Dear Chamber Members:
It has been a privilege to serve the Greater Madison business community for nine years. The Greater Madison Chamber is a great organization with a dedicated staff, a wise board of directors, engaged ambassadors, a vital small business advisory council and most of all… wonderful members like you.
I have had many different jobs in my career… business owner, cabinet secretary, teacher, high school principal – and if you go back a ways – waitress, landscaper, and factory worker. Though I enjoyed all of them (except, maybe picking stones), the job I have enjoyed most, is this one.
When I called and told my father that I was being appointed as a member of the Governor’s Cabinet he said, “If that makes you happy, then I am glad.” When I called to tell him I was going to be the President of the Chamber of Commerce he said, “Honey, that is important work. I am so proud of you.” You see, my dad owned and operated a landscape nursery. One of my grandfathers ran a cheese factory and the other a bar/restaurant. I grew up in family-owned small businesses.
My father was right. Being a business person in a community is important work. You are the innovators who turn solutions into businesses. You are the employers who provide jobs. You are the givers who contribute to a better community. You are the taxpayers who pay for community services.
Later this week, the board will announce the new president. They have made an outstanding choice. I look forward to the transition.
I am often asked about my plans. Jim, my husband, was born and raised in Madison. We both love this area and plan to stay here. It is home. My first priority is to help my parents. They are 88 and live in their own home in Algoma, WI. They are both sharp and fun to be with but could use some help around the house and with errands. I plan to visit them often. I also plan to work out, read, cook and visit friends. Jim is skeptical about the “cooking part” and is not convinced the whole retirement thing will “stick.” We’ll see.
Please join me in celebrating my time at the Greater Madison Chamber and my birthday after work on Thursday, January 3rd at the Brink Lounge. I would love to see you there.