Here we are, Lake Gaston region, welcoming another new year! As everyone knows, it is traditional as we mark the passage of the old year into the new that we resolve to make the new year better than the one before. I think it is a common hope for humanity to be able to start anew with a plan to make positive changes.
I tend to make some of the same resolutions each year – lose weight, exercise more, drink less coffee, spend more time with family and friends, get outside more often. People may view it as failure that I don’t necessarily check these items off my list as completed (normally, that would be preferable for me as someone who likes to check items off of a to-do list). However, as a human being, I am a work in progress, and the effort to make positive changes in my life will never stop. I view the work of any organization in the same light. Changes, especially positive ones, take time, commitment and support from those around you. That is exactly where we are right now with the Lake Gaston Regional Chamber of Commerce.
I am proud to say that this dynamic organization has made a great deal of positive changes this past year, building upon our 45-year history and the efforts of countless board members, volunteers and directors, but as we look forward to the new year, we resolve to continue the progressive momentum of the organization for the benefit of our members, our communities and the Lake Gaston region as a whole.
Thus, for 2014 (harkening back to my college days as a big David Letterman fan) I have crafted a Top 10 List of New Year’s Resolutions for the Lake Gaston Regional Chamber of Commerce (in no particular order):
10. Work with all of the communities that embrace Lake Gaston to create unity as a region, as well as promote the uniqueness of these communities individually
9. Invite partnerships and working relationships with county governments and other entities to create a proactive business climate, fostering growth and expansion, around the Lake Gaston region
8. Extend our reach to give Lake Gaston more visibility as a wonderful place to retire, relocate, volunteer, own a second home, vacation, and do business
7. Actively promote Shop Lake Gaston First within our region to encourage the 144,769 full-time residents (according to 2012 data) of the Lake Gaston region, as well as our second home owners and vacationers, to shop for goods and services with Lake Gaston regional businesses to keep those dollars turning over and over in our communities, as well as give those dollars back to the many worthy non-profits in the region
6. Serve as a unified voice for business for all of our members to determine issues of commonality and actively work to affect change in those areas on local, regional, state and national levels
5. Offer educational opportunities for Chamber members on topics of interest for businesses and organizations in the Lake Gaston region and partner with community colleges within the region to promote their offerings
4. Encourage the overall health, well-being and quality of life for our communities by working with local organizations and promoting community activities and events that make our region more attractive to those seeking to retire, relocate or vacation
3. Promote networking and member-to-member support by asking Lake Gaston Regional Chamber members to look first at fellow Chamber members for their goods and services
2. Maintain and regularly update the Chamber’s website to best showcase our members and share pertinent information about the Lake Gaston region
1. Assist our members with marketing efforts by offering opportunities to promote them via social media, such as Facebook and YouTube, as well as send announcements of goods, services and events via email marketing
I truly love the Lake Gaston region and am constantly in awe of the vast amount of talented people who choose to call Lake Gaston home. The Lake Gaston Regional Chamber of Commerce invites anyone with an interest in supporting the businesses, organizations and communities of the Lake Gaston region to become a member! We have membership levels for businesses, non-profits, churches, artists and individuals (become a Chamber Champ). Our voice is stronger as a region, and the more voices we have the better equipped we will be to work toward a proactive future…together. I wish you all the happiest of New Years!