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Monday, January 10, 2011

Common Ground

The senseless and tragic shootings in Arizona Saturday gave me pause as I attempted to digest the horror.  Once I was able to get out of reporter mode (yes I still have a voracious appetite for news) my attention moved to cause.

What I have found is that Americans are always ready to cast blame.  Take the breach in ethics by local politicians, for example.  It was easy for most to point fingers of disdain at corrupt public officials but we elected them over and over again.  We also allowed for a system to be in place that catered to this type of behavior—side deals, little to no disclosure, familial favoritism…the list goes on and on.

Last week many in Broward County reacted quickly to the Miami Dolphins’ proposal for using bed tax dollars for upgrades to Sun Life Stadium in order to continually attract Super Bowls, Pro Bowls and other entertainment which generates millions locally.  Everyone, including myself, so quick to respond to questions when instead it would have made more sense to say, “no comment” until we had a chance to talk to Mike Dees, Dolphins’ president.

Our society is like a microwave of information, maybe even faster.  If you take polarized viewpoints though hundreds of channels of information and give everyone access to the debate sooner or later it will end in chaos--someone hurt or worse yet killed.

In a civilized society there must be an ability to disagree without being disagreeable.  As business leaders we must temper our sarcasm and reaction to situations and proffer sustainable solutions.  Our politicians must replace rhetoric and mudslinging with consensual foresight.

We have the ability to be a great community by meeting on common ground.  There is no other compelling option.


Chamber Newsbriefs

Madsen leads Board…Christine Madsen, Mad 4 Marketing, is the new chair of the Board of Directors…succeeds Robert Barron, Berger Singerman.  2012 Chair-Elect is Andreas Ioannou, general manager of the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort and Gallery One.  2013 Chair-Elect designate is Chuck Mohr, BankAtlantic.  To see the entire 2011 Board, please click here.

Mimosas on Sunday…Fort Lauderdale commissioners gave the green light to serving alcohol prior to noon on Sunday…no package liquor sales until 12 noon still.  Chamber CEO Dan Lindblade testified along with Chamber members Tim Schiavnone, The World Famous Parrot Lounge, and Ina Lee, Travelhost Media.

Welcome new/returning members…Jeb Travel, Decimal Engineering, J. Marks Restaurant, Michele’s Place, Patriot Risk Management, Project Coordinating Services, Retail Property Group, St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Sweeney Matz & Co., TW Telecom, Creative Connection, Friends of South Side School, The Lighting Outlet, Pacesetter Personnel Service, Powerschram, Rare Las Olas, SOI-Strategic Outsourcing, Strategic Market Solutions, TD Wealth Management, Volona.

Economic indicators mixed bag…tourism numbers strong while housing, employment lag.  Over 350,000 collecting unemployment in tri-county…Broward County unemployment at 10.8% (105,640) in Nov. 2010.  Nov. bed tax revenues up 16 percent at $2,628,789, marking 10 consecutive months of gains. Airport passenger traffic up 10 percent in Nov. at 1.9 million passengers for 15 monthly increases.  Residential real estate bumping bottom…seven months of downward sales for existing single-family homes, five for condos.

Next century of business…join over 400 business leaders at the Chamber’s 101st Annual Meeting Present by BB&T, Tuesday, Feb. 22, 11:30 am, Signature Grand.  Hear from new Board Chair Chris Madsen and immediate past chair Robert Barron as they pass the gavel.  Keynote speaker is Roy Krause, CEO of SFN Group, a Fortune 1000 company.  Register here, contact for more info.

SEO gearing up…over 30 top level executives registered for the four session, top level class.  SEO is the Chamber’s accelerated C-suite training program jointly run by GFLCC and Leadership Broward.  Contact for more info.

Beach service, please…you soon may see wait staff serving food and beverage for guests on Fort Lauderdale’s famed golden sand.  Chamber and city officials working on a plan making it reality.  Watch for this to be done in phases. 


Posted by: Dan Lindblade, CAE @ 1:21:13 pm 
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