A member Q&A with Steve Gladis, Ph.D., President & CEO, Steve Gladis Leadership Partners
How long have you been a member of the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce?
I’ve been a member of that Chamber for 19 years! It started when I was assigned as an Associate Dean at the University of Virginia in charge of the Northern Virginia Center and was asked to be a board member.
Why do you continue to engage with the Fairfax Chamber through Chamber membership?
I’ve found the Chamber to be the single best place to find where business leaders in the region hang out! When I was at UVA we studied all the groups in the region and determined that the Fairfax Chamber met our needs the best for wide exposure to business in Northern Virginia. Later when I started my own company, Steve Gladis Leadership Partners, I threw my anchor out again into the Chamber’s waters and it’s been the best investment I make. More than 50% of my business has come through the connections that I’ve made over the years. Even as important, many of my friends come from those Chamber relationships. That’s a hard proposition to beat.
What advice would you give to new members on how to get the most of Fairfax Chamber membership?
Once a while ago when I was the membership chairman, I came up with an idea based on a cable show about how to reinvent and refresh your car, called: ”Pimp Your Ride.” My idea was to “Pimp Your Membership!” And the advice I give companies is to 1. Engage their leadership on committees; 2. Engage their managers at all levels on thought leadership groups, and at social gatherings; 3. Engage at events. The key word—Engage. You get out what you put into it. It’s that simple.
Why should other companies join the Chamber?
Any company that wants to do business in Northern Virginia is “nuts” not to join the Fairfax Chamber. It’s a one-stop place to plug into the business community that would take years and years otherwise.
In your opinion, what is the most valuable part of being a member of the Fairfax Chamber?
The friendships I’ve developed at the Chamber.
How can readers find out more about Steve Gladis Leadership Partners?
Some links that might be of value: