A Message from the Chairman of the Chamber Board of Directors
Chad Zakaib, Vice President of Operations, Legacy Hospice
I am honored to have been selected as the 2015 Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce – your Chamber of Commerce.
Now in its 102nd year, your Chamber’s advocacy in our community has accomplished great things, from founding local chapters of the American Red Cross (1917) and United Way (1943) to advancing the effort to build the Charlottesville Albemarle Airport (1947) and the Downtown Mall (1959-1970). In years past, the Chamber also led the effort to create and support City/County partnerships in tourism & economic development. More recently, your Chamber drove the Orange Dot Project, which identified the scope of families in our community living below self-sufficiency. Then we launched the Charlottesville Works Initiative, helping to build a pathway for families out of poverty through means such as a systemic connection between employers and potential employees. A job is the best anti-poverty program.
Underlying every effort in your Chamber’s 102-year heritage – and every future effort — is one basic ideal: “…enhancing the quality of life in our Greater Charlottesville communities.” Of course, our means to that end is to represent private enterprise and promote the interests of our local business community.
As we look to the future, I am invigorated by the opportunities before us to address big, difficult, complex challenges in our community: decreasing poverty in our neighborhoods, increasing access to pre-K early education, raising the standard of living by nurturing and attracting business that create career-ladder jobs and providing access to education for those who can fill them. Solving these issues will be no easy task; nonetheless, these are the tasks at hand. We welcome your commitment and efforts.
Your Chamber Board of Directors is comprised of bright, talented, professional men and women, working across all aspects of business and civic organizations. They give their time, talent and energy to guide Chamber policy, build support for Chamber initiatives and rally the community to those initiatives. As these Chamber Board members well know, engaging with your Chamber has never been more productive – monthly enterprise-specific Round Table meetings, regular Chamber networking events, the ChamberBits e-newsletter, Leadership Charlottesville, Quadruplicity, our Charlottesville Works Initiative and more – enable Chamber members to engage and grow professionally, learn about issues in their enterprises and in the community, and effect positive change through their active participation.
I look forward to working with our Chamber members, Board and excellent professional staff over the coming year, and beyond. I look forward to meeting the challenges ahead in “enhancing the quality of life in our Greater Charlottesville communities.” I am grateful for the opportunity to do so as your Chairman for 2015.
Chad Zakaib, Chairman of the Chamber Board of Directors
Program Director, Legacy Hospice