"When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door we do not see the one which has opened for us;" (Helen Keller 1880-1968).
My two-year term as chairman of the board of the Marietta Area Chamber of Commerce is coming to an end and I would like to thank Charlotte Keim, the chamber team and my board of directors for a wonderful experience. I have been truly blessed to have been given the opportunity to interact with people who share a common mission.
Our Mission: To represent business by providing leadership that proactively influences government and the community and creates resources, education, networking opportunities and outreach for business.
We started my term as chairman by asking one question: What should be our No. 1 focus in the next two years? The answer to that question: "We should do everything in our power to assist in creating an environment in Marietta and the surrounding area that enables business to succeed and thrive" and we believed that if we did this, we would have a positive impact our community.
The chamber board decided to redirect resources and began asking questions and facilitating the flow of information and communication. First, we wanted provide information about local, state and national issues and we set out on a course hoping to bring to light different viewpoints on issues. We wanted to provide information in a manner that was unbiased in hopes that we would be seen as a trusted source of quality information. Second, we stressed the importance of creating an environment where people wanted to do business and we encouraged leaders in all areas to improve customer service and see themselves in more of an enabler's role. With business advocacy as a focus of our mission, the chamber works with the Port Authority, the Small Business Development Center, plus local, state and national governments and other entities to serve and support positive change and economic growth.
We believe that we can impact economic growth by creating an environment that encourages entrepreneurial innovation and responsible risk taking. And, we can enhance this by making expectations clear from the beginning and by providing the knowledge and support necessary to enable success. We are all responsible for providing great service and support.
The environment that we create will determine our success in the future. We know that we will be challenged by new and unforeseen economic crisis, social strife and political turmoil, but sticking to our values will ensure future progress. Our values help create the environment that encourages innovation, evolution and responsible risk taking. It enables folks with The Pioneer Spirt to succeed. These pioneers, or leaders with God given spirit, possess the passion to do what is right and just. Just like earlier generations, they work hard and they have an innate ability to innovate and adapt.
I would like to thank you for the opportunity to serve the Marietta Area Chamber of Commerce and its' membership. I, like many of you, look forward opening the next door and meeting new challenges and embracing new opportunities.
Tom Betz currently serves as chairman of the board of directors of the Marietta Area Chamber of Commerce. Chamber Viewpoint appears every other Monday on Opinion.