Vail Valley: After the party, it’s back to business |

Vail Valley: After the party, it’s back to business

Michael Kurz
Vail, CO, Colorado

Well, another Success Awards Gala has come and gone. The months of work on the theme, decor, entertainment, seating chart, menu, sponsor asks and staff assignments is complete, done and done. The party clothes are back in the closet. Hard to believe the planning will begin again in a couple of months. It seems all to blend together from one year to the next.

But it was quite an accomplishment this year. Our guests had fun, The Lodge at Vail banquet/beverage staff did an outstanding job, the award announcements were met with unbridled enthusiasm and the recognition was well earned and well accepted. I love this event. But now, it’s on with business as usual.

With a membership this large, the variety of enterprises and non-profits we serve, and the economic challenges we’re facing, there’s very little time to savor the wine, the food, the funny (and occasionally great) dancing, or even to admire the crystal trophies. It’s soon again all about customer care, inventory, training, payables, receivables, cash flow and balance sheets.

But from another viewpoint, there’s something comforting about getting back to the routine, mundane job of doing business. It’s what we do. The discipline, character, innovation, attention to detail, commitment and outward looking service to the community comes naturally to successful business people. It’s the hum of the motor of commerce and capitalism that makes our world go ’round. We perform, we’re compensated, we pay people, buy things, donate and do our best to grow so we can do more of it.

There’s a certain wonderful rhythm to enterprise. Yes, it gets hard, awfully hard from time to time, but most of us make it. We exhaust ourselves. We rest. We recreate and do it again. We are, by nature, industrious people. And, we do it with studied humility because at any moment for any one of a million reasons, it can all go away.

There was a fun movie a few years back called, “Risky Business,” a look at a teenager stretching awkwardly to reach adulthood and making some really bad decisions, with hilarious outcomes. Taking those concepts in reverse order, we all learned the first time we offered goods or services or advice in exchange for currency, that all business is risky. It takes planning and foresight to do our best to indemnify ourselves from the biggest risks, but they still come and usually when they’re least expected. That’s why I admire business people.

Whether they’re pacing the floor doing the cash flow stroll and hoping the check really is in the mail, or worrying that the delivery guy makes it over the pass in a squall in one piece, or they’re listening to an angry phone call from a dissatisfied customer, the risks are real and we need all our skills and a little good fortune to deal with them, anticipate and minimize them, or you know what.

Doing good business is tough and keeping it good over the long haul is even tougher. So even though the celebration is over and I know our members out there enjoyed the party and for a few hours didn’t think about all the tough stuff on their minds, I know they’re back at it today. And, I hope they’re back at with a renewed sense of accomplishment and a look forward at what it means to be really great at what they do. We’re looking forward to what this year brings and are very excited about honoring the top dogs again next year.

A sincere thanks to our members, sponsors, suppliers, donors, board of governors, and the entire Partnership staff, especially, Kristina Johnson, Michelle Kobelan, Christine Laabs and Suzanne Sloan who, once again, took on the heavy lifting to make the Gala the success it was, and of course, congratulations to our winners this year. You’ve set a very high mark on the wall.

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

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