The 4th Annual Winnipeg ELO Forum on April 30th was a great success, with a 25% increase in attendance over last year, and attendees calling it “the best one yet” and “very inspirational!” The speakers and the event were all highly rated by attendees. Most importantly, the Forum was very impactful with speakers informing, inspiring and also challenging attendees to greater impact.
There were a total of seven presenters from throughout North America, with attendees coming from throughout southern Manitoba and from across Canada. The purpose of the ELO Forum was achieved: to connect, equip and celebrate Christian marketplace and entrepreneurial leaders.
The Forum was M/C’d by Dr. Richard Goossen, Chairman, ELO. All speakers are live and in person. The event integrates a “forum” component through a Q & A with speakers. There were a number of video presentations interspersed throughout the day. The coffee/tea breaks throughout the day provided ample opportunity for connecting with others.
ELO has developed a broad support base in Manitoba, including advisory board members, sponsors, table hosts, exhibitors and volunteers. The ELO Forum has become the single most important event for Christian marketplace leaders
The event in Winnipeg started off modestly in 2016 as a coffee & dessert evening. Then the next year was a sit-down dinner. Last year there were afternoon and evening sessions but with only a couple of presenters.
This year’s version was expanded to the model that is used so successfully in Vancouver, Toronto and other locations. There was an afternoon session featuring six presenters and the evening session was highlighted by the presentation of the “Entrepreneurial Leaders Award” and a keynote delivered by Dr. Richard Blackaby.
The presenters were all very highly rated and attendees commented on the stellar line-up with no drop off in quality throughout the day.
The afternoon session began with a presentation by Diane Craig, Founder and President, Corporate Class, Toronto, who spoke on “Unbreakable Presence.” She has worked through various personal tragedies and business challenges but has forged ahead. She shared from the heart about her life and business journey.
Ken Keis, Founder and President, CRG Consulting Resource Group, Abbotsford, BC spoke on “Business and Life Purpose: What Do You Really Value?” Ken is a global authority on behavioral assessment strategies and processes.
Ray Pennings, Co-Founder, Cardus, Hamilton, ON, spoke on “Private Business, Public Faith.”
Brad Pedersen, Founder & President, Indykko Limited, Toronto, ON engaged in a Q & A with Dr. Goossen on “Overcoming Bankruptcy, Failure & Adversity.”
Robyn Sneath, President/ CEO, The Sneath Group, Brandon, MB focused on “Doing Good and Doing Well.”
Jeff Williams, President and Founder, Absolute Results Group, Surrey, BC spoke about “Selling Cars, Driving Transformation.”
Richard Blackaby, President, Blackaby Ministries International, Atlanta, GA, spoke on “The Disciplines of Spiritual Leadership: Knowing and Doing the Will of God in the Marketplace.”
The Entrepreneurial Leaders Award was presented to John Courtney, Executive Director, Youth For Christ, Winnipeg. The purpose of the award is to recognize the example of a leader who has made a difference in their community over an extended period of time. John has served YFC for 47 years. He has grown YFC to having the biggest impact of any location in North America. John received a spontaneous and well-deserved standing ovation. One ELO Advisor said John’s acceptance speech was the best he’d ever heard.
In short, the 4th Annual ELO Forum was an impactful event. The speakers resonated with attendees. People were impacted to be greater difference-makers in their spheres of influence and they were affirmed in their calling to the marketplace.
We asked attendees: “describe the one or two most important points/insights you obtained from attending the Forum.” Here is some of the feedback:
“Richard Blackaby provided an absolutely valuable connection of faith to marketplace that feels like jet fuel for entrepreneurial purpose.” - Ryan Ramsdale, Embolden Consulting
“The recognition of significant leadership and the quality of the speakers this time and in the past” -Grant Ritchie, FSM Food Systems Management
“Impact of using the resources we have for the kingdom of God.” - Elaine Neufeld, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority
“A great opportunity to hear how God is at work in the marketplace and being willing to hear his voice.” Paul Boge, Boge & Boge Consulting Engineers
“Relaxed. Good Content. Great Networking Opportunities” - Art Alexander, Art Alexander & Associates
“Loved the theology of vocation and encouragement to leverage influence for God’s Kingdom.” - Stafford Greer, Morden Alliance Church
“Richard Blackaby [evening keynote speaker] was very impactful. Met great people at the table I was at.”- Dave Burton, Rocket Rez
“The importance of doing things God's way.” - Ed Ratzlaff, Aerofoil Consulting