A Letter From the Chairman of the Board
The first known Chamber of Commerce was formed in 1599 in Marseille, France. It’s believed that a group of French cattle ranchers banded together in an effort to find just the right companion to a new culinary delight – the hamburger. With the prevailing west winds off the southern coast of France making the soil perfect for potato growing, they began trying to figure out what to do with the abundance of potatoes. After much trial and error, Jean-Baptiste Gaudin happened upon a process by where potatoes were sliced and slivered and then boiled in oil. Gaudin declared, “That is how to make a French fry.”
Hello, friends. Let me introduce myself. My name is Jeff Mirasola, and I am the incoming chairman for the Tempe Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. I’m taking the gavel from Jack Pisano, who has served admirably as chairman for the past year. I want to join the board, staff and members in sincerely thanking Jack for his year of service.
Before I comment on the French fry story, I’ll tell you a little about myself. I first arrived in Tempe as a college freshman in the late ’70s. Originally from Wisconsin, my first visit before college was on a vacation to escape the oppressive Midwest winter. I eventually transferred to ASU and set out to earn a degree in journalism and telecommunications. After nearly two decades working in the news business, the last three years in Phoenix, I decided to change courses. I first worked as Public Relations Director for Qwest and now as Director of State and Local Government Affairs for CenturyLink.
Now as far as the French fry. I wanted to make sure I got your attention so I just made up a story. Not the part about Marseille, France. According to Wikipedia, that part is true. I’m trying to illustrate the fact that you will read a lot of things from a lot of sources these days, and the challenge is being able to ferret out the truth.
As business owners, you should take solace in the fact that the Tempe Chamber of Commerce is your business sentry watching out for your best interests. With the resources of the East Valley Chamber of Commerce Alliance (a multi-chamber organization based in the East Valley), the Tempe Chamber is keeping tabs on the state legislature along with other entities to make sure you operate in a business-friendly, tax-healthy environment. That’s just one of the many values of membership.
I encourage you to take advantage of everything the Chamber has to offer. There are a number of programs to help develop your business, grow yourself as a business leader and that teach you how to implement best practices. I invite you to rediscover the Chamber’s website at www.tempechamber.org.
I truly believe we are finally in the second year of an economic upturn. No, it may still not be the way it was prior to 2007, but we are going in the right direction. It’s now more important than ever as a business owner to operate efficiently utilizing every edge available. We’re all in this together. We will win.
Chairman, Tempe Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors