Chairman's Message

 

Rick Coyne

Chairman
WithumSmith+Brown 

December 2016
 
Dear Friends,

November 8th, Election Day, has come and gone and regardless of your political viewpoint, a winner was chosen and President elect, Donald Trump will take over as the next President of the United States.  Now the trash talk is over and it is time to pull this great nation of ours together.  What will all of the television networks do to fill the time slots?  When you think of it, it is kind of odd that this Presidential election took place in the same month as Thanksgiving!  There is no doubt that I am thankful that we don’t need to watch any more commercials with negative comments slamming each other’s opponents! Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday season – a time for family, friends, reflection, relaxation and many other enjoyable and memorable times!   My family will always remind me of my brother in law and I eating too many truffles one year and ending up lying on the sofa groaning in pain.  It is also the beginning of the holiday shopping season.  And we all know that each year retailers have pushed and pushed and finally a couple of years ago, they began to open on Thanksgiving Day! 

As each business tries to outdo their competitor, they encroach on our sacred family life.  For years we were able to hold the retailers off until opening on Friday morning – but they finally broke and opened their doors on the day of thanks!  I should note that it is great to see that already this year some retailers have committed to closing on Thanksgiving and opening early Friday morning.  I will favor those establishments without a doubt!  The first Thanksgiving was started in 1621 to celebrate the Pilgrims survival through a brutal winter and their success in harvesting with the Native Americans.   Thanksgiving was celebrated sporadically throughout colonial times until in 1789, when President George Washington proclaimed the first national day of thanksgiving and prayer.  However, it wasn’t until President Lincoln’s proclamation that the holiday became an annual tradition at the national level – and it took place on the last Thursday of November!  Woohoo!! Gobble! Gobble!  Of course in our nation’s true style, we could not leave well enough alone and in 1939, President Franklin Roosevelt changed the date of Thanksgiving to the next to last Thursday in November.  Why?  Why?  Why would he do this?  I will tell you why – to make a longer holiday (Christmas) shopping season to boost retailers profits!! But I will admit that it is a great time of the year to enjoy family and friends!

Thanksgiving is also a great time of the year to give back to the community.  There are so many local organizations collecting donations whether in cash, goods or services for people who are in need.  Our firm has committed to a week of caring where in the three days prior to Thanksgiving, each employee contributes at least four hours to a local charity.  It is an awesome feeling and people get really pumped up!  So, if you have a couple of minutes to spare, take some time, find a local charitable organization and donate some of your time.  The charity will much appreciate it and you will feel great!!
 There continues to be a lot of great events and programs at the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce.  Take a look at our calendar on the website (below) and I hope to see you at an event soon!
 
Chamber Luncheons – The November 3rd luncheon featured Douglas Chia, the executive director of the Conference Board Governance Center.  The Governance Center’s mission is to provide knowledge and thought leadership on global corporate governance issues for boards and c-suite leaders, investors and other organizations.  Douglas gave us some great insight into how many companies are putting tremendous effort into meeting quarterly goals and maximizing current year profits possibly to the determent of future profitability.  He gave us some great solutions to this short-termism and explained that we all need to address this issue.  Of course, he also noted that some companies are concerned that if they address this issue, that their competitors will take advantage of this situation.  It is a philosophy that we all should be considering.
 
On November 30, 2016, we will have our 2016 Business Leader Awards Gala – this is a fantastic networking opportunity and a chance to congratulate the award winners – Rachel Stark, Scott Kent, Rashaad Bajwa, and John Procaccini – what a great group! 

To you the reader – I really appreciate you taking the time to read this column – take care and make it a great day!

Further information about the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce can be found by checking our website at www.princetonchamber.org or calling the Chamber at (609) 924-1776.
 
Rick Coyne
Chairman of the Board
Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce