneurs!” – Jeremy Dorrough, Director, YWAM North Cascades, Lynden, WA

“I would recommend this event. The speakers were genuine and transparent with their personal stories.” – Larry Les, President, Genica Capital, Chilliwack, BC

The 11th annual Entrepreneurial Leaders Conference & Awards Gala was held on Wed, Nov 30th at the Vancouver Convention Centre with about 300 attendees drawn locally, nationally (from BC to QC), from the US (from Washington State to California) and from overseas (Jakarta, Indonesia) Attendees included a mix of entrepreneurs and business owners, NPO and church leaders, students and startup entrepreneurs.

The event was supported by 15 exhibitors, over 20 sponsors, numerous table hosts and organized with the help of a 15-person Advisory Board. The event featured an afternoon session and an evening awards gala.

What was the feedback from attendees? Virtually all attendees would recommend the event to their contacts. The speakers all received high responses (like a report card with all A’s and A+’s).

Here is a smattering of comments we received. “Inspirational, motivational, best practices for business leaders.” “Wonderful—well done!!” “Very well run! Great to connect with focus!!” “Great networking, good speakers, good venue.” “All was excellent—I loved it!” “I received gifts of wisdom, encouragement, and inspiration from every speaker at this event.” “It was very inspiriting. I appreciated the time to meet people and talk.” “Great conference. I liked the speakers. I will bring guests next time.” “The speakers were absolutely terrific! I so appreciate the opportunity to listen to and speak with fellow Christian entrepreneurs. Thank you!” “I would absolutely recommend the event. I foud the presenters to be engaging and interesting.” “This was my first time attending this event and I enjoyed it very much. It is great to hear talks with Christian reference.”

The ELO events are characterized by speakers who are transparent and authentic. They participate in the program because the believe it’s important and they want to connect with attendees.

The driver behind the events is the tagline of ELO: to connect, equip and celebrate Christian marketplace and entrepreneurial leaders. There is synergy that comes from “connecting” leaders who are otherwise in their own silos. To “equip” is vital as leaders thirst to learn how to lead more effectively. Is this important? As John Maxwell shared at the ELO event in Toronto a couple of weeks ago, no organizations suffer from too many good leaders! Lastly, to “celebrate!” During the evening session, we honored Peter Legge with the “Entrepreneurial Leaders Award.”

Peter Legge is a renowned tireless contributor the Vancouver and BC communities. He has been involved in Young Life for 50 years, he has operated Canada Wide Media for 40 years, he has been involved in the Variety Telethon for 30 years, he has chaired the Salvation Army Breakfast for 15 years. He has received numerous accolades, honorary doctorates, and wide recognition.

Peter then delivered the evening keynote titled, “You Need Tenacity To Power your Dreams.” He provided powerful inspiration on tenacity, focus and support networks in order to fulfill your dreams.

The afternoon session featured a range of speakers and perspectives, but all united by the thread of how Christian marketplace and entrepreneurial leaders can make a positive difference in the marketplace.

Sheila Wray Gregoire, Belleville, ON, spoke about “Harnessing the Entrepreneurial Spirit.” She shared how she started writing and speaking on marriage which has now grown to one of the leader websites in the world on Christainity and marriage-related issues.

Joo Kim Tiah, Principal, Holborm Group, engaged in the interview / Q & A session, with Rick Goossen, Chairman, ELO. Joo Kim and his company have over $2 billion in development projects in BC, including high-profile projects such as the Trump Tower and the Little Mountain property. He shared candidly about his faith, his challenges, his personal life and his business activities.

Todd and Debra Duncan, The Duncan Group, Orange County, CA, were the afternoon keynote speakers. Todd delivered an outstanding afternoon keynote on “Five Keys to Innovation.” Todd is a master presenter, a widely-published author and a world-recognized authority on effective selling. After Todd’s keynote, he was joined by his wife, Debra, and they were interviewed by Rick Goossen. Deb has had much success in the direct selling industry and now partners with Todd in The Duncan Group. Todd and Deb shared candidly about their business and personal highs and lows and how their faith has sustained them and prepared then for the next opportunities in their life journey.

James Epp, CEO and Owner, Fraswerway RV engaged in a Q & A / Interview with Rick Goossen. The title of the interview was “No Shortcuts to Success.” James has been involved in the RV business for almost 50 years which has now grown to be the largest RV dealer in Canada. James talked about the struggles, the twists and the turns, as his company grew over the decades.

Every year the ELO events prove to be unique. There is no other gathering of Christian marketpace and entrepreneurial leaders from across the spectrum, cutting across various groups, denominations and silos. In 2016, for the first time, ELO held events, very successfully, across Canada: Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Toronto.

The impact comes from the commonality and unity of faith, of leaders wanting to make a  difference in the marketplace, and the synergies that come from connecting with other of like mind and purpose. All the presentations—in both the afternoon and evening session—will surely have a lasting and vital impact.