Economic and Community Development
Why They Play
If you've seen an ACCE trends presentation, then you probably remember Mick's triangle diagram showing the chamber at the intersection of business, politics and community. We use the slide (pictured below) to remind audiences that chambers have a unique position which makes running one both fun and challenging. If you love your chamber career, this unique position is probably a big reason why.
It's also why your organization has members who just can't get enough.
I was reminded of this last week when two chamber delegations visited Washington D.C. Rick Baker and Andy Johnston from the Grand Rapids Area Chamber brought corporate leaders to town to muster legislative support for a key piece of infrastructure. Later in the week, a delegation from Valdosta, Ga., led by Myrna Ballard, brought a strong business climate agenda to their federal elected officials.
The 20-some business leaders from Michigan and Georgia whom I met arenít hired lobbyists. They didn't come to D.C. to win a government contract or fight a regulation that dings just their respective business or industry. They represent a cross-section of the business community Ė manufacturers, bankers, pharmaceutical distributors, utilities, and HR consultants. Some were senior executives from publicly-traded firms, others were sole proprietors. They all have one thing in common: they care.
They care about their business and about their community. They know they have a big stake in the success of each and that their voice matters with elected officials. They traveled on their own dime and their own time because they know itís important.
I suspect that they also made the trip because they enjoy it. Like you, they enjoy playing in the intersection of business, politics and community. Who else but a chamber of commerce gives business leaders that opportunity?
Photo courtesy Valdosta Chamber of Commerce