Summer 2017 (the first edition)
Mick Daly, President, Eagle Chamber of Commerce
At the recent Bonfire Block Party (with 7000 people in attendance!), Eagle Outside Festival, Eagle River Jam and FIight Days – as well as at our Chamber Mixers and Networking Breakfast (yes, there’s a lot going on in Eagle!) – I heard from several people; I learned their perspective on Eagle. Opinions and perspectives are like belly buttons: everyone has one and they are all different, but every opinion is valid – even mine!
Since this is the first edition of the Chamber’s new quarterly publication, Eagle’s Perspective, I will start by giving you my perspective; it’s one that I know many of you share.
Eagle is a great place to live, work and play; to raise a family; to start and run a business; to retire; to meet the coolest, most diverse and interesting people. It’s a fine place to invest your relational capital and to pay it forward in the best way. We love it here; my challenge to you is this: let’s actively help other people love it here too; let’s help them thrive here, not just survive here.
Eagle has more than its fair share of challenges and issues. I personally believe that the solution to most of our challenges is healthy growth. I know some do not want to hear this, but our current population is too small to sustain us; did you know that our best estimate of the current population makes it the same as our elevation? Sales tax revenue growth, from more diverse sources, is vital; without it our Town Trustees and staff cannot meet the needs of our residents and businesses. That revenue will not be sufficient until we move past 6,600 and move closer to a 10,000 population.
That population must also be more diverse; we need far more folks in their 20s and 30s – they become the 40-somethings who are the backbone of our workforce, our business owners and our families, raising their children here, many of whom will move back here after college. That is, they will IF we do our jobs right in the meantime.
The 20-30+ age group needs less expensive housing, most of it for rent; we all know there is little of that to be had. There is no silver bullet for affordable housing, so we must grasp every chance that presents itself. Kudos to our Town Board and town staff for recently working to approve two “live-work” projects – R&H Mechanical and the Eagle Climbing Gym. These will be large buildings on Chambers Ave. providing commercial space and small apartments. We see this as a win-win and a trend worth encouraging in future.
Speaking of our Town Board, from attending most Trustees meetings, and recently quite a few Planning & Zoning Commission meetings, I know that our elected officials deserve our thanks for doing a thankless job.
They face a challenge when hearing public comment on many proposed development projects or other topics. Locals often turn out in numbers to oppose much-needed change, yet very few if any speak up in favor of these projects. This puts our leaders in an untenable position: if they support change and progress, they may appear to be going against ‘public opinion’ – that of their electorate. I believe the day of the silent majority is over. That is one reason the Eagle Chamber is excited to launch the Business Advocacy Council – you can learn more from the article on that topic in this Eagle’s Perspective.
On one final positive note, we are excited that the Town of Eagle is forging ahead with the development of a 5-year Strategic Plan; it establishes a common language with strategies designed to ensure a bright future for Eagle. This plan will provide a blueprint for healthy growth and ways to efficiently manage the challenges that come with it.
From my perspective, despite recent events and the challenges we face, our future is bright.
Announcing the Business Advocacy Council
The Eagle Chamber of Commerce is committed to helping you grow your business; protect your bottom line; improve employee recruitment; deliver higher profits, simpler regulations, business friendly policy, lower fees, less red tape; and to contribute to the economic vitality of our world class mountain town.
We are about to launch a new initiative to raise the bar on this commitment: The Eagle Chamber of Commerce’s Business Advocacy Council.
This initiative will help our town and county governments establish policy and make decisions that support healthy growth, economic vitality and local business.
The Council will give a voice to local business by developing strategic partnerships, maintaining good working relationships with the elected officials and staff of our county and our town, and advocating actions and outcomes that are of direct benefit to the Chamber’s members and the entire business community.
The Council will comprise up to 12 individuals from diverse backgrounds (some of Eagle’s brightest and best); it will be a close affiliate of the Eagle Chamber of Commerce, operating under the guidance, and with priorities set by, the Eagle Chamber of Commerce Board.
In the coming weeks watch for an announcement of the Council’s first public meeting: the first of regular monthly meetings that will bring together our county, town and business leadership into a new and fruitful collaboration.
Until then your Chamber will continue to lay the groundwork for Eagle’s first ever Business Advocacy Council. Eagle’s future is brighter than ever!
The Community Leadership Academy is coming to Eagle
Mick Daly, President, Eagle Chamber of Commerce
In my experience “Leadership” is the difference-maker, it’s the X-factor, in life, at home, at work and in our community. 23 years with IBM including 13 in management taught me a lot, but surprisingly little about leadership. What I know I have learned during 27 years in my current business where I manage no-one but myself, in the churches where I have volunteered and on the board of the Eagle Chamber, where I also serve as a volunteer.
Last year, discovering the Vail Center’s Community Leadership Academy (CLA) was an exciting experience for me. I saw a program that was developed upon principles that I wholeheartedly endorse, and that places a high priority on not just classroom learning, but on practical implementation of those leadership principles, skills and strategies.
The Academy is already proven in our valley, with numerous individuals having already grown as leaders through the program’s roundtable discussion, group collaboration, and case study analysis. Here is one testimonial:
“This course demonstrated that your ethics are your personal brand whether you realize it or not. When you look inside and align your work with your values you get more satisfaction out of work and it makes life more meaningful,” Leah Cribari, Eagle River Water & Sanitation District.
Through the generosity and collaboration of the Vail Center, the Eagle Chamber has been able to sponsor this 7-month program for our members, in Eagle at a 50% discount. For just $625 participants will meet on the 3rd Wednesday of each month, starting in September, from 10am to 2pm with lunch provided. We are pleased to extend this same offer to Gypsum Chamber members.
This new version of CLA is the first to offer Leadership Foundations for Local Business: a set of universal leadership principles and leading practices organized around character development, skillful actions and relationship building. A significant premise is that leadership engages us in other people’s lives, and before inserting ourselves, all of us should know how to lead our own lives first.
CLA is an experience for individuals looking to enhance their leadership capabilities and connect with other business owners and like-minded professionals in Eagle County. Registration is now open for Eagle and Gypsum Chamber members; select ‘Eagle Chamber Session’ and enter scholarship code eagle50 to receive 50% off.