Do you remember Bobby Vee’s 1950s song Rubber Ball? Do you remember 1995? And what do those two have to do with each other?
Well, 1995 was the year that I was President (as the volunteer head was called then) of the Metro Chamber and, like Bobby Vee’s rubber ball, I’ve come bouncing back!
The Metro Chamber Leadership has honored me by asking me to be the President and CEO of this preeminent regional business organization. I am thrilled to return to the organization that was the cross-road between my business and political careers and to bring the skills I developed in each to lead it.
My priorities will be three, coinciding with the Chamber’s mission. First, I intend to insure that the Chamber continues to provide the excellent level of services to which its members have become accustomed. Whether it’s networking opportunities, attending high quality informative events, access to elected officials or assistance with direct business services, our staff and I will be dedicated to our members’ success.
Second, we will continue to be a voice for business advocacy locally, regionally, state-wide and nationally. Through our Cap to Cap trip, our State Legislative Summit and targeted messaging, working with other local business organizations and chambers as well as similar organizations around the state and the country, we will work diligently to lobby our elected officials for business-friendly policies and regulations.
Third, and something I am most excited about, along with SACTO, Valley Vision and SARTA our Next Economy initiative will develop strategies by which our regional business support organizations, educational institutions and local governments can work together to foster maximum regional economic growth as we emerge from this most difficult recession. Economic development will, in fact, be a priority focus since economic vitality is central to our full mission: it is why we advocate for business-friendly public policy and it drives the success of our members which is the very reason we focus on services. It is, as they say, the straw that stirs the drink!
So 17 years on I return to this personal cross road. I look forward with great enthusiasm to the opportunities ahead of us. I welcome your questions and suggestions. And, if you are not a Metro Chamber member, I welcome you to join us on our road to success! Just visit www.MetroChamber.org.