I cannot help but reflect on what a ride the last year has been.
It is true that we pass through life but once and shall not pass this way again. As I write this final column of my term as Chair of the Chamber’s Board, I cannot help but reflect on what a ride the last year has been. We have brought on a new leader of our organization, Jeff Griffin, who has integrity, vision, heart and who isn’t afraid of rolling up his sleeves and working. We have rebranded to the Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce and our community developed a shared logo that unites us. We helped pass the Spanish driver’s license bill in the legislature to help ensure a much-needed workforce can get to work. We have faced a pandemic head on with resiliency to “Get Out There” by following guidelines and working together so our businesses stay open and our loved ones stay safe. And most recently we supported the launch of the Community Table event as we further commit to ensuring that all people are valued and all can pursue the American dream in our community. And this list is just the tip of the iceberg.
If you ever question what value your Chamber membership brings, please let me take you out for coffee, call one of our fabulous Diplomats or Ambassadors or reach out to the Chamber’s stellar team who is excited to help you. (And if you don’t know your Chamber team, get to know them – they are amazing!) Things do not just happen. The Chamber is the engine that’s purposefully fostering an ecosystem that offers business opportunity and quality of life.
In my final month as Chair, we look forward to launching our reimagined and repurposed Small Business Council with the goal to help business owners connect and prosper. With 60% of Chamber members being small businesses, we are committed to helping them grow above the line business income, improve their bottom line and help owners thrive in life. Sound too lofty? Don’t worry, as business owners we understand taking risks, thinking outside the box and dreaming. Please watch for coming details! Most importantly, get involved! If you are a business owner, we want you to join us on this council! We need to work side-by-side to thrive.
If this “new” council isn’t a fit, the Chamber has numerous opportunities to get involved, from our Sports & Recreation Committee to Young Professionals Network to Agribusiness, the Chamber has something for you. If we are going to continue to have a thriving business community with quality of life, it takes purposefulness and it takes participation. As Chair, my final ask of you is to please don’t just join the Chamber, but belong. In the words of Nelson Mandela, don’t play small. You are needed. In such a critical time in history, it is standing together that is critical.
It has been one of the greatest honors of my life to serve as Chair of this organization, an organization that truly shapes our lives and our future. Thank you.