God, Country, Notre Dame.
Be a force for good.
Ask more of business.
Ask more of yourself.
These principles embody the core ethos of my Alma Matre Notre Dame. Emblazed on the buildings, walls of the classrooms, and hallways are these mantras. They speak to the University mission. And within the business school, they are the guiding principles and purpose for every student, faculty, and staff member. It speaks to going beyond driving profit and the bottom line to the greater good that is our community, our country, and the world. It tells us that business has the power to influence good in the world. It reminds us that individually, we can impact the positively the world.
Every course I took, whether qualitative or quantitative, included teachings on corporate responsibility, corporate sustainability, ethical business conduct, and making the world a better place personally and professionally. Engrained in my psyche is this ethos.
Four years ago, Ted came to me to ask me to get actively involved in the Chamber. I initially told Ted, I was not interested in networking and social gathering. Please don't get me wrong building relationships is a great and necessary thing in business. I told Ted I wanted to do impactful things. I wanted to be a part of doing things that are larger than promoting my business. Ted then proceeded to educate me on all the things that the Chamber had been doing for the past five years that directly impact our community, such as One Hopeful Place. He ended with classic Ted: "And Vince Mayfield, YOU can be a part of making an impact on our community, because if we don't do it, no one else will!" I was on board!
Ted did not lie; the past four years have been amazing. We have added to our success and impact with the Brooks Bridge Replacement, The Gulf View, Honoring our WWII Veterans, and the Half-Cent Sales Tax. Great people being a force for good in our community!
Everyone has asked me if I am excited about "my year." It is an embarrassing question for me because this year is not about me. It is about You. It is about Our Chamber. It is about Our Community. Four years ago, I never envisioned being the Chair of the Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce. It was an honor to be asked if I would serve as chair. It is an honor you have chosen me. Our mission this year is to be a force for good in our community. I believe a rising tide floats all boats. If we make our community great, that will, in turn, have a positive effect on our businesses and future generations.
This year happens to be Bit-Wizards' 20th Anniversary. As an entrepreneur and business owner, who has worked with my business partner Louis Erickson and our Wizards to create two successful award-winning businesses: Bit-Wizards and Talking Parents; I have learned that it is not about what I do. It is what we do together. To run a successful business, you have to have relentless persistence, be willing to take risks and have a bias towards execution. But, ultimately, you have to inspire people.
My questions to you as we begin this new year: What will you do to be a force for our community? How will your business do to help make an impact?
May we all be Blessed with a Great 2020 full of Successes!
Read this article in the January Coastlines.