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

Saturated on Saturday

The Chamber’s Community Conference is quite the draw, including Congressman Allen Boyd, public officials from all over the Big Bend region, water buffalo, and entertainment right out of the Magic Kingdom. If the day’s agenda didn’t saturate you, the humidity and afternoon raindrops at the Kim and Mayda Williams’ Annual Water Buffalo Party at pool certainly would have.

Congressman Boyd shared his thoughts on numerous items on national and region happenings from the “blue dog” perspective. Alan Matheson, Executive Director of Envision Utah, spoke on the background and history of how their regional visioning helped their region evolve and become a national model for charting responsible and smart growth. As the general session moved to breakouts, the choices of which session to attend were tough as all looked to be loaded with insightful topics and presenters. Sessions included Knight Creative Community Initiative, Workforce Readiness, Going Green, and a Regional Overview. The Regional panel was informative and encouraging – it’s not often that you can hear representatives from Audubon of Florida and the Florida Builders Association agreeing on the future path of progress for our region. Max Martinez from Gadsden County’s health department gave an impassioned talk on regional healthcare, along with Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare’s Bill Giudice who shared valuable insight on the healthcare facilities throughout the region.

The lunch program featured Dr. James Ammons, President, FAMU and his talk was energetic, engaging and refreshing. The new attitude and approach along with the offer to be an integral part of the community was exciting to hear. Dr. Ammons gave a realistic and honest assessment of what lies ahead for FAMU, both the good and challenging tasks to be dealt with. The entire room quickly captured his vision for FAMU’s greatest days being ahead and all of us becoming a part of the Rattler fan club.

Hit the pool…the Annual Water Buffalo Party is one of those special social events where conference attendee’s are as about as relaxed as you can get, bathing suits and a bar, thanks to Target Copy and Marpan Supply. This is Tallahassee’s social scene like you won’t see anywhere else. A quick afternoon thundershower was timely to send everyone in to rest before the reception and evening banquet.

It is always a pleasure to go to one of the community’s best dinner events and be in comfortable casual clothing. A packed reception in exhibition area provided a good opportunity for everyone to meet and greet. Tables full of guests, good food and lively conversations kept the room buzzing. From politics to teenagers, Kimberly Moore from Workforce Plus and Becky Liner with the James Madison Institute shared some good times and laughs. The crowd was entertained by the A Cappella group, Return 2 Zero, with old time favorites that had Dee Crumpler and Chucha Barber singing out loud.

If that wasn’t enough then you could follow Shelia Costigan, Jay Bostwick and numerous others down to Champ’s for the Chair-Elect’s after-dinner party, hosted by Ron Sachs. There was definitely some dancing going on, oh yeah; there were probably a few Tally Martini’s being downed by the group. This definitely was saturation Saturday – lots to take in mentally, visually and physically.

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