Those of you that have read my column before may remember that I sometimes need a nudge from the Chamber staff reminding me that I need to write the next Chairman’s Column and, unfortunately, they had to do it again today. But unlike previous months where we talk about what the topic should be, this month needed no discussion, as I knew exactly what it should cover. For me, June marks the half-way point of my time as your chairman and it is time to briefly reflect on what we have accomplished and take note of what there is still to do before Jeffrey Hurd becomes the next chairperson.
Looking back at previous topics covered in this column:
January was about how the Chamber is more than the board and staff, but about the members. Today as I attended the Quarterly Membership Lunch, I was reminded about how true this really is. We were able to acknowledge businesses that have added jobs and done capital improvements, as well as, celebrate all of the people in the room that are working to make Grand Junction a better place to live and work.
The February column was about how the over 100 members of the Governmental Affairs Committee take the time and effort to review what is happening on the local and state level so we may better understand the impact it will have on all of us. I am both happy and grateful to report that this committee is still going strong and actively engaged.
March was about economic development efforts and focused on the Listening to Business initiative. Your Chamber had its first roundtable in April and we are continuing to have them on a regular basis. This initiative makes sure that we are doing our best to meet the needs of the businesses in our community.
In April I wrote about leadership and the importance of such programs like the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!), The Leadership Class and the Young Professionals Network (YPN). Since then we celebrated the graduation of the YEA! students (everyone should go to the final presentations) and the 16 people that graduated from the Leadership Class. We are now in the process of accepting applications for both the next YEA! group and Leadership Class. These are great programs and I encourage as many people to participate as possible.
May was different, as the focus was on the litigation with the Grand Valley Drainage District. I do not have enough space in this column to recap all that has happened in any detail. The lawsuit and an injunction have been filed. The injunction is now under the discretion of the Judge and we are waiting on his ruling. As soon as a ruling is made, there will be a lot more communication from the Chamber.
Last month I was pleased to write about the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between your Chamber, Grand Junction Economic Partnership (GJEP) and The Business Incubator. This MOU better coordinated our economic development efforts and has had some immediate results. Economic efforts are more streamlined than ever and this has allowed the Chamber to help more local businesses even faster.
So what is next? The short answer is, a lot. In the coming months there will be a lot of discussion and work making sure Amendment 69 (Colorado State Health Care System Initiative AKA ColoradoCare) does not pass. We are launching a Total Resource Campaign to better listen and take action on what our members think are priorities, the annual golf tournament will be in September, The Business Showcase in October, industry round tables, a new Leadership Class, Business After Hours and much, much more. We are excited to be heading into the second half of 2016 strong and ready to serve our community.
Matthew Breman, Chairman
Click here to download full version of the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce July 2016 Newsletter.