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Chamber President's Letter for March 2015

On my business card, right below the logo, is the phrase “Leading Business … Leading Our Community.” So what am I doing, at every Biz-Ness After Hours, every legislative function, every public function where I am meeting people and sharing my card? I am claiming a leadership role for our Chamber.
I am proud to claim that role. And I am proud of all the evidence we have accumulated. I don’t have to bring up the obvious evidence found in the US 31 project, but I will. As you have heard, again and again, the US 31 Coalition was founded by your Chamber and the St. Joseph County Chamber because we realized our members’ need for a limited access freeway between us and Indianapolis. The third section of that improvement is due to open this year. We are continuing to lead the effort to complete the in-between sections.
I have talked about this before and I will talk about it again. US 31 has required 25 years of patient leadership that is now paying off visibly. Sometimes you have to wait for the fruits of patient leadership.
Sometimes the community needs immediate visible leadership. Through our legislative advocacy, our Third House town hall meetings, and our relationship with regulatory agencies, we are called on to represent the business community quickly and effectively. Likewise, we are called on, with a moment’s notice, to represent the business community to reporters from all levels of media.
In the background we have been leading, through partnerships, with the Regional Cities Initiative, the SoMa program, and other community improvement efforts. 
As a supporter of the Chamber, you get to claim credit for our leadership position in the community. Our volunteers are what makes us effective.
And we appreciate your role in the Chamber’s success. But how can we return the favor? How can we help you with your leadership and management issues?
Fortunately, your Chamber is comprised of many talented partners. That’s what makes us so strong. In this issue of Leading Business, some of our members will share insights into strong leadership and effective management.
Elkhart has faced some interesting times. We have strong industries with strong leaders that provide jobs for direct employees and jobs for suppliers. We have other strong industries that are not related to the RV and boat industries that prove the vibrancy of our economic climate. We are fortunate to have all these industries in our community. But it takes vigilance to preserve the economic climate for these businesses – your business – to thrive. 
That is what your Chamber does.
Together, we will continue to Lead Business and Lead Our Community.

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