President’s Letter: With Gratitude

Jennifer Tavares, CEcD, President

Jennifer Tavares, CEcD, President

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” – William Arthur Ward

It’s getting near that time of year when we contemplate what we’ve experienced, what we’ve missed; what we’ve accomplished, how we’ve grown. Through a lens of reflection, appreciation, and gratitude, we see more clearly our family and friends and how they enrich our lives; our coworkers and colleagues, and how they push us to be better; the richness and diversity of our community and the beauty of our surroundings.

If we’re lucky, we have meaningful work that we enjoy; or at least, work that provides opportunities to grow and the ability to support our lifestyle and family. I’ve been reflecting a lot lately on what I have. I could go on about family, but it will suffice to say that I’m extremely grateful for such a supportive husband and the two wonderful boys he’s given me—as well as an extended family that loves and supports one another.

Our Chamber and CVB are truly unique, and we represent a phenomenal cross-section of businesses and non-profit organizations, working together for the greater good. Our staff is reflective of that as well. I’m surrounded by talented, intelligent, thoughtful people who work hard and are passionate about this community; helping people, supporting local businesses, and building our economy. We enjoy our work; we understand it to be impactful and important; we are here to help.

The Chamber has a network of over 150 volunteers who support the work we do, whether it is board or committee service, policy guidance, or special event support. Even more of our members provide financial support by way of programs and sponsorships which help to sustain the chamber. We are so thankful for the time and resources invested in our organization, and the shared goal of improving our quality of life and economic vitality.  It is truly impressive.

Showing gratitude is a bit trendy right now. Maybe you’ve noticed social media posts from friends, or news articles espousing the merits of viewing the world through a grateful lens. But slowing down long enough to incorporate gratefulness into our daily routine and into our work is a worthy cause—it really can be as easy as a quick change in perspective; a reminder to yourself amidst the busy-ness that you are here, you are alive, you have so much, you do good work, and life is good.

To do this effectively, we follow through by striving for a reasonable work-life balance which leaves time for the things we enjoy and be with the people we love; and we must consider how to help those who do not. We contemplate ways to show gratitude in our actions around the upcoming holidays. We shop local businesses, make handmade gifts, and give through service; we spend Thanksgiving with our families, and we collaborate with our teams to make an impact for those who are less fortunate in our community.

We all need more time with family, time outdoors, time to ourselves, and time to reflect. The hustle and bustle of the season will come anyway, in just a few days. But if we remember to pause and be grateful for the good things in our lives and in our work, it will truly make a world of difference.

November 2015