It has been a great year for the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce as we continued to advance our mission of growing the economy from within, advocating for strong, pro-business public policies and hosting countless events and programs to bring business, political, community and education leaders together.
We updated our mission statement at the beginning of 2016 with input and guidance from both the Chamber’s Board of Directors and from our talented GPCC staff. The statement highlights the Chamber as an organization of action.
“The Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce promotes regional prosperity, serving as a catalyst for economic vitality and strong communities.”
Simply, the successful Chamber of today is a catalyst for the business community.
Acting as an effective catalyst for economic vitality requires an accurate assessment of business community needs paired with the willingness to address those needs with a targeted solution. That solution – our collaborative economic development initiative Phoenix Forward – is all about growing our economy from within.
So what’s the biggest challenge of business leaders today? Access to a pipeline of qualified talent, ready to fill the well-paying jobs they’re offering.
In response, our Phoenix Forward team partnered with industry to create five workforce collaboratives this year. These groups of business leaders from the construction, financial services, cybersecurity, compliance & risk management and health care sectors meet to develop detailed plans to fill the talent pipeline for their specific industries. I’m excited to see their efforts and successes during 2017 and beyond.
In addition to these initiatives to create an overall environment for economic success, our Chamber remains the place to connect with business leaders and elected officials through our program of robust signature events and ongoing educational forums. From the Legislative Kick-off in January to the Mayor’s State of the City in April to the IMPACT Awards, ATHENA Awards and Economic Outlook later in the year, we feature a multitude of opportunities to connect with community and business leaders and help advance our region’s economy.
We also took a select delegation of business leaders to Washington, D.C. immediately following the presidential election to meet with members of Arizona’s congressional delegation to hear what they hope to accomplish under the new president and to share with them issues critical to Arizona businesses. The trip resulted in several policy recommendations sent to our federal elected officials and the Trump administration. We are fortunate to have so many pro-business senators and congressmen and congresswomen representing our state.
There was also an election right here in Arizona, and with every election comes new leaders with whom to work to help businesses succeed and grow our economy. I was happy to see 94 percent of Chamber-endorsed candidates win election or reelection to the Arizona Legislature. Among those endorsed candidates are new House Speaker J.D. Mesnard and new Senate President Steve Yarbrough. I welcome these seasoned lawmakers to their new leadership posts and wish them much success. With so many pro-business legislators in place, we expect to accomplish many of the economy-growing priorities in 2017 set forth by our Public Affairs Committee.
And as always, I must thank my tireless Chamber team of hardworking professionals for everything they do to serve our Chamber members on a daily basis. I close the book confidently on a prosperous 2016 and look forward to new challenges and opportunities in 2017.