“Great Cities Need Great CEOs”

The best cities in America don’t get that way overnight. To shape an impressive community requires years of constant advocacy married with a commitment to excellence among both citizens and local leaders. One of the often overlooked qualities of great cities are the CEOs that run companies there.

CEOs are at their very nature problem solvers. Ask anyone with that title and you’ll likely hear that solving problems is the number one task each day. You might not think of Tallahassee as a CEO town, but guess what – it is.

Each day, the Chamber interacts with a wide variety of business leaders who not only solve problems and run companies, but are dedicated to the advancement of our community. The duties of a CEO don’t end when the clock hits 5pm. Usually a CEO has meetings and other gatherings of importance from sunup to sundown. This includes sitting on various boards, supporting charitable functions and engaging in other commitments that add up to another day working to move the ball down the field for our community.

Knowing this, our Chamber team has a tremendous amount of respect for the time of these leaders. Which is why we are constantly impressed when numerous CEOs take the time to come together and learn more about what is happening in Tallahassee. Just this week, we witnessed that kind of commitment in two settings. First was our bi-monthly CEO Series breakfast where corporate leaders gathered to hear from Mac and Danny Langston about the aviation industry and how their company, Flightline Group, Inc. is pushing forward to create economic opportunity at our airport. This was followed a few days later by our quarterly President’s Council meeting where attendees heard from the leaders of both Premier Fine Homes and Arbor Properties about the continuously changing nature of residential development in Tallahassee.

Between those two meetings, there were numerous CEOs who gave up close to three hours of their week to learn more about the changing face of our community. That’s three hours they could have been pursuing a myriad of other duties and solving problems with their business. Instead of only working on their bottom line, they offer their time to work on Tallahassee’s future. Here at the Chamber, we gauge our effectiveness in many ways, but for me, I look to see which CEOs are coming to our meetings, gatherings and sessions. If they are taking the time to come, engage in the program and ask questions of our staff then I know we are doing something right.

The most important thing that anyone should know about Tallahassee’s CEOs is that they care enough about our future to show up time and time again. The CEOs we see around the table, in the audience and gathered near each other frequently are critical to the success of our community. As Tallahassee continues to grow, prosper and change, rest assured that we have great CEOs ready to help solve our problems, put people to work and make a lasting difference. Their support is a major contributor to the success of the Chamber and critical to our quest for a more prosperous Tallahassee.

Jay Revell

Vice President