Your Chamber membership - it´s invaluable
By Paul Bruflat
2015-16 Chair of the Board
2015-16 Chair of the Board
You know that being a Chamber member provides networking and educational opportunities. But perhaps more importantly, being a Chamber member symbolizes a business´s investment in our community´s future. When you´re a Chamber member, you are connected with more than 2,200 other businesses and organizations representing thousands of employees. While our level of activity with the Chamber may vary, we share one thing in common - we value the advancements being made in the Sioux Falls area and we want to be a part of continuing the progress.
My company, CNA Surety, is one of the founding members of the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce. For nearly 110 years, we´ve supported the Chamber. We´ve seen the value in investing in our community to help grow the economy and improve our quality of life. As a result, our business is better and our employees enjoy a wonderful place to live and work – which also makes our business better.
As my year as Chair of the Board comes to a close, I want to share an observation: deciding whether or not to belong to an organization isn´t about money - it´s about value. Our Chamber leadership and staff work to provide value to our members every day. As we annually review the Chamber budget and program of work, we thoroughly evaluate our events, volunteer and networking opportunities and ways in which we communicate to our members about issues that affect them.
Value can be defined in many ways. Some Chamber activities and opportunities provide a direct return on investment to members. Other activities are in place to educate members and advocate on their behalf, which can often be a priceless benefit. This issue of Chamber News, for example, shares the Chamber´s positions on half of the 10 issues that will appear on the November ballot.
Other work done by the Chamber puts long-term plans into place. The greatest example of this is our long-running partnership with the Sioux Falls Development Foundation in Forward Sioux Falls. We completed our 2021 campaign this spring and have set lofty goals over the next five years to continue to make the Sioux Falls area an even better place to live, work and start or expand a business. I was grateful to be part of the process that brought business competitors together for the greater good of the community and I´m excited about the momentum carrying us forward.
The Chamber of Commerce is the hub that brings people together to tackle community challenges and opportunities. Perhaps one of the greatest resources of the Chamber is our President/CEO Evan Nolte. Evan will be retiring at the end of 2016. Together, Evan and his staff have built one of the most effective chambers of commerce in the entire nation! We have been actively working with our Search Committee to find the right person to continue leading our community to a strong future.
I´m looking forward to celebrating our organization, our community - and Evan - at the 110th Annual Meeting on Oct. 18 and invite you to attend. As we celebrate, let us remember our work must continue. I see great things ahead for our Chamber and our region. Thank you for the opportunity to serve as the Chair of the Board.