Editor’s note: These are prepared remarks delivered by Lane Beattie, Salt Lake Chamber president & CEO at the Utah Business magazine event honoring the CEOs of the Year. Beattie was honored as CEO of the Year by Utah Business in 2010.
Thank you very much for the opportunity to share a few moments with you on this wonderful occasion.
To our friends at Utah Business magazine, I thank you for honoring the good work that is done by the business community, and today by those who help lead the businesses that make our economy strong.
I express my heartfelt congratulations to our honorees. An engaged business community is influential and an influential business community is a force for good.
We’ve had a remarkable first quarter of 2012. In fact, I don’t remember too many weeks that could match this past week.
One week ago today, I had the privilege of participating in the ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open City Creek Center.
As I sat on the stage with great leaders—titans of industry, elected officials and leaders of a worldwide religion—all surrounded by the result of skilled design, superior craftsmanship and attention to detail, I was struck by the grander qualities that led us to that point.
I thought of the inspiring vision it took to take two fortress malls, outdated and dying, and turn them into a beautiful, pedestrian friendly, mixed-use shopping center.
President Gordon B. Hinckley was a community builder and a man of vision. He declared…
“Now is the time to build and beautify, to strengthen and bond, to be proud of our community and to do all we can to make of it a place which all can enjoy and for which all can be grateful.”
His vision to beautify, to strengthen and to bond has become a reality.
As I listened to many involved in the project rightfully praise Bishop H. David Burton for the role he played in the City Creek project, I reflected on the importance of persistence and dedication.
Bishop Burton was unwavering in his diligence and in his optimism. He became the personification of the phrase shared by the authors of the Second Century Plan—the inspiration for Downtown Rising: “It can be done… by many combinations of easy steps.”
His persistence has paid off… for all of us.
As I listened to the heads of Taubman, Macy’s and Nordstrom, I thought of the importance of passion. These are leaders who love the business they are in, they are passionate about success and they are passionate about our community.
This was the long-awaited day of reward for their commitment to our community and their enthusiasm was palpable.
Earlier in the week, before the City Creek opening, I re-read the opening letter of the Downtown Rising vision, which reads:
“Great cities are like a relay race. Each generation has a chance to achieve greatness for its city before passing the baton to the next generation of city builders. It is a challenging process, and the work is never done.”
So we have celebrated a milestone but not the capstone to the grand project that is Salt Lake City. Among us this afternoon, both the group of honorees and in the crowd, are the leaders who must take up the baton and run the next leg of the race.
As we honor these CEOs for their leadership, for their vision and for their passion… let us be inspired to look to the horizon and see the challenges that approach. Let us be leaders of vision; let us be dedicated to our community, to our businesses and to the people who make them what they are and what they can be.
“The future is not a gift, but an achievement.”
Let us be passionate about making our boldest, noblest and grandest visions a reality.
Congratulations to you all.