Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Farewell address from Barry Fisher, outgoing Chamber Board of Governors Chair

Barry Fisher, 69-WFMZ-TV &, The Chamber Board of Governors Chair

It has been an honor to serve as your chairperson for two years. Time moves quickly, and it seems like the past two years have moved faster than any before. 

I started volunteering with the Chamber in the 1980's. Back then, Allentown seemed as far from Easton as Harrisburg was from New York.  Since that time, the Lehigh Valley has grown closer together and much stronger as a region. We have seen wonderful economic growth, and entertainment options are now more abundant than before.

A lot of credit to bridging the gap between the communities goes to Tony Iannelli and our Chamber team. Once served by a multitude of disconnected Chambers, the Lehigh Valley has unified to form the 7th largest Chamber in the country! I really cannot stress how important those bragging rights are to influencing the perception of the Lehigh Valley.

Along the way, many former Chamber Board members played a significant role in the growth of our Chamber. A few are no longer with us, but are still remembered for their efforts, including Elmer Gates, Henrietta Frey, Brent Peters, Ron Rucker, and many others. These members volunteered their time and talents to advance the Chamber's mission and serve our businesses. While we have a very capable and motivated staff, it is your willingness to volunteer your time and that continues to move us forward in making the Lehigh Valley a better place to live and do business.

So as I depart, many new faces will move up the ladder in July. Dorota Kozak takes the helm as Chairperson, John Hayes steps into the Vice Chair spot and will head up the Public Policy Committee. I move to the other side of the table to join other former chairpersons, Anne Baum, Buddy Lesavoy, Gregg Feinberg, and Steve Patterson, all of whom I greatly respect for their impact on our Chamber.

Thank you all for the privilege of working with you over many years. I look forward to serving with you in some other capacity as time moves on to further the progress and imprint of our beloved Lehigh Valley.

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