Chamber dust will settle

Emily Bialkowski
Argus Managing Editor

Significant news was shared at the Sept. 12 Caledonia Area Chamber of Commerce meeting.

The president and vice president both resigned.

I don’t think their reason for resignation is anything unusual or something to conspire about. The fact of the matter is that this volunteer organization creates a certain degree of demand from the individuals involved, and I’m sure they could no longer keep up with that responsibility and all the other responsibilities of everyday life.

I’m told the ensuing conversation among those who attended the meeting was grounded yet urgent.

Other members of the chamber board, by default, will step up to take the reins before a new president and vice president can be recruited.

A recruitment committee was established, and efforts will be made to solidify a group of leaders to help navigate all the wonderful promotions and efforts of the chamber of commerce.

These types of incidents can be disconcerting and often produce many questions.

What is the chamber’s mission?

What does the chamber hope to accomplish in the next year?

How much money is there available to support programming and staffing?

It’s tough, no doubt.

Volunteering can be tough, too. Quite often a core group of individuals spearhead any given project or committee and land up sacrificing personal time, sometimes money, to help their cause.

They often entertain recommendations of how to make events better, and that – depending on the delivery method – can be frustrating when you’ve just given up a huge amount of time and energy to get the program launched or maintain an existing program.

We can all sit around and say, “Why didn’t they do this?” But the fact of the matter is we shouldn’t if we’re not willing to work on the issue ourselves.

I have a huge amount of respect for the people in this community who volunteer for Rotary or the Lions or fundraisers or the food shelf or athletic boosters or the chamber or the county fair board. Without volunteers many, many recreational, business and philanthropic opportunities would evaporate.

The dust created by this change at the chamber will eventually settle. In the meantime we can support the individuals trying to steady the reins with encouraging comments, volunteerism (if possible) and a thank you for taking the time to make a difference in our community.


You can contact Emily Bialkowski at [email protected]