Chamber Vision July and August 2017 - Page 3

Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau July & August 2017 Date 3 From the President I love this time of year because it is finally warm enough for Mark and I to spend our evenings outdoors, working in our garden, feeding the fish in a nearby pond or visiting with our neighbors. As many of you know, I started riding a bike last year, and this past spring I set the goal of riding in the DK50 Lite Ride. I am proud to say that I finished with my good friend Kelly Mayer. The conditions were perfect for our first 50-mile ride and the support we received was humbling to say the least. I continue to love riding in the evenings through the wonderful roads of Lyon County! Jeanine McKenna President & CEO So, what have we been doing here at the office? Besides assisting with the Glass Blown Open, DK 200 and National Teachers Hall of Fame activities, we have been working on upgrading both the Chamber and CVB websites, had conversations with ESU and potential partnership in the future concerning leadership development, began work on the 30th Class of Leadership Emporia, met with our elected officials, participated in the Emporia Lyon County Comprehensive plan discussions, working on plans to make our upcoming events of EASCAR, Field to Feast and Twinkies Festival fun and exciting for everyone, and last but not least continued our important work of addressing workforce issues. Workforce development is a major priority of the Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce and the business community. In this tight labor market, businesses are having trouble finding employees with the right skills. To address this growing concern, we have spoken to many of the major employers of our community, have found commonalities in the struggles they are facing and have started to put together a short-term and long-term plan to start addressing the challenges they face. Jeanine McKenna, Chamber President & CEO, and Kelly Mayer, CVB Public Relations Manager, celebrate their personal victory of completing the Dirty Kanza 50- mile bike ride. Over the next several months, we will be stepping up to the plate, digging deeper in to these daunting challenges and reaching out to gather more research. We will be thinking out of the box and looking at i