Welcome to the first edition to the Chairman’s Corner. Once a month, I will be sharing news from the Chairman’s perspective, some information about upcoming events, opportunities to engage and some thoughts on the business landscape of Reston and the surrounding community. I hope you will find these entries to be informative and that you will find opportunities to expand your network of connections and learn some new skills.
As we wrap up the 2011-12 year for the Chamber, it’s good to look back and assess how our year ended. The Chamber had another successful year, lead by our two signature events in the Town Center. Oktoberfest in the fall and the Taste of Reston this June brought record crowds to the Town Center; and, of course, the weather for both events was just great! Thank you to the committee and all the restaurants, vendors, sponsors, volunteers and, of course, the staff who all helped to make these two events again very successful.
We also need to thank those who went above and beyond last year, the winners of our annual ACE Awards. In June, we recognized their outstanding contributions and commitment to the Chamber this past year. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to the Chamber to achieve these awards.
At the luncheon, I was very honored to assume the role of Chairman. In my remarks, I discussed several short term and longer term goals that I have for the Chamber. Here are a few of them. First and foremost, you will hear me talk regularly about how important member engagement is. Over the years, in all the Chambers and business groups I have been a member of, I became very engaged in the organizations. I found that the more connections and relationships I developed, the more opportunities I received to learn, lead and find business.
Over the years, I have been involved as a volunteer with membership drives, sponsorship drives, legislative initiatives, monitoring finances and investments, community outreach, and volunteer management. I learned and expanded my skills by volunteering. So, don’t feel you need to engage in a committee or event around something you currently do well; but try to find something new you can learn by volunteering! If you would like some tips on getting engaged, come to one of the Chamber’s New and Perspective Member meetings, and get the “full briefing” of opportunities.
Second, I would like to see us expand the use of social media, at all levels of the Chamber, to help get our message out and drive engagement. If you have not yet done so, please join the Chamber’s Facebook Fan page, our group on LinkedIn and follow #RestonChamber on Twitter. Please tweet and post when you are at or planning to go to Chamber events and committee meetings. I will be using the hashtag #Next30 to recognize and celebrate the 30th anniversary and as the Chamber starts its next 30 years.
The Chamber’s Board of Directors will be meeting in July to start laying the ground work for the next 30 years. Updating our strategy plan, the Board will review our vision and focus, decide on strategic goals and strategies, and put together a plan that everyone can coalesce around (board, committees, members and staff). Stay tuned for more information as we move forward. With the potential of an additional 20,000 more residents and another 1,000 more businesses predicted for Reston in the next 30 years, we all have a lot to do to help these new residents of Reston feel welcomed, get engaged and help them be successful in our community.
Just a little about me and my firm. I started TRAINING SOLUTIONS, Inc. back in 1995. My wife, Sharon, joined full time in 1999. (You will probably see her at a variety of GRCC events too.) We offer professional development programs in the classroom and online. We have a large variety of off-the-shelf training programs for internal trainers to present. We offer executive coaching services and workforce development consulting services. You can visit our site for more information, www.trainingsolutions.com.
I hope you will join me in contributing to GRCC’s success this year. Thank you.
C. Michael Ferraro, President/CEO TRAINING SOLUTIONS, Inc.