• September 2018

Message from the Chair

By Steve Van Buskirk
2017-18 Chair of the Board

The Chamber of Commerce fills an essential role in our community. Members past and present have helped shape an extraordinary business environment that encourages growth and reinvestment. Our collaborative culture improves our quality of life and promotes economic activity in our area. Together, we invest in membership so that our highly engaged volunteers, board members and staff have the backing and the resources needed to maintain progress.

My year as Chair of the Board has given me new appreciation for the breadth of the Chamber´s efforts to connect members with each other and the community. It has also given me a deeper understanding of how we accomplish our mission, and the exceptional membership value delivered by the Chamber. The Chamber sets goals and measures success on the basis of our Mission Statement: "As the leading Sioux Falls area business advocate, we represent our members by advancing and promoting the economic health and quality of life of the region." Let´s consider a few examples of our mission in action.

My year as Chair of the Board has given me new appreciation for the breadth of the Chamber's efforts. . .

Your Board of Directors is comprised of leaders from across the community. We represent the largest and smallest employers, in industries ranging from e-commerce to construction, plus non-profit organizations, schools and local government. Our meetings serve as a communication forum, with community leaders, problem solvers, educators and innovators sharing their perspectives on community issues and opportunities as they arise. This meeting helps us 'advance economic health' by fostering awareness and dialogue and encouraging us to work together.

The Agri-Business Division Council and the CVB Advisory Board have two very different purposes, but both work to 'promote the economic health' of our community. The Agri-Business Division focuses on the importance of agriculture in our economy. They host the Sioux Empire Livestock Show, which brings thousands of visitors to Sioux Falls. Those visitors and countless others throughout the year are supported by the efforts of the CVB, who lead in positioning Sioux Falls as a great destination for both business and leisure travellers.

We also have highly engaged members who work as Ambassadors and Diplomats, serving as connection points for other members. They drive relationships and support member satisfacition, ensuring that we can be a 'leading business advocate' through robust financial support from the membership.

These are just a few examples–we have many more volunteer committees working to fulfill our mission. See for yourself at siouxfallschamber.com/committee-information.cfm. All have words like promote, develop, and advocate listed in their purpose statements. But without you, the member, none of this is possible.

I remain grateful for the opportunity to do my part supporting the mission of the Chamber. I am even more grateful that we have an organization that produces leaders and results that make growth in Sioux Falls a reality. We have the programs and the people to continue leading. We just need you, the member, to remain invested in our mission to help make this community the best place to live and work in the country.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve as Chair of the Board of Directors.


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