As we prepare to pass the Sheboygan County Chamber gavel from President George Bruggenthies, of Elkhart Lake's Road America, to incoming President Steve Harrison, of Old Wisconsin Sausage, I want to publicly give a huge thank you to George for his vision, his leadership and his understanding of the big picture in our county. He also gets credit for attending more than 36 meetings in the past 12 months!
With just one year to make a difference as president, George led the Sheboygan County Chamber to a new high and urged the board of directors, staff and members toward greater engagement and action.
When he announced the theme of "Better Together" during last year's Chamber Champions Gala, it was quickly adopted as a powerful illustration of the greatest benefit of chamber membership and it struck a chord that created a surge in growth and participation. George and the chamber's board of directors understand that the most important role of the chamber is to bring people together to do business in a collaborative, supportive way that lifts all boats, addresses business issues and promotes success that reverberates in all of our communities.
In 2012, "Better Together" was the drumbeat to engage more members in nearly every program and event. This week's Chamber Champions Gala is no exception, with 550 people set to gather at The Osthoff Resort to applaud our county's champions. That's nearly 80 more than last year and 200 more than the year before.
It's a fitting grand finale to his leadership year; George Bruggenthies truly deserves our resounding applause.
George's successor, Steve Harrison, is already moving ahead with discussions about the expansion of "Better Together" to even greater benefit across Sheboygan County.
It's an exciting ride.
Betsy Alles is executive director of the Sheboygan County Chamber and encourages all businesses, large and small, to join the movement. She welcomes your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org