60 Years of GCBA – Hard to say goodbye

Elke Porter
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Vancouver, BC – The German Canadian Business Association (GCBA) embarked on its significant journey in 1963. It was founded by local businessmen in the Vancouver area who recognized the potential for increased success and sales through the establishment of a business association. This association brought together German-speaking individuals, hailing from Germany or Austria, to collectively pursue shared interests and objectives.

I took on the role of board secretary a decade ago, in response to a request from President Beatrice Schreiber, marking my entry into the organization in 2014. I am now officially resigning and anticipate that my departure will coincide with the upcoming Annual General Meeting, likely scheduled for March 2024. My tenure has been a fulfilling one, working closely with Beatrice and the Board of Directors.

Together, we have successfully managed monthly events, facilitated the inclusion of new members in community gatherings, and fostered relationships with various German companies, associations, non-profit organizations, and churches in Vancouver. Additionally, my involvement has greatly enriched my blog, Westcoast German News.

Some of the benefits to the GCBA member companies in the German-speaking community to help them collaborate, advocate and thrive over the past 60 years were:

  1. Advocacy: Representing the collective voice of our members, advocating for policies and regulations that benefit the the German-speaking community. Such as lobbying government bodies, conducting research, and engaging in public relations efforts.
  2. Networking: Opportunities to networking with others in the same industry, which lead to valuable business partnerships, collaborations, and knowledge sharing.
  3. Information and Education: Providing industry-specific information, research, and educational resources to keep members informed about the latest trends, best practices, and developments in the German-speaking community.
  4. Market Research: Conducting market research and collect industry data that members can use to make informed business decisions and stay competitive.
  5. Professional Development: Offering training, workshops, and speakers that can enhance the skills and knowledge of industry professionals.
  6. Industry Promotion: Promoting the interests of the German-speaking community and to enhance its public image. This can help create consumer trust and drive demand.
  7. Crisis Management: Providing guidance, resources, and support to help members manage and recover from adverse events in times of crises or emergencies affecting the industry
  8. Market Access: In some cases, associations may assist their members in gaining access to new markets, both domestically and internationally.

On December 6th, 2023 the GCBA will be celebrating their 60th Anniversary on Nikolaus Day at their Annual Christmas Gala in the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club. Those interested to support the GCBA by purchasing a ticket, donating something to the Tombola or to even sponsor an element of this amazing occasion, please contact Elke Porter at secretary@germancanadianbusiness.com

Saying goodbye after a decade of serving as the secretary for the GCBA and working closely alongside President Beatrice Schreiber and the dedicated Board of Directors is a bittersweet moment. These years have been marked by growth, camaraderie, and the shared commitment to our organization’s mission. It has been an honor to contribute to the success of our monthly events, foster connections with new members, and liaise with the diverse array of German companies, associations, non-profits, and churches in Vancouver. The experience has not only been professionally rewarding but has also enriched my personal journey. I am grateful for the memories, friendships, and invaluable lessons learned during my time with the GCBA, and I look forward to new adventures ahead while cherishing the moments spent here.

Embarking on a career in German media in Canada is my current aspiration. In today’s interconnected world, the role of multilingual media professionals is more vital than ever. With Canadian media outlets, international organizations, and digital platforms recognizing the importance of delivering content in various languages, the opportunities are ripe for professionals like me.

I’m enthusiastic about the prospect of contributing to the German-speaking community in Canada, whether through journalism, content creation, or digital marketing. My proficiency in both German and English positions me well to connect with a diverse audience and convey information effectively.

Canada’s rich multicultural environment offers an exciting backdrop for my journey in German media. It’s a chance to connect with people from diverse backgrounds, tell compelling stories, and contribute to cross-cultural understanding. I’m eager to embrace this path and start making a meaningful impact in the world of German media in Canada.

elke porter
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