As 2008 chair of the Board, I look forward to working with members of this dynamic organization to continue providing a bold voice for business for the Saint Paul/East Metro area.
It’s an exciting new era for the Chamber. After a year of transition, we’ve hit the ground running with a solid business plan and a variety of new programs and services to better serve and represent our members. The face of business is changing, and we continue striving to support and cultivate our future leaders.
This year marks a defining time for the Chamber and the east metro area. Years of hard work and commitment from the business community have culminated in a victory for Central Corridor — the Chamber’s number-one priority. This light rail line has the ability to transform the entire landscape of our region. Linking the two downtowns with rail will inspire economic development and ease metro-area congestion for generations to come.
The Chamber is also intensifying its economic development efforts in 2008. In conjunction with local partners, we’ve spearheaded a plan to develop a unified vision for downtown Saint Paul. The East Metro must have a strong voice at the table or risk getting left behind on critical economic development issues.
Finally, the business community is excited to welcome nearly 45,000 guests to Saint Paul for the Republican National Convention. We’re committed to providing visitors with a first-class experience, showcasing all the amenities our beautiful city has to offer.
I am honored and excited to be chair of your Chamber’s Board of Directors this year and look forward to working with members. Please join me in thanking Ted Lillie for his leadership as chair of the board in 2007.