To Quote The King, “Uh Thank You – Thank You Very Much.”

  • By: Bruce Batti, Fresno Chamber of Commerce Board Chairman and President of JSA

By the time this issue hits your mailbox, we will be closing in on one of my favorite holidays – Thanksgiving.  And in honor of the holiday that often gets a bad rap as being a mere speed-bump before Christmas, it only seems appropriate that I dedicate this month’s column to its first syllable. As a business community, we spend 364 days a year working on “what I need” and “what I want”, so it only seems right that we spend at least one day devoted to being thankful for what we already have.

So in no particular order of importance, here are things that I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving:

I’m thankful for leaders like Larry Powell, who remind us what truly selfless acts look like and can mean to a community.

I’m thankful for a Local Business Preference. (Except when I’m submitting a proposal for business out-of-town. Then, not so much.)

After personally working downtown for over 35 years, I’m thankful for Mayor Swearengin and her team’s dogged determination to rightfully make our downtown the central hub of the Valley.

At 57 years old, I’m thankful that I have all my teeth, and unlike Al Smith, not prone to bouts of incontinence. (I kid, because I love.)

I’m thankful that we have the Grizzlies and Triple-A baseball in a beautiful downtown ballpark. And for Fresno summer nights.

I’m thankful that, for the first time in my life, folks from all over this great valley are working in a collaborative fashion to improve the lives of each and every resident.

I’m thankful that my family doesn’t go around the table at Thanksgiving dinner and make everyone say what they are thankful for. I’ve been subjected to this and trust me, it can produce its share of socially awkward moments.

Having only used Apple computers, I’m thankful for Steve Jobs and my iPhone, iPad, iMac and iPod. May he rest in iPeace.

I’m grateful and thankful that the Fresno Chamber has Al Smith at the helm, Anna Borgeas as COO, and a dedicated and talented staff.  I’m also thankful that I am proficient at sucking up.

I’m thankful for my alma mater, Fresno State University for taking a strong leadership role in our community.  And for letting me still attend home games after that incident in ’92.  GO DOGS!

And speaking of Fresno State, I’m thankful that Facebook and iPhone cameras weren’t around when I was in my twenties.  I would have hated to have my stupidity chronicled for all to see.  It was bad enough for those who had to witness it firsthand.

With two daughters in private colleges, I’m thankful for the three s’s: scholarships, student loans and Skype.

With 25 years of marriage in the books, I’m thankful that my wife Wendy hasn’t divorced me. She is organized, obsesses about being tidy and is a control freak.  Think Martha Stewart – but more rigid and less flexible. I’m more of a paper piles on my desk, workout clothes in the bathtub, let’s do the dishes in the morning kind of guy.  Think Oscar Madison – but messier. An odd couple?  Yes, but we’ve made it this far, and for that I’m thankful.


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