Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Message from CEO June 2013

Rick Kidder CEOBusiness Volunteer and Annual Meeting

On May 21st, the Chamber held its first annual meeting of the membership in conjunction with the presentation of the yearly Business Volunteer Awards. More than 150 members enjoyed breakfast at The Venue Scottsdale to hear about the current fiscal year and the new Chamber year, which begins on July 1, 2013.

Business Volunteer Awards (BVA)

Eric Larson, Chairman of the Board of Directors, presented the Business Volunteer Awards to four deserving individuals and surprised the audience (and the recipients!) with two special presentations -- The Chairman’s Award and the renaming of the Rising Star Award, in honor of Mark Eberle from Henry & Horne who served for nearly two decades on the Chamber's Board of Directors. In the process, he honored and thanked the more than 200 individuals who volunteer with the Chamber each year, serving on committees and dedicating themselves to the collective success of the business community.

The Mark F. Eberle Rising Star Award was presented to Jim Walker, chair of the Airpark Committee. The award recognizes an individual whose time in leadership at the Chamber is relatively recent but for whom one can see the potential of long-term contribution to the Chamber.

The Wesley Segner Award, named for the Chamber’s first chair of the Board in 1947, is awarded annually to an individual who has served the Chamber for many years and who must also be recognized for service to the community as a whole. This year’s Segner Award was presented to Kurt Zitzer of Meagher & Geer who chaired the Chamber Board during challenging times.

The Legacy Award is presented annually to an individual who has taken an active role in the betterment of the community and the Chamber over decades of service. This year’s recipient is Bill Heckman of Heckman Marketing who has chaired countless Chamber committees, served on Boards and Commissions at the City, chairs Public Art for Scottsdale and chaired the City’s volunteer Bond Task force.

The Dale B. Fingersh Volunteer of the Year Award is presented annually to an individual who over the course of the fiscal year added significantly to the success of the organization. Named for Dale Fingersh (a man I nicknamed “the serial volunteer”) the award this year was presented to Matt Wright of Landmark Aviation who in his relatively short tenure as a member of the organization has helped bring in an astounding number of new members and ho actively promotes the Chamber every day.

The Chairman’s Award is presented solely at the discretion of the Board Chair and may or not be awarded in any given year. This year, Chair
Eric Larson recognized two individuals whose work so conspicuously made the Chamber’s economic development symposium, Scottsdale Forward, such a big success. Pete Klute of Klute Communications and Pam Kelly of Pro One Media Productions shared the award as chair and co-chair of Scottsdale Forward respectively, each one devoting countless hours to establishing a new presence to the Chamber’s economic development efforts.

Annual Meeting

The Chamber held its first annual meeting of the membership in many years in conjunction with the Business Volunteer Awards. In my presentation, I outlined the year about to conclude on June 30th and laid out goals for the coming year as well as new programs for the Chamber. The Chamber is coming off a strong comeback year, having addressed the challenges of the recession and regaining its financial footing. There were not small tasks for any business over the past several years, but every business has had to adjust to a “new normal” in order to thrive.
For the July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014 fiscal year, the Chamber has again looked to address the needs of the membership through a variety of new programs and initiatives: 
  • Leads Groups – The Chamber has begun to form industry-exclusive leads groups to allow members to meet on a regular basis solely for the purpose of helping each business drive new business. For more information, contact Melissa Glass at mglass@scottsdalechamber.com. 
  • Owners-Only Meetings – Small business owners rarely have the opportunity to meet in a confidential setting to discuss issues, challenges and opportunities in a facilitated environment. Through our partnership with SCORE, which can bring expertise to the discussion, these monthly owners groups meetings help create a cooperative environment for business growth. Schedule to be announced. For more information contact Kelly Rich at krich@scottsdalechamber.com.
  • Friday Forums – Available to Chamber Preferred partners and any member at the Classic level or above as industry expert speakers, these Friday Forums will meet on the first and third Friday of the month at the Chamber. Members can reach other members to provide valuable information and a soft-sell approach. Free of charge for all members to be speakers, use the facility and for attendees. The Chamber will be your marketing partner and all speaker requests will be reviewed and approved by the Membership Value Advisory Council. For more information please contact Rick Kidder at rkidder@scottsdalechamber.com.
  • Chamber/MSEC Partnership Series – The Chamber is joining forces with the Mountain States Employers Council (MSEC) to create a seminar series, available either as a package or stand-alone individual events, to address growth companies and the many issues and best practices within the HR arena. The Chamber and MSEC are finalizing the program currently and a series schedule will be announced before the end of June. For more information, contact Rick Kidder at rkidder@scottsdalechamber.com. 

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