Mark Lee Speakes to Up & Coming

On July 2, Mark Lee spoke to the group about the role the Chamber of Commerce plays in Sioux Falls and how young leaders can play a role in its success. Mark has been the Chamber's Public Affairs and Communications Director since August 2013. Hear more about Mark's role and his advice to young professionals in his own words:

What is the role of the Public Affairs and Communications department?

We're responsible for all governmental relations activity and communications and marketing for the Chamber. This includes actively working with local, state and federal governmental officials to promote community and business development in the area and the state. Communications and marketing includes all the Chamber’s publications plus brand development and membership marketing.

What's the most pressing issues facing the Chamber lobbyists today?

We believe the biggest issue that will challenge our Chamber and our state is the current work of the K-12 Blue Ribbon Task Force and the legislative package they will/may produce. It is an issue of immense proportion in a state with changing rural/urban and racial and ethnic demographics. Our Chamber supports an excellent K-12 system and understands that how we deliver that education across the state and how we fund it will have to change. We hope to positively influence that change.

How can young professionals have a voice through the Chamber?

This is a two-way street, from my perspective. We have to more proactively reach out to a variety of young professional groups to engage them in the dialogue and the process. Second, young professionals have to agree to participate and contribute. Effective advocacy is about developing our policy positions and then communicating them. Young professionals can really impact the process if they choose.