September always marks a point of transition, a time for reflection and a case study on “change management” around our house. The month begins with the last of the summer holidays and is followed quickly by the start of a new school year. To my wife Patti and me, it seems shocking that our kids - Jackson (17) and Truman (14) – continue to advance through school while we have not aged one bit! Just as we were finally settling in to our collective coexistence and flexibility of the lazy days of summer, September sneaks in from nowhere and hurls change upon us yet again. Navigating our kids’ many activities and our own is no easy task.
As the month winds down, the days get noticeably shorter and darkness begins to peek into the evening commute. We soon are shopping for new wiper blades and a replacement for last winter’s broken umbrella. The sunglasses can now be officially misplaced, only to be found after you purchase a new pair next spring.
While we are never certain what the future holds in business, or in life, we do know that adapting to change is a required survival skill. Those that can anticipate multiple outcomes, share past experiences, leverage core competencies, and offer advice and mentor others will generally prevail with the fewest bumps and bruises.
As business leaders in Bellevue, you have collectively anticipated, shared, leveraged, and mentored others within your organization and in your networks. You have weathered one of the worst economic storms in the modern era and you have survived, you have grown, and you have provided jobs and economic vitality to a one of the leading markets in the nation. You have managed through, and adapted to, rapid change.
Our recovery is still tentative. There are many risks still in front of us on a local, national and global scale ranging from taxation to transportation, healthcare reform, globalization, fiscal policy, inflation, national debt, and military conflicts. Some risks are known to us and others have yet to surface.
The Bellevue Chamber provides you access to a network of leaders unlike any other. As a Chamber member, your voice becomes louder on advocacy issues and your interests are represented and communicated to the right decision makers.
During my term, I am committed to continuing to leverage the resources, connections, experience and innovation that our Chamber is known for. The Chamber is one of the most innovative, successful and influential Chambers in the nation. Under the direction of Betty Nokes and her staff, the Chamber continues to develop new programs that are adapted to changing business needs. Our board has a depth of experience, diversity and creative vision. We have the benefit of engaged business leaders, such as Past Chair Ron Smith, who have built a foundation of success and a blue print for the future.
The Bellevue Chamber brings you real opportunities to connect to real people about real issues. Reach out to me, the board, or the Chamber staff for connections to programs or people that will bring you the greatest return. Whether it’s the Economic Forecast Breakfast, the Eastside Annual Dinner, the Business Lunches, the award-winning Young Execs Program, the local and state advocacy committees, the Spirit of Bellevue Run/Walk, the Eastside Leadership Conference, or others, there is a program targeted for you and your company to help meet today’s business challenges head on.
Change brings opportunity for those that are prepared. Now let’s go get those sunglasses and get to work!Tom Sulewski