Chamber Made Column
Chamber Made Column, March 24, 2018
Seeing Eye To Eye With Our Members
Every once in a while, Jenn Garand and I will look down at the membership forms that our members send in each year and see something that makes us smile. While making corrections to one member’s web listing, I saw a little note at the very bottom of the form that made me grin. Simply stated, it read, “We love you guys,” with an exclamation point and a smiley face. Well, the feeling is mutual.
Jenn and I were just talking this morning that you don’t stay at a job for more than 20 years if you don’t love your job and care for the people you work with, and that goes far beyond the boundaries of our office. Over the course of time, many members have become more than just colleagues but treasured friends, as we have weathered tragedies yet also celebrated milestones in each other’s lives.
We consider ourselves fortunate that the chamber membership has become sort of an extended family to us in the office. As I drive around the Northeast Kingdom, walking in member businesses and saying hello, I am greeted by friendly faces everywhere I go. This week, it was a visit to Shippee Family Eye Care that made me feel right at home and a member of the family.
No one understands better than the folks at Shippee that I am the last person in the world that should be trusted in picking my own glasses without assistance, due to my poor vision. Blame it on genetics, but I can’t see the broad side of a barn without my specs. Enter Jennifer Cadorette, Shippee’s billing specialist and my cousin, who has chosen my eye wear for years.
If you know Jennifer, you know she is a straight shooter, a trait I admire. When I ventured too far into safe territory, buying glasses a bit too tame for her taste, she told me, ever so boldly, “Darcie Mc-Cann does not wear boring glasses!” True on that, Jen. For the past 17 years she has worked there, I have been a walking billboard for their office, getting compliments for my stylish shades at every turn. I never would have been that daring without Jen’s help.
Ever since I got my new phone at Verizon’s Wireless Zone, I have been taking pictures of the wonderful people within our chamber ranks, such as the folks at Shippee’s, and posting them on our Facebook page. One of the major reasons I am taking these photos wherever I go is that I want our Facebook friends to see what I see, no pun intended to my friends at Shippee’s, that our chamber members are absolutely amazing.
Whether it is a sweet note on a form that makes us smile or venturing out to the far corners of the Kingdom to meet with our businesses, we in the chamber office never want to take for granted how much we appreciate the many fine friends within our ranks.
You don’t need 20/20 vision to see how lucky we are to love our jobs, even on the most challenging of days. As I drive around the Kingdom in my new shades next week, however, that vision will help, as it will steer me to new experiences, more photos and many more memories.
(Darcie McCann is the executive director of the Northeast Kingdom Chamber.)