Letter from the President

A Letter from the President/CEO of the Tempe Chamber

Mary Ann Miller web 2012I was giving a short tour to a colleague from California recently.  We drove down Rio Salado Parkway and Apache Boulevard, went past Arizona State University and the Biodesign Institute, stopped at Tempe Town Lake and strolled down Mill Avenue. I showed him the projects underway and described those planned.  At the end of an hour he turned to me and said, “Wow! You really like your community!”

Not only do I like it, I’m proud of the impact the Tempe Chamber has had on the community over the years.  It’s our job to create a strong local economy, represent the needs of businesses before government, promote the community, and provide networking opportunities.  We’ve been at the forefront of many issues, and have worked hand-in-hand with our partners at the City, the Tempe Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Downtown Tempe Community to position Tempe as a leader in one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country.

Among our many accomplishments:

  • Tempe Leadership was started in 1984.  More than 400 graduates have gone on to lead businesses, serve on non-profit boards and city commissions, and be elected to public office.
  • The Chamber was a forerunner in the state by dedicating a committee in the early 90s to the special issues faced by women in the business world.  The annual Women in Business Conference & Trade Show is still going strong.
  • The Tempe Chamber was the impetus behind the 1996 Tempe transit tax approval, lobbied extensively for light rail and worked closely with other stakeholders on the regional transportation plan.
  • Realizing the impact of construction of light rail, the Chamber partnered with the City of Tempe and Tempe School Credit Union to develop a low-cost line of credit program for affected businesses.  This program is the only one of its kind in the country.
  • Our efforts led to a new state law making it possible for corporate filing in one day.
  • A more-than-ten-year effort led to changes in Tempe’s sign code allowing for greater visibility for businesses.
  • Working with City departments, we helped develop a rehabilitation code that would encourage investment in older commercial properties without sacrificing safety.

And then there are the individual achievements — the businesses that have grown and prospered because of exposure they’ve received at our events, connections they’ve made at our committees and lessons they’ve learned at our seminars.  The Tempe Chamber offers a myriad of opportunities for personal and professional growth, and I couldn’t begin to list the success stories.

We at the Tempe Chamber realize that you can’t have a strong business community without healthy and effective schools, government and cultural organizations.  We pledge to continue to work to ensure that Tempe remains a leader in the nation while providing the day-to-day tools to  grow your business.

At the Tempe Chamber, “Your Success is Our Business” is more than a slogan – it’s a promise.

Mary Ann Miller
Tempe Chamber of Commerce