Our 2020 Chairman, Willis Cantey, stopped by to talk with our Marketing team about what he is looking forward to most about being Chairman. As President and CEO of Cantey Tech Consulting and long-time member of the Chamber, Willis sees the value in making a difference in our region. We are excited to see what this year holds!
What are some of your goals and plans this year as the 2020 Chamber Chairman?
Two big initiatives come to mind – Lowcountry Rapid Transit and Talent Advancement.
I look forward to pushing Lowcountry Rapid Transit forward. This bus rapid transit system is the future for our region and will help to connect all the communities together in a safe and effective way. As our region continues to grow, new solutions for transportation are vital to maintain the quality of life we want in the region.
Talent Advancement helps students understand that there isn’t just one path to success. Informing students of the college and career pathways that are available to them is critical to the future of our region. In the tech industry, for example, we have opportunities for those with and without a college degree to find their success. And they can find jobs here in our metro! I look forward to working with the Chamber’s Talent team to enhance the talent pipeline and funnel students from our local high schools into a college or career of their dreams.
What are you looking forward to most as 2020 Chamber Chairman?
Relationships are extremely important to me. Cantey Tech Consulting has been a member since 2008 and I have seen, firsthand, the great things that can happen when businesses are working together. I look forward to connecting with other members advocating for commerce in the region and seeing what we can accomplish together this year.
How would you describe your leadership style and how do you think you bring something unique to the Chairman position?
As far as leadership style goes, I’m not sure, but I’m doing the best I can 😊 I do know that I enjoy learning from fellow members and understanding their needs. These business leaders are integrated in our community, and I look forward to working alongside all of them this year, and beyond, to drive solutions.
We also have an incredible Chamber staff that are working day in and day out to advance the Chamber’s mission. Their hard work makes my job as Chairman that much easier.
In your opinion, what are the biggest misconceptions about a Chamber of Commerce?
That we want to pave everything! That couldn’t be further from the truth. We value quality of life because we want our families to grow old here and find careers that give them a life they can be proud of. Every business that we talk to wants to make a positive impact on our region’s growth. The Chamber and its members understand the value of sustainable growth and work to find the balance between what brought businesses to Charleston before and what will continue to bring businesses to our region in the future.
When thinking about what the Charleston Metro Chamber does best, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?
The Chamber sees value in their members and enjoys bringing large and small businesses together to create positive change. They seek information and feedback from members, allow for voices to be heard and put those ideas into practice to make our region better. Collaboration is critical to the Chamber and is key to driving solutions for this great community of ours.