By Robyn Snyder, Board President, Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber mission is to be the ultimate destination to live, work, play, and prosper. Our membership is at an all-time high and that speaks to the strength of our community!

Twenty some years ago, I sat at the annual Chamber celebration and watched the incoming president accept the gavel for the upcoming year. A person at my table said he could see me doing that some year. So here I am, fulfilling that prophesy. I was humbled when asked to serve on the board five years ago, and am excited to serve as your president for 2020.

My theme for the coming year is Be Positive, Do Positive. To keep our community strong and vibrant, we all need to Be Positive and Do Positive. As we connect and collaborate, we need to do it with positivity. I encourage you to bring positive action into your life and your businesses, and into our community as a whole. There is so much negativity in our world day today. Perhaps it’s always been there, but social media puts it in front of us all the time. Did you know our brains are wired for negativity to have a greater impact on us than the positive events?

Over the last several years, I have worked hard to focus on positivity within my own life and the environment of my company. I have seen firsthand how being positive and doing positive can have an effect. A staff member’s spouse recently shared with me, “The inspiration you bring to your group daily follows the ones you inspire home, I have to thank you for that! I have had a difficult week with much negative energy presented daily at my work. It is refreshing to come home and hear about your office positive sunshine daily.”

This year, as Chamber president, I want to encourage positivity and have my theme serve as a reminder for all of us to Be Positive, Do Positive. It starts at home, in our personal lives, spreads to our business roles and impacts our community as a whole.

So I am challenging you to start and end your day by thinking of something you are grateful for – anything! I challenge you to smile more – smiling sends a message to our brains that we are happy and research shows smiling is contagious! Praise others and show appreciation!

In the workplace, I challenge you to have a positive attitude. Attitude will show in the way staff deals with clients, the way they work alongside their teammates. If you are not in a management role, let the positivity start with you. Work hard, smile and keep things light, bring up issues as they arise-don’t let it build up inside of you.

Practice honesty, admit mistakes, be appreciative, speak well of your company and your coworkers. Be respectful, inclusive, and supportive of others. Don’t gossip.

I am so proud of the community where I live. We truly are an ultimate destination for people to live, work, play, and prosper. If we, as individuals, can begin to focus on positivity in our personal lives, we can bring it into our workplace and spread it into our community! What you send out, you get back!

Positive thinking is more than just a tagline. It changes the way we behave. When we are positive it not only makes us better, but it makes those around us better!

I welcome everyone to join us at the Chamber’s annual celebration on Monday, January 27. Call the Chamber at (320) 663-3161 by January 20 for tickets.