Well, they say “time flies when you’re having fun”. Or maybe “they” parrot the Roman poet Virgil from a couple of millennia ago (according to the internet, look it up). Either way, they’re all correct. This past year, as Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce Chairman, was both extremely fast and furiously fun. I have been blessed to connect with the finest of people, members, volunteers, board members and partners in the community. The fun came in so many forms, from hosting meetings at my second conference room at Foam and Folly, to engaging with the most diverse, versatile, and committed staff and volunteers on a host of business challenges. In my experience, if you are part of a great team, tackling challenges is great sport!
After receiving the kickoff in 2022 as your Chairman this past January, little did I know that a cutting curveball was just around the corner with the unexpected announcement of Diane’s retirement in March. A new trial was suddenly afoot, something not experienced by our Board of Directors in the past 34 years. We joined our ED partners in the changing of the guard. Let the games begin!
This monumental task required convening a search committee that appreciated our incumbent leader while looking to the future. The incumbent, Diane, was unwavering in devotion to business, her time, commitment and generosity of her knowledge. The search committee was also a cohesive team focused on the future through a transparent, consistent, and comprehensive process to identify our next President & CEO. We surveyed the field and developed a strategy.
Throughout the process, I was both humbled and proud to be part of such an amazing organization. Humbled to steward such an important piece of our business community’s future. Humbled to represent our stakeholders and peers in valuable conversations around the community about who we are and who we want to be in the future. Proud to be surrounded by amazing like-minded volunteer leaders (Dominic and I call them Giants), who were all just as committed to the success of our assignment. Proud to see the result of our hard work in the form of an amazing individual, Candace, who is already showing the community why she is the best person for the job.
So, as I look back on the year of transition, celebration, and new beginnings, the only word that comes to mind to summarize my time as Chairman is GRATEFUL.
I have nothing but gratitude for this organization that every day has a positive impact on our community while being led by a passionate Board of Directors and staff. Each member of this team engaged considerable challenges, leveraging the continued success of years past with innovative vision for reaching new horizons. This is a renewed dedication to be the resource and advocate for our business community. Without good and solid businesses, we would lack solid and good-paying jobs. Without those jobs, we would lack the economic engine necessary for a vibrant community. Business is the foundation of all we do. It has been rewarding to promote this essential idea.
The clock is winding down on 2022 and it is my time to tap-out. I think we did well this past year, and it was literal joy all the way. I thank each and every member, stakeholder, and partner for their continued support, trust, and investment. Without all of you, we would not have this success.
Next year is another match, with known and unknown tests most certainly hiding on the sidelines. I look forward to working alongside your next Chairman in 2023, Andrew Golike, and delighted to watch this organization turn the page on our next chapter of continuing success