Message from the President
Every month our President writes an article for the benefit of the Chamber.
April 2012 Presidents Message
Wow what a March it was. Many great things happened with the Chamber. At our Luncheon we had another great turnout of over 50 members, Debbie Dane spoke to us about the NEW Southern Idaho Tourism mobile app and about other things going on in our area on tourism. The Women’s Seminar and Expo Committee is in full swing and are planning the BEST event ever. The Mark Moorman/Regatta golf scramble committee is working hard to get a great event planned as well. Idaho had its first ever Republican Caucus and what a great turnout it had. These are just a few things that went on and are going on right now.
Also, I just returned from the Northwest Chamber Leadership Conference in Coeur d’ Alene along with Ron Christensen and Kae Cameron. What a great conference it was and a big eye opener as well.
I think that the main thing that I took away from the conference was presented by Dave Kilby who has been part of the chamber business for the last 30 + years. His presentation was on “Winning Strategies for 2012 and beyond”. He stated that there were 3 strategies that we need to do as a Chamber and business owners to make 2012 and beyond great. They are 1.) CHANGE 2.) INNOVATION and 3.) RISK.
1.) CHANGE: I hope you would all agree that the way we do business today is not the same as it was even 10 years ago. We have to continually change how we do business to keep up with all the different challenges that we face. The same goes for the Chamber of Commerce, if we are not continually changing what we are doing to accomplish the goals that have been set for you our members then we are failing. I believe we have taken great strides in keeping up with change in the last few years and we will continue to change to give you, our members, greater Value.
2.) INNOVATION: We must continue to be innovative with new ideas, and programs to help you our members to make our Chamber stronger and more effective.
3.) RISK: We must be willing to take Risks. As business owners every one of us have taken big risks just to start our own companies, and we take many risks throughout each week, month, and year to better our positions. We as a Chamber also need to take Risks to further our position in the community we live.
So you all know that the focus of the Chamber in 2012 is to Create more Value for you our members, and that is Goal we have set out to do. To accomplish this goal we must Change, be more Innovative, and take some calculated Risks. Our April luncheon is at Conner’s Café on the 12th, we are planning a great luncheon and we need to see you all there. It would be record setting to see 100 members there to participate in the discussion. This luncheon will be like none you have ever been to, and I would like to invite you all to attend.
I would like to take the opportunity to express my deepest gratitude to you all for being a part of our community and our Chamber. We value you all and want to do our part to help you and your businesses. Have a great month.
March Presidents Message:
Wow! What a month! There has been a lot going on at the Chamber in February. From Ribbon Cuttings, to Open Houses, to a great-turn out at the Chamber Luncheon with 70 people joining us. The Committee for the Women’s Seminar and Expo is in full swing and the event is going to be fabulous, better than ever no doubt. The Ambassadors new “Buck for Luck” program is outstanding and the events committee is gearing up to start planning the Golf Tournament. There are just so many things going on that are creating value to our membership.
There are many things that I would like to write about but I think that I will write about a life lesson that I learned a long time ago and just recently I was reminded of how important that life lesson really is. The lesson I am speaking of is the importance of setting Goals for myself in every area of my life. Please bear with me as I tell a short story about myself and how goals have helped me.
About a year and a half ago my brother, who lives in Boise, started running, I hadn’t seen him for a while and when I did he had totally changed. He lost around 70lbs in six months. He looked great! Well needless to say, he inspired me to start getting into shape and start running myself. We got together one Saturday and went for a run. Now mind you, this is the 1st time I have ran in many years. He proceeded to tell me we were going to run 3 miles; I probably don’t have to tell you what I was thinking. I would be lucky just running 100 yards let alone 3 miles. Well we ran and ran and ran, and I thought for sure I was going to have a coronary right there on the green belt in Boise; this had to be 300 miles! When I finally finished the 3 miles, I was so proud at what I had accomplished. Before I knew what hit me, he had talked me into signing up for a half marathon! Well I started training, if that is what you would call it by running a few miles here and there. Race day came and my ultimate goal was to just finish the race. Well as you can see I didn’t die by running a half marathon, even though it felt like I had. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. But I had the goal to finish the race and that is what I did. During the race I twisted my knee and injured my heel but I still finished the race. I was unable to run for 7 months due to my injuries in the race. At the end of the race I decided that I would never do that again because of the pain that I had went through. Well just recently here we go again my brother starts talking me into running another half marathon. But this time I am going to train the right way and be really prepared. So we not only are going to run a half marathon in June we are also going to run two 10k’s between now and June to help prepare. Now you are probably asking yourself what any of this story has to do with anything, let me explain.
When we set goals to do something whether in business or in our personal lives, it may really be hard to accomplish and you may feel like you want to die, or you feel like the goal is unattainable, but the truth is that anything worth having is worth the pain and discomfort it takes to attain it. The key to successfully obtaining a huge goal is to break it down into small accomplishments that move you closer to the ultimate goal. The funny thing is that once you attain that impossible goal you look back and say “that wasn’t that hard” and you then set your goals higher, you put yourself through a little more pain and Wow you attained that goal as well.
My point is this! If you don’t take the time to set Goals and write them down (Writing them down is the key) you will never achieve or attain anything you will just go through a whole lot of pain and hard work and not know what you have accomplished.
