APR. 30, 2018 - VOL. 54 No. 7

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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

At the packed and lively membership mixer hosted by Great Western Bank, I introduced myself to CJ from Fit Body Boot Camp and he asked me how he should get more involved at the Chamber. As I answered the question, I realized how overwhelming it may be to members when they are first presented with all the Chamber's community initiatives, educational offerings and opportunities to network while growing your business. My suggestion to CJ was to review the upcoming events and pick out one or two areas of interest. Then, at that event, grab a staff person or veteran volunteer and discuss the options for increasing involvement in your area of interest. My own engagement started when I began attending lunch and learns to access some expert knowledge on HR, marketing and operations. Those positive experiences led me to apply for the Chamber's premier leadership training, The Evan C. Nolte Leadership Sioux Falls program (LSF).

LSF is a hallmark of the business community, and this month we congratulate 31 graduates from the 32nd LSF class who took time to learn about what makes our community great, the challenges we face and how they can have a positive impact. As a member of LSF Class 15 I was given a comprehensive look at our community. The program got me out of my real estate development world and into places that I probably never would have seen otherwise. A tour of the county jail, for example, gave me a new understanding of its important role in our community. I attended LSF with people who are now lifelong friends and I even got to know fellow classmate Mike Huether (you just never know who is going to be in your class). I am confident that all of the more than 900 graduates of the program have had similar experiences. The exact ROI on that training for our future leaders may be difficult to quantify, but I am certain that our growing economy and vibrant community is attributable in part to our LSF graduates.

Our partners at the Sioux Falls Sports Authority have been busy! They hosted a record number of basketball games in March, and they did it with professionalism and poise. These events introduce our community to visitors and fill our stores, restaurants and hotels. So, a well-earned thank you to that team and the small army of volunteers who made it possible to put together another successful year of madness. We also need to give a heartfelt thank you to the CVB staff who pulled off a massive feat of coordination to successfully host Pheasant Fest. That win by our staff and dedicated volunteers grew our economy, our profile and our ability to host this or similar large events in the future.

Sacrifices are often made by many to help our community and our country. Once again, the Chamber will host an Armed Forces Day program as a humble expression of our members' gratitude to the hard-working men and women in the armed forces. We would not be the same country without them.

As a chamber member you should be proud and pleased with the investment that you are making with your membership dollars. Your commitment makes Sioux Falls grow, and your business right alongside it. Thank you, members.

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