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DRIVE Business Summit aims to be a “game-changer” for community

November 9, 2023   ·   0 Comments

Innovation is key for the success of any business, and the Aurora Chamber of Commerce is aiming to spark a conversation on just that when they host their first Business Summit since the global pandemic.

The DRIVE Business Summit, which is set to take place on Wednesday, November 15, from 9 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. at the Stonehaven Banquet Hall on Eric T. Smith Way, will bring together business leaders from a variety of sectors to speak to innovation ranging from the use of Artificial Intelligence (A.I.), harnessing the power of social media, and much more.

“DRIVE promises to be a game-changer with a lineup of influential keynote speakers,” says the Chamber.

Speakers include Perry Rizzo, CEO of the Aurora-based Axiom Group, who will share his thoughts on how to “think outside the box, embrace change and dream big;” A.I. expert Ron O’Neil delving into “the transformative power of artificial intelligence, shedding light on its potential to revolutionize industries”; and Adam Rodricks, a leading Canadian Social Media Strategist, who will “discuss the vital topic of building trust online, equipping businesses with strategies to establish and maintain credibility in the digital realm.”

“This is our first Business Summit back since pre-COVID so we’re very excited about that. It has a whole new, fresh perspective,” says Sandra Ferri, President & CEO of the Aurora Chamber of Commerce. “It is about really Driving your business forward to success. What we’re doing is we’re beginning by spotlighting one of our local businesses known for innovation in the automotive industry and that is the Axiom Group. The other topic we’re looking at is A.I., which is a huge topic in business right now, and how to use it for a business’s benefit.

“As people are having to reinvent who they are after the pandemic, there is a lot of innovation that is required to do that. How do you foster that in an environment that is perhaps already successful and maybe don’t see a need to change? How do you go about creating innovation in an established company? That is a key thing. Everybody is talking about A.I. A lot of people are using it personally right now, but we’d also like to see how they can use it to the benefit of business and that is what this topic will be speaking on. More and more, people are using it but I don’t know if everyone knows all the ins and outs of A.I. There are some things you need to be mindful of when you use it. It’s about using it in a way that is beneficial to your company and looking for things that could put you on a bad track.”

The power of social media, she adds, is “huge” and it is important for businesses to look at how to foster growth in this area.

“Adam Rodricks is the National Director of Social Growth and experience for KPMG, so he works with a lot of large businesses here in Canada on their social media. He was also voted Canada’s number one social media strategist, so he’s the guy you want to talk to about using social media to grow your business and we’re really excited to have him here in Aurora.

“We included social media as that is always a big area for our businesses. We’re running a marketing course right now in the Chamber with hands-on learning and it sold out for each of our sessions. It is always a big topic. We want them to be able to walk away with something concrete they can use; we also want them to be motivated about how to shake things up and be innovative in whatever business that they’re in right now, whether they are an entrepreneur or a big business. What can they do to make their business more successful?”

Also on deck for DRIVE is a panel of local entrepreneurs and business leaders who will be speaking about their experiences and fostering dialogue with attendees.

“I am excited about the summit because it is really ideal for both entrepreneurs and employees at larger companies who are looking to find ways to drive their business forward,” says Ferri. “This is an ideal summit for both entrepreneurs and local business leaders and managers who are working in the industries. I just think we have something for everyone at this summit.”

For more on the upcoming DRIVE Business Summit, including registration and speakers, visit

By Brock Weir
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter



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