Eaves Dropping on a Committee Meeting

  • By: Doug Betts, Business/Education Committee Chairman

Our committee’s May 8, 2012 meeting began at 7:31 a.m. in the Gottschalks Conference Room of the Fresno Chamber.

We began with self-introductions and stakeholder reports.  I believe this part of the meeting is one of the most valuable parts of being a member of this committee, although it is not represented as such in the minutes.  Each person introduces themselves by name, identifies their organization and shares interest/involvement/concerns as related to the mission of the Business/Education Committee.  Each person’s report tends to inspire some exchange of ideas, comments, sharing of resources and contacts that typically help to advance the objectives of the other entities at the table.

Although our attendance at the May meeting was unusually low due to an email glitch, we like to work on the adage that every cloud has a silver lining. The uniquely small size of the group lent itself to an exceptionally dynamic exchange of information. I should say, regardless of attendance numbers, our meetings tend to be very productive for the participants due to the nature of our focus.

Most of our agenda items fell into the category of routine but still generated signification interchanges.

One of the items on the agenda was a report on the progress of work on an initiative of Chamber Chair Scott Miller.  Scott approached our committee a couple months ago about his idea for…..  Oops, sorry about that, I guess I can’t tell you about that yet because it is still “Eyes Only” status.  What I can say is everyone at the table had suggestions and advice for this truly exciting project which has everyone enthused about the its potential.  Two of the six people at the meeting indicated they wanted to participate on the planning team for this new project, something I think further illustrates how serving on Chamber committees can provide you ground floor input key to shaping the future of our region.

Next up, Ralph Jacinto from the Fresno County Department of Social Services presented the results of surveys of employers and job seekers who participated in our recent Mayor’s Youth Job Fair.  We bandied about many comments and ideas to make next year even better.  We determined a tentative date, Wednesday March 27, for the next event based on 2013 Spring Break schedules for Fresno,Clovis, and Central Unified School   Districts. With all the kids out on break, it’s an ideal time for a job fair! In past years we did not have a date in mind until probably December or January, so we are already on the ball for next year’s event.

The final agenda item was our newly created “Entity-Project Tracking Chart”.  We began by discussing the relevance of this chart and ideas for enhancing its usefulness. We also talked about its value as a central repository for what is happening in our community around the theme of Business and Education working together to “promote business and the financial and cultural well-being ofFresnoCountyresidents”.   Ooh… look at that, I just slipped in another reference to our Chamber’s worthy mission statement.

So, now you have a taste of one of our meetings – doesn’t it make you want to check it out for yourself?

If you would like to help us in our efforts to improve the future workforce and business leadership in the Fresno area, please join us for our next Business / Education Committee Meeting right here at the Fresno Chamber of Commerce at 7:30 a.m. on the second Tuesday of each month.  We look forward to seeing you here!

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