Editorial: Volunteers and leaders make greatness

Feb. 02, 2013 @ 10:25 AM

For more than 75 years, Henderson and Vance County has been served by leaders in the business community who had a single mission and purpose — to help those around them.

Since 1938, the formal organization to carry out this mission has been the Henderson-Vance Chamber of Commerce. The chamber celebrated its diamond anniversary at Thursday’s annual business meeting and awards banquet, and the praise was flowing and well deserved.

In an era besieged with me-first mentality and looking for the next shortcut or loophole, the chamber and its leadership past and present stand tall. Representing more than 400 businesses, the chamber represents the interests of the business community in matters that affect the ability of local businesses to prosper and grow and seeks to attract new businesses.

Programs are designed for the benefit of the membership. The chamber is actively involved in the Vance County education system. It seeks to grow its membership, and markets our community for the betterment of us all.

Government at all levels is aware of who we are as a community in part because of the efforts of the chamber.

Our chamber didn’t start out with everything in place. In fact, it started with the country in a recession of major proportions after the Great Depression hung with the albatross of 19 percent unemployment. Think times are tough in 2013?

That initial group stepped forward, took risks and supported all the businesses in the community. We’ve been buying in ever since.

It is indeed an engine of progress. Momentum ebbs and flows, but it remains a solid foundation through which everyone can connect, collectively find a vision and take action, preventing our dreams from drifting off.

Magic strokes of genius don’t just happen for us. Our leaders make plans, give themselves time for accomplishment, utilize their options and find the true measure of what makes our community better.

We would argue today the volunteers of the organization are not unsung; rather, they are the backbone. Combined with the efforts of the leadership, they accomplish many, many jobs and bring Henderson and Vance County a single reputation.

Congratulations are duly extended to the chamber, with best wishes for another wonderful 75 years.