Impressed, grateful, thankful. Those three words were my response when Incoming Chairman Roy Williams asked me how I would describe what my year was like as ACCE Chairman.
IMPRESSED at how well Mick and his capable team juggle a postcard-rich travel schedule with a determined effort to keep the membership out in front of the issues. In short, their ability to reach out to us, so we can all reach for solutions for our communities, is an impressive skill set to manage. ACCE will improve its ability to do this work with the membership through its focus on building a core of committed volunteers in key areas that keep ACCE on top of current trends/solutions. That core will be surrounded by even more activists, allowing the broader membership to tap into this resource when needs arise. This system of concentric volunteer engagement will serve ACCE members well in the years ahead.
GRATEFUL for the insights from such a talented group of leaders from across the country. Selfishly, I think this may be the best part of the experience, to learn from the great work being done by my peers in their communities. I walked away from every ACCE meeting with an insight that improves our organization at home. And it's a great reminder of the resources we all have in our national organization, facilitated by face-to-face interactions and by our online capabilities through ACCE U, or our still to be exploited Information Office. Another reminder: There is a lot here to help your career and your chamber, but it requires your initiative.
THANKFUL for the impact your organizations are having on this country's economic prosperity. Chris Mead's authorship of the history of chambers, a mammoth work in progress, adds the historical context to what I was exposed to all year—innovations that drive our communities forward are often born through the vital civic institutions we run. It's a responsibility that should drive us all to be better leaders. We should not settle for anything less than the best board members we can recruit, the best staff we can attract, and the boldest projects we can take on. We really are in unique positions to see our communities and their needs. If chambers don't dream it and do it, I fear far less will get done.
Again, thank you all for the opportunity to serve. I want to finish as I started, with an acknowledgement of my former boss and past ACCE Chairman John Duncan: I am grateful for your introduction to this business and for your mentorship. This business has never been a job; it's always been a passion. When it becomes a job, it's time to hang up the cleats.
My best to all our chamber leaders, and I hope you have your cleats on!
Timothy R. Sheehy, CCE
Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce
ACCE Board Chairman 2011-12
Want to Help Your Profession??
Volunteer help is always in demand at ACCE—task force and division service, articles for print and online, convention presenters and panelists, and much more. To offer your help to the cause, send a note directly to Mick Fleming with the subject line “volunteer.”
Download this article: From the Chair: Cleats On! (1)