Mid-Year Comments | Mike Ehlers

    Greetings Fort,
    Much like last year, 2021 has proven to be challenging. It is encouraging to see the local restaurants filling up, the farmer's market bustling and the local business community seeing increased activity. I am continually grateful for the FORTitude that's been on display, and that many of our members are emerging from the pandemic. 
    The chamber has been busy evaluating the programming and staffing that will be required to maintain a healthy local business community. If the pandemic has taught us one thing it's that what we did yesterday (or in 2019) might not be the right move for tomorrow. We are grateful to have hosted our first Business After Hours on June 10th with the hosts FCCU, Crimson Salon, BASE, the United Way, Good2Go and mkCellular, and fresh off the most anticipated Chamber event in the annual golf outing. Project LEAD is slated to resume in short order, with Ryan Hill from Cloute, Inc. taking the role of facilitator helping to groom the next generation of leadership here in Fort. This is but a snapshot of the activity here at the Chamber, and we're thankful for your support. 
    I would be remiss if a message of THANKS was not included for the Chamber staff to include the Executive Director Carrie Chisholm and the Tourism Manager Katie Carey. The pandemic has aided in the reduction of staff, yet our Chamber staff has maintained that Fort Atkinson is and will be the economic engine in Jefferson County. Their FORTitude is infectious, and for their efforts I am grateful. 
    Blessings on the second half of 2021. Your voice is important to us. If you have new ideas, insights or suggestions please do not hesitate to bring them to the Chamber staff or Executive Committee. We are in this together.