Chairman’s Message

Were you at this year’s W.A.C.E. Conference in Anaheim?  Did you feel the magic?  Did you leave with a sense of challenge and the need to make important changes in your organization?  Are you now "thinking differently"?

2015 Conference Chair Pat Patrick and his conference planning team did a fantastic job of delivering great content and knocking us out of our comfort zones.  Thanks, Pat and team.

So now the torch has been passed.  2014-15 Chairman Steve Van Dorn from Santa Clara provided rock solid direction of W.A.C.E. programs and policies during his term.  I have accepted the challenge of continuing the great work made possible by Steve, the board of directors and the great W.A.C.E. staff.

And onward we will go!  At the conference I pledged that the coming year would be a year of enlightenment and progress.  Borrowing from a Jack Welch quotation, "The rate of change in our industry will be equal to or greater than the rate of change in society."  Anything less will be a step backward for chambers and for the communities they serve.
At the conference I promised that W.A.C.E. will listen to you.  As an investor in W.A.C.E., it is the board's job and the staff's job to help you sort out the daunting challenges our industry is facing and turn those problems into opportunities.

So engage.  Tap W.A.C.E. resources.  Our program priorities for the coming year are right on target for chambers that want to keep their edge sharp. 

Here are just a few programs and resources you can use to increase your Chamber's value to your investors and your community:

  • Executive Leaders Roundtable in Las Vegas in May
  • Political Action Boot Camp in June
  • Academy in August
  • Economic Development Essentials Training in August
  • Our  fall webinar series
  • Improving the W.A.C.E. Resource Library
  • Identification of risks and opportunities on the horizon
  • Helping you communicate value
  • The February 2016 Conference in San Francisco

A complete list of W.A.C.E. program priorities are outlined on the website at

Mike Varney
2015-2016 W.A.C.E. Board Chair
Tucson Metro (AZ) Chamber

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