Tim Herman, CEO Tim Herman, CEO

Former L. A. Lakers Coach Phil Jackson once said, “The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.”  From one retired coach to another, I couldn’t agree more.

Partnering with other businesses, nonprofits and communities is an excellent way to pool resources, and achieve efficiencies and levels of service that would not be achievable if we work in isolation. I see evidence of this everyday given the work that we do at the Flint & Genesee Chamber.

For example, our Shared Services Center partners with businesses and municipalities to help them gain efficiencies, increase customer satisfaction, and in some cases reduce costs via shared service agreements.

We are collaborating with local hotels, the Flint Downtown Development Authority, key organizations such as Genesee County Parks, CRIM Foundation, Back to the Bricks and others to increase tourism. A thriving tourism industry also supports growth in other sectors such as transportation, construction, agriculture and retail. In 2012, our Convention & Visitors Bureau generated $120 million in tourism economic impact. We expect a modest increase for 2013.*

We are partnering with Genesee County to develop a county wide economic development strategy to attract jobs and investment.  In 2013, our Economic Development group was responsible for hundreds of millions in investment and government contract value. * In addition, the partners of the I-69 International Trade Corridor -- the four-county alliance between Genesee, Shiawassee, Lapeer and St. Clair counties -- are creating a similar development strategy for the region.

Our Education & Training group partners with local schools, funders and vendors to prepare youth with the skills necessary to get a job and excel at a job in the highly competitive 21st Century job market. More than 12,000 students are trained through our Career Prep courses alone.

We are partnering with public and private sector enterprises to re-brand the community, which will, over time, change the national image and dialog about our region.

I could go on and on, but the bottom line is this… We are stronger together than we are separately. So we must find ways to work together to solve community challenges, grow the economy, retain and attract talent, and create jobs.

The Flint & Genesee Chamber is proud to be your partner in business. We are dedicated to the growth and prosperity of the Flint & Genesee region and look forward to helping your business achieve continued success in 2014.

Tim

* Actual figures for 2013 will be reported in April 2014