Leadership and the Next 100 Years

Leadership and the Next 100 Years

By Chamber Chairman Denise Deal

I sincerely hope you have enjoyed the holiday season and celebrated the arrival of 2008 with great fanfare. This is a very special year because it marks the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce. Special events are planned throughout 2008 to reflect on the incredible transformation this community and its leaders have undergone over the past century.

It goes without saying that the progress and success of this community would not have been possible without the leadership of past Chamber of Commerce Board Chairs and Chamber Presidents. I thank each of these fine leaders for their perseverance and tenacity in making this wonderful place we call home, a great place to live, to work, to play and to stay! Challenging issues and opportunities have come before this community and through great partnerships among Chamber leadership and our community leaders; we have met these many challenges and opportunities and continued to improve Gainesville/Hall County.

The mission of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce is to improve the overall business climate for members’ growth, promote community development, facilitate political action and enhance the quality of life. The Vision 2030 initiative is a perfect example of the “mission in action” and your Chamber of Commerce working to improve, promote, facilitate and enhance this community. The Vision 2030 idea came from past Board Chairman Rob Fowler and has grown into a thriving initiative. Thanks to Rob’s leadership and ability to initiate such a visionary process in our community, we are making plans for the future. Vision 2030 takes into account the tremendous history this community has enjoyed over the last 100 years and looks to the next 22 years with specific goals in mind. I have often wondered what our first Chamber of Commerce Chairman, Mr.W.G. Mealor, would have thought of the Vision 2030 initiative. I tend to think he would have loved the idea!

There are goals in the Vision 2030 plan that tend to make some uncomfortable or threatening because they are so radical. However, consider this… we were once a booming textile community situated on the banks of the Chattahoochee River. Fortunately, community leaders said, “Why don’t we do more?” That “more” led to the highly successful poultry industry initially placing Gainesville/Hall County on the world map.

Today, organizers of Vision 2030 are looking into the future and identifying the next steps to our community’s success as we compete in the global economy. We have a blueprint, we must dare to go further and follow the advice of Henry David Thoreau… “If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.”

This year will be an opportunity to reflect on the past, take note of the present and look to the future. On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, I invite you and your business to make every effort to attend and support the special events planned throughout the year – we have much to celebrate!