Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber momentum continues

The Chamber celebrates 120 years with a stream of successes.

Another outstanding Annual Meeting event featured the motivating success story of locally headquartered Auto Warehousing Company, kicking off the Chamber’s 120th year and celebrating 2002-2003. We have continued to build upon the Chamber’s brand promise, “Power Through Connections,” exemplified by our recent EXPO, which continues to be the region’s largest and most successful business-to-business trade show.

This year, members gave generously and enthusiastically, helping build and sustain a powerful economic environment. Members have received our colorful Annual Report summarizing what was an eventful and results-filled period for the Chamber.

A few short years ago, community leaders endorsed and funded a Chamber-prompted benchmarking analysis by the Growth Strategies Organization. Along with our community partners, we worked to identify growth opportunities and suggest a business climate improvement agenda. The results and recommendations continue to guide our work today, and assists with our focus on important business issues. We continue to shape, complement, team up with partners, praise and publicize efforts locally and regionally in pursuit of increased business opportunities for all.

The Chamber will not rest on its laurels, or become complacent. We will celebrate business and community while seeking new ideas, approaches and solutions that help spark and maintain our community momentum. One law of community physics is “a community in motion tends to stay in motion.” The Chamber believes it takes committed leaders willing to push, pull, encourage, invest and lead to assure that motion continues.

One outstanding leader who helps maintain our Chamber and community momentum is retiring Chamber Chair, President and CEO of Franciscan Health System, Joe Wilzceck. Joe represents one of our community’s largest and most important economic sectors, health care. Franciscan has a large employment base and financial impact in our community and makes a significant contribution to our quality of life and personal well-being. Like other top volunteers, Joe had plenty to do when asked to chair the Chamber, but willingly stepped forward to provide leadership, a fresh sense of energy and enthusiasm, enhancing our ability to conduct business.

Another top community and corporate leader with a major influence in our market place is Bob Magee, president and CEO of Totem Ocean Trailer Express, who recently assumed volunteer leadership for the Chamber’s 120th year. Bob is an active community leader and also serves on the Thea Foss Waterway Board. He also represents the Alaskan maritime trade, a dynamic segment of our economy, important to both the Port of Tacoma and to our region. Bob’s enthusiasm for the Chamber’s focus on advocacy, revitalization and business development was evident in his inaugural remarks. He recognized the importance of small, medium and large businesses working in concert for a better overall economic opportunities leading to better quality of life.

Yes, our momentum continues.

David Graybill is president and CEO of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber. His column appears from time to time in the Index.

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