This is my final message as Chamber President. Stepping into this role was a new endeavor for me. Over the years I have led other organizations that each had a singular goal, but the Whittier Chamber is different.
It has many goals: To build its member businesses by giving them opportunities to network, advertise, learn and educate. But what does that mean in a city that has thousands of businesses that each have unique goals and needs? So I asked myself, how does the Whittier Chamber help grow our local economy by thinking about every business in Whittier?
This year we launched Business Watch Whittier, The Nonprofit Network, Chamber Chat, and Live Facebook feeds, each of which is available to any Whittier business. We also put in place an exciting new way for Chamber members to promote their business online, a program that will officially launch in Fall of 2017. Many of these new endeavors would not have been possible without the time and talent of Ross Gile from DigiCal. I will forever be grateful for Ross’s energy and the hard work he put in during my term.
During my time as Chamber President I focused on infrastructure, providing Chamber staff the technology necessary to be productive in today’s world. I focused on communicating via video, each month providing online video highlights of Chamber events, news, and opportunities. I focused on personnel, making sure the Whittier Chamber had the right people in place to run things effi ciently.
I am a strong advocate for Shopping LOCAL! If not you, then who? It is amazingly easy to shop online, but it is incredibly rewarding to support a small business in our community that provides a needed good or service. Next time you need something, please check the Whittier Chamber website fi rst.
I also advocated for the redevelopment of the Uptown District – the heart of Whittier. This year the city has held three community sessions to focus on the needs of Uptown, and though I had nothing to do with this, I was mighty glad these sessions take place. I look forward to a day, in the not-too-distant future, where Uptown Whittier is thriving and all of its businesses are successful.
During my tenure, I was blessed to have members of my Board of Directors who care so much for the Whittier community that they gave an amazing amount of time, talent and treasure while each member still managed to run successful businesses. Thank you to all the 2016-2017 Board Members.
Thank you to the Whittier Chamber staff who held everything together and made my job easier. Carol, Lyn, Amber, Jessica, Luis and Courtney – you are all awesome.
Thank you to my wonderful wife Judy and my sons. I am grateful to have such a patient and understanding family. Thank you to my Home Care staff who saw much less of me this year. (And if you need home care services or know someone who does, call me at Home Care. We can help.)
The Whittier Chamber’s Business Focus is read by thousands of people, but the Chamber itself does not have thousands of members. If you are reading this and you are not a current Whittier Chamber member, I ask you to give the Chamber two years. The fi rst year you will learn how everything works and the second year you will learn to grow. There are three types of businesses who join the Chamber: those who need the Chamber in order to succeed, those who do so as a fulfillment of civic duty, and those who have simply continued their membership year after year because they realize it is better with the Whittier Chamber than it is without. Join today!
Sadly, I am writing this message on February 20th, the day Whittier lost Police Officer Keith Boyer. Whittier Chamber members are strong supporters of the Whittier Police Department, but the Whittier Police Department are even stronger supporters of Whittier businesses. Let us all do what we can to make the police officers lives easier. Install security cameras, light your buildings and be a powerful force of good in their otherwise challenging world. #WhittierSTRONG
Thank you for allowing me to lead this wonderful organization.