PEP Conference & Tradeshow

PEP, which stands for Procurement, Employment and Partnerships, is a conference that was started by the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business. It was designed to ignite industry-wide discussion on ways Ontario can build and benefit from innovative supply chain management, address the shortage of skilled workers, and build progressive relationships between industry and Indigenous communities.

The first year for the PEP conference was in 2018 and was a huge success. It attracted both Indigenous and non-Indigenous leaders from all over Canada – and it was held right here in Sudbury! It became an annual event and grew more successful each year. For PEP 2020, Petryna Advertising’s CEO, Pamela Therrien, became the Co-Chair of the event.

The PEP Conference & Tradeshow plays a critical role in advancing and highlighting key discussions that are very present in our society today. What started out as a conversation around the Ring of Fire in the far North, quickly became much bigger than one project and one industry. How can industry form progressive partnerships with First Nations Communities? How can industry work with Indigenous communities to maximize local inclusion? How do we encourage our youth to consider pursuing in-demand professions, while highlighting non-traditional participation in STEM careers? How do we match jobs to people, and people to jobs? And much more.

Petryna Advertising was involved in every aspect of the conference. Under Pamela’s guidance, the discussion and number of participants grew.  In 2020 alone, there were multiple panels, keynote addresses and fireside chats, all which featured leaders from sectors including Energy, Mining, Forestry, Education, Elected Officials and Construction – which included over 40 speakers.

The conference also included a Gala Reception which consisted of an awards presentation for three different categories – Indigenous Entrepreneur of the Year, Business Partnership of the Year, and Indigenous Enterprise of the Year.

Event planning consisted of securing speakers, writing panel descriptions, writing award descriptions, securing judges, overseeing event logistics and working closely with chamber staff to ensure a very successful few days. Our relationship with Indigenous peoples and in-depth knowledge of culture and history is something that Canadians need to improve and focus on. This conference plays a small role in moving our country forward towards that goal. When we can say that we understand the past well enough to understand how it is affecting the present, but more importantly to improve our future, and when Indigenous communities can be managing wealth instead of poverty, we will have reached that ultimate goal.

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