It’s been another spectacular (fiscal) year here at The Chamber, and we had such a great time celebrating it all with you at our Annual Meeting yesterday at the Holiday Inn, sponsored by Midco.
Outgoing board chair Steve Swiontek, Gate City Bank, and our president/CEO Craig Whitney, shared key accomplishments from the past year, including the growth of our membership and success of various Chamber events, programs and public policy. We collaborated and took a stance on a variety of important issues in our community, including conversations around a convention or performing arts center, proposals to reform special assessments, legislation for Air Traffic Control Privatization at the federal level, and the Moorhead Grade Separation, Safety and Mobility Project.
A few other items we were proud to share included…
- Growth of the Honor Star program. Last year funds went to purchase wreaths for the ND Veteran’s Cemetery, and a donation check was presented to NDSU’s Air Force ROTC detachment.
- Military Affairs members visited Camp Ripley Training Center in Minnesota this past August. Attendees observed maneuver training and even engaged in weapon simulation. The committee also helped kick off Fargo’s Navy Week in July by hosting a Navy Week social.
- We took an active role in helping with recruitment for our armed forces. We engaged in efforts including protecting our bases from realignment and closure, and working to get a man flying mission back. The committee advocated for these issues in Washington D.C. while attending the North Dakota Military and Congressional Reception this summer.
- The biggest event to date occurred last October with NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal. Voices of Vision shattered our previous attendance records, with over 1,400 attendees. The Mid-America Chamber Executives gave us the honor of Digital Campaign of the Year at its annual conference in May in Sioux Falls for our marketing of this event.
- 14 area students developed 12 businesses this year in the Young Entrepreneurs Academy. To date, 25% of our YEA! graduates are still running the businesses they created in the program.
- 38 individuals completed Leadership Fargo Moorhead West Fargo, and it was our most successful year in terms of the Community Change Initiatives. Among these was the first annual Professionally Paired event, in which over 100 willing volunteers attended an open house that connected them to non-profits, the Commercial Action Recycling Group worked to get single-sort recycling into small businesses in Moorhead, and the Jeremiah program obtain 11 surfaces for the mothers living in their home, as well as a Tech Spark grant.
- Over 2,600 individuals attended Women Connect events and donated over 2,300 items for area organizations.
Incoming board chair Mark Nisbet, Xcel Energy, looked ahead and talked about ongoing and future priorities. You can count on us to continue our ardent support of the need for permanent flood protection and working through the workforce challenges that affect our members and the community. And with election season here, and legislative sessions quickly approaching, we will work tirelessly to bring forward the important issues impacting the business community and work to create the best business environment.
We’ll also unveil an unprecedented initiative that supports The Chamber’s strategic plan by establishing the region as a recognized destination marketplace in the coming months.
We presented awards to, and recognized, our outgoing committee chairs, talked about the committees’ and program successes, and welcomed new board members.
2017-18 Chamber committee chairs
Lastly, we presented ND Senator Judy Lee as the 2018 Legacy Leader. After receiving a standing ovation, she shared closing comments and thoughts on leadership to our attendees.
Thank you to everyone that has been involved in and supporting The Chamber. We couldn’t do what we do without you!
Rewatch the Year in Review video
Rewatch the Legacy Leader video
Check out this coverage from our media outlets!
Check out these Tweets from attendees!
— Tracy Powell (@FMWFTracyP) September 19, 2018
Celebrating the work of #fmwfchamber at #FmwfAM18. Saying Chamber leads to a stronger business community which leads to a stronger community #ymcacassclay #strongercommunity pic.twitter.com/QZavBnVBzY
— Stephen Smith (@YMCASteveS) September 19, 2018
— Caitlin Stoecker (@ArvigCaitlin) September 19, 2018
I don’t think most FMWF citizens realize the amazing work that our Chamber does for our communities. I know I am amazed! #fmwfam18
— Rebecca Darling (@rdarling95) September 19, 2018
— Patty Mastel (@FMAFPatty) September 19, 2018
Today I attended the @FMWFChamber Annual Meeting where my good friend and exceptional Senate colleague, Judy Lee was honored with the Legacy Leader award. I can’t think of anyone more deserving. Thanks for all you have done Judy! #FMWFam18 pic.twitter.com/bsEUjbih1e
— Kelly Armstrong (@Armstrong_ND) September 19, 2018
“You should say to me, ‘Tell me more.’ And I should say to you, ‘Tell me more.’ Together we should find the best and push that forward.” Senator Judy Lee #FMWFam18
— Jodi Stende (@fargojodi) September 19, 2018
State Senator Judy Lee has been a champion for #NorthDakota for decades & recently recognized nationally by @FiscalNote as the #4th most productive state legislator. Congrats Judy on being honored today by the @fmwfchamber as this year’s Legacy Leader. #FMWFam18
— Senator John Hoeven (@SenJohnHoeven) September 19, 2018
— Craig Whitney (@FMWFPrez) September 19, 2018
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