Wednesday, December 7, 2011

December 5, 2011

Reflections from the Chair Emeritus—Richard Johanson
Does it ever seem weird to you that the marketing frenzy of “Black Friday” is centered around the observance of the upcoming Christian and Jewish religious holidays? Perhaps amid all of this contradictory activity it is appropriate that we take some quiet time to do some personal reflecting. What are the good things that have happened this year? How can we sustain them? Where does our focus need to be next year? Who can lead us? Can we become an Abundant Community with an opportunity for everyone to make a contribution? I see a no better return on a community based investment than renewing our membership in this Business Council and inviting others to join with us. Together with our community partners our destiny is strengthening our ability to make a significant transformation in this place not because of a temporary frenzy but out of a deep commitment to our Statement of Community Values.

A Tribute to Fresno State To Be Published in the Collegian
As we approach midyear in another demonstration of collegiate excellence at California State University, Fresno, it is fitting that we set aside a few minutes to thank all of those on campus who are contributing so much to bringing about a reevaluation in our expectations of ourselves.

Increasingly, we who are oriented to the business world understand that each segment of our society is a critical component of its whole. We must all be willing to reach out to each other. We recognize that community successes do not come from each sector traveling down a selfishly focused road. Organizations such as United Way, Council of Governments, Economic Opportunities Commission, Workforce Investment Board, Fresno State and others are interacting with each other and the private sector in an ever closer spirit of cooperation. For this we all owe a vote of thanks to their unselfish leaders.

Fresno State is a major leader in helping to unite our extended community. Administrators, faculty, staff and students are taking leadership and supportive positions to improve the quality of life for all of those who live, work, play and pray among us. Over sixty-two percent of its student body contributed a total of over one million hours of volunteer service during the schools years 2009/10 and 2010/11.

As a direct result of this spirit of cooperation between Fresno State and the community at large this region is attracting nationwide attention for the higher standards it has set for itself in public affairs on its pathway to a regional transformation. Our community’s widely endorsed Statement of Community Values is the platform on which every man, woman and child among us can stand with pride. Some of these values are: Stewardship, Boundary Crossing and Collaboration, Commitment to Outcomes, Fact Based Decision Making, and Truth Telling.

As the University approaches the second semester of this academic year, we wish to take this opportunity to simply give thanks for its ongoing contribution to the many positive things happening in our community. We thank those at all levels of service that are traveling together on the pathway to a better tomorrow.

Submitted by Bud Richter and Richard Johanson

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