We Choose Dalton
A few weeks ago it was announced that the president of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, Bill Kilbride, would be retiring at the end of the year. Within minutes of the announcement I received dozens of phone calls and text messages asking if I was interested in moving back to Chattanooga. Some encouraged me to apply, and I told them I would be having a conversation with my family. Some encouraged me to stay in Dalton, and I gave them the same answer.
I admit that the prospect was intriguing, and who doesn't like it when people they respect think highly enough of them to consider them for a job like that? But after a while, the novelty of these thoughts gave way to careful consideration of all of the factors. Melissa and I began to take stock of our situation and reflect a little on why we moved to Dalton in the first place.
We're a relatively young family with two boys aged 11 and 9. Over the last year, we've found that greater Dalton offers a very high quality of life for families like ours. Both of our boys attend Brookwood Elementary School, and Melissa and I are convinced their STEM curriculum is the best learning environment for them, period. The kids are enjoying school more today than they ever have, and they're doing well academically. Trust me when I tell you it's a family-changing experience when your kids actually want to go to school in the mornings!
We've all developed some great friendships, and Melissa and I have had the opportunity to engage in civic activities we care about. Melissa is Vice-President of the Brookwood PTA, and she's playing an important role in this year's Festival at the Creative Arts Guild. I've had the opportunity to participate in more things than I can count, from the Boy Scouts to the United Way. I even got to dance (badly) in an awesome video for our community.
On top of all of this, the work I'm doing at the Greater Dalton Chamber is some of the most rewarding work I've ever done as we help shape the future of greater Dalton.
As a family, we understand that our choice to move here and our decision whether to stay isn't just driven by professional opportunities, but by the very things that make life great - friends, family, quality schools and a real sense of community. We have all these things in abundance right here in Dalton.
A few days ago I told everyone who reached out and encouraged me to take a look at the Chattanooga job that I would not be an applicant. My family and I are very happy in Dalton. Two years ago we chose to move to Dalton and last week we chose Dalton again.
In the coming months the Greater Dalton Chamber will unveil a set of strategies designed to move our community forward, and I am enthusiastic about what lies ahead. I look forward to making those plans public, and I hope you choose to get involved in our work making it easier for young families to say yes to our community and the wonderful opportunities that living here offers.