Chairman's Vision for 2017

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January 31, 2017
An east coast native, Phyllis Gallay relocated from New York to San Antonio over 16 years ago to manage JP Morgan-Chase Bank’s credit card center in Westover Hills. After working in the banking industry for 21 years, Phyllis joined Accenture as a Senior Executive, responsible for leading their Business Process Outsourcing Service Delivery Operation. Phyllis has embraced San Antonio as her home, serving the community through many different avenues and lending a special focus to pre-collegiate education, diversity & inclusion leadership development. She has been a board member for the March of Dimes, Junior Achievement, In Loving Memory, Any Baby Can and Arts San Antonio. She has served as a Trustee for San Antonio United Way for 15 years and currently serves on the Board of Governors for the Cancer Research Therapy Centers.
 
In her current role as a Director at Becton, Dickinson & Co. – a prominent medical technology company (known as BD) – Phyllis is responsible for leading and managing their North American Shared Service Center. At an operational level she and her team focus on people, process & technology to achieve service excellence. However Phyllis will tell you it is the “people” aspect of her role that motivates her and has shaped her leadership style. “When I talk about people, I reference the ‘3 C’s’ with our associates – customers, colleagues and community – as reminder of how, who and why we serve. We sometimes forget it is the little things we do that can make a positive difference – empowering every level in the organization to play a leadership role,” says Phylllis. In 2017, Phyllis plans to utilize the same principle as she serves as the North SA Chamber’s Chairman of the Board.
 
Workforce Development 
The North SA Chamber currently operates and serves its’ membership under 8 councils: Business Development, Chairman’s Council, Finance, Government Affairs, Leadership & Professional Development, Membership, Small Business and Technology. As a part of her vision for 2017, Phyllis will integrate workforce development into the council structure, planning and initiatives. Business Development will be renamed to be Business and Workforce Development and will now offer valuable business and workforce support systems by presenting events that are focused on meeting operational needs, identifying workforce gaps, building a strong network and preparing for new professions and professionals in the workplace. The North SA Chamber sees this as an opportunity to provide improved business services that are focused not only on process, but people. “According to the Texas Workforce Commission, there are 15 area colleges and universities in San Antonio that graduate approximately 25,000 students that enter the workforce each year. As a chamber it is critical that we work with member businesses to identify gaps and inform our community partners how we need to prepare for the next generations,” says Phyllis. In addition to amending this council, Phyllis has asked for a more collaborative effort from each of the council chairs in their planning and programming. “While each council serves a very specific purpose in accomplishing our mission, we all succeed by cross-collaborating on efforts that impact our member businesses,” she says. As a start, the monthly Networking Breakfast will integrate the technology council’s Optimizing Business series in 2017. “We want our small business members to benefit from the information that our technology council provides in this series and vice versa. Combining these two events allows our members access to new topics, speakers and networking opportunities.”
 
Community Collaboration
In beat with her desire to be more involved in workforce development, Phyllis will focus the North Chamber’s attention outwardly during 2017 – integrating more community partners and programs into our yearly plan.

In 2017, the North SA Chamber will reach out to our membership and ask for increased involvement in programs like the San Antonio Work’s Internship program. “SA Works is driving workforce education from junior high to high school through student internships and we want to make sure our business members are aware of this and are offering to play a part,” says Phyllis. SA Works is focusing their internships in manufacturing, technology and biomed sectors – which are all employment areas that many of our business members expect to see growth in the coming years. “Education and resources are the first step in changing the environment and enhancing the skills of our workforce and that’s where the North SA Chamber feels we can make an impact,” she says.

The North SA Chamber acknowledges the abundance of business resources available in our city and wants to make sure that they are being utilized by our members. Through the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation’s Business Retention & Expansion Program, organizations have access to business development and growth strategy initiatives – allowing them new services that include streamlining expansion, maximizing workforce capability, understanding the labor market, connection to public services and more. The North SA Chamber will support initiatives that strengthen and protect our businesses – ensuring longevity and growth.

In 2015, the North Chamber successfully advocated for increased funding for transportation and tuition revenue bonds for our local universities during the 84th Legislative Session. In 2017, we will again turn to our community and membership for input to make sure that we are fighting for legislation that grows and supports our business and industry needs. As we head to Austin and Washington D.C. during the 85th Legislative Session, we will remember to consider economic impact, industry and quality of life. To be a part of our legislative coalitions, visit the VIVA San Antonio event page or the SA to DC event page. The North SA Chamber has released it's 85th Legislative Agenda (Download PDF). There are several bills we will be tracking that negatively impact the economic prosperity of San Antonio and the State and we request your help in collaborative efforts to oppose and defeat any bills with negative implications for business. Please review our Legislative Agenda and a sample letter (Download PDF) to our Legislators in opposition of the negative business implications of SB 6. You can see more information about all of the North SA Chamber advocacy efforts here.

Cultural & Brand Awareness
2016 Chairman Gary Hoyack did an incredible job of refocusing our community on the North SA Chamber’s mission and values through his “Did You Know” campaign. In 2017, we will continue to build on this campaign and bring the San Antonio community deeper into the culture that makes up our memberships and benefits. We will continue to modify our event marketing to reach new audiences and monthly newsletter to provide information in the most efficient and engaging format. In addition to benefiting from the North SA Chamber’s work in advocacy, you have the chance to make your voice heard by plugging into a committee and attending or sponsoring an event. To see a list of current programs and sponsorship opportunities, click here.
 
We are excited to announce a new partnership with the Rivard Report and plan to utilize this platform to reach a new age of members through advertising. In an effort to keep you informed, each month you will continue to receive the “3 Things You Need to Know” in the eNews to stay up-to-date on our latest accomplishments, improvements and opportunities for involvement.
 
Move San Antonio Forward
The North SA Chamber is truly an organization run by its’ volunteers and will continue to foster an environment that encourages all types of members to participate. In 2017 I hope to add a fourth “C” to my list and that is “collaboration” – collaboration among events, councils, community partners and members. This year I vow to keep you informed so that you can find ways to plug into our culture and move you and your business forward. I am eager to work with my fellow board members, community partners and staff as we head into 2017. Thank you for all that you and your businesses do to move San Antonio forward.