Executives to Be More Politically Active, Focus on Goals, Launch New Initiatives in New Year

In looking ahead to 2019, what ideas or plans do you have to continue being a catalyst, convener and champion in your community?

Nathan Ahle, IOM
Fresno (CA) Chamber

In 2019 our chamber will continue to strive to implement the 3 Cs in all areas of our organization, primarily in our political action work.

Being a strong Champion for business issues and pro-business candidates has long been a priority for us, but in the coming year we plan to double our efforts to Convene other organizations and pro-business groups in Fresno to retake our city council during special elections, as well as being a proactive Catalyst for the 2020 cycle. We’ve found that business groups in our area are falling behind labor when it comes to organizing and mobilizing resources politically, and we’re going to be leaders in turning the tide.

Todd Sanders
Greater Phoenix (AZ) Chamber

Last summer, my family and I hiked the Dolomite Mountains. While high altitudes and steep terrain challenged us daily, the biggest obstacle by far was staying focused. Every new mile opened up spectacular vistas as far as the eye could see, which threatened to sidetrack us from our goal of reaching our daily destination before nightfall and bitter cold temperatures got the best of us. Fortunately, focusing on our daily goal paid off, and six days later, when we reached our journey’s end, we were rewarded with an incredible feeling of accomplishment (and maybe a blister or two).

Similarly, success in 2019 is going to require focused discipline. Much like that hike through the Dolomites, we are going to double down on our strategic goals and emphasize mission-driven work, rooted in our role as Catalyst, Convener and Champion for the Greater Phoenix region. I believe that that mission-driven approach will not only pay dividends for the bottom line, but for our community as well. By staying true to our core mission and values, we will be better equipped to serve our members and move Phoenix forward.

Krystlyn Giedt
Half Moon Bay (CA) Coastside Chamber and Visitors’ Bureau

As an incoming CEO new to my chamber and its area, I am committed to meeting and working with our members and community leaders to become a trusted ally. By establishing myself as a positive engaging presence, I believe that members will feel more comfortable and open to telling us their needs, thus allowing us to best find catalytic opportunities to serve them. One of our main goals in 2019 is to create a downtown business center for helping identify and find solutions to our members’ issues. By becoming a trusted resource, I have already seen and hope to continue to grow members asking the chamber to help mediate issues with our local government, and introducing them to groups and organizations where a mutual benefit can be found.

Lastly, and luckily, the chamber I have come into was well positioned as a Champion of local causes. For 2019, my goal is to help those causes move up to the next level of their evolutions. I will be organizing space for collaboration, goal setting, and creating plans of implementation.

David May
Fort Collins Area (CO) Chamber

The Fort Collins Area Chamber is the convening partner of several initiatives. One is Fix North I-25 (www.FixNorthI-25.com), a major initiative to deal with growing traffic congestion in Northern Colorado.

Another is a talent recruitment and development effort called Talent 2.0 (nocotalent2.com) in which we have been Catalyst, Convener and Champion. Other chambers and public partners are involved with both initiatives.

To help the community appreciate the importance of business to the community’s ability to pay for great public quality of life amenities, we have just launched a public messaging campaign called Bringing Business Home (www.BringingBusinessHome.org).

Wendy Laros
Executive Director
Kona-Kohala (HI) Chamber

The Kona-Kohala Chamber is launching into its next 50 years in 2019 with a focus on the future through an initiative guided by young professionals. We’ve formed a Young Professionals Leadership Council tasked with developing and implementing the details of the project, including crafting survey questions, interviewing key stakeholders and conducting a summit event focused on the future. This project provides a catalyst to grow the local economy by convening business leaders with a range of perspectives. We have no doubt that the experience gained by those involved in this two-year project will result in new and knowledgeable champions for our community.