This is what Sioux Falls is. We are extraordinary.
Extraordinary. Merriam-Webster says it means to go beyond what is usual, regular or customary; to be exceptional to a very marked extent; or, with respect to a financial transaction, nonrecurring – meaning unlikely to happen again. This is what Sioux Falls is. We are extraordinary.
Times may be tough right now and there is a great deal of uncertainty in the world, but we are going to pull through. I know we will and you know we will. We are Sioux Falls. We go beyond what is usual, regular or customary. We are exceptional to a very marked extent. We are nonrecurring – there isn't another Sioux Falls; what we are and what we do has not been replicated and cannot be easily emulated.
The Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce is a beacon of this ideal. We have hundreds of committed volunteers, dedicated staff and nearly 2,000 member businesses who are invested in making Sioux Falls a great place to live and work. We work together for the betterment of our community.
There are so many people who lead by voluntarily giving their time and talents. The attitude of service and investment in community is one of the things that we just do – it is part of our culture. For most, that would be considered inspiring, but in Sioux Falls, you might just say it is ordinary to give back. That is extraordinary.
Within the Chamber, October is a time for changes. Board members retire, new ones join. New officers of the board and 14 committees take on new responsibilities. When one person steps out another steps in. Along the way, the person stepping down is often still there to provide the next person a hand up.
Just recently I was in a meeting to select the next Spirit of DeWald Award recipient. It was moving to consider the multitude of folks worthy of that honor. They were people that are fixtures in the community, long standing volunteers of the Chamber that continued to serve even after they have "done their part" and people who sacrificed their personal time for the benefit of our Chamber and community.
I am honored to begin my year of service as Chair of the Chamber's Board of Directors. I cannot wait to share more stories about the extraordinary things that have gone on in Sioux Falls and within the Chamber at the upcoming 114th Annual Meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 20, which you are all invited to participate in. Due to COVID concerns, we will have very limited in-person seating, but everyone is invited to join us online through a free link that will be provided in the coming days.
Lastly, in keeping with the Chamber's continuous efforts to guide and shape law and policy to provide a favorable environment for business, I would be remiss if I did not encourage everybody to vote in the upcoming election. November is the time when we as Americans decide who best represents our interests and personifies our ideals. Whomever is ultimately elected to serve in Washington D.C. and Pierre, you can be certain that your Chamber will work with those individuals and hear your voice. The effort that your Chamber puts forth is an incredibly valuable piece of your membership and is probably the work that I am most proud of.
I look forward to the work that will be necessary this year. I will use my best efforts, as your Chair, to make the next twelve months Extraordinary.