As have many directors before me, I am asked to represent the Chamber membership on various community committees. I consider these requests to be an important role in serving the community; it’s another way your Chamber membership is actively working toward fulfilling our mission of a better and prosperous business economy.
I’ve had the pleasure of assisting with the research and analysis of the school district’s facilities needs, as well as offering leadership with Oktoberfest, Festival of Faith and many other groups.
Most recently, I served on the Fort Hays State University presidential national search committee, charged with finding Dr. Edward Hammond’s replacement after his nearly 28 years at the helm.
After six months of receiving and reviewing applications, the committee invited five candidates to campus in April. Not only did the committee view this as a time to better know each finalist, we recognized this as our chance to share more about Hays and FHSU’s accomplishments. I’ve personally escorted each candidate around, providing a high-level city tour. For those bringing along his or her spouse, I’ve spent additional quality time showing off our city.
Viewing the community through these visitors’ perspectives made me even more proud of our town’s accomplishments. Scene after scene, I pointed out examples of where public and private entities forged together to make progress where needed. Whether it was developing student housing; combining learning centers with tourist destinations such as Sternberg Museum; or offering joint economic development solutions such as the proposed Convention Center, all depict healthy partnerships and collaboration.
At the newsletter’s press time, no candidate has been selected, but I am so honored to be part of this historic experience. More importantly, this Chamber’s involvement secures a quality connection with the future FHSU President.
When the business community partners with FHSU, all of Hays and our neighbors reap the benefits by having a stronger local economy.
Tammy Wellbrock is executive director of the Hays Area Chamber of Commerce.