The Board of the Stratford & District Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that Jeff Orr is the Business Leader Award recipient for our 2017 Business Excellence Awards.
Jeff Orr and Stratford are intertwined. He is a lifelong resident of the city from a family who has deep roots here with a long tradition of community involvement and leadership reaching back 125 years.
As co-owner with his brother Rick, Jeff uses his 30 years of industry experience specializing in commercial and personal insurance to lead the sales force at Orr Insurance & Investment. He is the fourth generation to lead the business, which is remarkable in Canadian family-run businesses, as only 3% of such businesses make it to the 4th generation! Jeff believes firmly that each generation cannot rest on a family connection – that it must work for its succession, pay its own way, embrace change and “put in the hours”.
As a business leader, Jeff provides mentoring to his staff and encourages them to learn from their mistakes and be actively involved in their communities; and believes that it is the responsibility of business to foster the next generation of eager community leaders.
Jeff’s own community commitments include leadership roles on the boards of the Stratford Optimist Club, Stratford & District Chamber of Commerce, the Humane Society’s Building Campaign (which he co-chaired with Eddie Matthews raising over $1,000,000), The Stratford Minor Hockey Association and the corporate division of the Rotary Complex Fundraising Committee. He is currently a board member of investStratford and Chair of the Stratford Public Library.
Jeff says that for him Stratford is a community whose success comes from citizen and business involvement in all areas, “parks, arts and sports – we would not have them without volunteers”. He goes further in saying that “Stratford is a community which has controlled its growth and ensured sustainability. We are a city that is known globally.”
Others have said of Jeff that he is “always giving of his time… and shows by example what it means to be a leader”. And that “his genuine passion and contributions are inspiring to all of us in business, wanting the best success for our community as a whole. He is truly a strong leader, providing the dedicated enthusiasm for which we are all striving”.
Jeff will be presented with the Business Leader Award at the Business Excellence Awards Gala on May 4, 2017 at the Best Western PLUS The Arden Park Hotel.