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Member News For April 2017, volume 11
 

President's Message

For the 10th consecutive Spring, the Lebanese Chamber of Commerce is proud to celebrate the accomplishments of our business community at the Cedar & Maple Gala, coming up on May 18th. In recognition of this 10 year milestone this year's Gala will be our biggest yet.   Despite a larger venue at the Cunard Centre the excitement around our keynote speaker, Kevin O'Leary, we have generated more robust ticket and sponsorship demand than ever and we are nearly sold out.   Do not delay or you will miss the celebration.

Nationally, the official opposition is about to select a new leader who will lead the Conservative Party in loyal opposition to Prime Minister Trudeau.   Provincially an election feels imminent.   In both cases it is imperative that business leaders support candidates who stand for pro growth policies including tax reductions, regulatory reform and the balance between fiscal responsibility and strategic investment decision making, which is the hallmark of any well run business.   

The entrepreneur is the lifeblood and the future of the Canadian economy and we need governments who embrace and reward those who create opportunity for themselves and others.   

Spring represents a rebirth and new opportunities, but for entrepreneurs it is always Spring and opportunities are always there for those who seek them and have the courage to pursue them.
         

 


Norman Nahas
President
Lebanese Chamber of Commerce


We are overwhelmed with the support for this year’s 10th Annual Cedar & Maple Gala.  Planning and ticket sales are well on the way.  We encourage you to act quickly if you wish to join us as there are only 10 tables left!   There are two sponsorship opportunities left which are the Reception Sponsorship and Photowall Sponsorship.

The Lebanese Chamber of Commerce in Nova Scotia is proud to host this year's Gala in the historical landmark for the Lebanese community at the Cunard Centre on Thursday, May 18th, 2017.

The Chamber is looking forward to an exciting evening featuring keynote speaker (of Lebanese descent) Kevin O'Leary and a celebration of our Lebanese community and our annual business awards:

  • Lebanese Business Person of the Year
  • Lebanese Owned/Operated Business of the Year
  • Lebanese Professional of the Year
  • Canadian Owned/Operated Business of the Year

Please download the Sponsorship Kit (PDF), which includes more information such as ticket purchase, sponsorship and applications for the above noted nominated awards. (nominations can also be made online here)

Tickets and sponsorship packages can be purchased online

 

Mayor Mike Savage

One of the great privileges of being Mayor is the opportunity to see Halifax through the eyes of people who are discovering our city for the first time. They often remark on the spirit of this place, on our collaborative nature and the clear commitment among many players to help write a new narrative for the hub of Atlantic Canada.

They see a youthful, progressive, increasingly multicultural city with evidence of growth and development everywhere one turns. Halifax has a special character, a deep well of talented people, and a cost-competitive price of doing business. Talent, location, cost: Together they create the value proposition I confidently hold up when I take the Halifax message on the road. 

We are home to impressive companies such as Emera and Clearwater, just as we have proven to be a solid bet for international heavy hitters such as IBM and RBC.  And, still, our city offers a good fit for start-up, for entrepreneurs, and those looking to grow a business.

In government, we must be better partners with the private sector to foster the innovation and bold thinking that will shape our future. I’m proud that City Hall is working with the province to address red tape and improve business process. We are likewise committed to spurring innovation, and to attracting and keeping the kind of talent that will propel our economy in the knowledge age.

We have a wonderful city that is enjoying what we expect will be a sustained period of strong growth. By working well with the development and building industries and the committed membership of the Lebanese Chamber, we can meet the challenge of creating a bigger, better Halifax that has economic benefits for all of Nova Scotia.

I look forward to working with many of you as we continue to grow our great city and its many communities.


ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

The Chamber’s well attended Annual General Meeting was held on February 28th in the McInnis Cooper Boardroom, downtown Halifax.  

As required, the AGM reports on the previous year’s activities, financial statements, and pass motion to accept the slate of board members as presented.

The 13 board members and the subsequent reelection of the executive are as follows:

Norman Nahas, President
Joe Metlege, Vice President
Samir Toulany, Treasurer
Andrew Nahas, Secretary
Joe Bassil, Board Member
Norm Mensour, Board Member
Monique Fares, Board Member
Tony Ramia, Board Member
Matt Metlege, Board Member
Charlie Khoury, Board Member
Patrick Jabbour, Board Member
Jason Kassouf, Board Member
Patricia Arab, Board Member

The Chamber appreciates the initiatives and support of the members whom terms have come to an end:  Peter Zed, Milad Saikali and Jamil Hage.  

 

Member Spotlight: Justin & James Ghosn

How do two young successful real estate brothers end up owning and running a taxi business?

