No two ways about it, what I thought was a Chamber in its death spiral some years back has definitely turned a corner.
My involvement with the chamber spans many years and I’ve never really seen the benefit of involvement but respectfully I represented a family and a local shopping centre and on their behalf would attend most of the events.
My experience was typical of an organisation that lacked vision and forgot what its mission statement was all about. It reached its natural course and the dead wood was apparent in every direction.
1. The dead wood of over government representation
2. The dead wood of big business running the show
3. The dead wood of forgetting to invest in startups and entrepreneurs
4. The dead wood of elitism
Over the last four years I’ve seen the changing of the guard and the renewing of vision with its focus back on small business and the next generation.
The current new board is filled with new life and respectfully represents what any progressive enterprise ought to have – Pragmatic Enthusiasm ‘They are walking the walk and talking the talk’
It was interesting to note that not many big businesses sponsored the chamber this last year but they will to be part of this REVIVAL if they are to remain significant.
It was interesting to see local council and government only sponsored a minimal portion $$$ of what they’ve done in years gone by and only one councillor attended The Business Awards. This gives me great hope that the balance of power will return to small business rather than having a dependency on government support and hand outs from large corporations.
Organisations like the Swan Chamber of Commerce will thrive when they fight for significance, rather than rest on their laurels of past success.
The last four years may be the most turbulent times that the Swan Chamber of Commerce have had to endure in years but it will pay off in spades if they stay on this trajectory.
They’ve finished the year with the Business Awards and it was by far the best atmosphere that I’ve experienced in years.
Full of new blood, youth and young businesses.
I’m confident that the chamber will see a new lease if life as long as it sticks to its purpose ‘Support and enable small businesses to thrive and become a lobby group that challenges its very purpose not just its existence’
A special note of thanks to a 21 year old university student, Sebastian, who works part time for the chamber and oversees the marketing, he was integral to making the 2018 Swan Chamber Awards night an absolute success. Sebastian is the absolute representation of what Chambers like this or any other worthwhile organisation stands for.
It’s our responsibility as elders to make sure that the next generation are equipped to thrive not just survive. As much as guys like Gerry Hanssen who is the current president of the chamber can be annoying, anyone who knows him well, knows his heart is in the right place and we need more leaders that are tired of talkfests.
Gerry, is comfortable to start looking at a new leader to take his place now that the focus of the chamber is headed in the right direction.
Most leaders would find this hard to do but then again, they are not leaders.