Might as well get this out of the way in the first column: I’m an engineer, which pretty much means you should downgrade your expectations for eloquent speaking at the upcoming 2022 membership meetings. Hopefully you will know what you are in for. That is the bad news.
The good news is that I am more than a little methodical in my approach to getting things done and have the patience (most of the time) to see projects and initiatives through to a (mostly) successful conclusion. The other good news is that our 2021 Chairman Katie Powell has done an outstanding job steering the ship and keeping us on course in the rocky seas of the past year so the ambitious goals and priorities laid out in our 2022 Business Plan are totally doable.
When your board got together to develop that plan back in November there were a couple of overarching themes and ah ha moments. First of all, based on your responses in the membership survey indicate we are on the right track. There is no need to make drastic changes to our goals. But we do need to fine tune and prioritize our efforts. The second was an astute observation regarding how important businesses and you as employers are to the community’s quality of life. A job that allows someone to take care of themselves and their families is probably the MOST important factor in determining their quality of life. Likewise, a community lacking robust businesses offering good paying jobs, is a community with problems ranging from the lack of a tax base for basic infrastructure to drastically reduced funding for community nonprofits. In our community, these non-profits are integral and essential, caring for the homeless, youth, and those less fortunate citizens that are in every community. Business and the Chamber need to ensure this message is a part of everything we do, so or citizens understand that robust business and employment is the foundation for everyone’s quality of life. This is particularly important as policy issues are being discussed.
One of our other ah ha moments, was when board members individually listed the non-profit and other group efforts outside the Chamber, we discovered a wealth and breath of connections. This exercise affirmed our amazing commitment to the overall community. In the coming year, we are going to leverage those relationships to diversify and strengthen our membership along with strengthening partnerships with other groups and entities to do the important work of building our community.
I am humbled to serve as your 2022 Chairman of the Board and, along with 2021 Chair Katie Powell, we invite you to join us for the Chamber Annual Banquet on January 28th, where we celebrate how far we have come as businesses in the Grand Valley and focus on an even brighter future. See you there!