Terry Caddo getting a grip on the reins at the Chamber of Commerce

By Pepper Parr

April 14th, 2022



Burlington’s Chamber of Commerce has gone through what might best be called leadership turmoil.

Keith Hooey retired after more than 20 years of excellent service.

He was replaced by Carla Nell who wasn’t able to replicate what Hooey had done. She retired.

Terry Caddo: An ability to spot a problem, recognize it for what it is and make the necessary course correction.

Terry Caddo was brought in to rebuild and redirect what has always been an organization with a strong vibrant membership.

Caddo is surprisingly self-effacing with a rich background in a number of sectors.

Raised in Thunder Bay he cleared high school went to the Lakehead University. Worked on the student newspaper. After graduation he scrimped and saved to buy a franchise that was going to be located in Cambridge Ontario.

Failing is one of the early lessons every business person has to experience. Terry Caddo had his early in his career.

With a wry smile Terry explained that Robin’s Donuts was a strong franchise with strength west of Winnipeg.

“When I got to Cambridge I saw Tim Hortons shops on almost every corner.” It was a tough lesson for Caddo.

Before buying a franchise Terry wrote for the Thunder Bay Chronicle Journal – quickly realized he was not really a writer.

Caddo has this ability to spot a problem, recognize it for what it is and make the necessary course correction.

He returned to the classroom to study sports marketing and worked at the Toronto Star on their sports events and sports marketing division.

He got involved in syndication work.

He worked at Ontario Place at re-branding with the focus on the park as a place to go to..

He worked with Rogers and eventually found himself at the Royal Botanical Gardens where he put winter programs in place and instituted the model trains exhibitions.

Setting a course for a post pandemic commercial environment is the top challenge.

He worked on the Canada Blooms event and tied it in with the Home Show – something that had not been done before.

It looked like an event that was loaded with potential – then the pandemic hit the world.

There is a pluckiness to Terry Caddo. He is what you see – not a front for an ego that is out of control.

He did what you have to do when you are asked to run an organization that needs one of those course corrections. He began meeting with the stakeholders, rebuilding the staff, letting the membership know that the ship is being righted.

With the tight focus on getting staff to work as a team Caddo also has to figure out what will a post pandemic Chamber of Commerce will look like.

Like most people who get a chance to look at the public space at the Bridgewater – he was amazed and was thinking about the potential for the location.

He supports the intensification and loves the number of opportunities for his kids to play soccer.

He is particularly proud of the way in which the Chamber responded to the need for testing supplies. His Chamber worked quickly to get it hands on a supply of Rapid Response testing kits and has made them available to more than 1100 companies that did more than 200,000 tests. There was a point where they just couldn’t keep up.

No raging ego with this man. Tends to look for solutions.

He worked with the other organizations that make up what is referred to as Team Burlington: Chamber of Commerce, Burlington Downtown Business Association and the Economic Development Corporation and created a web site that meets the needs of all of them to more than .

The Chamber has a Before 9 event on the 21st where Ron Foxcroft will talk about Winning in Business: people will get the full Foxcroft Monte.

The Chamber will release its Strategic Plan on the 27th.

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