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APR. 2, 2014 - VOL. 49 No. 7

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Chair's Column

Chamber investments have long-term benefits

By Keith Severson
2013-14 Chair of the Board

Keith Severson
Keith Severson
2013-14 Chair of the Board

At the Chamber, we talk about membership as an investment in the community and in our quality of life. We have many examples of investments our organization has made that benefit the Sioux Falls area, and I want to mention two that make an impact on our community.

The Chamber kicked off its Young Professionals Network program five years ago as a way to engage young professionals in getting involved in the Sioux Falls area and understanding the personal and professional opportunities that exist here.

Our Chamber has a long history of educating people about the community and developing leaders. In fact, our successful Leadership Sioux Falls program will graduate its 28th class next month. What the creation of the YPN did was fill a need in the business community by creating more ways for young leaders to have a voice and more opportunities to connect with each other and learn more about Sioux Falls.

Through the work of dedicated volunteers, our YPN continues to gain momentum and now has more than 900 members. Those members represent businesses and organizations from all over the region. Through programs and social events, they have the opportunity to learn more about Sioux Falls, give back and make connections that can encourage them to put down roots here in Sioux Falls.

The YPN has been a great addition to our organization and I look forward to its continued growth. As some of those members move out of the YPN demographic, we can feel confident that they've been exposed to the benefits of Chamber membership as well as the benefits of living and working in the Sioux Falls area — and that they will also see the value continuing to live, work and do business here.

Another way the Chamber has a lasting impact on the community is through our Community Appeals process. Last month our committee announced two new campaigns for 2015 and 2016 — DakotAbilities and Lutheran Social Services. Later this month, our current Special Olympics South Dakota campaign will officially kick off its $1 million goal to build the Unify Center at their location.

The Community Appeals process was created in 1958 to help organizations plan their fundraising activities for maximum benefits. Campaigns that were selected by the committee have met expectations of reliable leadership, sound business planning and community need.

We encourage our members to make their own decisions regarding donations to capital campaigns. However, you can rest assured that the Chamber is helping you by doing some of the homework.

There are dozens of projects scattered across the community that were funded thanks to the generous support of the business community.

Investing in tomorrow's leaders or helping organizations meet the community's needs are just two of the ways your Chamber investment pays off. Thank you for your continued support of our organization and helping us build a better Sioux Falls area.

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