November is the time when many organizations start planning for the next year. And it’s also a time when many of us reflect -- personally and professionally -- on the many things for which we are thankful.

Here in Flint & Genesee, we have so many things to be grateful for this year. We have created a competitive business climate in which companies are succeeding and growing, putting us on the right path for an economic recovery.

We are an integral part of the seven-county I-69 Thumb Region partnership that allows us to pool resources to compete more effectively for investment and jobs.

Our Shared Services Center is really starting to produce results and the Center’s Leadership Alliance is training leaders to identify opportunities for shared services agreements that increase efficiencies, improve public services and reduces costs.

We are reaching more children K-12 through our youth education and training programs. And we are helping to connect an underserved population of youth ages 18-24 to jobs.

More people are choosing to live, work and visit Flint & Genesee and are becoming some of our biggest ambassadors.

I’m also thankful for the Flint & Genesee Chamber staff. Their dedication to creating a revitalized Flint & Genesee is truly admirable. You have a great group of people working on your behalf.

Lastly, I am grateful for my grandson. I became a first-time grandfather to little William. And it is a feeling like no other!

I encourage everyone to take a little time to reflect on what’s positive in your life and be joyful -- about your family, your community and the world. There really is a lot to be thankful for.

Have a happy Thanksgiving!