One of the most rewarding aspects of working at the Chamber is the opportunity to get to know, interact and most importantly, learn from the 1,400 businesses that our Members of the Chamber. Several years ago in preparing for my first day, I began wondering how the Chamber brings together so many businesses of every type, size and background.
It didn’t take long to realize that there isn’t a magic business model at the Chamber; instead our successes are the result of you our Members and your belief that together we can build something that is greater than we achieve individually.
Looking back on my first day, I now realize that I missed the truly amazing part of the Chamber. While it is impressive that so many businesses support the Chamber through annual dues, what is phenomenal is the commitment of time, energy and the outright passion individual Members contribute day-in and day-out.
Members have established an ethos and culture that membership requires being active. It is our Members who created a culture of mutual benefit and support for one another. The Chamber’s fortunes and future successes can only be attained through your ongoing support and involvement, which you so diligently provide.
Over the past several years, we have averaged more than 400 briefings, committee programs, TEAM referral meetings, events, and ribbon cuttings annually. (We checked around and this pace is practically unmatched in a Chamber of our size.) We don’t host all of these programs to give ourselves a merit badge; we do this because you’ve asked for all of these opportunities to grow, develop and learn something new.
The Chamber is a not a top-down organization; instead it is a federation that belongs to you. As staff, our primary responsibility is to create, facilitate and maintain the venues for success, achievement and business growth that you need and want.
We are always on the lookout for new concepts, opportunities and venues. Some of our most successful and valuable programs and services have come from suggestions from our Members. It isn’t your responsibility to figure out how to make new ideas work, after all that’s why you pay dues.
If you have a concept or unmet need, I would encourage you – actually I would ask you – to reach out to me and share your thoughts.
This Chamber’s greatest days are ahead of us. Next year marks the Chamber’s centennial anniversary, and while we will pay tribute to our past successes, we will play as relevant and powerful role in our business community as ever before.
I know this is true because we have the commitment of our community’s greatest business leaders. Every day you contribute to the vibrancy of our Chamber. I thank you for your belief in our cause and investment in our organization.