From the Chairman, Peter deSilva, 1/29/10

by

2010 Chamber Chairman Peter deSilva, Chairman & CEO of UMB Bank N.A.

Now that 2010 is in full swing, I wanted to take a minute and update you on some of the activities happening at The Chamber.

But before I do that, I first need to thank you for your ongoing commitment to The Chamber.  Without your support at the Leadership Circle level we could not continue to be the most prominent and effective voice for business in Greater Kansas City.  Given the state of the national and regional economy, it is more important than ever that the business community speak with one strong, single voice to advocate for our common interests.  Your continued support allows us to remain the largest and most effective voice in the region to advance the cause of business.

Knowing that this year would prove challenging, we decided to better focus our agenda on the following three critical areas:

1)      Quality jobs and economic growth.  We are pursuing a number of initiatives in this area including the development of new programs for small business, a renewed focus on supporting entrepreneurs, advancing the region’s strengths in life sciences and a focus on helping Kansas City, Missouri become the strong central city that our region needs.

2)      Best place to live and work.  In this day and age when people choose where to live first and where to work second, we have a strong sense of urgency to make Greater Kansas City the place where people want to put down long-term roots.  We have a number of initiatives in this area including promoting quality education through our superintendent’s forum, helping to develop the future leaders through the Centurions leadership program and making Greater Kansas City a green community through our Climate Protection Partnership.

3)      Advocacy and collaboration.  Never before has working together as one unified region been more important.  In a world where resources are scarce, and the competition for jobs and economic growth is fought on a global basis, we must work together on a shared agenda at the local, regional, state and federal level.  Your government affairs team has worked tirelessly with our key constituencies to develop a focused agenda and advocate for business every day.  

Another key focus of The Chamber is to identify and select our new CEO.  The search committee is in the process of interviewing candidates presently.  We have interviewed some dynamic candidates to date.  The search committee hopes to complete their work and have a new CEO selected by the end of the first quarter.

In closing, I hope that you are taking full advantage of your membership in The Chamber by participating in our many programs and activities.  As your Chair, I would also like to hear from you.  Please feel free to contact me at The Chamber’s office, by mail or by email at chair@kcchamber.com.

Very Truly Yours,

Peter J. deSilva
Chairman and CEO
UMB Bank N. A.
(816) 860-4614
peter.j.desilva@umb.com

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