Originally known simply as “Peak XV,” Mount Everest, at 29,035 feet, offers views from the highest point on earth. In this blog, our leadership team brings you up-to-date and relevant perspectives on industry happenings, what’s in the media and executive insights. Read on, and enjoy the view from the top.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Leaving a City and Returning to a Region

I have not seen the movie Transformers, but I witnessed a bunch of them in action this past weekend at the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce Annual Community Conference. Public officials from Taylor, Madison, Jefferson, Wakulla, Gadsden, and Leon County all committing to cooperating together to grow our region responsibly. The conference is always good, but this one was indeed pivotal with positive new direction. Chamber Chair, Randy Hanna , with Bryant Miller and Olive P.A. has set the bar high for the future, and all in a deliberate and impressive manner.

While our region begins to mature, we can't forget about our children. State Representative Loranne Ausley has to be the children's champion in Florida. Loranne gave an informative update on Whole Child Leon and legislative progress on other children's initiatives in Florida.

Economic Development Council Chair and Tallahassee Community College President, Dr. Bill Law, gave an update of how Tallahassee has positively positioned itself to continue to catch the eyes of business across the nation that are seeking to relocate and grow in a progressive community. Dr. Law is a picture of progress himself as he was the only conference attendee to be sporting an iPhone.

Dr. T. K. Wetherell, President of Florida State University, gave the conference a lesson in real math and how many of the decisions being made by the state's leaders are not grounded in solid numbers. Cutbacks and caps facing our state universities may be worth another special session.

I have been attending the Chamber's Annual Community Conference for approximately 10 years and without a doubt, this one had more insight and true action to move us forward as a united community in the future. I felt like I left a city and returned to a region.

Speaking of the region, if you have ideas for naming and branding our special area in North Florida and South Georgia, visit http://www.ourregiontomorrow.org/ and give your suggestion.

My special thanks to Steve Liner, Bob Gabordi, and the Tallahassee Democrat staff for allowing me the opportunity to blog the Chamber Conference this year. Just another fine example of how our newspaper is engaging the community far beyond newsprint. This weekend reminded me how very fortunate we are with our community, leaders, businesses and people that make our region the best in Florida.

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