What a way to start 2023!

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 15, 2023

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I am honored and humbled to be taking on the responsibility of serving as the 2023 Board of Directors Chairwoman. It is a tremendous privilege to be able to contribute to the progress of this organization, and I am grateful for the opportunity to lead RRCC into the future.

What a way to start 2023! Your River Region Chamber of Commerce has begun the 2023 race; not only have we left the starting blocks, but we are rounding out our first milestone for the new year!

Emphasized at our annual banquet held on January 20 was the importance of connection or nexus. Across industries, small businesses and parishes, we have rooted our connections in authenticity. What is particularly pleasing and humbling is that those who addressed the audience from the podium are from one of the three parishes we represent. We are investing in the communities where many of our leaders were raised, so this is more than just campaign rhetoric.

Our primary goal in 2023 is to directly address our members’ pain points! We will continue to provide excellent programming and networking opportunities; however, as we have emerged from some of the most difficult times in each of our careers and businesses, we recognize the importance of connecting businesses with what they require right now to fill any gaps that may exist. We are inviting you not just to the table but to think critically, collaborate creatively, and close the gap between the intention of business growth and the realization that barriers exist for many. How do we minimize or eliminate those barriers to create an equitable playing field for all businesses in our parishes?

Our organization’s commitment is to continue to foster relationships based on authenticity, community growth, and a deep appreciation for the people who bring life and energy to the greater River Parishes. We must now leverage those connections to ensure that we can all weather these storms and emerge stronger than ever. It is critical to connect our citizens to the chamber while also allowing business owners and entrepreneurs to expand their presence in the community. This intentional commitment to our members reveals the genuine connection between all of us and the nexus of shared values, purpose and pride. As we make intentional efforts to better equip our members to serve their customers, patients and clients, we ask one thing of you: to get involved. We have a slate of committees (public policy, workforce development, business development, marketing and communications, special events, and ambassadors) that are focused on providing the support our members need. From hosting monthly opportunities for networking to addressing the needs of local small businesses, these committees are dedicated to helping our members succeed. If you are not a member, contact our office today. Our team is tackling projects that will help provide our members with the resources, tools, and guidance needed to make their businesses successful in 2023. The Small Biz Expo on February 8 was an opportunity to showcase what our small businesses in the area have to offer to the communities they serve. In addition, Steven Waguespack, president, and chief executive officer of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI), will be speaking at our general membership meeting on March 13. We are investing in strategic partnerships and collaborations with other chambers of commerce, local businesses and community groups to maximize our impact.

Now more than ever, we need members who are passionate about making a difference in our local business communities. Now is the time to join and come together — wheels up!


Diane Jackson, SHRM-CP, TSG is the 2023 Chairwoman for the River Region Chamber of Commerce.