David's Blog

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Duluth has Much to Shout About

There are transformational moments in each person's, each family's, and each organization's existence. The Chamber's membership experienced a seminal moment at our recently held Annual Dinner Celebration. The moment embodied a compelling combination of optimism, vitality and levity.

This seminal moment was also one for the record books; certainly for the Duluth Area Chamber's record books. I strongly suspect it was also the first of its kind for the Chamber industry at a worldwide level.

In his remarks presented to the 1,035 attendees, Chamber board chairperson Pat Heffernan conveyed his optimism for our beloved community. He concluded his remarks by indicating that he is so inspired by the possibilities for Duluth that it made him want to shout. With that as a cue, dozens of attendees jumped up from their chairs and danced their way on to the stage, where they transformed into a Flash Mob. The mob "grooved" to the song, Shout, made famous by Otis Day & the Knights.  I never thought I would see the day.

I was heartened by this celebratory moment. It conveyed the energy and the confidence we share for our Shining City on the Hill. Our keynote speaker at the Celebration, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, also conveyed his excitement for Duluth. He expressed that he sees Duluth as a cool, hip city that offers natural beauty, a compelling arts and entertainment scene, an affordable place to build a business, and a sense of place that most other communities simply cannot match.

Our own Mayor Don Ness also communicated his appreciation for the Chamber's leadership role in bringing jobs, private investment, and optimism to our community. He specifically applauded our collaborative efforts in partnering with other organizations to move our community forward.

It was a remarkable evening wherein every person who had the privilege of addressing the audience expressed his or her belief that our Zenith City on the Greatest of the Great Lakes is ideally positioned for future prosperity.

We are enjoying an optimistic, transformational year within our Chamber, as illustrated at the Annual Dinner. At 142 years old, the Chamber is gaining energy and vitality. We are doing so because we have leaders like Pat Heffernan who believe in our community and are eager to shout about it.

Not only do our 25 board members believe in Duluth; they are willing to put forth the effort to move our business community forward. With them at the lead, we will do the best we can with what we have. Thankfully, we have much to work with.

In support, 

posted by David Ross at


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