Help me shape the future of Tallahassee for our children | Opinion

From the Tallahassee Democrat

Last week I had the honor of becoming the chair of the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce. In my career at Capital City Bank and as a citizen of Tallahassee, I have had the opportunity to engage in various leadership roles, but this is one I am particularly excited about because I have a chance to help shape the future of the community I love, where my husband and I have chosen to raise our family. Part of my motivation in serving is to ensure my daughter Stella has a bright future here.

The Chamber works every day to be the catalyst for business and community growth. In the year ahead, I know this will continue with enhanced opportunities cultivated for our members to engage, grow and create new relationships.

I look forward to our updated approach of driving value to our members through three focus areas: growing business, advocating for business and bridging the talent gap.

There are transformative changes underway throughout our community, positioning our area as a destination for people seeking a vibrant place to live, work and play. The Chamber is using this momentum to help grow our existing industry base, as well as creating connections among the private sector that showcase our community as a place open for new business.

With recruitment and retention being top of mind across all industry sectors, you will see a heightened focus on workforce and bridging the talent gap. Chamber staff is already hard at work with a group of community partners taking a holistic approach to secondary and post-secondary attainment of degrees and certifications. Through unique offerings connecting students to businesses, you will see your Chamber take an active role in positioning our community as workforce ready.

The year ahead will also bring a continued focus on advocacy. The Chamber will continue a forward-thinking approach within its public policy efforts, through a business agenda driven by member input, candidate surveys for the upcoming local elections and initiatives identified to advance our local economy.

Everything we do starts with growing business. We are more determined than ever to serve as the voice for the business community, while acting as a catalyst for high impact economic growth. I’m excited about our future.

My ask in the year ahead: Get engaged, stay informed and be focused on how we can all work together to forge our best possible future.

I am confident that with the strong leadership and volunteers we have in place, we will continue to make a long-lasting difference in the future of Tallahassee.

I want Tallahassee to be the place our daughter comes back to because the culture is family-friendly, vibrant, charming and — most importantly — lit. (“Lit” is slang for awesome or fabulous — at least, that’s what Stella tells me).

Paraphrasing David Brown, chairman of the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives: Look in the future and get comfortable causing change to accomplish the long-term vision for our community.

That is the mindset I’ll bring to the Chamber and the thought process driving our everyday actions. I hope to have you working with us.

Beth Corum is chief operating officer for Capital City Bank.