Salute to Suzy McElmurry

Friday, March 9, 2012

Chamber of Commerce organizations play a vital role in communities across the country, and Monett is no exception. The local chamber is an integral and important part of ensuring Monett's continued growth and prosperity, and it's great to witness the strong relationships that exist here between the city, the chamber, civic organizations, businesses and industries.

For more than a decade, the Monett Chamber has benefitted from the leadership of Suzy McElmurry, who has served in the role of executive director. Last month, Suzy announced she would be retiring from her post, which she has held for the past 11 years.

I was not here for all of Suzy's tenure, but since I joined the local business community three years ago, I have had the opportunity to work with Suzy on numerous occasions and have witnessed her dedication to Monett and her effectiveness as a leader.

This week, an open house reception was held in Suzy's honor, and as expected, scores of individuals took the time out of their busy schedules to thank Suzy for her service and wish her well in her retirement. It was obvious by the turnout that Suzy has earned the respect and admiration of those she has worked with over the years.

Suzy possesses many qualities that have contributed to her success. She is an untiring advocate for Monett and has worked hard to establish strong working relationships with local business and industry owners as well as forging beneficial partnerships with organizations that promote the economic wellbeing of the entire southwest Missouri region.

I also admire Suzy's ability to attract and retain volunteers to work together for the benefit of Monett. This is not an easy task, and Suzy has managed to build a strong core of faithful volunteers while also encouraging and mentoring new community leaders.

One of the programs that began under Suzy's tenure is the very successful Leadership Monett program. As a graduate of this program, I know first hand how Leadership Monett works to develop new leaders and inspire them to use their gifts and abilities to benefit Monett. The program requires commitment, and the leadership example set by Suzy and others who lead Leadership Monett are keys to its success.

Suzy was also a guiding force in establishing and growing the Festival of Lights lighting display, which annually draws thousands to Monett during the holiday season. It was also under Suzy's tenure, that the chamber built a new office and license office building that is a beautiful addition to downtown Monett. This was a major step forward for the organization, and Suzy played a major role in spearheading the project.

I want to thank Suzy for her service to the community of Monett. As she heads off to seek new adventures, I hope she knows she has made a lasting imprint on the Monett business community with her vision for growth, her professionalism, her spirit of teamwork and her commitment to excellence. Job well done.