From the Chamber Chair
Engagement - without the ring
Published: Tuesday, January 14, 2014 10:00 am
By: Bob Gilbert, Bartlett and West - 2014 Chamber Chair
My wife, Rachelle, and I recently celebrated our 17th Anniversary with a short trip. It was a good time to reflect on the years past and look ahead to 2014 and beyond. So many things have changed since our engagement and marriage back in 1996! Little did I know then that I would one day live in and love Jefferson City. As a matter of introduction, I grew up in a small town south of St. Louis and traveled to Jefferson City for statewide competitions and sports, but I never dreamed I would live here and become so connected to the community. My wife is a Jefferson City native, we have extended family here, and after a decade living elsewhere, we gladly found our way back to this place where we exchanged our vows. Engagement became commitment, commitment produced a family, and the investment continues to reap its rewards.
After relocating here in 2007, I became engaged in a different sense of the word. I put forth an effort to be involved in the community. The Chamber of Commerce was the springboard to my engagement, but this time without the ring! Engaging in my community led to a true commitment to Jefferson City, and the sense that my family was larger than I knew.
A new course of Leadership Jefferson City is beginning this month, and I am reminded of my experience in that great Chamber program in 2009. It was an eye-opening “tour of Jefferson City” for a newcomer like me, and the exposure to the many benefits of Chamber membership and community involvement was inspiring. Have you ever wondered how you could be more “engaged” with the community? Or how your commitment to the community could be put into action? How can you play a significant part in making Jefferson City better? Let me suggest the Chamber. I have found it to be very rewarding personally and professionally.
In my role as 2014 Chairman, I hope I can inspire Chamber members to “engage” and for those who have been thinking about membership to take that step and invest in our community! You will be glad you did. There are new Networking Groups forming in which you can meet others with shared interests, a new Membership Committee focused on enhancing the membership experience, a new Public Affairs Committee with the opportunity to help us influence policy, plus many others. Call the Chamber and tell them you want to get ENGAGED! We will be glad to hear from you and help point you in a direction that works for you.
Let me take this opportunity to wish everyone a very happy and prosperous 2014! I also want to thank now Past-Chairman Joe Scheppers for his leadership in 2013. He helped lead the Chamber through our 120th year that produced a new idea generation/submission program (BIS - Big Idea Sharing) and a new structure that focuses our Chamber in four areas: Talent, Place, Membership, and Growth. I plan to use page and also my column in Chamber TODAY to highlight these areas of focus this year. We have a great start to 2014 and I am honored to continue working with our community partners to achieve great things for Jefferson City!
(Watch for a new Chairman's Message in Chamber TODAY the 2nd Monday of each month. That message will then be posted on this page.)