A great joy in all of our lives is the people who fill them up. In the process of doing whatever it is we do, it’s the people we get to associate with that make it all worthwhile. Whether you’re helping a client solve a problem, raising money for research to cure a disease, fixing somebody’s balky car, teaching a course that provides a key insight, listening to someone harrumph about something while they ‘try to figure it out,’ and family and friends, of course, it’s about the relationships.

As 2012 comes to a close, relationships at the Chamber are on my mind. There is great hazard in trying to name every person or even group that made a difference to the community and the Chamber this year. Even so, I want to cite a few.

As members, you were well represented by a group of your peers on the Chamber Board of Directors. It has been my pleasure to work with chamber boards in three different communities during my career. Plus I’ve interacted with many others as a retreat facilitator. The Board of the Fort Collins Area Chamber is a special group, the best I’ve ever worked with. They are bright, thoughtful, foresighted, and committed. A cardinal rule as the executive officer working for a board is that you need to stay at least one step ahead of your volunteer leaders. It has been hard to do that with this group!

The Executive Committee has been an especially hard-working and capable group beginning with 2012 Chair Donna Chapel of Chapel & Collins. Joining her on the Executive Committee were Chair-elect John Carroll of Ed Carroll Motor Company, Immediate Past Chair Mark Driscoll of First National Bank, Treasurer Chris Otto of EKS&H, Yvonne Myers of Columbine Health Systems and David Everitt of Everitt Companies. The latter two co-chaired the Chamber’s very effective Moving Fort Collins Forward! total resource campaign. The Executive Committee was a fun group to be around and was high wattage. They were a motivating group that you never wanted to let down! Huzzahs! to Donna for her leadership.

We had great team captains and team members during our total resource campaign. The Red Carpet Committee, Leadership Fort Collins Steering Committee, Leadership Northern Colorado Steering Committee, Local Legislative Affairs Committee, Northern Colorado Legislative Alliance Board, Environmental Committee, Envision Young Professionals Steering Committee, and Finance and Budget Committees were all well led and very effective.

Finally, a note about the Chamber staff. I’m very proud to work with our team of Ann Hutchison, Anne Keith, Janel Reichard, Joe Anderson, Kim Medina and Mimi Jones. They bring an attitude of service to work everyday, and they are competent and effective. We’re small, but I’m convinced we’re the best chamber staff in the Western U.S. (I’d say ‘entire U.S. but I’m less familiar with chambers east of the Mississippi since I moved here 10 years ago!) I’d stack us up with anyone!

We’re fortunate to have all of you as part of the Chamber family!