Address 2020 Head On with a Rallying Cry

Dave Kilby

A few weeks ago, I received another nugget of wisdom from J.P. Moery, the author of the book Association Hustle. Moery suggested that instead of a New Year’s resolution, maybe we should establish a short, even one-word, rallying cry or theme for 2020.

I liked the idea and reached out to several W.A.C.E. member CEOs in chambers around the West and asked them what their rallying cry or theme would be.

The responses were, frankly, interesting, provocative, memorable and motivational, as you would expect from leaders of top-notch 3C chambers—Catalysts, Conveners and Champions.

Rallying Cries for Chambers

I can’t share all the responses that I received, but here’s a few that might be worth considering and discussing with your team:

• “Accountability” – Sherry Taylor, Mason-Deerfield (OH);

• “Soaring” – Mark Turner, Gilroy (CA);

• “Focus” – Kelly Hall, Longview (TX);

• “Engagement” – Lorraine Clarno, Beaverton (OR) and Brad Hicks, Medford (OR);

• “Lead and Break Down Silos” – Amber Smith, Tucson (AZ);

• “Results” – Glenn Morris, Santa Maria Valley (CA);

• “Transformative” – Sherry Menor-McNamara, Honolulu (HI);

• “Whatever It Takes” – Mary Beth Sewald, Las Vegas (NV);

• “Quit Talking About It! Let’s Do It!” – Lisa Krueger, Lake Havasu (AZ);

• “Voice of Business—Loud and Clear” – Joshua Bonner, Coachella Valley (CA);

• “Scalability” – Todd Sanders, Phoenix (AZ);

• “Review, Modify, Remove or Improve” – Jill Lagan, Boulder City (NV);

• “Relentless” – Chris Romer, Vail Valley (CO);

• “Pace and Purpose” – Pat Patrick, Lodi (CA).

Longer Responses

A few of the responses deserved more of an explanation:

“Change Is Coming,” offered Tom Pierson from the Tacoma-Pierce County (WA) Chamber. “We will need to be quick and nimble, build on the trust we have created, form alliances with others who are not like us and keep the polarization in D.C.”

According to Gary Plummer, “Level Up” will be the theme for the Wichita (KS) Chamber. “It’s more than a catchphrase; it’s a mantra that captures the intensity and intentionality required to deliver the results our region needs.”

One of the most intriguing responses that immediately caught my attention came from Amanda Blackwood of the Sacramento Metro (CA) Chamber: “#varsityball.” I can’t wait to learn more and talk with Amanda about this. I’m assuming that this quite possibly means it’s time to take things up a notch and quit playing like you’re in little league, which is something a lot of chambers should consider.

Special thanks to all who responded to me. I’m sure that if your chambers stay true to and are guided by these themes, you’ll have a more productive year ahead. As one of your biggest fans, I’ll be watching your progress with anxious anticipation.

To everyone else, I ask…what’s your chamber’s rallying cry or theme for 2020?

And maybe more important, as business and community leaders, what’s your personal rallying cry or theme for the year?

From where I sit, I would offer up the following and simply suggest: “Be Bold” and have a great 2020!

Dave Kilby is president and CEO of W.A.C.E. and executive vice president of corporate affairs at the California Chamber.