Chamber boss will do some listening

Last month, the Register published the news that Kelsey Doom was chosen president and CEO of the 500-member Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce. As I read the story, I became aware that my job as publisher and Kelsey’s new job at the chamber have a lot in common. 

As a publisher, I was aware early on that anyone who subscribes to this newspaper thinks they know how to run it better than I do. 

They know just which news should be covered and they’re acutely aware of any news we may have missed. 

They know just what we should be highlighting for the good of the community and which items should be swept under the rug for the same reason. 

They’re full of good ideas about how we could expand our coverage. Unfortunately, that good advice is rarely accompanied by ideas about how we can pay for that coverage. 

In many ways, being a newspaper publisher is like having 5,000 bosses. 

Kelsey, who started her duties last Monday, may be in for the same experience. 

Chambers of commerce are made up of businesses. The leaders of those businesses – I’m one of them so I know this is true – are sure that they have the best ideas about how to run a chamber of commerce. 

At one point in the story announcing Kelsey’s hiring she said, “I plan on doing a lot of listening and learning from the business community…”

Oh, you’re going to do some listening, all right, and that’s for the best. 

I may complain about my 5,000 bosses, but I’ve found that quite often they’re offering good advice. Per capita, Brookings probably has the highest I.Q. in the state. When subscribers talk, I’ve learned that it pays to listen to them because they’re smarter than I am. 

Kelsey comes to Brookings from the Wagner Chamber of Commerce, so she may have done some listening already. 

This time she’ll have 500 bosses to listen to, and, if her experience is like mine, she’ll find that most of them have good ideas. 

Welcome to Brookings, Kelsey.

Billy McMacken is the publisher of The Brookings Register. Contact him at [email protected] He won’t be surprised if he has 5,000 emails tomorrow.


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