What an honor it’s been to serve as your Chair in 2013!
Thursday, January 9, 2014on
What an honor it’s been to serve as your Chair in 2013! I am very proud of all that the Chamber’s committed staff and dedicated volunteers have accomplished! Together, we have continued to move Greenville forward to our goal of becoming one of the premier business communities in the world. This fall, our Diversity and Inclusion Initiative headed by the tireless Nika White, launched the Minority Business Accelerator with nearly 20 MBEs. We look forward to the progress of each of these companies in the months to come. We’ve energized our programs dedicated to Small Business issues under the leadership of Steve Bailey of Merus Refreshments. Stay tuned to hear from Tripp James for exciting new opportunities for small business education and networking in 2014. In October, we had an enlightening and inspiring Intercommunity Leadership Visit to Pittsburgh – thanks to 2014 Chair Tim Reed and Hank Hyatt for making that such a tremendous success. Through staffers, Mark Cothran and Elizabeth Edwards, and Vice Chair Phillip Kilgore of Ogletree, the Chamber continued its advocacy for business and business issues locally and in Columbia. Our November trip of business and community leaders to Charleston included visits to Boeing and the Port, as well as one-on-one time with House Speaker Bobby Harrell and United States Senator, Tim Scott. The Chamber has also continued its investment in Greenville’s economic development by growing leaders and high impact companies right here. NEXT continues to grow exponentially, creating jobs at wages significantly higher than the current average for Greenville County. By developing a supportive ecosystem of trained and talented workforce, allowing them to grow here and creating more headquarters, we aim to increase our per capita personal income and economic prosperity for everyone. One of the take-aways for me from my experience as Chair of the Chamber is a reminder of the vast potential for greatness which exists in our community. Investments of business resources -- both time and money -- in our community is a legacy we must continue by working together towards a common goal. With the talent, passion, pride and commitment in Greenville, we can certainly become one of the premier business communities in the world.