SEP. 4, 2014 - VOL. 49 No. 12

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Chair's Column

Chamber is the place where business comes together for progress

By Keith Severson
2013-14 Chair of the Board

Keith Severson
Keith Severson
2013-14 Chair of the Board

A lot of words come to my mind when I think of the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce: Progress. Partnership. Education. Collaboration.

And after the last 12 months, I can add another word to the list – Gratitude. I have witnessed so many of you coming together through the Chamber to do your part to make the Sioux Falls area a better place to live and work. I´m grateful for your time in participating in the process and I´m amazed at your passion for our community.

It seems that regardless of what issue is on the table, people in Sioux Falls look at the bigger picture and work for a solution that is best for all. When we kicked off the Chamber year, last fall at our annual meeting, it was under the theme "Better Together." At times, we may be competitors, but when we think of bettering Sioux Falls, we are all on the same team. Our community is better when we come together to meet challenges and to enhance opportunities.

Our Chamber reached a number of milestones in the last 12 months. We´ve studied ballot issues at the local and state levels. We´ve thoroughly analyzed how we can improve our membership organization and provide greater value to our members. We´ve looked at our Community Appeals process to ensure it continues to meet the needs of our members. We´ve enhanced and improved our methods of communication with our members, and with more to come. Our volunteers were key in all of these processes.

This inaugural issue of the Chamber News magazine touches on some of the ways our community successfully uses process for progress. Your Chamber of Commerce has been at the table in some way for all of these plans. In talking with my colleagues or other chambers of commerce across the country, I´ve learned that Sioux Falls is unique. Many communities plan, but in Sioux Falls we actually follow through and we are respectful of the process that leads to results.

Part of the reason for improving Chamber News was to have an outlet to share how members benefit from their investment in the Chamber of Commerce – whether they´re actively involved or not. In these pages, you´ll continue to see how the Chamber through its tremendous staff, programs, services and educational tools help your business. We believe this new publication better reflects the quality of our organization and our community.

Spending the last 12 months as the Chair of the Board has been an enriching experience. I´ve been surrounded by great people. Thank you for the opportunity to serve and thank you for your continued investment in improving the Sioux Falls area. We are better – together.

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