Springfield Chamber of Commerce
executive Jim Anderson is retiring.
A few have inquired if that leaves
this column short of fodder.
Apparently in the heat of journalistic
high jinks and verbal construct readers
assumed that The Edge does not
appreciate or support Mr. Anderson.
While sometimes disagreeing with
a position taken by Anderson and the
chamber or questioning chamber
involvement in this or that about
town, The Edge has always believed
Jim Anderson to be an exceptional community
leader. Anderson, like the late Curt Strube
(business school head at Drury), always gives
positive lift to ideas whether he, in the end,
agrees with them or not.
The Edge first met Anderson (even then a
man of diminished follicles) more than 20
years ago when Anderson worked for the state
chamber organization. Over the years, in scattered
social situations, Anderson and his wife
have been engaging, interesting and fun people
to be around. There should be no doubt
that The Edge considers Anderson what we in
the Ozarks often describe as, “good people!”
If Anderson is due any criticism from the likes
of this column, it is that he is better at his job
than he should be. A coalition builder, he has
often blended many diverse interests into a
committee, a task force or a general membership
in which the achievement of the coalition
eclipses the chamber’s prime directive of representing
the private business sector. The chamber
often is an advocate for Springfield the community
rather than Springfield businesses.
A traditionalist, The Edge believes the sole
role of the chamber of commerce to be that of
representing the views and desires of the business
sector. Owners of both small and large
concerns depend on the chamber for information
and to give a united local voice to the concerns
of private enterprise.