With the holidays in full swing and school finals wrapping up, I’m sure looking forward to family reunions and hitting the streets of Oakdale for a little last-minute Christmas shopping! For this, my last newsletter representing the Oakdale Chamber of Commerce, I decided to briefly recount my journey to the Chamber. My wife, Tina, and I moved to Oakdale with our growing family on Rodeo weekend in 1999. We found Oakdale to be welcoming and were happy to enroll our kids in a great school district! I became a partner in a small environmental consulting firm in 2006 and worked out of Modesto for a few years, before I seized the opportunity to move my office to Oakdale, my adopted home town. I did not immediately join the Chamber because my available hours were chewed up by work and lots of dad stuff. But as my daughters became more independent and less dad-dependent, I decided to join the Chamber of Commerce. Although I hoped for additional visibility for my small company, for me, joining the Chamber was a way to get to know my city a little better and to meet more of my peers. I can happily report, “Mission Accomplished!”
I started small by attending the monthly mixers sponsored by Chamber members, where the new faces became more and more familiar with every “Hi, I’m John” and “What company are you with again?” I stopped into the Chamber office a few times to ask the staff about various issues concerning small business and the community, and was soon asked to join the Board of Directors. I was, at first, luke warm to the idea, but eventually agreed, and I am thankful that I did.
Now, as my term as president comes to a close, I want to thank the Chamber, and by extension, the local community, for allowing me to serve you over the past several years. I’d also like to thank the Chamber’s staff, Mary, Trisha, and Desa, for their hard work and continued efforts to expand their knowledge and capabilities, and my fellow Board members for their time, their mentorship, and their friendship. As we look forward to 2018, I encourage you to continue to stay involved in our wonderful community. In a small city like ours, our personal lives and our professional lives intersect often. If you are wondering what is the best way for you to get involved with the Chamber, call or come by the office and talk to Mary, Trisha, or Desa, and, whether you want to jump in with both feet, start slow, or just attend the many fun events throughout the year, I’m sure they will help find the right fit for you. Just remember, a Chamber membership is very much like a fitness membership for your business; if you don’t go and put in the effort, you won’t see the positive results!
I hope to see many of you at the 72nd Annual Oakdale Chamber of Commerce Awards Dinner on January 19th to recognize outstanding individuals, organizations, and businesses that have been nominated by the community for their efforts. Until then, I’ll see you around town!