It is almost impossible to believe that seven years have passed by so quickly. I swear it was only yesterday in June, 2008 that I walked in to the Hendersonville Area Chamber of Commerce doors to see the bright smiling faces of three lovely, energetic, talented and anxious young women. They were not exactly sure what to expect and neither did I, but we all joined hands and off we went. And what a joyous and fun filled ride it has been!
Over the years we have added a couple of other energetic and talented young women to the mix and as we have grown, it has been an enormous pleasure to watch the strengths of our staff accelerate to take on the challenges at hand. My time at the chamber is short now, but I want to take just a few moments to share some thoughts about the successes and to thank some folks who so well deserve that praise.
We have been blessed with boards of directors year after year, who are actively engaged with the business of the chamber and have been willing to try new things and believe in new programs, events and outreach. The chamber could not function without the hundreds of volunteers who serve on the twenty two standing committees of the chamber to Connect, Promote, Support and Advocate for Hendersonville every day.
Our members are central to our mission and we thank you for the value and confidence you place in the chamber and the support you give with your time, talent and treasure. You dig deep in your pockets not only for us but for the entire city and we thank you for your outstanding contributions.
We thank all of you who come to the chamber for information, advice, resources or just to talk. We use that valuable conversation to understand at a more intuitive level what needs exist in the business community and do our best to deliver that service and anticipate emerging needs.
Thanks to all those collaborators with the Hendersonville Chamber like Volunteer State Community College, Union University, Sumner County Visitors Bureau, P-16 Council, United Chambers, Industrial Development Board, City of Hendersonville and the list goes on.
To the staff of five who work hard, play hard and have followed my lead for the past seven years, you are the best! To my best friend and Board Chair for 2014-15, Gina Scott with Pinnacle Financial, to whom I tasked with the job of finding my successor, I give my undying loyalty. Her leadership has been extraordinary as she identified elegant solutions to challenges faced and surprises sprung on me!
To my family and dear husband, Jim, I thank you for all the long nights away that you accepted, the numerous events you attended and the gracious acceptance of my 24/7 world.
The Hendersonville Chamber is strong and growing. We have developed a regional presence and offer an array of valuable programs and services to our business community. There is an intangible quality as well to chamber work in that you are always connecting people and resources and may only know much later and maybe by accident how important that work ultimately became.
I have said many times the Chamber is the heartbeat of our community and I believe that more than ever. It has been my joy and privilege to serve as your President over the past seven years. I came with one goal in mind, to leave it better than I found it and I trust that by most measures that is true. Thank you for all you have given me personally, your love, support and confidence.