Hello fellow Chamber members. This is my first article as the Chair of the Board of Directors for the 2012-2013 program year. However, I have already have been put to work at the Leadership Retreat this past May.
At the retreat, my main focus was on Columbia's future with the theme "The Future's So Bright We'll Have to Wear Shades." It may be a little cheesy, but there is a lot going on in Columbia that is positive. When Vicki Russell passed the gavel over to me at the Annual Meeting, I identified some of the areas of focus for my year as Chamber Chair that I'd like to recap.
Airport Work Groups
Mayor McDavid asked for the Chamber's help to boost air service and improve airport facilities. The Chamber stepped up to the plate, securing over $600,000 in private funds from the local business community and Jefferson City business community for a revenue guarantee fund to entice airlines. Airport work groups will continue this year with hopefully more exciting announcements about service coming soon.
As you know, Don Laird will be retiring as the President of the Chamber in January 2013. Finding his replacement will be no easy task after his 24 dedicated years as President. The search committee has been formed and is currently in the prep stages of hiring an outside staffing agency to oversee the selection process. I hope to keep the process as smooth as possible for Chamber members.
Quite a few Chambers offer their members a health insurance option so that small businesses can better afford health care. This is an option that the Columbia Chamber is researching and I hope to implement during my term as Chair.
Lastly, I will be organizing key stakeholders in Columbia to give a more united voice. We in the business community need to step up and volunteer to be a part of the visioning and planning of economically sound policies that will shape the future of our community.
I look forward to serving you as Chair this year.
Chair of the Board of Directors, 2012-2013
Columbia Chamber of Commerce