Thursday, December 1, 2011

"Signing Off" at The Chico Chamber of Commerce

It's been a teary week around here. Usually that's because Alice Patterson has us all laughing so hard, but this week I'm a little weepy over my impending departure on Friday.

I'm very excited about my new adventure at the Enloe Foundation. I look forward to the challenge of 'telling the story' of the Medical Center, why it's economic impact is important to the community, why it's critical that we all do our part to keep our community hospital as well equipped as possible, and why we should all be tremendously proud that we live in a community with top-notch care provided through a locally controlled, patient-centered mission.

I'll admit to being a little sad leaving a job that I have such passion for. We've come a very long way in the last three years. From severe financial stress to comfortable financial health. From inwardly focused political maneuvering to outwardly focused member-centric mission. It's been a lot of work but a really fantastic, fun time. I will miss it.

I'll miss most of all the day-to-day dealings with absolutely the most dynamic, creative and dedicated business leaders in California. Many of them are Chamber members, some are not. But by-and-large each one of them is a pillar that this community builds its economic foundation on and we should be grateful for their work. Thank you.

I'll also miss the fun and fabulous group of ladies that make up our small staff. Each of them brings talent, insight and intelligence to their position and they have a lot of fun doing it!

I think it's best to move on from a position when you remain at the top end of your game. I certainly don't want to pull a Brett Favre and end up hanging on to the old glory even as the crowd yells "Just retire already, for cryin-out-loud"! So I'll feel good about leaving the organization in good health, in good hands and traveling down the right path with a good head of steam.

As I prepare to leave my position as the leader of the Chamber, I'm content to hand over my bullhorn and my soapbox to Katie Simmons who will do a superb job of continuing the Chamber mission of being The Voice of Business. I know she's up for the challenge. While she keeps things moving ahead the Board will explore the potential benefits of unifying the Chamber with our long-term collaborative partner CEPCO. I am anxious to see the end result of this dialog.

Whomever ends up sitting in the CEO chair for the next few years, the next few decades and into the next century, one thing will remain unchanged. An organization like the Chamber, made up of local business people who dedicate their time, creativity and energy to building a strong economy together will always wield great power. MEMBERS are the power within this organization.

One last message before I sign-off because I just can't say this enough...SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS MAKES EVERYTHING ELSE POSSIBLE! Thank you for working so hard to make our community a great place to live, work and play. It's been my sincere privilege to work with you all!