It always amazes me how each year seems to fly by faster than the previous one.

I remember thinking to myself, “that is something my grandmother would always say” and that she was always exaggerating. I am finding that was not an overstatement at all.

I have been looking back on the year and have taken the time to reflect on many things. After the blessings of my family, I would be remiss to not share how fortunate I am to work with three of the best ladies around. Each day I am thankful for the talent, wisdom and kindness shown by Rhonda, Kristie and Hannah. The individual gifts that we all bring to the Chamber have allowed us to put together a solid year of programming and events.

Rhonda Veleba has been with the Chamber since May of 2014. Her vision for the Chamber and Community has provided us a focal point as we work through the various aspects of a program. Her willingness to communicate has helped to keep us connected with both the membership and the community.

Kristie Richert joined the Chamber team in August of 2017. I have said it before and it is worth repeating that I knew Kristie was a great fit for us when she elected to begin work just four days before Yorkfest. Kristie is gracious and patient with everyone who comes to the office. Her ability to “decode” a lot of what I write is nothing short of remarkable.

Hannah Miller came on board in March of 2018. Within her first month, we co-hosted the annual Youth Involvement Fair and Hannah worked the event like a pro. Hannah has taken on the marketing for the Chamber like a warrior. The pieces that are created and put out for events and programs is not an easy thing to do. Her ability to utilize all the different media is fantastic. The Chamber teammates are ladies for whom I have a great deal of respect and I appreciate more than I can ever express.

Allow me a few minutes to acknowledge the Chamber’s officemates.

Therese Swanson with the Community Foundation is always willing to assist us with so many of the projects that we have going on. That extra set of hands a few hours at a time are so appreciated.

Bob Sautter with the Visitor’s Bureau not only keeps us laughing, he is extremely helpful when we are loading out for events. No matter what the weather, Bob is always willing to lend a helping hand.

Deb Heskett, business manager with York County Development, is a lady who is always willing to work through various calculations with me. When you hear people say all you need is “a different set of eyes” to look at something, they are right. Deb does that for me.

Derek Dauel has been with YCDC for just a bit over a year and I have enjoyed his take on so many things. Derek’s “lens” is quite a bit younger than the rest of ours and seeing things through his eyes is very helpful.

And finally, Lisa Hurley, York County Development’s executive director, has partnered our organizations on projects. We feel we could have a larger impact when doing so. When we are not collaborating, we are supporting one another in our various projects.

Each year, I have a new Chamber president who brings a fresh and different look to the role. Our president for 2019 has been Don Swanson with Central Valley Ag. Don has focused on leadership and equipping both the Chamber team and the board. His ability to see potential and growth in just about everything is so evident. We are thankful that Don will serve one more year in the seat of the Past President. In just a few short weeks, Jill Koch’s service to the Chamber will come to a close. Jill is with York General Services and her mission for increased board engagement has put us on a path for success. I have appreciated all that Jill has done over these past five years.

Taking over the reins in 2020 is Carrie Colburn with York News-Times. To date, Carrie has been so helpful when it comes to clarifying and interpreting. The ability to see multiple sides of a conversation as it is going on is a talent I would love to have. Sharing those observations with the rest of the exec team is very helpful.

Tod Riley, with Huddle House/Good2Go Travel Center has brought a strong voice for the service industry as well as for the southside business district. His knowledge about the various sectors of York are crucial to the overall success of the York community. Tod will serve in 2020 as the President Elect.

SueAnn Romohr with Kirtsey’s Clothing and Gift Boutique has been one of the driving forces for the Chamber’s newest program, “Let’s Connect.” She has brought back to us conversations and examples she has come across in her travels. This program and others like it are what will continue to move the Chamber in a positive direction.

And finally, in 2020, the Chamber Executives will welcome Pepper Papineau with Cornerstone Bank. Pepper has served as the chairperson for the Young Professionals and has had a seat on the Chamber Board for the past few years. Pepper’s ability to connect with our broad demographics in York will prove beneficial for future growth.

I am looking forward to 2020 and the opportunities that will be open to us here at the Chamber and I wish much success and happiness to everyone this holiday season. #whatsyoury

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