Wow, talk about drinking from a fire hose! Much has happened since the beginning of the new fiscal year for the Greater Arlington Chamber of Commerce and my term as Chairman – a true honor for me. I’ve tried to jump right in and see as much as I can. It’s been a busy new year, but my guess is that most months are busy. At the risk of overlooking anything or anyone, I’d like to share a few of the highlights.
2020 marks our 75th year! As Chair, I want to thank all of our members that continue to support the Chamber and our initiatives.
Shouts and kudos for our new website – it looks awesome – a totally fresh look! It highlights greater Arlington and, front and center, are links for JOIN TODAY, GET INVOLVED, CALENDAR, EVENTS and more. Equally important, it immediately sets the tone for the website and our purpose:
Our Mission: Together, We Champion Economic and Community Prosperity.
Our Tagline: Together, We Succeed.
Our 4 pillars:
- Grow our Members’ Businesses
- Foster Economic Prosperity
- Amplify the Voice of Business
- Develop the Community’s Future
The website is a huge part of our identity and the entire staff had a hand in it, but it was Britton Cunningham Merritt who kept it all on track – great job – Thanks! Be sure to visit it at arlingtontx.com
Be sure to join us for our regular monthly events Business after Hours and Business Over Breakfast or come to Chamber Orientation, if you’re a new member or someone that would like to re-engage. There are also fun events that pop up, like the Young Professionals Annual Putt-Putt Tournament in October – kudos to the Old Professionals team of Joni Wilson, Dwayne Lee, Jim Maibach and myself. We took 3rd place! Thanks, Henry, for letting me crash. At every event, there’s a really cool mix of fellowship, networking and fun.
We had a wonderful appreciation lunch with the Ambassadors. These VOLUNTEERS are the front line of Chamber membership – they set the tone for how new members value the investment made. With their big pair of Chamber scissors, they cut a ton of ribbons and welcome your attendance to all ribbon cuttings. Ribbon cuttings are always listed in the newsletters and on the website. A huge thanks to the Ambassadors for all that you do. Thank you, Henry Lewczyk and Gina Woodlee, for the direction you give these folks.
There’s also what we might call “business as usual” in the various committees – hardly the case. Just the other day, I sat in on the Public Policy Advocacy Council meeting, and the legislative agendas for both Austin and Washington were presented. A healthy discussion took place, followed by approval to be submitted to the board for consideration. Congressman Mark Veasy was able to join us and share his comments and answer questions from the floor. Thank you, Bill Lynch.
Besides the regular committee activities and networking events, there are MAJOR EVENTS like the Inspired Women Luncheon in November – A SOLD OUT CROWD hosted by the Women’s Alliance featuring Arlington’s own Thasunda Brown Duckett, CEO of Chase Consumer Banking at JPMorgan Chase, as the keynote speaker. Also, $15,000 in college scholarships were handed out to 10 local women. Congratulations on a fantastic event and a successful fundraiser for designated scholarships.
In December, after much thought and planning, the first-ever Corporate Citizenship Forum was hosted at UT Arlington for a day of exploring the How’s and Why’s of business supporting our community. This was a day full of informative speakers and insightful topics to help make our city even better – a special thank you to Michael Jacobson and Foundation Chair, Terry Gaines, for your expertise in putting this together.
As you can see, there’s ALWAYS something going on for and with our membership. Just know that the business part of the Chamber runs well thanks to a truly fantastic staff. They handle everything from Operations, administration, education programming, accounting, sales and so much more, allowing Michael Jacobson to lead the Greater Arlington Chamber of Commerce the way he does.
A special shout-out to our Board Members. Your leadership is key to our success. I thank you for all that you do, and I encourage you to take the opportunity to engage or re-engage, as the case may be, in some of the activities I’ve mentioned. As you’ve heard, it’s a great day to be in Arlington and that most certainly applies to the Greater Arlington Chamber of Commerce too!
Here’s to one more Happy New Year and wishing you a great start in 2020 – ALL SYSTEMS GO!