Well, the walls are bare and the boxes are almost all packed. The twenty-two months since I tendered my letter of retirement have evaporated and my tenure here at the Greater Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce ends today.
As I sit here in what may be Florida’s most functional Chamber of Commerce building I am so grateful for the opportunity I’ve had to work with Winter Haven’s finest business leaders. I’ve learned and laughed and shed an occasional tear while making some of the best friendships of my lifetime. I also want to thank our great Chamber staff and volunteers whose dedication and determination make this among Florida’s best business organizations.
I’ve also enjoyed invaluable support from my wife Melea and family.
Please welcome your dynamic new Chamber President/CEO, Katie Worthington. (Notice new title in keeping with Chambers across the country. Steve Crisman will now serve as Chairman of the Board.)
Support Katie and take care of each other. Buy Winter Haven first.
I hope you will stop by this afternoon (Friday, February 28) between 4:00 and 6:00 p.m. here in the Chamber Auditorium to meet Katie and allow me to express my appreciation for your support.
Thank you for eighteen wonderful years. Â I’ll leave you with these words from Lennon/McCartney …
There are places I remember
All my life, though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I’ve loved them all
But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new
Though I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more.