Jason Camis
Gardner Chamber Director
Progress, by its very definition, implies a forward path toward a goal or destination. In our personal lives we live examples of this daily. Faith. Family. Finances. Education. Weight loss.
In my experience we often set goals in many of these areas that run the gamut from small (losing one pant size or attending church weekly) to large (paying off all unsecured debt or growing our family).
Regardless of the type or size of our desired achievement, setting goals is important, because without them there is no way to measure progress. Then what we have is simply change for the sake of change, not something that most people are comfortable with.
When it comes to the work of the Chamber, we’ve not done our best setting long term goals over the past year or two due to short term needs. That said, I know I, along with our board of directors, am pleased to share we have made progress on several fronts in 2014.
First, we have gotten a good handle on where we are currently in terms of our organizational situation. We’ve learned that our current situation is not a result of any intentional wrongdoing, just a lack of knowledge about how we operate and internal systems that can simplify what we do.
No one person owns the blame, but collectively we will work to improve the internal workings of the chamber so that externally – what you see – is much more effective.
It’s important that when setting goals we understand our current situation. That’s why most personal finance experts encourage us to start budgeting (a popular personal or business goal) by tracking our spending. If we don’t know what we are doing now, we cannot effectively plan for the future.
Second, we have begun the long and arduous process of fixing some past missteps and putting into placepolicies, systems, and procedures, so that the same issues don’t happen again. It’s difficult because an organization cannot plan for everything that could go wrong.
We can however anticipate potential conflicts, issues and situations that would negatively affect the chamber and the business community.
Third and foremost, we’ve made progress in learning what our members and business community want and expect from the chamber of commerce. This is most important to me, because ultimately it shapes who we will be for the years to come. My job is to carry out the plan of work determined by the board, developed in concert with members.  Our goals each year should and will be based on the feedback we receive from membership and the businesses operating in Gardner and Edgerton.
I’m always thrilled to hear from members and businesses in the communities as to how we can better serve them and create a more vibrant place to live and work.
Having met with approximately half of our members and numerous other businesses and community members, I’m encouraged by the level of op optimism, cautious optimism, that the chamber will once again be a vibrant business-first organization that plays a major role in the Gardner-Edgerton community.
2015 will be a continued year of change and progress for the Chamber. I’d like to personally invite you to be part of that progress by getting involved. Join the Chamber. Come to an event. Subscribe to our newsletters. Help us help you – the community – by moving the needle forward just a bit, so when we look back at 2015 we’ll see progress for what it should be – goal-driven achievement with a measurable impact.