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Last week I joked about the fact that people ask me what I do as the president of the Chamber of Commerce. Literally the next day I went to Wendy's to grab a burger to take back to my office. As I stepped up to the counter to place my order, the very nice and friendly lady behind the cash register asked me… so what exactly do you do with the Chamber of Commerce? Ah, there is at least one person who reads my column. Thank you.

I enjoy planning all the things we do for the Fourth of July celebration. As a fundraising project for our Chamber of Commerce, the amount of profit is important. However, the way I know if we did a good job or not has nothing to do with the income or the letters to the editor. Yet it is all about the smiles I get to see along the parade route and in Gough Park. If everyone is having fun, we must have done a good job.

I get a real thrill out of meeting new first-time visitors to Grant County. We talk about the great weather. We talk about places to visit. We talk about food, traffic, and entertainment. And it always feels great to shake their hands as those visitors leave to try some of the things we discussed. And when we receive their Thank You card… that's just icing on the cake.

A good day is when someone calls or stops by needing help with an issue and we are able to find a solution. The handshake, the smile, sometimes a hug… man, that's what makes this job feel so good.

However, the one thing that really pleases me the most is when we can do something that absolutely helps our local economy. I got one of those types of emails this afternoon. We have worked with a group on a project for Grant County, and all the time and effort looks like it is going to pay off. I can't say what is happening due to confidentiality, but it will be good. It's definitely a step in the right direction. This is the pay-off that keeps me up at night, wondering if it will happen, when will it happen? And then I read a short email… success is achieved.

Now that we are managing the Grant County Conference Center, it is a thrill to help people pull together an activity in one of our Conference Center rooms. Sharing our ideas to help them have a great and successful event is rewarding to us. It truly is about helping other people… and WOW… it is fun!

So how can we help you? We're only a phone call away. Give us a try… 575-538-3785.

On a personal note, I and many others spoke favorably to the Western New Mexico University Board of Regents regarding the job being performed by President Joe Shepard. During the six years of his service in Silver City, many changes have taken place at WNMU. He is a fantastic leader for the University. He is a man of vision who strives to make those dreams come true. His work and dedication to build a great team around him to not only meet goals, but to over-achieve those goals makes him a special guy in my book. Dr. Shepard, thank you for all the things you have done on campus and within our community. We appreciate the work you have done, and we look forward to WNMU achieving even greater successes in the future.

Live from Silver City

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