When I agreed to be Chairman of the Grand Junction Area Chamber Board in 2018 it seemed like a somewhat distant commitment. I blinked and it is now my turn to wield the gavel! I am excited to build upon the great work done by 2017 Chairman Jeff Hurd and the previous board of directors. In an age when all organizations and institutions are challenged to show their relevance to the communities they serve, I believe this Chamber can ably demonstrate, to all of its stakeholders, the value it brings to our members and the positive impact it has on our community.
A recent brand definition research project by the Western Association of Chamber Executives sought to answer the question of why the Chamber of Commerce exists. . . any Chamber of Commerce. We explored a similar question on our board planning session back in November. The finding of the research conducted through interviews with over 200 chamber members across 18 states can be summed up in one sentence. The Chamber of Commerce exists to be The Catalyst for business growth, The Convener for leaders and influencers, and The Champion for stronger communities.
Looking ahead to 2018, I can find concrete examples of how we plan to do that. By implementing a strong program of existing business retention and expansion strategies we will help our area businesses achieve their true economic potential and be a catalyst for business growth. Assisting companies to navigate the regulatory environment, access incentives, and develop a qualified workforce is part of the daily work of our staff and various committees.
On any given day this year, you will find the Chamber convening leaders and influencers to tackle major policy issues like how to provide the transportation infrastructure needed for the current and future growth of our community, area and state. From Health Care Summits to Economic Outlook Summits, Leadership Summits to State of the Valley presentations we will be bringing together thoughtful business leaders to determine how to move the needle on creating a healthy business climate and a better community.
Being a Champion for a stronger community is something we all do almost unconsciously. . . it is ingrained in our culture. That Champion can be a staff person answering the questions about the quality of life for a prospective new employee and new resident. That Champion can be 50 Chamber representatives hosting members of the Colorado General Assembly to a dinner and bending their ears on what Grand Junction needs to thrive. That Champion can be a delegation meeting with airlines to encourage more commercial service. That Champion can be the Chamber Board encouraging voters to approve ballot measures that result in better roads and better schools.
That Champion is YOU. At its heart, this Chamber is nothing more than a collection of individuals connected to the business community working together for the good of all. The Chamber exists because of you and the trust you put in the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce. I look forward to working more closely with all of you this year as we “Saddle Up for Success!”
Click here to download full version of the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce January 2018 Newsletter