NEWS RELEASE: 13th ELO Forum - Unique, Fantastic, Fabulous, Awesome!

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VANCOUVER, CANADA – NOVEMBER 9, 2018 –   The ELO Forums and executive education courses in North America, Europe and Asia continue to thrive and gain momentum.  Why?  What is it about the ELO Forums that continue to attract leading business people from around the world? 

They are unique.  The purpose of the ELO Forum is to connect, equip and celebrate Christian marketplace and entrepreneurial leaders.  People “connect” outside of their typical circles.  They are “equipped” through hearing—and interacting with—great speakers.  They “celebrate” and acknowledge the importance of business as mission and business as calling.

As Clarence Martens, CTO, Ballistiq Digital, noted, “This [Vancouver] is a unique event—there is nothing quite like it.  Very encouraging to be with others.  Well organized.”  Paul Low, Accelus Digital, commented “This is a world-class conference.  An outstanding lineup of speakers, as always.  ELO is the place to be for Christian entrepreneurs to be equipped, networked and inspired!“ 

The 13th annual Vancouver ELO Forum was held on Nov 7th at the Pinnacle Harbourfront Hotel. Attendees were drawn from throughout Canada and the US, including a delegation of about 20 people from Washington State.  The Forum featured a wide range of speakers and a dynamic keynote address, interspersed with various video segments.  As one person noted: “This event is inspiring with successful business people sharing their real-world experience and relevant faith.”  

Here is a smattering of the extraordinarily positive comments:   “Great networking opportunities.  Excellent speakers.”   “Fantastic.”  “Encouraging, motivating & good networking.”  “Very informative and welcoming as well as inspiring.”   “Great connections and inspiration.”  “Really well done.  Always a privilege and honour to be at the event.”  “The event is very well run!  Speakers are fantastic.”  “Great quality content and well organized.”  “Absolutely fabulous night, great connections.”  “Great event for the business community.”  “Content was great—the networking even better.” 

The Forum, M/C’d by Rick Goossen, Chairman, ELO, featured six different presenters and perspectives.  Casey Houweling, Owner, Houweling’s Group of Companies, addressed the topic of “How To Be An Innovator:  Lessons from the Hot House.”  Wes Herman, CEO, Woods Coffee, Lynden, WA, focused on the topic of “Brewing Up Success:  Overcoming Illness, Prison Time & Financial Ruin.”  Giulio Gabeli, Pastor, Westwood Community Church, Coquitlam, BC spoke on “Making A Stand:  The Lessons of Standing Up for Faith in an Unwelcome Environment.”  Esther de Wolde, CEO/Co-Owner, Phantom Screens, shared about her “Faith and Entrepreneurial Journey:  What I have Learned Through the Ups and Downs Along the Way.”  Phil Vischer, engaged in a Q & A in the afternoon session on “The Battlefield for Young Souls:  Faith, Animation & The Digital Age.”  Rick Goossen engaged in a Q & A with Tamara Jansen, Co-Founder, Darvonda Nurseries on her entrepreneurial adventures and her recent foray into politics. 

The speakers received an enthusiastic response.  “Excellent sessions of inspirational, motivational learning and wonderful fellowship.”  “Hard not to give all the speakers a 10 as they are all very good.  A great encouragement to me.”   “I would highly recommend this event.  I appreciated the authenticity of the presenters.”  “Very well done!  I have been coming for years and I highly recommend this conference.” 

Yu-Kai Chou, the afternoon keynote speaker, concentrated on “Faith in Silicon Valley:  Changing the World Through Gamification.”  As one attendee said, “Yu-kai Chou absolutely crushed it! My head is spinning with ways to implement the material. I need more! This was by far the highlight for me personally. I love this stuff.”  

Phil Vischer’s evening keynote titled, “Me, Myself & Bob:  Lessons Learned from the Rise & Fall of a Big Idea” was captivating, moving, insightful and humorous—all at once.  Feedback included:  “Amazing message.”   “Phil Vischer is awesome!!!”  “[Phil] was very thought-provoking and challenging.”  “Phil’s message hit right between the eyes—it was phenomenal!”   “An excellent evening!  Phil Vischer was excellent.”  “Phil Vischer did a great job! His spiritual challenge is much needed in our “ego-centric” approach to the Gospel. Well done!”  Brad Driesen, Open Door Construction noted, “Awesome speaker [Phil Vischer] with an amazing biblical message offering perspective in a busy world.”  Dustin Willms, Engineer, Fast + Epp added, “Very inspiring and great to hear Phil’s experience.” 

In short, the ELO Forum fulfilled its purpose of impacting attendees beyond the event, whether through new and recommitted difference-making, new relationships, new initiatives and new ideas.  The ELO Forums remain completely unique, bringing together leaders as a unifying force from throughout the Christian community 

Here is a representative sample of additional feedback: 

“I would recommend this event.  The foundation that is common throughout the speakers is encouraging.  Their overcoming experiences over adversity are inspirational.  Strength in perseverance in your situation.” – Garry Reimer, The Reimer Group, Langley, BC 

“The speakers each year are insightful leaders with a compelling story both personally and professionally.” – Chris Dyck, CPA, Avisar Chartered Professional Accountants 

 “This is a great networking and connection event for marketplace-minded leaders and general encouragement for Christians in business.  A great event for a wide variety of leaders.  All the presentations were very relevant.”  - Dr. Doug Atha, Professor, TWU 

“I highly recommend this event.  Love the ability to network with new people and catch up with other colleagues.”  Erik Korver, SiteDocs Safety Corp

“Phil Vischer’s presentation spoke to me personally.  Also meeting many Christian business people was a great joy.” – Jose Mendoza, President, Zion Painting 

“Being a Christian business person requires immense courage.  Being in a room of other like-minded people is encouraging.” – Hester VanBraeden, Classical Education Books