Blue Ribon Panel to research next big idea
Where will the Aiken Chamber of Commerce and the community be in five years when the Chamber celebrates its 100th anniversary?
It is a natural question for any organization approaching the century mark – and one that has caught the attention of the Chamber’s 2013 board of directors.
“It’s a simple question but one with all kinds of possible answers,” said 2013 Chamber Chair Steve Wilson, SRP Federal Credit Union. “We need to look at the big picture and come up with the next big idea, or ideas, for the Chamber and for our community. It needs to be an idea that builds upon our successes and best practices – one that positively impacts our economy and quality of life,” Wilson said.
Wilson has appointed a 24-member blue ribbon panel to research and make recommendations for that next big idea, or ideas. The panel will be chaired by the Chamber’s Immediate Past Chair Arthur W. “Buzz” Rich, Esq.
“I’m excited about the possibilities the work of the blue ribbon panel will bring,” said Rich. “I feel that we are ready for the next big idea, or ideas, that will enhance quality of life and economic vitality for our community. The ultimate goal is to find the next great initiative that will sustain Aiken as a desirable community into the future,” he said.
“We have a good cross-section of people on the panel, and many have expressed great excitement about the research and brainstorming they will be doing. I look forward to engaging our collective resources to envision new ideas for the community we love,” Rich said.
The blue ribbon panel includes past chairs and current board members of the Aiken Chamber, Aiken Young Professionals (AYP) rising stars, several at-large members, and three ex-officio members. The panel facilitator is Douglas (Doug) E. Rabold.
The panel will review national studies that rank cities in a variety of ways and see if there are common themes to their success that are missing in Aiken. The group, composed of some of Aiken’s best strategic thinkers, will be looking for best practices, innovation, and programs and/or projects that could add quality of life and/or economic value to the Aiken community.
The volunteer panel will conduct its work in 2013. In August, it will recommend ideas to the Chamber Board for implementation in 2014 and beyond.
“We all want what’s best for our community now and in the future. A bright future should never be assumed, so we must always pursue it through careful planning. The Aiken Chamber has begun this important process,” Wilson said.
Blue Ribbon Panel
Chief Operating Officer
Aiken Regional Medical Centers
Retired City Councilwoman
City of Aiken
David B. Cozad
Patrick (Pat) D. Cunning
Timothy (Tim) N. Dangerfield
TD Consultants, LLC
Gemma K. Frock, Ph.D
Vice President of Education and Training
Aiken Technical College
Editor & Publisher
The Aiken Horse and The Dog & Hound
Director, Government and Community Relations
Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, LLC
Thomas L. (Tom) Hallman, Ph.D
Distinguished Chancellor Emeritus
University of South Carolina Aiken
Mallory H. Holley
Community Medical Clinic of Aiken County
Clifton T. Jones, Ph.D
Dean, School of Business Administration
University of South Carolina Aiken
Christine (Chrissa) M. Matthews
Daybreak Adult Care Services
Catharine (Catie) E. Rabun
Arthur W. (Buzz) Rich – Chair
Linda J. Strojan
Aiken High School
John C. (Chris) Verenes
Chairman and CEO
Security Federal Bank
Economic Development Partnership
Director of Public Affairs
J. David Jameson
Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce
Aiken Brokerage TMC Manager
UPS Customs Brokerage
Vice President of Branches
SRP Federal Credit Union