Since its inception in 1999, Okanagan Business Excellence (OBE) has evolved from a typical business referral group, focussed solely on passing referral business to each other, to one that mandates excellence. Our mission now extends beyond the profit focus of our own members, to the economic prosperity and well being of our community.
Business referral groups have been around for years. Our uniqueness has led to tremendous growth and success. Typically, such groups have membership numbers in the 10-20 range, with 30 seen to be a particularly successful group. OBE consistently has over 65 members.
The true founding member of our organization was Bob Knoblick, who in 1999 was the manager of the new Canada Trust branch (now TD Canada Trust) in Westbank. Having the foresight to see the potential of such a group, he partnered up with a handful of other business people and OBE (then Business n’ Breakfast) was born.
The "charter" of our organization was roughly modelled on that of a business group in Alberta that was graciously provided to us by a relative of Dr. David Manns of Westbank Chiropractic, our group’s Chiropractors. Over the years the format of our meetings, executive structure, and Charter underwent major changes to the point that our group today bears little resemblance to its humble beginnings.
Instead of meeting around a restaurant booth, our membership now meets at the Westbank Yacht Club.
We have a well established and effective Charter, a 12 member Executive, this web site (OKBE.CA), a billboard, radio presence, a section in the Westside Daze parade, we host a Westside Daze booth and an annual golf tournament, and we fund a mortgage payment for the Westside Food Bank. As well as being a member of the Westbank Chamber of Commerce, OBE sponsors one of the Key Business Excellence Awards.
We have accomplished a lot and the visionaries in our group see room for even greater strides into the future.