As we look around, it is amazing to think this year is winding down and transitioning into the holiday season. The stores are beginning to display their holiday décor causing us to think of gifts and reconnecting with those we do not get to see as much as we would like. It is also a great time to think about what we want for our businesses and ourselves in the coming year. I never really have been good about taking stock of my year personally, but have always spent the end of the year evaluating what went well from a work standpoint and what we still have to do. Working at a Chamber of Commerce has enabled me to see a greater importance in reflection and how so many different people utilize this time to do so.
Personally this has been a great year, but also one filled with a number of challenges carrying over into next year. Taking stock I bought a house, moved, rid myself of some destructive personal habits, and taken on new roles personally and professionally. The amazing thing is as I accomplished each of the things above it lead to many more projects for this coming year. Now I find myself planning a first quarter remodel that will inevitably carry through the entire year as I am doing much of the work myself. As everyone will say one of my plans for the coming year will be to get in better shape, but it will not be a resolution, it will be part of an action plan. Much like our professional lives, we need to take the time to plan out what we want to see for ourselves and go about it methodically and with purpose.
Over the first quarter of the year, we have seen some massive changes and new opportunities develop here at the Chamber. Some of the accomplishments have been a strong collaboration and involvement in zoning and planning enhancements, launch of a business journal, a second successful Best of Manhattan, and the continued development of a great team internally as well as externally. Working alongside the businesses in the community, we have engaged the City on developing real, long term strategies for what the City should become. Celebrating and educating the business community are two of the four main reasons we exist which is why the new quarterly business journal was a no brainer, as was the Best of Manhattan. One of the biggest accomplishments has been the rounding out of our staff and volunteer leadership team. To that extent I would like to welcome both Marty Ensberg as our Chair-elect and Kayla Keohi as our new Office Manager. Both of who are proud to be able to serve the community and help drive success at every turn.
Looking to the end of this year, our second financial quarter, will be no let down with the public unveiling of the Manhattan Beach Video, a holiday extravaganza, a promotional tour de force for our business community, and enhanced education opportunities. As many of you have probably seen, the Manhattan Beach Video is an action packed five minutes helping to sell all that is Manhattan Beach. Starting in the coming weeks it will be broadcast on the City cable station, in South Bay Yellow Cabs, in rooms at some of our area hotels, and in outlying feeder markets. If a party is what you are after, we are proud to partner with Verandas Beach House to put together an iconic business mixer for the ages. Helping businesses to get in front of people is always fun and over the next couple of months, the promotional tour is in full effect with a holiday stocking full of everything Manhattan Beach and publicity for DineMB restaurants.
The best part about all of this is knowing we are just scratching the iceberg to what is in store for next year. Over the first six months of the New Year, the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce will launch two new entrepreneurial organizations, a redesigned map of Manhattan Beach, an amazing follow-up to the reformatted Business Leaders Summit, and an enhanced schedule for Manhattan Movie Nights among many other things. Each of the entrepreneurial organizations will focus on different segments of our community with the first focused on middle and high school students, while the second helps potential and current business owners answer some of the tough questions. As you can see, the opportunity to promote and develop continues throughout the New Year.
I could not be more proud of the amazing staff and community we have developed here at the Manhattan Beach Chamber. It is always great to take a step back and evaluate what we have done and what we would like to do, but never forget that must start with you as an individual. As amazing a job as I have, it would mean nothing without the times I spend away from here. Make sure as you review what you need to finish the year strong you also leave time for rounding out yourself as well.
By: James O’Callaghan