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In this breakfast, be the pig

Michael Kurz
Vail, CO, Colorado

I still remember fondly the scenes of Jean Luc Picard, captain of USS Enterprise, sitting on the bridge of his mighty starship and giving the command that sent the crew to warp speed and incredible, if not improbable, adventures beyond. “Engage,” he said, in his muy macho, fearless-leader voice.

Well, I have a little more hair than Jean Luc did and our mission here at the Vail Valley Partnership is not quite as broad as “going where no one has gone before,” but I do have an affinity for what it means to engage, and so do myriad people I know here in the valley.

There are so many people involved in so many causes it’s hard to not to bump into them every day. They serve as board members, nonprofit volunteers, committee chairs, organization members, social, fraternal, religious and business chamber members, and on and on. The interesting thing is that nearly to a person, each one of them tells me time and again that they get out of their efforts much more than what they sacrifice to participate. Must be something to it.



Sure, there’s the camaraderie, the fun of “being in the know,” the stimulus of dynamic interchanges of opinion and the thought-provoking joy of just listening to others with similar and different points of view on a regular basis. No doubt, there’s also the sense of freedom and collegiality of being able to express a passionately held personal point of view or the respect you enjoy when you speak and others sit politely and listen. There’s the “thrill of victory and the agony of defeat” to be sure.

It’s all of that but I can’t help but think that in sum, it’s the meaningfulness of being “engaged.” It’s knowing that, win or lose, goals met or goals not-yet accomplished, you have been involved. Not carping from the sidelines. Not criticizing folks who do the work. Not regretting outcomes for lack of participation. Being there when it happens, making it happen and seeing things go well. That’s what engagement is all



about.

I heard someone on the radio yesterday making on observation about an eggs-and-bacon breakfast. He made the point that in that scenario, “the chicken’s involved, but the pig is committed.” Kind of a gruesome analogy, but I got his point.

So here’s my point: Get involved. The Vail Valley Partnership is looking for a bunch of business people to engage with us. Our Partnership Drive is on. Without proudly but perhaps pedantically presenting a formidable laundry list of incentives, programs, ski pass opportunities, presentations, panels, committees and benefits to make my case,



I’ll just ask one thing: Join us. Join your local chambers and merchants associations, too. Now.

I was asked, as a panel member of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International meeting at the Arrabelle last week, to answer the question, “What is the state of the Vail Valley?”

“Prepared,” I said.

Tough times are on the horizon to be sure, but how the future affects us is up to us, and I believe that never before have we as a business group, from Vail to Glenwood Springs, had so many talented, aware, well-schooled, well-informed, deeply experienced people to defend our economy here. We may disagree about how to make it happen, but we will make it happen. Oh, who do I mean by we? The people who are engaged, of course.

Be the pig. Call 970-477-4004 and ask for Dave Plain, director of the partnership services group, how you can be committed to our success.

Michael Kurz is president and CEO of the Vail Valley Partnership.


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