2024 Conference: Chance to Connect, Share

Lorraine Clarno
Lorraine Clarno, ACE

Elevate … Connect … Thrive…

Is the theme of our February 2024 conference. W.A.C.E. certainly provides us with many opportunities through our programs, webinars, Academy, and annual conference to achieve all three.

Elevating our knowledge, skills, and performance, and connecting with one another to innovate and share relevant and actionable initiatives are all essential to us individually and collectively thriving!

I hope every one of you reading this Insider can attend and participate in Garden Grove, California in February. Whether new to the industry or a career professional, the experience will challenge, motivate, and inspire you.

A Step Further

We talk a lot about the “Three C’s” of our work — being the Catalyst, Convener and Champion for our local communities. I’d like to challenge us to take it a step further in the name of relevancy and relationships.

Chambers of commerce should play a vital role in serving as the connective tissue in a community by fostering economic growth, supporting businesses, and facilitating relationships among various stakeholders.

Looking at the definition of connective tissue, in 2024, how can you elevate your game in supporting the economic organs and cells, transport the nutrients and waste where they belong, defend against economic pathogens, and repair damaged community tissue?

I see this as a challenge both personally, as a CEO, and organizationally. Digging deeper and putting ourselves out in front of the daily issues and challenges we see. Having the hard and necessary conversations, taking the risks, pushing our boards to build stepping stones, and not accepting stumbling blocks impacting our communities.

Opportunities Ahead

It is safe to say that each of us has significant opportunities ahead to be solution-driven, action-oriented, and problem-solving organizations. It will take grit and strength to be that connective tissue for our members and communities. I’m looking forward to hearing and learning from many of you at the conference how you are achieving success.

We will have an update for you on our transition plans in the next Insider and communications in January. Until then, know that W.A.C.E. is moving forward at full speed, and your board is working to ensure a smooth and successful transition in February.

Have a wonderful holiday season!

Lorraine Clarno, ACE, is president/CEO of Discover Kalispell (MT) Chamber and 2023 chair of the W.A.C.E. Board.