“It’s the old saying, fortune has a way of favouring people in the right place at the right time,” was a message John E. Peller recently shared with a crowd of more than 150 business people in Truro.

Peller, president and CEO of Canada’s largest winery, Andrew Peller Limited, was this year’s guest speaker at the Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce’s annual dinner awards gala.

He told the story of how in 1927 his grandfather Andrew Peller immigrated from Hungary to build a new life for his family in Canada, landing on a dock at Pier 21 in Halifax with just $5 in his pocket. A fierce determination and a true entrepreneurial spirit led to him taking many risks, learning from each failure, and then ultimately building a legacy that has lasted three generations.

Peller said his grandfather’s legacy follows the line that the true measure of a person is not how many failures they endure along the way but that how they learn from them.

He discussed several ways the world economy is shifting, from technology and digital disruption to changes in international trade agreements and more, businesses need to be prepared to meet new challenges and adjust their practices to quickly adapt.

“The only thing you have to ask yourself today … are you changing as the world changes,” he said in his address.

The Chamber would like to express its sincerest gratitude to John Peller for joining us on April 21, and to all the sponsors of the 126th annual dinner awards gala. With their support we were able to offer our members a memorable, inspiring evening as well as honouring business people making a difference in our community.

Congratulations to Eric MacKeen from Tri County Ford, Tatamagouche, for being named the BDC Business Person of the Year, and to MBW Courier Limited for being presented with the inaugural Community Credit Union Business Excellence Award.

During the month of April the Chamber also hosted a lunch and learn with guest speaker Danny Graham, CEO of Engage Nova Scotia, along with Kathleen Kavaney of Engage Colchester.

Graham reinforced the importance of forming partnerships and sharing information to learn from each other’s successful community and economic development initiatives.

According to information provided by Engage Nova Scotia, 87 per cent of Nova Scotians are willing to change their thinking and behaviour if it helps the province; however, just 63 per cent feel they are well informed about Nova Scotia’s economic, social and environmental challenges. Interestingly only 44 per cent feel they are able to be apart of the solution to address the challenges.

These statistics demonstrate a clear need to improve communication and engagement between groups and individuals aiming to improve the lives of Nova Scotians and the general public.

The Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce is working with several groups in the community on a variety of projects from addressing litter concerns, to matching skills training with job opportunities, tourism marketing, enhancing high school curriculum offerings, and many others.

We encourage individuals and groups working to make a difference in their community to share their stories with our members in an effort to enhance communication and engagement.

Send your information to

Sherry Martell is the Executive Director the Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce.

Upcoming Chamber events:

May 19 – Mayors and Chief Breakfast, Holiday Inn, 8 a.m., cost $20 plus tax for members, $25 plus tax for future members. Join the chamber for breakfast as we welcome Millbrook First Nation Chief Bob Gloade, Truro Mayor Bill Mills, Colchester County Mayor Bob Taylor and Stewiacke Mayor Wendy Robinson. This is your opportunity to connect with your municipal leaders and learn about the projects and plans they have for our community.

May 19 – Business After 5, Super 8 Motel, 5 p.m., 85 Treaty Trail. No cost for members.

May 31 – Meet and Greet with Rob Simonds, new CAO for the Municipality of Colchester, Marigold Cultural Centre, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Everyone welcome, no cost, light refreshments provided.

June 1- Lobster and beef dinner at the Truro Golf Club, 6 p.m. Tickets cost $45 plus tax for members, $55 for future-members. Tickets are limited so book early.

June 21- Breakfast with Mark Furey, provincial Minister of Business and Tourism, 8:30 a.m., RECC, cost $20 plus tax, $25 for future members.

June 27 – Lunch with Federal Treasurer Minister Scott Brison, more details TBA.
To reserve a seat at any of our Chamber events or for more information, contact or phone 902-895-6328.