Tomorrow night, I’ll become the Board Chairman of the Lexington Area Chamber of Commerce. This is a first for me. This is actually the first official board that I’ve served on and that just happened just last year. In preparation for the evening, I had to write a speech. For historical purposes, this is that speech. You know, just in case.
There have been several times in my life that I have inherited the reins of an organization from others, and every time that I stand in front of a group of people and accept those reins, I am reminded of the very first time. It was my senior year in high school that I was chosen to lead the Central Davidson Spartans JROTC Battalion as the Battalion Commander. Imagine a 17 year old version of Adam Sewell, no beard, no salt and pepper hair; standing in front of a large group of strange people, with absolutely no preparation of a speech – nervous, and standing in front of podium just like this one. With nods to Winston Churchill, George Washington and other famous public speakers, I started blurting out what I could pry out of my mind at that time. Unfortunately for me, the only thing I could come up with was…. “Let’s Do Great Things”. That was it. That’s the entire speech. I mustered a chuckle and stepped away from the podium. Fortunately or possibly unfortunately for you all tonight, I’m better at preparing now and can also wing it just a hair more efficiently.
So starting out tonight, I would like to thank those who thought it a good idea to put me into this position. All I can say is, let’s see what happens. Secondly, I would like to thank everyone who has ever served and is currently serving on the Chamber Board of Directors and as Chamber Ambassadors. These people are those who made this organization what it is, a beacon for business progress in this community.
As we start down the road that is 2018, I want to continue to build upon the work others have already started. I want the chamber to continue to play the role it always has – to be a champion for the small business owner. To give opportunities to people like myself in ways of networking, to engage in the community, to help others, and all while attempting to make Lexington a better place to live, work and play. However, for some, it may not be clear what the chamber actually does.
Before ever stepping on the board last year, one of the questions that I struggled with myself and heard others state was “What does or what can the chamber do for me?”. I probably have heard more people than I have toes and fingers ask this very question. I have made it one of my goals this year to answer that question for the members of the chamber, potential members in the community, and for the general public. There are a few ideas in how we can accomplish this and we will be working on this in the very near future. I want it to be easy to say, “This is what the chamber does for me.”
Furthermore, there are so many small jewels of business here in Lexington that are members of our Chamber. Companies that some may have heard of or may have seen their logo but have no idea what they do, who they are or exactly how far their reach is. Companies that have clientele from around the world, have won awards in their industry, have wonderful, friendly people working hard to make their own path in the world. And we just simply drive by these buildings, day in and day out. Everyone, including myself, should pull out their Chamber directories and find two or three businesses that are located or operate within Lexington and learn more about them.
I am in a unique position with MyGeek Technologies, that we have the honor to work with a lot of these businesses on a daily basis. We see what these companies do, we see who works there, we see the value that these companies bring to our community. I want to give these businesses a platform to stand on, a group of people that are at their backs, and an organization that they can be proud to be a member of. We need to shed light on the businesses that make our community what it is.
That is my goal as chairman.
Thank you all for attending tonight – now Let’s Do Great Things!