Savannah Downtown Business Association
Savannah Downtown Business Association

A Message from the President

Savannah Downtown Business Association

January 2017 Luncheon


The last time we spoke, it was the day after the presidential election. I’m very glad to see that we all survived, no one got swallowed up by the earth-  and we are here today to kick off a brand new year.


And here I am again the morning after hearing our President give his farewell address to the nation. Another reminder that with the new year comes some new changes and new challenges as well.


This year in particular will present us with some unique changes- some small and some pretty epic.


Already this year, we have a new National Champion- the Clemson Tigers beat Alabama on Monday night……

for the first time in 110 Years…….. that’s a change.


Not that football isn’t serious business- but shifting focus to something that carries more significance for our nation.


This year we will see a new president take office… This is a big change.


This is the 45th time this has happened in our Nation- dating back to the very first peaceful transfer of power from George Washington to John Adams in 1797.


That was a change.


in fact it was the first time in human political history that power was transferred between 2 common citizens with out the death or violent overthrow of the person loosing power….


As we swear in our new President we will also see 55 new members in the 115th Congress. It will be the most racially diverse congress in our history. Another change…..


Change is in our Nation’s DNA. In fact, It is so constant, it is written into our constitution.


That’s not to say its not scary at times…. But it is a necessary part of progress. It is one of the pillars of our democracy.


The challenges we face on a national scale and here at home locally from

  • ·         business competitiveness
  • ·         to government effectiveness
  • ·         to community and cultural revitalization -all require positive change to make things better.


I’ve been fortunate to have some great mentors and the privilege of working for some excellent leaders, and even the misfortune of working for some less than great leaders.


How you handle change and adversity, for me, is what separates mediocrity from greatness and innovation from conformity.


Last [night] in his farewell address to the Nation President Obama said this:


“Our Constitution is a remarkable, beautiful gift.  But it’s really just a piece of parchment.  It has no power on its own.  We, the people, give it power – with our participation, and the choices we make.”


I think that is something we all need to remember. Before we criticize- or call up the keyboard warriors, or rush to defend or attack the left or right- lets look in the mirror and ask what we have done to affect positive change.


Ask if we have rolled our own sleeves up to get involved. If we have thought about our common goals- our shared desire to succeed, to prosper and pursue those things that make us happy. 


Democracy, our Nation, our City- can only move forward if we all get involved and play our part.


In a few minutes you will hear from Rob Hernandez, our new City manager. And as he speaks about some of his goals and the challenges and opportunities that we face as a community- I want you to remember the messages left to us by our founding fathers- the strength of our Democracy lies in us, and our ability and willingness to get involved.


My message in this new year is a simple one- and one that echoes the outgoing thoughts of our President:


Show up

Dive in and 

stay at it


A message that is true no matter what side of the aisle you align, where you live or where you come from, or who you chose to love. As we move forward together as a City, a Community and a Nation- with new leaders- lets focus on those things we all have in common

and lets work together for a better tomorrow.


Karen Guinn,


Savannah Downtown Business Association

January 11, 2017

Savannah Downtown Business Association
P.O. Box 9221, Savannah, GA 31412

(912) 660-4718

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