Michael Robinson: 365 days later … | VailDaily.com

Michael Robinson: 365 days later …

Michael RobinsonVail Valley Partnership
By Michael RobinsonVail Valley Partnership

One year has passed since my first day on the job with the Vail Valley Chamber & Tourism Bureau. In some respects, it feels like yesterday and in others like decades. Given the one-year anniversary of my role in the Vail Valley, I thought it appropriate to highlight some of the activities that define the past 365 days.The organizations structure, both internal and external, has undergone quite a metamorphosis. The new board of governors, the new committees, new departments (sprinkled with new staff members), all served as a prelude to the more apparent changes. The new name and new office are part of the same process.While I still hear rumblings of the past, I remain focused on the future. And based on the structural changes that have been implemented, the future looks bright. Well soon make an announcement regarding a new department within the Partnership, and its programs will resonate out of the gate, proving again that we mean business, pun intended.The call to create an environment of relevance and meaning is also a proud development since last June. The Partnership revisited almost everything that we do. We constantly asked: Is this working? Could it be improved? How can we promote it better and offer more to the community as a result? Proof of this effort is our Platinum Service Program. One of my first duties as the new president of the organization was to recognize the high-scorers of the 60 businesses participating in the program. Last week, we applauded nearly as many high scorers as we had participants last year; a total of 44 businesses out of 100 participants were acknowledged for their commitment to and exemplary execution of superior customer service.Congratulations to all that participated, and more important, the growing awareness of how important customer service is in the Valley. The Platinum Service Program is a great resource for businesses to grow their own customer-service efforts.Speaking of customer service, we abandoned programs that were not delivering on their promises and put efforts behind new ones like A View From the Top. The first event, held last November, presented Robert Spector, acclaimed service expert and author of the book The Nordstrom Way. That series will continue June 26 with Kevin Freiberg, author of Nuts! Southwest Airlines Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success. Were looking forward to another well-attended event, proving that the Partnership is providing tools, information and education to the greater business community.Events can define an organization like ours from pancake breakfasts to dynamic .nationally recognized speakers. My focus has been on developing the latter, but even the most sophisticated business organization has to cut loose every once in a while.We did that last January, while taking care of business (again, pun intended) with the Success Connection Awards, the official unveiling of our new name and logo, and a fun live auction with a real Christies auctioneer.With the A View From the Top event slated in a couple of weeks, the next big event after that will be a brand new one, too. The Vail Valley Business Forum will feature the senior economist for the National Board of Realtors and the Senior Trade Advisor for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Soon we will announce the entire panel, complete with a luncheon keynote speaker who is sure to satisfy your appetite for a compelling, thought-provoking business discussion.Stay tuned for additional event information but make no mistake, the Partnership is ready to consistently deliver new, interesting and relevant information to your business, large or small, established or startup. Also since last June, weve been trying to break down some pretty established barriers in this Valley, across the entire valley from East Vail to Dotsero. I wrote a few weeks ago about the need to abolish the term mud season from our vocabulary, and now I recommend that the notion of an upvalley versus downvalley mindset also be put high on a shelf to never be brought down into our vernacular again.The Partnerships recent move to Avon, while motivated by a need to be more accessible, is also a move to our one-valley philosophy. The Urban Land Institute has recommended that we recognize our unity as an economy and so, as the largest business organization in the county representing nearly 1,000 businesses we too need to promote the unity of our interests and the common denominator of our efforts. Id like to think that the Partnership has contributed to breaking down some pretty established barriers in this valley, and we look forward to leading the charge against obstacles to our business communitys ability to succeed.During my first several meetings and events, I would always preface my comments with day three, or day eight. I promised that I wouldnt beat the horse past day 10, but today is an exception. On day 365, I look forward to the next year, anxious to lead the organization through the follow-through stage of our initial actions. I also will pledge to, in the year ahead, continue to listen, respond and partner with the business community for the valleys collective benefit. Our success will be declared not by calendar days or program names, but by the overall value we can provide to the community. So I invite you to join us for the next round of action, and see how the Vail Valley Partnership can support your business over the next 12 months and beyond.

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