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  • Grit, grace, and gratitude: A note from your new Board Chair

  • Grit, grace, and gratitude: A note from your new Board Chair

    Grit, grace, and gratitude: A note from your new Board Chair

    Grit, grace and gratitude have been the most common words in my vocabulary over the past 12 months, and I believe they will be essential pillars of guidance for us all as we continue to move into the next 12 months.

    If there was ever a year we needed to flex our muscle of grit, to have perseverance and a passion for our long-term goals, it was this year! In our community, across our organizations and in our homes, we have all faced an evolutionary change affecting how we live, work, learn and play. This past year we faced COVID-19 and are continuing to navigate through the efforts & response. We continued our journey of growth, learning and action for change embracing diversity and building inclusion. We lost a visionary leader with the unfortunate passing of Craig Whitney. Through all of this, we came together as a community to adapt and support each other.

    At The Chamber, our mission is to promote economic growth and prosperity for business and our members through leadership in advocacy, education, and engagement. We had developed a three-year strategic plan in 2019 to deliver on this mission, focusing on three strategic goals:

    • Establish the region as a full-service metropolitan marketplace.
    • Be a bold voice for business through strong thought leadership and a rich policy agenda.
    • Build a place of belonging to best serve members’ interests.

    This strategic plan is a guide for The Chamber as we leverage grit, innovation and agility throughout the changing times. We know The Chamber has a distinctive role to play in the community that requires continued evolution in its programs and services, effective partnership, and prudent but bold leadership on policy initiatives. This past year we anchored on our mission taking on the challenge as an organization to work harder and smarter to ensure we were meeting the needs of our members and the community.  

    In Angela Duckworth’s book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, she says, “Our potential is one thing. What we do with it is quite another.” I am grateful for the amazing grit The Chamber team has demonstrated this past year. As your new Chamber board chair, I have great confidence in the work The Chamber is doing to deliver on our mission and want to assure you we are more determined than ever to continue being innovative and agile to best support our members and our region to succeed.

    We are all learning to navigate a more virtual world, adjust how we live, respond to economic impacts of COVID-19, and navigate social & organizational changes. The grace we give ourselves and each other through this journey is essential for success and immeasurable on long-term impact.

    As we enter the 2020-21 year, we embark on our second decade of a merged Chamber and will be welcoming a new president and CEO. Thank you for your grace as the search committee works through the interview process with candidates. We are being diligent to find the right leader and are looking forward to welcoming a new president and CEO for The Chamber. When we announce the new leader, we will ask for your grace again, to help enable and support their onboarding.

    Looking forward to the upcoming year, I want to again express great gratitude for The Chamber team and the great work they continue to do. The Chamber has been able to launch new mediums enabling conversations and supporting education of our members, such as our podcast and video member spotlights. We’ve forged new partnerships and task forces. We’ve invested in new educational opportunities and virtual trainings. We made supporting diversity and inclusion a priority. We stayed closely in tune with legislative updates and federal business relief programs to share with you. We spent countless hours on the phone checking in on members. We made sure that your voices were still heard whether you were working from home or the office.

    Moving forward we will continue to transform the way we work and we’re grateful to keep connecting with you through new outlets like webinars, video conferences and live streams. Above all, as a Chamber, you can count on us to continue to be there for you. We will remain committed to offering the tools you need to succeed. Our events, programs, membership, public policy and communication teams have new plans to unveil this next year.

    We’ll be working on new professional development opportunities for youth, college students and professionals while connecting students and employers in new ways. New tools and technology will emerge enhancing the ways we host engaging community conversations and expand our current programs. Keeping the community informed and bringing the best benefits so you can maximize your Chamber membership are other key priorities for the upcoming year. You will even notice some changes in this newsletter as we focus on value-based material.

    As the incoming chair, I want to express sincere appreciation to Tom Dawson who was our Board chair this past year and an amazing leader for The Chamber during an unprecedented year of change. I am grateful for Jim Parsons who stepped up to serve as our interim CEO and president in addition to his already full plate. I am thankful for the amazing Chamber team who has continued to have grit and resilience to ensure we deliver on our mission. Most of all, I am grateful for you, our members. Thank you for your membership. Thank you for trusting us. Thank you for letting us get through this with you. Thank you for supporting our work creating a positive lasting impact for all businesses and our community.

    Wishing you an amazing year of grit, grace, gratitude and great success.

    Sandi Piatz
    Site Leader, Microsoft Fargo Campus
    2020-21 Chamber Board Chair


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