Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Last week, our Board of Directors met for their annual planning retreat.  To round out the discussion, we included our Ambassador Executive committee and the Committed Leaders of our Young Professional Organization, as well as our staff.  What emerged? A stronger commitment from our leaders to advance our Community Vision in 2016 and an understanding that traditional Chamber activities like networking are still necessary but can be aligned with our advocacy and economic development activities to create higher value and longer lasting relationships.  One member said, "the relationships I build through trying to make a difference in this community are stronger and more valuable for me as a business person in Chico."  That's exactly what we're after: impactful connectivity.  

The Chamber has long existed to bring people together - but the reasons behind this are changing.  People have limited time, they follow each other on Twitter, they advertise in ways our founders wouldn't have dreamed possible, and younger professionals are looking to join causes not clubs.  A Chamber, as a catalyst for both change and connectivity in the modern world, needs to combine the two.  What our Board of Directors ratified last week is the fact that we exist to "leverage the voice of business for community good."  The voice of business is not one lone voice but the culmination of hundreds, including yours.  And why do we do this?  Because thriving businesses lead to a healthy community - your community, our community.  

I am confident that everything you expect from your membership will triple in value for you next year, either because you've decided to get involved or because the impact we're making together is more visible.  Another member paused mid-conversation last week and said thoughtfully, "you know, my business needs and personal needs are now inseparable." And I think that as we move toward a more blended lifestyle (rather than the fictitious "balanced" lifestyle I was raised to believe existed) we will hear this more and more.  You not only need a premiere place to do business, but you need an affordable, safe, healthy community in which to live.  That's the beauty of Chico.  We really can have it all.  And our Community Vision positions us to achieve all of this...together.  Thank you for your continued support of our work.
Here is the team leading the Chico Chamber forward!  2016 Board of Directors, Ambassador Executive committee and YPO Committed Leaders.

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