Can we stand united?
I have been a member of the Tahoe Douglas Chamber of Commerce for 16 years, and have served as a director on the board for 14. I was president in 2002 when Leadership Lake Tahoe was started.
Since first being elected to the board, there have been conversations about merging the two chambers every year. The consensus then and now is that we are one community, promoting Lake Tahoe tourism and businesses on the South Shore. Of TDCC’s 650 members, over 300 of those are California businesses. We are all facing the same economic challenges at Lake Tahoe, and therefore should be one voice.
TDCC was able to open a beautiful visitor center, open seven days a week on the Nevada side. This center is filled with brochures promoting hundreds of our members, from both sides of the state line.
And this is where I think the opposing parties are missing the benefit of this merger. By bringing in Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority, the California side will now have a beautiful new state-of-the-art visitor center in the center of town. The South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce has never been able to do this on their own. What an incredible opportunity for the membership to be able to promote their businesses within this visitor center, and to wow those visitors entering our city.
The existing center, I think most will agree, isn’t all that impressive. And the new chamber will still provide networking opportunities, professional development programs, political advocacy, and events as both have always done in the past.
Those of you who attend the Business After Hour mixers know what invaluable networking comes of these, and it never matters which side of the state line they are on. The new chamber can provide all of these benefits to our membership, regardless of which side of the state line the staff sits.
And if a California business needs to meet with a chamber staff member and doesn’t want to cross into Nevada, they can certainly make an appointment at the California office.
This is one community. Our citizens all have the same vision and goal for a healthy economy, safe environment and good quality of life. There may be a state line running through it, but it shouldn’t be seen as an unbreakable wall between us. Let us really look at how this merger will benefit our members and visitors, and stand united as one.
And be sure, as a member, you vote for the new board of directors. Your vote counts in defining the leadership of this new venture.
– Diane Imbach of Pacific Crest Mortgage is a member of the TDCC Board of Directors and a past president.