Monthly Archives: May 2018

One last blog…

As I was considering my final blog and the message I wanted to leave you with, I was reminded of a letter we received at the chamber.   Without giving you the details, it stated that a couple both living and working in this community sent out a shower invitation with registration at online sites only, much to the surprise and disappointment of the author.

The point is valid.  And it is why we at the Chamber have been focused on promoting and educating everyone about the importance of supporting and shopping local.  No doubt, the online battle is one being fought throughout the whole nation and our community is impacted like everyone else.  Even the Supreme Court is at odds as to how to handle sales tax on online purchases.   But the fact that this matter is in their court shows how big of an issue this is particularly in this day and age.  Retailers are trying to adapt to their finicky customers, but the fact remains that we need businesses here so that we can get our goods same day.  We need to support our local businesses who provide those tax dollars which support us all.

Perhaps it could be said that sometimes online shopping is convenient, and that there are some things better suited to be purchased in that way.  But, the fact remains that there are plenty of stores, plenty of options, and plenty of reasons why supporting local businesses needs to be at the forefront of people’s minds.  Local businesses are the backbone of our community:  the same community in which you call home.  I have talked to dozens of people who have recently moved their families to our area and they all say the same thing.  They love it here!

I may be leaving the chamber, but I am not leaving this wonderful community.  We have so very much to be thankful for already and much to support so that our community can continue to grow, evolve, and support us as well.

I will leave this blog with how I answered the letter:  please pass the word to your friends and family on all that the Williston Area has to offer: the shopping, parks and recreation, employment and business opportunities, a community hospital, a community college, friendly neighbors, and caring leaders.  And most importantly, spread the word on the importance of supporting our local businesses.

-Janna

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Spring! And another change…

This week I blogged how spring is finally here, and this weekend’s weather should leave no doubt that it is finally upon us.  The grass turning green, buds sprouting on trees, the baby calves out in the fields, the sunshine warming our faces and our moods:  nature has a way of reminding us about change.  It reminds us that it comes regardless of what we do.  Like the warm weather after a long cold winter, nature reminds us that change is welcomed.  I have often blogged and written about change because as humans we often resist change and for many it is a difficult reality.  As soon as you get used to one change, another comes.  And often while the ‘ink is still drying’ on your attempts to deal with that change, more may come unexpectedly.   It can be frustrating, but as a good friend pointed out to me, it’s important to think about cheese.

Who moved my cheese? is a business fable illustrating attitudes and actions that people can take when confronted with change.  A good short read, I highly recommend for anyone who hasn’t read it.  The point is, though, that change while hard, should be expected, welcomed, and sometimes chosen.

Here in the Williston market, we should be particularly accustomed to it.  With the remarkable population growth and the infrastructure projects needed to accompany that, there have been and continue to be countless changes.  Some small, like an updated storefront, some large like the US2 road construction last summer.  It was hard to wait patiently through these seasons where roads were being created, widened, adding lights for safety and traffic flow, and more.  Some people may not have even known about the water treatment plant until it was completed but you were directly impacted whether you realize or not.

Back to change.  This week, I informed my Board of Directors and my staff of my resignation from my position as President of the Chamber as of May 23rd.  And I wanted to take this time to tell our members and the community.   I wish I could tell you all in person how I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the business community and lead such a great organization.  It is bittersweet for me, knowing that I leave while there is still work to be done, but I look ahead toward the opportunity to contribute to the community at another important organization, our hospital – CHI St. Alexius Health’s Foundation.

My time at the Chamber has been full of change.  But change is good.  And while a change in leadership at the Chamber may be accompanied by changes in other leadership throughout the community after the results of election day on June 12th, I have full confidence that we are headed in the right direction.  Last week I also blogged about how well positioned we are for the future.  I could write another whole article or two about how that is true despite our area’s growing pains…maybe another time!

The Chamber has a strong focus on its mission to ‘Champion the United Business Community’.  It has great staff and a strong board, and I am confident that it will remain steadfast on its path to advocate and work for the business community.  Our valuable programs, events, and committees will continue to provide opportunities to connect and grow your business.  The Chamber’s strong partnerships with other entities will continue to unify us.

Because I know and see it’s potential, I will persist in promoting and serving this wonderful growing, evolving community, just in a different role.

-Janna

Spring…Finally!

Although today isn’t one of the sunniest of days, there is no doubt that spring is finally upon us.  The snow has melted, and last weekend was so beautiful I couldn’t help but smile and enjoy being outside.  My son has a good start on his farmer’s tan already.  And although today could be considered a bit gloomy, the forecast for this weekend is absolutely amazing.  As 17th century American poet Anne Dudley Bradstreet aptly penned “If we had no winter, spring would not be so pleasant”.

Just like the improved moods of everyone living around here, the increased activity around the Williston area is tangible.  Even the cows having their calves remind us that change and new growth is not only inevitable but it is welcomed – just like spring after a long winter!  And there’s nothing better than good old nature to remind us of that.

At the Chamber, we are busy with the candidate forums this week.  Even though the results of the elections are yet to be determined, I find myself excited to be involved in the process and the possibilities that lie ahead.  No matter what the outcome, it is refreshing to see new people and new faces becoming involved and running for these positions.  Our elected officials have an extremely important job to do and are responsible to our businesses and the residents of this community.

Despite what some people (not familiar with our area) may erroneously believe, the Williston area is far from ever busted.  It is poised for the future.  Our very growth alone is evident in the birth rate, our school enrollment, and the plentiful job opportunities.  But it doesn’t stop with numbers.  It’s about the people.  It is about our evolving community and shaping our future to what we want it to be.   Which is especially vital for those in positions elected to represent us to remember.  The Williston area may have had a few growing pains along the way, but I have full confidence that we are on the right track.   After the long hard ‘winter’ of being hunkered down while infrastructure improvements were completed, our business community has endured and found efficiencies.  I trust that our elected officials will do the same.

I cannot urge you enough to be involved in the process of electing those who will represent our community.  Make your voice be heard on June 12th and then sit back and enjoy the pleasant spring.

-Janna

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