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Message from the CEO – February ’14 

message_from_ceoCecil Russell, Chamber CEOThis month’s edition of Progress centers on leadership. On the front cover, we feature Stan Risen, the new CEO of Stanislaus County. In our cover story, we also feature Supervisor Jim DeMartini in his new role as Chairman of the Board of Supervisors. 2014 ushers in new leadership in our government, as well as many institutions and organizations throughout Stanislaus County. We continue with new leadership in many key areas within our community. We have three new members of the Modesto City Council and they have already been in council meetings to vote on subjects that will have a long range and very significant impact on our community. Our Police Chief Galen Carroll and our new Fire Chief Randall Bradley have many challenges to protect our public safety as well. They both have an opportunity to have a positive impact with their fresh ideas.

Our educational leaders, Dr. Sheley at California State University, Stanislaus and Jill Stearns at Modesto Junior College, have demonstrated great leadership and willingness to partner with businesses and others to insure that our students not only get the best education, but also become productive members of our community. Pam Able, Modesto City School District Superintendent and Debra Hendricks, Superintendent of Sylvan School District, will continue in their leadership roles and have many opportunities to guide our local schools. Tom Changnon of the Stanislaus County Office of Education has brought forth his new initiative Destination Graduation through his leadership role. This program, along with help from many organizations, will better position our youth for a more productive future.

In this issue of Progress, we also introduce the new President of The Alliance, Dave White. Dave has been in a leadership role for many years in communities that have been very successful in developing not only a better economic climate, but also sustainable programs within those communities. We at the Modesto Chamber look forward to a close working relationship with him and his organization.

We also start this year with our new Chairman, David Gianelli, and new Board Members. We welcome them and their fresh perspectives. The greatest challenges in our economy continue to be chronic unemployment and lack of job opportunities. We have to focus on a more diverse economy with new core jobs. The need for new manufacturing, industrial, warehousing and distribution jobs and our success in creating these jobs will continue for all. The challenges have been substantial; however, the opportunies for us to collaborate with the City and County and other organizations to help solve these problems could never be better. Our goal is to work with all of the leaders within our community to help create a better quality of life for everyone.

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