Justin and James Ghosn, both under 30 years old, grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and attended Dalhousie University.  Gaining knowledge from a hard working family business, both Justin and James grew up with involvement in real-estate management and development.  The experience they have gained has lead them to continue managing their family endeavors, while also starting their own projects and business opportunities.  Justin and James adopted a strong work ethic from their father, and the mentality of “first in the office and last to leave”.  Values instilled in the brothers include: learning to effectively communicate with people, setting examples by leading, and being stern, respectful and always work harder than everyone around you.  These impressive young men list these key tools as values they live by in their personal and professional lives.

Justin and James, owners of Yellow Cab, did not envision they would one day own a taxi business, in fact, it is almost unprecedented for any Nova Scotian Lebanese entrepreneurs to have a business fall into their laps.  While Justin and James were  purchasing a development opportunity on the corner of Almon and Gladstone Street, the previous owner expressed his desire to sell both the property and taxi business.  After due diligence, the Ghosn’s decided to embrace the chance, as they were confident they could succeed once they set their minds to this new challenge.  They saw the potential of bringing a young, fresh, modernized view to the industry, and decided to take on the venture. 

Read Full Spotlight here...
 
As the owners of Yellow Cab for 7 months, many changes have already been put in place.  They have not only completely restructured the business, but they are also creating a much more suitable and functional working environment for their 20+ in-house employees and 200+ vehicles on the road.  The office is undergone a major facelift, with brighter floors and walls.  As a result of such changes, the aged city center building is a new breathe of life to compliment its new ownership.  When speaking with the Ghosn’s they said, “having a clean and appropriate work atmosphere is crucial to having success.  The image your office broadcasts helps reflect the level of respect and attitude your staff will have while working”.

Of course, for the Ghosn brothers, the most important aspect of their newest endeavor is the quality of the service they provide.  Both brothers are excited to be installing brand new hardware and software in every vehicle within their fleet.  This will give Yellow Cab the ability to have tablets and blue tooth equipment in every one of their cars.  Additionally, the new technology gives them the ability to live GPS track every ride, better monitor driver’s habits and routines, and operate their entire operations on a cloud based system.  The Ghosn’s are expecting these changes to begin and be completed within the next two months.  

Their goals are to make passengers feel safe, hold drivers to a higher standard, and continue adopting a zero tolerance policy for anything less than 100%.  Such concerns are a high priority given recent events in the Nova Scotia taxi community.  The brothers are confident that their anticipated changes to Yellow Cab will provide a safer commute for both passengers and drivers.

Further, the boys aren’t worried about competitors, such as Uber, impinging on their business.  The boys
explain that the size of Halifax is much small than Toronto.  In Halifax, a driver’s average charge is about $10, whereas in Toronto, a driver’s average charge is about $20.  The monetary benefits for Uber passengers and drivers in large cities are not realized in Halifax, given Halifax’s smaller market.  

Managing their real-estate portfolio while operating Yellow Cab has made the Ghosn’s quite busy the past several months.  However, with the Yellow Cab offices being so large, 4000+ sq feet, they have been able to merge their old offices with Yellow Cabs offices.  This has allowed them to manage their real-estate and Yellow Cab from one central location.

Justin and James have been quite successful in their initiatives, and they credit a lot of their success to their awareness of people. “If my building has 60 units, that is 60 different tenants, 60 different upbringings, 60 different lifestyles, and 60 different meanings of ‘respect’.  If you are not conscious of that you will be eaten alive.  Same as the taxi business.” - Justin Ghosn.

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NEW MEMBERS

We are pleased to announce our many new Individual Members this quarter:

Ralph Steven, Royal Le Page
Zeina Faddoul, Scotiabank
Mounir Ballout, St Mary’s University
John Maskine, Department of Justice, Counsel
Justin Ghosn, Yellow Cab Ltd
James Ghosn, Yellow Cab Ltd
Leanne Andrecyk, Zed Events
Fouad Abi Daoud, Mortgage Broker
Mike Hammoud, ACSA
Michel Khoury, Halifax Sports/Halifax Alehouse
Charlie Atie, Greenmont Developments
Sandra Pike, The Pike Group Royal LePage Atlantic
George Daniel, South Ridge Construction Ltd
Joanne Korkomas, Living Stone
Robert Kanaan, American Income Life
Laura Kanaan, MDW Law

Welcome to our Corporate Member this quarter:

Tom Gerard, Mat Houston and Brian Woods with KW Commercial Advisors

Respecting traditions, embracing progress.


The Lebanese Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit organization committed to the development and growth of economic and commercial relations.
 
The Chamber provides a platform for businesses and professional people to come together for the common good of our community. We believe the future is created, and in order to shape that future we work as advocates for our members with government departments; promote the projects and achievements of our members to the public; and create avenues for members to interact with centers of influence from both government and business.
 
We’re planning our growth with enthusiasm, and we invite new members who believe in our mission and share our values of Integrity, Progressive Thinking, Expertise and Boldness.  Please join us to enjoy the benefits of fostering ties to the Lebanese business community in Nova Scotia, and become an active participant in a vibrant and dynamic network working together to achieve more
 

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