Greetings from the desk of the Ashland Alliance. I start this week with several well-deserved thank yous. On Monday, the Alliance hosted the 25th Annual Youth Leadership Graduation Banquet. Over 140 people gathered to celebrate 37 juniors from 7 school districts and their completion of our Leadership Class. Over 1,000 students have experienced first-hand what this community has to offer, how to make it better. Along the way, they discovered something about themselves and how they can be a leader in life. I want to thank the Youth Leadership Committee and their Chairperson for the last 20 years, Chuck Williams and special appreciation to Missy McCalvin for support to this great program.

I also want to express my apologies for not sending out this piece last week. It is important for you to know what your organization is doing each week to make this community stronger. Last week, I had a travel day on Friday and was working on a request for information for a new recruitment project. Last night, I spoke at a local city council and at that meeting communications were front and center, too. Strength for organizations like the Ashland Alliance comes from bringing together everyone for the collective good and for the ability to compete against other places. Together we are much stronger than apart.  Each community also wants their ROI from the Alliance like everything else they invest their time and resources in. The Alliance must define the independent benefits while showing the collective growth and value for all.

Communication and value are paramount. I hope this piece each week is a small part of our goal in sharing and engaging each one of you as members and partners. I also value the privacy of our members. Knowing the difference between what we want to be shared and knowing when it needs to be yelled from the top of the hill as well as what it takes to help you with a problem is who we are.

I look forward to working towards even better communications with you and our partners and building on the partnerships that are moving our community forward. I appreciate each one of you. Enjoy your weekend, your family, and finally….Go Big Blue!!!!

—Tim Gibbs, Ashland Alliance