Following a Sense of Civic Duty by R.K. Whitehead

Following a Sense of Civic Duty by R.K. Whitehead



Function: noun

Date: 1737

1: the quality or state of being responsible: as a: moral, legal, or mental accountability

As the incoming Chairman of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, I am both honored and humbled to have the opportunity to serve our business community in this position. Living up to the level of accomplishments of our outgoing chairman, Denise Deal, will be quite a challenge. Under Denise’s tenure, the Greater Hall Chamber succeeded in initiating a spectacular kickoff of the organization’s 100 year anniversary, increased the already large membership base, continued to be the community’s economic development engine, increased workforce development programs, continued its programs building current and future community leaders, and began the implementation of many of the VISION 2030 initiatives. Undoubtedly, this past year has been quite a success.

The groundwork laid by Denise and her predecessors has created a legacy that I feel a responsibility to continue to nurture. With the assistance of Chamber veteran Kit Dunlap and Chairman-Elect Emily Bagwell, we are poised to have another year of accomplishments. Having these two intelligent, seasoned, proven leaders as partners creates the perfect opportunity to take our Chamber to even greater levels of success and accomplishments.

During this year, I look forward to continuing our “Celebration of the Century” and other ongoing Chamber programs. In these times of financial challenges and a weak economy, we will look for means to add even more value to your Chamber membership while continuing to be the voice for the business community. I am always amazed when hearing Board reports and project summaries of the breadth of programs that the Chamber supports. With 12 employees, your Chamber offers an incredibly wide and diverse array of programs and services. You will see a continuation of meaningful and valuable products available to our members, while at the same time we will be re-evaluating services to make sure they continue to have ongoing validity and purpose for meeting our mission.

When asked about my aspirations for the upcoming year as Chamber Chairman, I reflected upon my real purpose of volunteerism. I’ve been involved in various aspects of the community since moving to Gainesville and taking over my family business in 1990. I’d never thought it out, but realize now that I have always felt a sense of responsibility to be involved and play a part in the betterment of our community.

I inherited this civic duty mind-set from my father, Richard. Growing up, I saw the many things he was involved in and the contributions he made to the Atlanta community. He served as the president of the Georgia Tech National Alumni Association and in many other business and cultural organizations. The example he set of giving back to your community stays with me today, as I am determined to meet an obligation, be answerable and lead your Chamber into yet another year of success.