FEB. 9, 2018 - VOL. 54 No. 5

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Chair´s Column

Message from the Chair

By Steve Van Buskirk
2017-18 Chair of the Board

Steve Van Buskirk
Steve Van Buskirk
2017-18 Chair of the Board

As I write this, South Dakota is in the midst of the 2018 Legislative session. Your Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce engages in a number of important activities related to the session, both leading up to the start of session and throughout its duration.

We began the year by hosting Good Morning Sioux Falls. This event allowed us to thank our legislators for their dedicated public service, present our legislative platform, listen to the legislators' answers to specific questions and welcome the new executives and managers to Sioux Falls. The official opening of session on Jan. 9 signaled the start of weekly legislative meetings at the Chamber office as we monitor and respond to activity taking place in Pierre.

In February, we host Legislative Coffees for the public, bringing local legislators to answer questions from citizens in a moderated forum. These coffees are one example of how the chamber collaborates to serve the community.

At the more local level, the chamber will host several public forums with candidates for the office of mayor or city councilor this year. The first of these is the YPN's Topics on Tap: The 2018 Mayoral Race on Feb. 8. Additional forums scheduled over the next few months provide a chance for members to ask questions of those seeking to lead our city.

The common thread of these activities is facilitating conversations with our current and potential community leaders. Encouraging dialogue on issues that impact our community is an important role of the chamber. We fulfill that role in a number of other ways outside of the political sphere as well. For example, through our joint venture management agreement with the Sioux Falls Development Foundation on Forward Sioux Falls, we drive conversation on initiatives like workforce development strategies that are important to the business community.

The Chamber has worked steadfastly to bring divergent viewpoints together to build consensus on important community issues. We seek to provide new direction and gather the right people at the right moment to propel growth. When we engage in conversation, we can find common ground, common goals and build consensus. And that allows us to continue working to make the Sioux Falls area the best place in the country to do business and raise a family.

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