During last Friday's Carolinas Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives' meeting in Hickory, N.C., chamber executives received some well-deserved recognition from Danny Hearn, IOM, CCE, president of the Catawba County (NC) Chamber, and Chris Clark, IOM, president of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. Hearn and Clark wrote this tribute to chamber executives and the work they do. Hearn read it to the group, and we reprint it here with their permission.
You could be rich…you could have an expensive car and live in a big home.
You could live life with little stress.
You though, lead your community and bear your town’s burdens.
You slave for the common good. You, my peer, take no credit and seldom receive such.
You put your life on hold. On call twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
Vacations are rare, sleepless night’s common and pay scarce.
If the race is lost by another, you face the music.
You are a professional.
You are kind and sunny and get gray hair and wrinkles and ulcers and headaches for the valuable job you do.
You lead seldom follow. But still they question your value.
Your personal life is fodder for gossip and higher standards enforced.
Where you eat, drink, live or shop is sometimes questioned, criticized and judged.
You get knocked down. Get back up. Move on. You please. Bring hope.
Stand for what is right about business and life.
You help others succeed and make millions.
You leave a legacy, though your name is never on the buildings, parks, roads, lakes and bridges you are responsible for creating.
The towns, lives and youth who are better for your efforts are usually not even your own.
Your community grows great because you planted trees whose shade you will never sit in.
Your gift of leadership is getting someone else to do something you want done, because he wants to do it
A community has abundant doctors and lawyers. They are numerous bankers, teachers and entrepreneurs."
But there is only one person who does your job.
There has never been another person exactly like you. And there never will be again. This is your time.
Because you have learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did.
But they will never forget how you have made them feel.
In your community, you are sometimes alone. No partners for support, no second opinions. But you still care.
You do what you do for others, for business, for the community all for the common good.
You are good at what you stand for. You are their voice, their biggest cheerleader.
You are superman and superwoman.
You are special. You are vital.
You take chances, lead the band and live in the arena.
You are in the fight, in the game on the field and in the stands.
They will not hear you complain or criticize or second guess.
You wave. You take the challenge. You collaborate and refuse to hear words of failure.
Without you, economies suffer and communities crumble.
You are my peer. You are a Chamber professional. You matter.
Yes, you matter.
Moore Elected Chair of Chamber Execs Association
Ken Moore, CCE, the President and CEO of the Edmond (OK) Chamber of Commerce, has been elected 2012-2013 Chairman of the Board of the Western Association of Chamber Executives (W.A.C.E.).
W.A.C.E. is an association of chamber of commerce executives and staff professionals with approximately 800 members in 14 Western states. The association is designed to promote and enhance the professional development of chamber of commerce executives and is the largest state or regional chamber of commerce executives association in theUnited States.