Chamber News

Vision has no boundaries- knows no limits
Chairman's Message - August 2015
Published: Friday, August 7, 2015
By: Gregg Bexten

  “The first step toward creating an improved future is developing the ability to envision it.  VISION will ignite the fire of passion that fuels our commitment to do WHATEVER IT TAKES to achieve excellence.  Only VISION allows us to transform dreams of greatness into the reality of achievement through human action.  VISION has no boundaries and knows no limits.”   Tony Dungy

In the June issue of Chamber TODAY, my column focused on developing a strategic plan that would ensure a vibrant community, not only for our current residents, but also for the future.  We posed the question, “What is a vibrant community?’  How do we know if we’re a vibrant community?

It’s fairly easy to look around and list the tangible growth in our community:  new manufacturing and retail businesses, new jobs created, ongoing infrastructure improvements, healthcare expansions, increased enrollment in our public and private school.  Plans are underway for a new Boys & Girls Club, Recreation Center, and the Special Olympics Missouri Training for Life Campus.  The number of festivals, recreational & cultural opportunities is increasing and attendance at those events is growing.  Add to that the growing tourism industry, especially as it relates to the Missouri State Penitentiary, and Jefferson City is becoming a destination for tourists and shoppers.  All these indicators point to a growing local economy.

Even more exciting to me are some of the intangibles it takes to create that vibrant or “cool” community.  Walt Disney once said, "You can design and create and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality."

We have great people in our community and they are stepping up to the plate to create partnerships to make dreams become realities:

  • Local developers have invested in our community and have helped bring in a manufacturing company and new retail businesses.
  • Partnerships/projects: Partnerships between Lincoln University, Parks & Recreation, Boys & Girls Club, Special Olympics, and other entities and organizations
  • Innovative Ideas: handicap accessible golf course, a splash park, Riverwalk and Riverfront development, and a possible professional baseball team to name a few ideas
  • Increased support for Charitable Organizations & United Way: The United Way and other agencies are meeting  or exceeding their fundraising goals
  • Volunteerism: There is no end to the volunteer opportunities in the community along with leadership opportunities for young professionals.

Is it enough, though, to see signs of vibrancy?  Does that ensure vibrancy for our future?  Helen Keller once said, “The most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight but no vision.”  In other words, it’s not enough to “see” our community as it is today, we must have a vision for our future.  That is the role of the Chamber, City and County leaders – to have a vision and create a strategic plan to achieve our goals.

In her Chamber TODAY article, Economic Development Director Missy Bonnot gives an overview of the meetings the Economic Development Partners have held this year in preparation for creating a new strategic plan (vision) for community and economic development.

What a great community we have!  I am proud of our residents and our leaders who are committed to ensuring we have a vibrant community for generations to come, and I look forward to sharing more thoughts with you as we work toward that plan.  As always, please feel free to contact me or President Randy Allen with any of your thoughts and ideas!

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