Message from the Chairman

Wilson Jones, Chairman of the Board, 2020-21

The Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce is optimistic for the year and the future, because the Oshkosh business community is resilient.

In the face of significant challenges, including a global pandemic and an economic crisis, Oshkosh businesses have adapted to survive. We have seen the determination of small businesses who have kept their doors open and kept their employees on payrolls. We’ve seen it in the tireless dedication of the essential workers who have kept daily life running for all of us.

I am honored to serve as your Chairman of the Board in the upcoming year. As your Chairman, I will be supported by an exceptional group of leaders in the business community that make up our Board of Directors.  I am proud of the many accomplishments the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce made this past year under Javad Ahmad’s leadership and I look forward to continuing to generate an atmosphere of growth for businesses here in Oshkosh.

As we turn the page to 2021, we are focused on reigniting our economy and reasserting our leadership and competitiveness. That too, will hinge on the resilience of business. It will take the collective strength of our business members to help power our local economy.

It begins with the recovery.

Depending on where you sit, the recovery may be going fine—even well. Some industries, businesses, and segments of the workforce have thrived. We see the evidence in a surging stock market, record profits, robust consumer spending on goods, a housing boom, and rising personal savings rates. But it’s a very different story for those who have been negatively affected by the pandemic. Entire industries have been decimated because people aren’t traveling, gathering, shopping, or going out like they used to. Small businesses have been disproportionately impacted.

I am honored to be leading one of the most prestigious Chambers in the country – a 5-Star Accredited Chamber. Our Chamber operates at its maximum potential and provides the greatest benefit to its members and employees. The Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce achieves operational excellence through the implementation of best business practices, enhanced financial stability and accountability to ensure future viability and an environment that promotes member engagement. Our community thrives on the success of business.

The Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce is independent organization that’s exclusively fueled by its membership. The Oshkosh Chamber is the area’s leading private-sector economic development organization and business advocate. The Oshkosh Chamber actively works to promote and cultivate a thriving business climate while protecting and advancing the interest of its members and the community as a whole. Our mission is – “To provide leadership and to serve and represent our members so their businesses and our community will prosper.”

The Board of Directors is focused on achieving the goals outlined in our strategic plan which prioritizes economic development, leadership and talent development, engaging young professionals, advocating for businesses, and providing services to our members.

It will be my top priority to make certain that your Chamber membership is valuable to you. The Oshkosh Chamber is effective because of motivated and dedicated individuals. We rely on membership support to maintain the strong voice we use to influence legislative, community, and quality of life issues that are imperative to Oshkosh’s vitality.

We communicate, promote, and implement the economic development services needed to attract, develop and retain area businesses.  We continue to focus on filling the employment pool with skilled and community ready people. The Oshkosh Chamber is a leader in promoting the area’s business attributes. We will ensure that a sound private-sector driven economic development effort that works toward building an environment that is conducive to economic growth and expansion of business in Oshkosh is in place.

We focus energies and resources to engage and involve the members of our young professional group, Propel. This will help to retain these young individuals for local businesses in the Oshkosh area.   Propel is a valuable asset to the Chamber.

The Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce is the driver in aligning and developing the community’s future leaders. We understand the needs of the community and then educate and motivate potential leaders to commit themselves to address those needs through a variety of leadership roles.

The Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce is the voice of the business community. It is our goal to strengthen the economic base. We strive to advocate on issues that support the overall business community that lead to overall job growth.  The decisions of our leaders and lawmakers will determine the strength and the trajectory of our local economy. And that is why we advocate for the right policies, fight vigorously against the wrong ones, and work constructively to achieve the best results for the businesses that are driving the recovery that will lead us into the future.

This is an exciting time for Oshkosh and I see great opportunity for growth in our community and organization. Our resilient business community drives opportunity, prosperity, security, and advancement. You adapt, invest, invent, and innovate for a better future. You find solutions and make deals. Your work fuels this dynamic economy. Because all of you—the entrepreneurs, employers, and workers …the business community is going to do it. And the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce is here to help. I look forward to being your chairman for the next year.

Wilson Jones
Chairman, Board of Directors
Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce