As the incoming chairman of the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce, I approach this responsibility with high levels of energy and enthusiasm. The Chamber looks forward to supporting and enhancing the many synergistic and economic development initiatives of the Heartland Partnership. It’s this unified approach taken to enhancing our communities through economic growth and development that provides the source of this enthusiasm and excitement. 

I would be remiss if I didn’t thank our boards and their leadership for being the agents of change. Their vision and persistence for dynamic leadership have created the necessary infrastructure for our future. Thank you. 

The Chamber’s role in this new set of dynamics has been very well defined and the initiatives are well underway. Simply put, the Chamber wants to provide to its membership value-based products and services that enhance the prosperity of its members and their communities. 

The Chamber’s products and services will extend value to both our members and the business community. Generally speaking, our initiatives will focus on creating and developing a thriving business community, presenting a united voice on local business issues, providing a business-enhancing array of products and services, and providing strategic business advisory services. 

For our members, the Chamber will enhance the prosperity of the business community by providing guidance through cutting-edge information updates and studies that are usable. Providing visibility to our members has been—and will continue to be—a priority. In addition, we’ll continue to provide leadership, visibility, and education through a variety of networking opportunities. The Chamber wants to be an asset to its members and help then move their business forward. 

The Chamber will enhance the prosperity in our community by providing strategic facilitating services necessary to initiate positive change. The strength and voice of our membership, coupled with our position in the communities we serve, are necessary inputs for positive change. Being the champion of local businesses and having the ability to quickly energize the local business community, we are able to educate quickly and effectively on critical business issues. In addition, the Chamber will further the prosperity of the business community by working with other community organizations to enhance the community and the quality of life in those communities. 

Yes, this is a full agenda, and like many businesses, it can’t be done without proper organization and qualified people who can express value to members and the community. Our Chamber is blessed with spirited volunteers who will serve on the board, chair committees, and participate on committees that will deliver our products and services. Coupled with the volunteers is a highly dedicated staff as energized and excited about our opportunities as I am. Collectively, we make a good team that will meet the goals and objectives of the Chamber and its membership, as well as combine forces with the Heartland Partnership. 

Membership and the community expectations should be high. With the infrastructure in place, we have the commitment of leadership and the understanding of how combined resources can provide unique solutions to our members and communities. The Chamber can help transition expectations to realities. I look forward to serving you and anticipate your input. Together we can make a difference. IBI