Diversity is the key to a dynamic community. It is important for a growing community such as Neepawa to have people who understand each other’s differences and act on their commonalities. On the fourth week of 2013, the Neepawa and District Chamber of Commerce decided to start the year with an extraordinary concept. The board of directors elected two Filipinos to be the newest members of the Chamber. Rochelle Dina Unico and Ronald Allan Santos were chosen by the directors to be part of the Chamber upon the recommendation of Don Dufort from HyLife Foods. Don said that he and his colleagues believed that it was time to infuse “diversity in the Chamber.” He added that since 25 per cent of the population of Neepawa are now comprised of Filipinos, they felt that there was a need to have representation. Ronald Allan Santos was given the “Volunteer of the Year” award in 2012 during the HyLife Christmas party for his selfless deeds. He spearheaded the formation of the Filipino Volunteer Group. In the last four years, Ronald has been a consistent symbol of a Filipino leader. He led his group in to assisting the community in several activities such as the Trooper concert and the Lily Festival. Rochelle Unico is a Registered Nurse working at the Neepawa Health Centre. She gained the Board’s confidence when she spoke during a public meeting held by the Beautiful Plains School Division regarding the expanding enrolment of schools in Neepawa. Rochelle was the only Filipino present at the meeting. She expressed her gratitude and optimism as the group discussed the changes that had to be made in order to accommodate the growing number of students at Hazel M. Kellington school. This made some members of the community take notice of her ability to convey the Filipinos’ stand on issues in Neepawa. On Jan. 28, Rochelle was among the nine members who took the Oath of Office at the Royal Canadian Legion Hall to join the Chamber’s board of directors. Ronald, along with two other directors, were not able to make it to the occasion as he was working a night shift at that time. The two new members of the Board of Directors are honoured and humbled by this new development. We Filipinos will now have two voices in the Chamber. Ronald and Rochelle are going to open the doors for intercultural communication. Integration is slowly materializing as Filipinos are being recognized for their simple yet notable contributions to the community. This is a valuable opportunity for us Filipinos to be heard and take part in Neepawa’s progression. Therefore the Chamber’s vision of “promoting and encouraging community growth and activities that help to achieve a vibrant community where people want to live, work and play” is certainly prevalent.