It’s difficult to describe in a limited amount of words how valuable an organization can be to an area or region.
Such was the case last week as the Community Business Development Corporation (CBDC) Long Range celebrated its 30th anniversary.
It was appropriate that those celebrations took place during Small Business Week, but difficult to put into words three decades of actually helping businesses to start up and grow.
Back in 1977, the Bee Gees became popular with a song titled “Words,” but likely known better to most as “It’s Only Words.”
Well there were a lot of words spoken last Wednesday night about not only the people involved in dishing out loans to businesses, but from the clients themselves, many of whom are still around and operating today.
One of them is Ralph White of Marche’s Point — located near Cape St. George — who has been operating an auto salvage business for many years and was assisted by the CBDC Long Range early on.
The business is still operating — and helping the environment — by taking dilapidated vehicles and recycling some of the parts and the remainder for recycling.
Those are only words, but important ones.
Then there are words about those who helped that CBDC Long Range chug along for 30 years, including two words – Mary Lambert, the executive director of the organization, who has been the backbone from the start and while she would humbly step back and heap the praise on others, it’s her dedication that keeps it going.
The chants of “best boss ever” from her staff are words that echoed at the 30th anniversary celebrations as proof of dedication to the job she does and loves to do.
To get to the 30th has been no easy task and in the early years, one of the leaders was Reg Diamond. It’s no surprise that the conference room in the W.E. Cormack Building, where the CBDC is located, was named in his honour.
Diamond was around right after the formation of Community Futures, which was the predecessor to CBDC, and he helped to bring that organization to fruition.
Then it was Sylvia Alexander who played a pivotal role in bringing the organization forward and served as a director with the CBDC Long Range located in Stephenville.
Her involvement with the CBDC movement also extended to the Atlantic Association where she served as president on the executive and as past-president.
During her time as president, she was instrumental in spearheading several initiatives, including a new funding model for all CBDCs in Atlantic Canada.
Yeah, only “words,” but powerful.
This was just another indication that CBDC Long Range was in good hands throughout the years.
Only words, but powerful ones, and that the area served by CBDC Long Range is in good stead — and will be well into the future.