American industrialist and business magnate Henry Ford once said, “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.” As I reflect on my first State of the Community luncheon here in Carlsbad, I think Henry Ford was correct. Here are my thoughts…..
On Friday, Aug. 23, 500 business, civic, community and educational leaders converged to interact, network, collaborate and learn. Carlsbad Unified School District Superintendent, Dr. Ben Churchill, reported on the status of schools throughout the city of Carlsbad. He shared about some of the unique attributes of our schools as well as how many of our schools are going to be updated and modernized. One highlight that will stick with me relates to the Carlsbad High School Broadcast Journalism Team that was honored as the “Best Daily Newscast in the Nation” for an unprecedented 12th time. Amazing….
Our event also featured City of Carlsbad Mayor Matt Hall’s “State of the City” address. While there were many great things shared, one item that stood out to me was the 1.5M sq. ft. of new industrial space added to our business park this past year. We currently have the 3rd largest industrial park in the county, behind San Diego and Otay Mesa. But Mayor Hall also shared that we generated over $25M in tourism revenue. In the county of San Diego, that amount is second only to the city of San Diego itself. That combination of a strong industrial park and thriving tourism makes Carlsbad an economic asset to our entire region…. Finally, we also had a presentation from Claude Jones, Senior Director of Engineering at Walmart Labs in Carlsbad. He shared the story of how Walmart Labs ended up here and he discussed how North County is becoming a tech hub for the entire region. Walmart Labs is the e-commerce backbone for Walmart globally. The fact that they are here is a huge testament to both our quality of life and our high caliber talent pool.
While there are many positives going on in our community, there are challenges ahead of us as well. The two top challenges that stuck with me from the Mayor’s speech were the growing homeless population and traffic issues. Both of these are regional issues that will involve large scale collaboration from all of us to move the needle in positive directions and achieve true lasting results. There are no easy-fix solutions to these complex issues. To me, however, that just means there is a greater chance for strong leadership to make an impact.
The Chamber is very excited about the future for Carlsbad. Our goal is to act as an economic catalyst, a convener of business, civic and community leaders, and serve as a champion for our community. We look forward to collaborating with all of you to help make Carlsbad the best place to live, work, play, shop, dine, visit and vacation – for the betterment of our whole region. Ready to get going?
Above are some of the moments captured at our 2019 State of the Community Luncheon. Huge thanks to our member, Ann Landstrom with Ann Photography, for documenting our event!