The Most Difficult Decision Ever
This day comes to all of us sooner or later. It is time for me to say good-bye to a career I cherish, a staff I love, a board of directors that is visionary and supportive…and to say good-bye to you as an investor in the Tucson Metro Chamber.
The decision to retire is different for all of us, I guess. For me it has been an excruciating experience. It’s not human nature to walk away from friends, allies and a career that energizes every moment of every day.
In the end, it is the lure of family in another state that was the trump card. Eight grandkids are growing up (one is graduating from high school in June) and grandpa lives 1,700 miles away. And I have also learned that that old bugger, Father Time, still has some pretty good legs under him because he seems to be gaining on me just a little.
The Tucson Metro Chamber and indeed our entire Southern Arizona community have come a long way in the last few years. Our economy is taking off. Public and private entities are cooperating and working together as never before. Change is in the air and it is largely positive change.
Earlier this month the U.S. Chamber of Commerce recognized the Tucson Metro Chamber with Five-Star Accreditation, meaning that it performs in the top 1% of chambers of commerce nationwide.
The future is bright for Tucson and Pima County…but only if we keep our eye on the ball. Discussions I have had with Tucson Metro Chamber Chairman Bob Ramirez and the Chamber’s Executive Committee point to exactly what you would expect from these seasoned professionals. There will be a thoughtful and orderly transition. I have offered the Board of Directors a reasonably open-ended period of time to complete its work and will do as much or as little as they request to assist them. The Chamber will lose no momentum during this transition. The new executive will have a solid platform from which to launch his or her ideas to keep the Chamber and the community on a solid path of constant improvement.
As a personal note, I can tell you that I will definitely become one of those seasonal species called snowbirds. I intend to spend the summer months with family and maybe doing some traveling. But Tucson will remain my home during the cold weather months. I will watch their weather on the television. The roots will remain here in Arizona.
Michael V. Varney
President & CEO