Friday, June 25, 2010

Insights from the New VP

By Michelle Merritt, VP Member Relations & Communications

With now 5 weeks complete here at the Chamber it’s amazing to me how quickly time flies.  I admit to being over deadline even as I type this post.  It makes me so thankful for a supportive team that is willing to give me a little wiggle room as I get settled in.  In many ways it feels like I’m still just settling in and in others like I’ve been here for years.

As I think back on last week and the insights I’ve gained, I think the most important one is to remember to stop & take a breath once in a while.  Life at the Chamber is always changing and always on the move which is a GREAT thing.  After all, I love facing something new every day.  My personality is such that I would be bored with the same old daily routine.

My peers have been checking in on me regularly to make sure I’m not overwhelmed which is quite reassuring.  “Welcome to life at the Chamber” is a phrase I’m hearing quite often.   I can assure you this life is one I’m really going to love but I’m reminding myself how important it is to stop and enjoy the ride.  Ok, maybe I won’t “stop” but I’ll remember to slow down as I go for this ride.  There are so many great people to meet and so many amazing ways the Chamber impacts the community that I’m learning to enjoy.

Last week we participated in the Navistar/Navistay rally.  As I stood in the front row tweeting pics
of Mike speaking to the crowd, I realized just how great it is to be part of this community.  I forced myself to slow down and take it all in.  There stood hundreds of people in support of their community.  People chose to stand up and be a part of something that mattered to Fort Wayne.  It was so exciting to see!  As you can imagine, it was pretty fast paced in the day leading up to the event but as I looked around I saw what I love most about Fort Wayne, the people.  

I was so thankful to strike a balance that day, enjoying my city & fellow community members.  It’s what building relationships is all about.  If we take time to enjoy one another & really listen to all we have to offer each other we begin to build communities that lift us up personally & professionally.  We build communities that care, communities that encourage, communities that grow, and communities that thrive.  So the next time you find yourself in the midst of controlled chaos or craziness, take a breath.  Slow down just enough to look around and see all that there is to enjoy.  I’m certain you’ll like what you see.

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