Oftentimes the Chairman’s Column focuses on a specific topic or theme but not this time. As one of our board members astutely observed late last year, “This Chamber does “freaking” everything,” so this month I think it is important to give the members some updates about what your organization is doing, has accomplished, and is working on.

First of all, when Diane Schwenke announced her resignation in late March, I pledged that we would be open and transparent with you, the members, about our process and our progress. A search committee of board members has asked for requests for proposals from five search firms to lead a fair and equitable process. I’m pleased to be able to report that all five companies submitted
bids. We have selected two finalists and will conduct interviews, expecting to announce the selected firm by mid-June. During this vetting process, we have interacted with Chamber board members around the country, and their experiences are validating our effort and timeframe. Finding a replacement may take longer than we anticipated but is entirely appropriate in order to
get the right fit. I will attempt to give you a brief update in each monthly Chairman Column moving forward until that process is completed.

In terms of other issues affecting our members Chamber board and staff have:

  • Begun actively participating in the City of Grand Junction Land Use Code update. This is one of the strategies that grew from the City’s Housing Needs Assessment last year. It is vitally important that we balance needed regulations with the needed streamlining and costs/time savings if we are to adequately begin addressing the workforce housing crisis we are experiencing. The Chamber has also weighed in a separate update of the Landscaping Code and continues to assist individual business owners and developers daily in navigating the community development process.
  • Collaborated with the Palisade Chamber, Western Colorado Latino Chamber, and Young Professionals Network of Mesa County to offer two joint Business After Hours in 2022 including a first one in July that we hope many of your will attend. Collaboration and cooperation have always been key principles for this Chamber and that only grows stronger over time.
  • Nearly completed the 2022-2023 Mesa County Leadership Program with graduation scheduled for 22 participants on June 9th. At the same time, applications are being accepted for the next class beginning in September through June 15th. This is one of our lasting legacies to the community that will ensure future business leadership and engagement at all levels. Informed and engaged leaders are our future and this program is about to engage with its 32nd class. Congratulations to all of our past graduates as well for your commitment and dedication!
  • Hosted the Chamber’s Annual Legislative Wrap Up with state lawmakers and discussed Colorado General Assembly actions this session that will impact our local business community. Elsewhere in this newsletter, you will find our Legislative Score Card. In total, we took positions on 40 bills with an overall success rate of 47.5%. Our members consistently indicate that their number one expectation is that we will be strong advocates for the business community and with our activities at the state and local level we work to meet and exceed that expectation!

As summer approaches I also urge you to take in a JUCO game or 17! The Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce is proud to have been a sponsor of the tournament since the very beginning…another great legacy!

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