So my Challenge is this: Set a Goal, Write it down, and determine the steps required to attain it.
As you all know the Chambers vision in 2012 is creating value for every chamber member. So I would like to take a moment and talk about value and what value really is. Warren Buffet says it this way. “Price is what you pay, Value is what you get”.
So I would like to talk to you about something that I believe should be of great Value to not just every member of our chamber but of value to every business owner in the Mini-Cassia area.
I had the opportunity at the end of January to attend the Idaho Chamber Alliance days in Boise with Kae and 7 other board members and Ambassadors. I have attended this conference each year now for the last 3 years. In those years I have learned a lot about government and the things that go on in government, and also what a difficult job our legislators have in balancing our state budget and dealing with all the issues that need to be addressed throughout our wonderful state.
One of the main topics of discussion this year is “The state insurance exchange”. I’m sure many of you know what this is but for those of you who don’t let me explain. The federal government has passed “Obama Care” and is requiring every state in the union to come up with some kind of insurance exchange program to offer health insurance to every person. It has also put a mandate that if the states do not put their own version of an exchange in place that the Federal Government will require the state to use their version of an insurance exchange. Well you say ok what does that mean for me and why should I care? Well here is why we should all care about this. If we allow the Federal Government to institute their insurance exchange it will automatically raise each individual rate somewhere in the neighborhood of $800-$1200 in premium per year from what you are now paying. That in my eyes is a huge number to have to deal with. I’m sure that you all would agree. If you are a business owner and the majority of our chamber members are. What that means is, if you give your employees health insurance benefits that means a crippling amount of money that none of us can afford. Lets just say that you have 10 employees and that each one of those employees have a family with 3 dependents that means 40 people times that by $800-$1200 per person that is an increase of $32,000-$48,000 in premiums, that in my opinion is just not acceptable.
This federal insurance exchange option is not good for anyone’s business in the Mini-Cassia area or the state of Idaho. It was stated in the ICA meetings that Idaho has some of the lowest health care rates in the nation, and if we let this federal exchange happen we will be thrown into the pool with the rest of the nation and that will be the cause of the rate increases.
Now I’m no politician, but I do know a big issue when I see one and this is a huge issue in our state that needs to be addressed right now. Some of the state legislators don’t want to do anything and just let the Fed’s implement their own exchange because it is to much work to come up with our own. Our great legislators in our local districts that represent us all want to see the state put together our own exchange for the betterment of Idaho. We all need to contact our legislators and let them know that we are behind them and that we do not want the federal exchange to go through.
If you need any more information on the exchange and what is going on in the legislative session please contact the Chamber office or check out the ICA website at www.idahochamberalliance.com
Chamber Members, It is with great pleasure and gratitude that you have re-elected me to the Chamber Board of Directors and given me the opportunity to serve you for another three year term and as President in the upcoming year. I would first of all like to express my deep appreciation for our past President David Hruza and all of his efforts in the past year in making the Chamber of Commerce a viable part of all of our businesses and community. I would also like to give my appreciation to our other Directors who have served and put countless hours of their time to make the Chamber what it is today.
As each New President of the Chamber brings to the table new ideas and contributions of what happens in the Chamber, I am bringing to the table what I think is the most important area for the Chamber to focus on in 2012. In 2011 our President’s goal was to tell our story of what the Chamber is and does. I believe that there have been great strides in doing so, I would like to carry it one step further this year by communicating to the membership and to our local businesses what it is that the chamber does to “create value” to its membership and our community. I have asked the Chamber committees to ask that question as they plan and set their goals for 2012.
I believe it is important that each individual committee of the Chamber creates value for our members, and that a real hard look needs to be taken if a committee is not of value to the Chamber or the community. We have many great committees in the Chamber and our committee chairs are always looking for members to join in and get involved. I truly believe that each one of us have great ideas and can contribute a great deal to our membership and community, if we just get involved. I would challenge you to make that choice to start letting your input and voice be heard by contacting the Chamber Executive Director (Kae) and start participating in the many programs and events that the Chamber offers.
As many of you know the Chamber has an amazing program that we do each year starting in January called the Leadership Program. In the last couple of years, I have sent two of my staff members (including my wife) and the response and change in their attitudes and community involvement has been dramatic. They both felt they were unaware of many things that go on here in our community, and the great economic impact that industry, agriculture, and small business have in making the Mini-Cassia area the great place that it is to live today. I would encourage you all to attend this program and see the real benefit for yourself.
So in closing I would like to make share with you a thought from the book “The Ownership Spirit” by Dennis Deaton. This book is impacting my life by really making me take a hard look at some of the thoughts that go through my mind each day. It made me stop and think of how I was reacting to some of the challenges in my business and life. It is based on 2 types of thinking the 1st is Ownership thinking and the other Victim thinking. In his book Deaton states “The consummate truth of life is that we alter our destiny by altering our thoughts. The mind is our most crucial faculty, our crowning asset, our ultimate arena of battle”. I know we all have challenges on a daily basis in our lives and businesses, but I would admonish to you that how you think about those challenges whether positive or negative, like an owner or a victim, will ultimately create your results.