Monthly Archives: September 2017

It’s About Time!!

The Williston Area Chamber has seen many changes over the last decade.  I venture to say that perhaps it has seen more changes than Chambers typically have.  Under the direction of the Board of Directors in 2014, a very solid strategic plan had been put in place.  Its goals include:

  • Strengthen the influence and reputation of the Chamber through bold and thoughtful advocacy and public policy initiatives
  • Develop a compelling portfolio of programs and services to better engage members and serve member needs
  • Enhance the opportunity for building the regional economy through strategic partnerships
  • Structure the chamber for success through organizational excellence

I believe since 2014, the Chamber has done a good job working on these goals:

  • Reestablishing our Government Affairs committee, hosting informative Candidate forums and Eggs & Issues breakfasts, and Legislative days in Bismarck
  • Annual Awards Banquet and Meeting, Taste of Williston, Ribfest, Level UP, Leadership Williston, Lemonade Day, and Business After Hours and more
  • Working closely with Williston Economic Development, Job Services, Williston Regional Economic Development Corp., Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Downtowner’s Association, the Greater North Dakota Chamber and others
  • Updated Chamber By-Laws, Staff and Committee policies, and Board of Directors handbook

They say that a good strategic plan lifespan is only about 3-5 years.  Less than 3 is too short term thinking and more than 5 is unrealistic especially in a rapidly evolving economic environment like ours.  So, it’s about that time – I have been managing the Chamber’s execution of these goals over the course of the past year.  Looking forward to 2018, we want to be sure our ‘road map’ of where the organization is headed is revised to where it needs to be.  Do we need to add a new road or two?  Should we turn around because of a detour?  The strategies and steps we take may, like the roads around here, need to be updated in a new, broader long-range plan.  And it’s at this very time that we rely on your feedback.  The Chamber exists to serve you.  I believe our mission powerfully states our ultimate goal – to champion the area’s united business community.  But how we work toward that goal can always be improved.

I ask for your brief time to let us know your thoughts.  Keep an eye out for our member survey – complete it online or simply email or call the Chamber with your input.  As the Chamber Staff and Board of Directors seeks to update its strategic plan, it is essential to hear from you.  Thank you in advance!


Chamber of Commerce and Chamber of Community

This community continues to warm my heart.  It is filled with generous people:  generous business owners, employers, employees and citizens.  People who give of their time to volunteer, sit on boards, serve on city or county commissions, or who donate to the latest fundraiser.

The Chamber’s strategic plan is of course centered around business.  Advocating for businesses and a business-friendly environment and offering programs and services to help businesses thrive.  Commerce is crucial to any community.  It is why I continue to mention the importance of supporting our local businesses (keep your eye out for information on Small Business Saturday coming up soon).  The Chamber helps you highlight your business: we love to mention all the good things happening to our members, especially on social media, plus we have affordable advertising and numerous sponsorship opportunities.   But the Chamber is also about the people and connections.  The relationships you can build and develop by being involved in the Chamber can only help grow your business and you often can’t put a price on that.  It’s the people of this community that make it what it is.  Additionally, a principal advantage our community has going for it is the partnerships.  Ones that have been established for a while and the ones that are developing and growing stronger.  We become stronger when we collaborate.

Last week, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to be asked to join a team to run the Bakken X-trek put on by the Williston Parks and Recreation District.  It was a stretch for me to run the 5K and attempt to go through the many (often dirty!) obstacles.  It taught me a few things – or at least reminded me:

  1. You can keep going long after you think you can’t (I blogged about this before but it is worth repeating).
  2. Bruises don’t last long, but the accomplished feeling of completing something does.
  3. I could not have done it without my team. The Williston All-Stars invited me on their team and while I may have been their weakest link, they encouraged me along the way and helped me over some of the toughest obstacles.  An outstretched hand is a wonderful thing!

That last one is most important:  Working as a team and cultivating partnerships in this community is key to our success as a region.

The Chamber partners with Small Business Development Center, Williston Economic Development, TrainND, Williston State College, Job Services of ND, and many others – all to strengthen and unify our business community!  I am confident in our direction.  With the boom, this community was forced to make necessary improvements to roads, water, and other things we often take for granted.  The city and county leaders had the forethought to make sure they considered not just the immediate needs but those in the future as well.  The Lewis and Clark bridge project, water treatment improvements, the new water resource recovery facility, expansions to landfill, law enforcement and fire stations are just a few that have been or will recently be completed.  We are well poised to continue our growth.  Particularly with the new XWA airport project underway.

The Chamber stands for business and we stand for this community.  The Chamber will continue to be the champion for this united business community.


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