Summer 2011 Chair’s Column

The sun has come out, the lake is receding (enough to declare the state open for business) and the next 2 months’ forecast looks very good for the live life part of our mission, whether it be that bike ride off your usual route, or that destination you’ve been thinking about for years.  We live in one of the great unspoiled destinations on the planet (National Geographic).  Our problems will be here waiting for us when we return. Won’t attacking them refreshed improve the odds of a better outcome?  Wouldn’t it be a shame if we didn’t explore more of VT this summer?

We do some business in the summer.  Witness our very successful summer meeting in Woodstock.  While the top notch speakers on health care were certainly a highlight, and the social media panel discussion gave us real ideas to bring more business in (that’s not hyperbole, I took away ideas we’ll be using to bring more business in), I was most impressed by the quality and energy behind our Open Mike session.  The points and counterpoints, the questions and answers come out with passion and unvarnished insight into important issues we face, not the least of which is health care.  The combined brainpower of our assembled group is considerable and it was both entertaining and instructive to participate.  We heard there is no place for bad brands to hide in this new world.  That’s great news for Vermont, because we’re all about good brands.  Let’s continue to share our experiences at these VBR events to help make each other stronger. And thank you for what you’ve already done.

Let’s engage in the change.  Secretary of Commerce, Lawrence Miller was with us the whole day and also actively participated in Open Mike.  It seems Lawrence has been at nearly every meeting of businesses I’ve been to.  Which adds credence to the Administration’s stance that they want businesses input.  Regardless of how the statement has panned out for you in the past, doesn’t the actions of Lawrence and the Governor, and the speed at which they’ve moved (and pace of change required in the future) argue for us each to recommit by attending gatherings, picking up the phone more often, asking for the meeting?   The Roundtable as an organization continues to do this.  Don’t we individually and as our individual firms and companies have the obligation in these times to make the time for this?  I hope so for all of our sakes.

Finally thank you to our wonderful staff of two – how did you get it all done this first half of the year?  Let’s as members respond affirmatively when they ask our help to get our combined work done.