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2018 Chairman of the Board, John Blount message to members

Message from Chairman of the Board, John Blount
"In my time with the chamber, I've understood more than ever what a necessary partner the chamber is in making Livingston Parish better.  We are an organization that brings the business community together, not only for a voice and business growth - which is important, but also for our collective efforts in engaging the business community in quality of life issues which impact the parish. 
We will move even further into roles that strengthen business, because stronger businesses mean stronger,  better communities.  Chamber members want to be engaged in issues impacting the parish, and the chamber's programming allows for that involvement.  A chance to make a difference.  As we study different areas of the country and what makes them attractive - most all have strong chambers of commerce that are active and game changers.  We are fortunate to have an award winning chamber in our parish that we can get behind and strengthen even more to compete with other areas.  
Just look at the leadership program and the impact of the service projects from each of those, not to mention the graduates who have a much clearer understanding of what the parish offers and the role of each leader.  That's just a small piece.  Our young professionals program is active and growing and offers an opportunity and voice for the up and coming leaders, a program I fully support.  Our work and partnership with the school system and career development continues to grow through our education initiatives as does our involvement in governmental relations that impact our businesses. 
Here are some of the points that we plan to tackle, including a community issue I believe we can all get behind.  I encourage you to engage in the area that you are most interested.  Some of the points are:
  • Leadership development and engagement.  The leadership program and additional professional development pieces, such as the debut of Live 2 Lead last year, bring a much needed component to the area.  Playing a role and taking the lead on development programming that matters not only to our employers, but to our community at large attracts and engages better business to our area.
  • Business solutions, particularly in career development.  We plan to host a summit of concerned business leaders to address the ongoing recruitment of qualified employees and to highlight the great career opportunities here in the parish.  Women's programming was also very well received last year as well as the advancement of our young professionals program aimed at recruiting and keeping talent in our area.
  • Champions of our members, those who invest in the organization . Plans are in the works to provide more unique exposure opportunities and showcasing of members.  With the variety of programming we offer, there is a fit for every business and every aspect of your business. Members have always been our top concern, and the offerings for you all continue to grow.
  • Inclusive nature.  Every business has the same opportunities to be involved, impact, initiate and be included in the direction of the business community.  Varying levels of engagement have always been offered to align with each businesses availability of resources.  We are working on having a clearer message in what we do and why we are here.  I can attest though, every bit of your investment, whether it is time, talent or treasure is wisely utilized and your returns are substantial both for your individual business and collectively. 
  • Big picture thinking.  Community problems such as my personal pet peeve, the litter issue in the parish.  Through the chamber, we have the organization and structure to take on initiatives such as this.  If you will sign on and join with us in this project, we can make a profound difference in projecting the image that Livingston Parish and each of its communities deserves.
  • Livingston Chamber Foundation - we are moving closer to finalizing the chamber foundation which will allow the business community to have access to funding, plus offer unique options for businesses to engage in philanthropic issues which matter to you.
  • While we are at it, we plan to have fun.  Business doesn't have to be stuffy,  and we have a great group of people who not only are smart and know how to run a business, but also know how to enjoy the work of making our area better.  
Two dates that the incoming chair plays a part in are the planning retreat, which it snowed, and the annual meeting, when the roads were iced and impassable.....not exactly the best start. Just like we always do, we roll through the challenges and carry on.  Join in.  
The board chair partners each year with the chamber's president, April, to assure we have the organization on track to make a difference to your business.  You can respond to this message to get involved or learn more.  
I personally invite you to get involved in any of the chamber programming.  I've been highly involved in the EXPO, Live 2 Lead event and the 2018 initiative of a cleaner parish, but all the chamber programming is important.  There is a fit for everyone.  I am honored and looking forward to the year.  
John Blount
Blount General Contractors
Livingston Parish Chamber Chairman of the Board 2018