Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Chairman's Message: Help Us Shape the Next 50 Years

Lockwood Wernet - Destin Water Users, Inc.
While growing up in Indiana, my parents instilled in me and my siblings the sense that it is our civic duty and responsibility to give back and serve the community in which we live.  Furthermore, it has been the mission of my employer, Destin Water Users, to do our part to preserve this paradise we call home.  With that in mind, it is my honor and privilege to serve as 2017 Chairman of the Destin Chamber Board of Directors.
I moved to the Gulf Coast in 1984, where I met a native Pensacola girl, Delores, who has been my bride for over 32 years. Together, we raised our son, who is married with two beautiful children, here.  Our roots run deep along the Emerald Coast.
Through the years, I have worked in real estate development and management, local government, and municipal services, and I have worked in the Destin/Fort Walton Beach area since 1990.  I point these things out to show that I have been around long enough to have experienced some of the booms and busts in our economy; to understand the things that drive our regional economic engine; and to know what it takes to recover from a natural disaster.  It is my hope that I can apply some of the knowledge and wisdom I have gained through my years along the Gulf Coast to help guide the Destin Chamber in 2017.  
The Destin Chamber has just celebrated 50 years of success, and as we look back, we can be proud of what we have accomplished.  The Chamber has been at the forefront of shaping and molding the community we live in by advocating for business.  However, we cannot rest on what has been, we must look forward and begin working on what will be.
The mission statement of the Destin Chamber is “Advocating for businesses… strengthening our community.”  Borrowing from our website: “The Destin Chamber prides itself on working to build successful businesses and a vibrant economy. The Chamber provides products and services to its member businesses helping them grow and prosper. The Chamber acts as the voice of business in government affairs. Governed by a volunteer board of directors and operated by a professional staff, the Chamber works daily to ensure that businesses have what they need to flourish. A strong base of volunteers assists in making sure that all of our programs are relevant to the needs of businesses.”
To be successful we need your help.  We need your ideas on what is needed to build successful businesses and a vibrant economy.  We need to know if we are providing the right products and services to help you grow and prosper.  We need to know if you have governmental affairs concerns that we need to address.  We need your input to make sure we are doing all we can to help build a world-class community one business at a time.  But we also need your hands and feet to represent us as ambassadors, to assist with special events, and to help serve on our committees. 
Together, we can shape our future and make the next 50 years even more successful. 
Lockwood Wernet
Destin Water Users, Inc.
2017 Destin Chamber Chairman of the Board