Who will be the next leader of the Ames Chamber of Commerce? It’s an odd question, but one that was proposed to me a few weeks ago by one of our board members.
First and foremost, I have no plans to retire or move on from the work that we are doing. I love the Ames MSA, the Ames Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development Commission, and our communities. Perhaps at no other point in my career have I been more excited by the work that we are doing than I am right now. I plan to continue our amazing work for a long time, but the question got me thinking about leadership.
We think about leadership a lot at the Ames Chamber of Commerce, both within our organization and how we serve our community. If something were to happen to me, we have succession plans in place. We also regularly assess the roles and responsibilities of each person so that we can build redundancies and backups for each person. These are important things to identify so that the work can continue.
Developing the next generation of leaders is a responsibility that we all must carry. Some people are natural leaders and possess the required skills needed to run an organization, manage projects, or cultivate relationships. But in my experience, those skills need to be paired with adequate experience. I do not necessarily mean years of service, but rather having access to the world of leadership; how decisions are made and the thought process behind them.
I have spoken before about the entrepreneurial operating system (EOS) that we utilize to set goals, identify gaps in our system, and how it holds us accountable to one another. We use this within our leadership team, but each departmental team uses it as well to be more efficient. I also think about the informal ways that we can cultivate leaders. I strive to provide updates to my team on the work that is happening that lies beyond their scope of influence, while explaining my thinking behind it. I can do this in meetings or within an impromptu one-on-one conversation with a cup of coffee in hand. I hope these interactions inspire innovation and a new level of thinking for those in our organization.
Finally, I would like to pitch a few leadership programming options from the Ames Chamber of Commerce. We recently announced the 36th class of Leadership Ames. The program gives both experienced and emerging leaders a broader view of civic leadership responsibilities and opportunities through direct contact with a wide range of institutions and people who shape the community where we live and work.
One additional affiliate program that we are investing more resources into this year is the young professional organization, FUEL. You can learn more on the FUEL website, but I encourage you to consider being a member for the professional networking, programming, and social opportunities that it provides. Many of the next leaders of our community are already here, so let’s facilitate their success.
President & CEO
Ames Chamber of Commerce
Let me share a tidbit of background information on me, then to the substance of this blog…Membership Investment.
I hopelessly enjoy connecting people, solely with the intent to generate relationships! My career started in personnel, and along my professional journey, I’ve connected with donors, meeting planners, event managers, human service providers, and volunteers of all generations. It’s amazing how one connection can lead to the “six degrees of separation” truth.
Connections and relationships are the backbone of the Ames Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Commission! We have a team that prides itself on formulating partnerships with Ames, Story County, and Boone County business and industries for the greater good of the Ames MSA.
At the Ames Chamber of Commerce, we offer numerous ways for each and every member to engage with our programming efforts, including our affiliates; workforce solutions, retraining programs, public policy initiatives, Ames Main Street events, Leadership Ames programming, our Ambassador program, FUEL, Farmer’s Market opportunities, small to large networking events, and so much more!
Your annual investment with our organization is critical to the sustainability of our programs, but it also allows for you and your team to engage and build relationships with others in our community for personal and professional growth, too. Attention is given each day with a focus on Leadership, Engagement, and Advocacy efforts to help you and your business succeed. Whether that means being a voice for local, state, and federal policy issues, placing job vacancies on our job board, or holding retraining and outreach services to find valuable employees for you, this matters to all of us. Ribbon cuttings, various social media marketing outlets, Community Cash options, events…the list goes on about value-added benefits for you!
When we offer a multitude of offerings to our members and allow for sponsorship opportunities, your brand is projected on multiple social media platforms, and your company is recognized for your support during each event. Thank you! We simply cannot offer and execute our programs without Membership support.
An underlying theme of value we continue to hear is that we allow our members opportunities for relational growth and networking. It’s that sort of value-add that is meaningful and worthwhile when speaking in terms of membership investments.
I challenge you in this new year to commit to cultivating new relationships and broadening your circle of contacts within our community. Follow us on our various social media channels so you are aware of our offerings as the year unfolds. Be intentional about taking full advantage of your Chamber of Commerce Membership investment in 2023.
Connections are key, so build your network with us! We are here for you!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.