Nick Knight
Special to AFN

While technically within the Phoenix City limits, the Village of Ahwatukee is separated topographically by a mountain range, and has been called the biggest cul-de-sac in the world.

Some might call that isolation, but to others, it has been an opportunity to create a unique, small-town culture out of what could have been just another bedroom community.

One of the many things that contributes to that sense of community is the proliferation of locally owned and operated businesses within our community – businesses whose owners live here, send their children to school here and who have a vested interest in the community as a whole, not just their individual bottom lines.

To better serve this localized business community, the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1994.

But while most Chambers of Commerce exist solely for the benefit of member businesses, the Ahwatukee Chamber has a proud history of much greater community involvement.

From sponsoring the annual Red, White and Boom fireworks event to providing educational scholarships through Women in Business, recognizing outstanding local educators to and introducing and managing the Young Entrepreneurs Academy Program for budding middle and high school business tycoons, this Chamber reflects well the unique character of our community.

Among the many activities sponsored by the Ahwatukee Chamber, the Public Policy Committee is charged with exploring current issues that affect both member businesses as well as the community at large, and providing a forum in which to engage, educate and inform both business and community members about issues and policies that affect them directly.

As the 2017 Public Policy Committee chair, I have been working with my team to restructure the previous speaker series to provide a mixture of business-oriented topics as well as broaden our scope with speakers addressing more general interest subjects.

To that end, we are launching in April the “Intersections Speaker Series – Where Business and Community Meet.”

Some of the speakers we hope to schedule include state Representatives Jill Norgaard and Mitzi Epstein, state Sen. Sean Bowie and U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema.

Rep. Norgaard will be our first speaker, at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 6, at Foothills Golf Club. She will share news from the Capitol and key topics for the Ahwatukee area from the state perspective.  She will also be available to answer questions from the audience.

Among the issues we anticipate covering during the year are water supplies and golf courses, modifications to the South Mountain Freeway plan such as below-grade construction and extended bike lane, city infrastructure and maintenance, and personal and business health insurance.

That’s where you come in.

To better understand your interests and provide the most relevant speakers and topics, we need your input.

We have put together a short, three-question survey that can anyone can answer at  surveymonkey.com/r/TSGF6JF.

Please take a few minutes to let us know how we can make this series more relevant to your concerns and build a schedule of meetings that you will want to attend.

-Nick Knight, owner of Nick’s Computer Guys, has been an active member of the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce since 2010. Reach him at 480-242-4997 or info@nickscomputerguys.com.

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