Opinion: Help the Chamber tell a better story

The Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce has been a force for positive change and growth in Tallahassee for nearly a century. That longevity is due in large part to the organization’s ability to adapt to the needs of the community over time.

Right now, the city is shrouded with uncertainty because of a high crime rate and undesirable attention from the federal government. Our reputation is at stake. Yet the Chamber knows Tallahassee is resilient. Our business community as a whole is focused on creating a place where everyone can thrive. We have a better story to tell.

I am honored to begin my term as chair of the Chamber’s Board of Directors this week at our annual meeting on Tuesday. I begin my term in full recognition of the dozens of business leaders who have held this post before me and the love they had for our home. We share a great commonality: We all know our success has happened in Tallahassee in no small part because we chose to engage with the Chamber.

Our chamber has a number of key initiatives that I am proud to move forward. Everything we do is aimed at cementing our place as the catalyst for business growth in Tallahassee.

In particular, I am excited about three key opportunities: telling our talent story, developing a community plan, and serving as the business connector in Tallahassee.

Tallahassee has an untold talent story. I meet new people at every Chamber gathering, and I’ve noticed a common thread in all of their success stories — being in Tallahassee was an integral part of those successes. Those are the stories about our community that people need to hear right now. The Chamber will bring more of these testimonials to light across our business community under the banner of “Talent Lives Here.”

Last spring, when the Chamber took more than 80 local leaders to Nashville, we saw the power of visionary planning on display. Our leaders all agreed on one thing before we came home — that Tallahassee needed a community plan. We must build a shared vision among our key stakeholders and lay out our common ambitions for the future. The Chamber has recently convened a group of those business leaders to help put that effort in motion.

The soul of the Chamber of Commerce comes to life when we facilitate a connection. Through steady engagement, our members are creating partnerships, ventures and deals that are driving the local economy. Our hope this year is to amplify those effects.

I am honored to lead a committed Board of Directors determined to be a catalyst for positive change over the next year. I believe in the Chamber and its ability to drive our community toward a brighter future.

Join us. Be engaged. Help us tell a better story.