In times of change, such as in farewells, it can be hard to find the right words to express the emotions one feels about the past, with its hundreds of memories, and the future, with all of its unknowns and new beginnings. I can tell you, I’m flooded with emotions—yes, with the sadness that comes with saying goodbye, but also with joy for what the future holds.
As I look back at my time here at the Salt Lake Chamber, I am overwhelmed by all that we were able to accomplish together. When I took the job at the Chamber, I planned to only stay on for two years. But two years turned into five, five turned into ten and I just couldn’t pull myself away from all of the exciting progress we were making here. Together we have advocated for more funding for education and transportation, championed for a more humane approach to immigration, endorsed solutions to safeguard Utah’s unprecedented quality of life, and empowered the legislature and business community to take forward-thinking steps to strengthen Utah’s economy and ensure a prosperous future for our children and grandchildren.
One of the things I’m most proud of is how we as an organization never let go of the principles that have guided us since our founding. As a business association that represents all industry sectors, the Chamber advocates for the interests of all businesses, and we have done so with broad vision, the spirit of inclusion and, most importantly, civility. Even when the discussions got tough, we were always able to remain civil. We saw the value in differences of opinion, and it is in these differences where we find our strength.
None of the successes of the Salt Lake Chamber and Downtown Alliance would have been possible without the dedication and participation of this state’s business community and the leadership of our governor, legislature and community leaders. By working together we have accomplished many great things, and I have no doubt that with the continued leadership of our board, the engagement of our business leaders and the commitment from this great staff that those successes will continue for many years to come.
While this is the end of the road for me as President and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber and Downtown Alliance, this is a new beginning not just for my family and me, but also for these great organizations. I have full confidence that under the direction of Derek Miller, the Salt Lake Chamber and Downtown Alliance will thrive.
It has been an absolute pleasure to be at the helm of this great organization for the last 15 years. Thank you for helping me see the wisdom, the blessing, the joy and the happiness that comes from being engaged with good people in a good cause. Always remember, this is the greatest place to live, work, learn and play.