A poetic metaphor that makes all the difference
THIS ARTICLE APPEARS IN THE RED ROCK NEWS
June 30, 2023
Robert Frost’s Poem “The Road Not Taken,” has been a topic of conversation among scholars for decades regarding the meaning of the last two lines, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.”
Does the poem convey that taking the road less traveled is a great risk, with the possibility of a great reward? Or that metaphorically, perhaps the traveler realizes he/she can’t be on two roads at the same time and a choice needs to be made.
This poem struck a chord, in that the Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau’s role in supporting the business community was at a crossroads a few months ago. In order to maintain our mission, vision and allegiance to our members, we realized that we couldn’t be on two roads at the same time and had to make a choice that changed us in many ways.
We held ourselves accountable to our 750-plus businesses and reevaluated our core goals. During the last two weeks, we met with our stakeholders, our business community and members to present new programs and services. This gave our team a renewed sense of focus as we were able to realign our goals and structure.
We provided our businesses with new marketing opportunities ranging from digital banner advertising, newsletter sponsorships, social media posts, graphic design, blog creation, regional advertising packages, marketing consultation and more.
We also spent a lot of time researching other chambers of commerce across the country, evaluating the best business practices and comparing program initiatives.
While the Chamber is a hub of business activity where business professionals connect, cultivate, converse and collaborate, we acknowledge that our members are the heart of our organization. Therefore, it is our responsibility to assist and support our businesses —it’s a relationship that we don’t take for granted.
The feedback we received from our members was overwhelming and greatly appreciated. I enjoyed the open dialogue and exchange of ideas. It gave us all a chance to speak and be heard, collaborate with one another and we were receptive to the feedback. We encourage others who may not have participated to join the conversation.
Crystal Hoyle, director of sales at Sedona Real Inn & Suites sent us an email noting, “The staff at the Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau consistently go above and beyond to help their members succeed. I appreciate their friendly, accessible approach, willingness to find out if they don’t know, drive to help members by creating marketing ideas, and no-nonsense explanations of what is going on between the city and their member organization.”
She ended her email with, “When I think of the Sedona Chamber of Commerce, I think of the dream team of experts, professionals and volunteers who have a vested interest in their member’s potential and sustainable growth.”
We appreciate Crystal’s enthusiasm and heartfelt note, which made our staff feel good about their accomplishments.
It’s a team effort at the SCC&TB, which means that our staff, volunteers, business community, residents and visitors are all a part of the growth and success of our organization.
Whether or not we take the “road less traveled by,” the choices we make now and in the future are to benefit our businesses and community — and that will make all the difference.
–Michelle Conway, President/CEO
Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau