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It’s no secret that Napa is a very special place to live, work and play and I feel very fortunate for the opportunity to raise a family here.

Even with all its so-called “dreaded faults” I hear and read about each and every day, there’s no place I’d rather be.

I’ve stated many times before that it is my opportunity to view the Valley from the inside looking out – after becoming the president/CEO of the Chamber — that makes it truly special in my eyes.

I know there are plenty of people who feel exactly as I do, yet when taking a moment to focus on how we attempt to address issues facing our community it’s often difficult to see that beloved commitment.

We’re busy pointing fingers at everything and everyone and finding fault instead of collaborating with a cause to solve them.

Our problems are no different than any other growing U.S. city, and in most cases, they are on a much smaller scale.

Just like everywhere else, these problems drive divisive group discussions and behavior, resulting in heavily debated political agendas and opposed ideologies of best ways to find positive solutions.

At the end of the day, I’d like to believe the goal will always be to address, maintain and properly manage the continued growth and development process associated with being a top U.S. and world destination, while trying to maintain our humble sense of community.

I may be naïve to think a better community display of patience, cooperation, communication, and most importantly, collaboration would go a long way in helping us achieve that goal, but I know we’re capable of it. . . and collaboration is the key!

We all have to make a commitment to come together for the greater good of EVERY person attempting to experience the quality of life that Napa is so capable of providing; local government officials and employees, business owners, community stakeholders and leaders, educators, neighbors, just to name a few.

That amazing collaborative community effort was in full public display immediately following the earthquake – just a month after taking my job — and again after the wildfires.

I’ve also seen it on many other occasions, when there was no disaster, no cameras, recognition or special attention to be derived from simply coming together to collaborate for the greater good of our beloved community.

We may never all agree on any one solution to an existing problem that affects us all in many different ways, and that’s okay.

Our debate should be positive, inclusive and productive ... never personal. We can then trust the outcome will more often than not reflect good intention, and protect the future of the place we call home.

There are so many of us who live every day to make Napa a better place to live, work and play ... not just for those who exist here, but also for the millions of visitors who give us the privilege of reminding them why Napa will always be a fond memory in their minds.

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Travis Stanley is the president and CEO of the Napa Chamber of Commerce. Call 226-7455 or visit napachamber.com.

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