When I was a little girl, my mother would say, “The only thing certain is change.” As is often the case, she was right.
The Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce is undergoing a sea change of, well, change.
Rick Kidder, our president and CEO since 2006, announced his resignation in June. He will be leaving for New England to head up the New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce in Massachusetts. This is a homecoming of sorts for Rick, a Gloucesterman and Harvard University alumnus. With centuries-old roots in the fishing industry (anybody read Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick”?), New Bedford — and the 210,000 residents living in the 10 communities the chamber represents — is moving forward to a future embracing new technologies and industries while honoring its cherished past.
Sound familiar? It should. Think how far Scottsdale has come from its orange groves to become home to some of the most cutting-edge medical and technology companies in the world.
While it’s never easy to lose a leader, the Scottsdale Area Chamber will be under the steady hand of Eric Larson in the interim. If you don’t already know Eric, you will. Eric, a director with AVB Development Partners, has been what some might call a “fixture” at the chamber. He has served as chair of virtually every chamber committee and council, as well as board chair. He even did a stint in sales at the chamber during the darkest days of the Great Recession. Leading the search committee for a new, permanent chamber president will be Bryce Lloyd, our current board president.
You could not find two better gentlemen to lead the chamber during this time of change.
The chamber’s hard-working staff also has many new faces as well. Practicing what it preaches about economic development, the chamber has hired its marketing intern Karlie VanKruiningen as its new marketing and events coordinator as she finishes her degree at Scottsdale Community College.
My mother would also encourage me not to dwell on sad or frustrating things, insisting kindly but firmly that I say something positive. It’s easy to grumble about change, but that rarely does any good and simply mires everyone in negativism.
If you think about it, change brings hope, fresh beginnings and new opportunities — all very good things.
The chamber’s 501(c)(3) organization, the Scottsdale Chamber Foundation, along with area business partners, has launched two exciting initiatives. Be Scottsdale Fit goes beyond workplace wellness to foster full work-life integration for Scottsdale’s residents. Business Unified for Scottsdale Schools, or BUSS, is an audacious partnership between local businesses, organizations and schools with a mission to create and retain the best and the brightest students, teachers and future employees.
Change is scary, but it is also exhilarating. Change is an opportunity to make things better than they were before. Change is an opportunity to move forward instead of remaining stationary — or worse — falling behind.
Now, who is ready for some CHANGE?!
Editor, Scottsdale @ Work
Scottsdale Area Chamber member
Cindy Kibbe is a longtime member of the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce. Owner of Cindy Kibbe Creative Communications, a professional writing services firm, she has more than 10 years of journalism experience, including writing and editing for several media companies and regional publications in the Greater Boston and Greater Phoenix areas.