It’s said that time flies when you’re having fun, so I guess that’s why it feels like I took the position as CEO of the Encinitas Chamber of Commerce five years ago. As I look back on the almost one year since I took over, most of it seems like a blur to me.
For the first six months I worked seven days a week and 12 hours a day to create a new and positive direction for the chamber. There were many critical issues that needed attention and I had to pick the top ones to focus on. As I look back now, I am very pleased with the results we were able to achieve and how we created a new standard by which the organization would be judged.
To be perfectly honest, the effort was much greater than I expected and the long days and 100 mph pace took their toll on me. I was fortunate to have a few dedicated people work tirelessly with me like Pat Reinhardt, Debbie Caligiuri and most recently Marilyn Phenow, without whom I could not have achieved the outstanding results that are now evident.
Membership, both new and renewals, has been surging. Our State of the City Awards Dinner was a sold-out, bang-up success. The upcoming A Sporting Life health and sports fair is expected to become an annual celebration of wellness for our children. I am most proud of the Education and Healthcare Committees we have established, along with the Arts in Business Program.
It is expected that the Education Committee will create a business partnership between each classroom in our three school districts and a local business. Through the Healthcare Committee we are producing a monthly story in the newspapers to tout Encinitas as a medical destination of significant credibility, which it hugely deserves. Also, we are sponsoring a series of monthly panel discussions with the Encinitas Library to give the public an opportunity to meet world-class doctors and learn volumes about today’s key wellness issues.
At the end of the day, I am very proud of today’s Encinitas Chamber of Commerce and what it is currently achieving and what it stands for. This town is great and it needs and deserves a quality Chamber of Commerce and it now can boast one.
So what’s next? Well, for the chamber it is now time for a new leader. The table is set and the momentum is strong, so now it needs an ambitious and youthful new “sheriff,” as the current “marshal” feels he has done his job and must move onto something else.
I feel that I achieved what I set out to do and enjoyed the challenge.
Now I would like to find another opportunity, locally I hope, where I can apply my energies and lifetime of experiences. I have grown to love and respect Encinitas, and have made hundreds of new acquaintances, many of whom I hope to continue to work with. My expectation is to stay involved with the chamber, especially with the Education and Healthcare Committees. We have a new and growing board of directors, whom I expect will take my vision and grow with it. I truly feel that I have done all I could do and feel excited for the chamber and for my next opportunity. So for now I must say so long, but not goodbye.
Filed Under: Community Commentary