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Author Topic: Guest Series: JAX Chamber's President Wally Lee  (Read 2258 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Guest Series: JAX Chamber's President Wally Lee
« on: May 17, 2012, 03:22:19 AM »
Guest Series: JAX Chamber's President Wally Lee



Metro Jacksonville takes a step back to listen to, promote, and discuss the editorials, personal accounts, and vocal opinions of some of the key players in the preservation and progression of our community. This week, Wally Leet, president of JAX Chamber explains the group's goals and outlook towards downtown revitalization.

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2012-may-guest-series-jax-chambers-president-wally-lee

vicupstate

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Re: Guest Series: JAX Chamber's President Wally Lee
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2012, 05:01:32 AM »
Glad to hear about Tony Allegretti.  I hope that among the 'things to come' is a plan for the Laura Trio. 
"The problem with quotes on the internet is you can never be certain they're authentic." - Abraham Lincoln

JeffreyS

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Re: Guest Series: JAX Chamber's President Wally Lee
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2012, 06:34:33 AM »
Nice to hear from Mr. Lee. I wonder if the chamber advocates city incentives to help the mini malls inside our big office towers engage the street.  This would be the easiest and most bang for the buck solution to a more vibrant useable downtown. Use what we have.
It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.  Mark Twain

simms3

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Re: Guest Series: JAX Chamber's President Wally Lee
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2012, 07:28:43 AM »
Glad to see Tony on board, but this editorial basically told me nothing.  I'm  growing tired of PR talk.  I want honest talk and I want real opinions.  I want to hear where leaders truly think we are right now, where we need to go, and from a 10,000 ft view rather than a 100,000 ft view a plan to get there.

The Chamber is the "front door"?  It's barely noticeable to me, and the redesign is an improvement, but the whole building itself is an abomination that replaced a treasure trove of standout warehouses that could have given Jacksonville's waterfront a similar feel as Nashville's waterfront today.

I hear more self complimenting and vaguery from Jacksonville's leaders (and I know this was a quick PR message) than I hear coming from city leaders in NYC, Philadelphia and Baltimore.  Even in those great cities, everything is about fixing or improving something with a more defined plan and partnerships laid out.  There's not talk of "we have such great assets" or "help spread the positive message" (i.e. what positive message?).

And the only people I think can talk about the "urban core" without being hypocritical or sounding ridiculous are those on this board, Tony Allegreti himself, and perhaps a few others who are involved with specific things going on in the core (Sue Carmichael and Robert Lee for one with Fresh Ministries and some revitalization projects).

Wally Lee?  I know who he is, but what the hell does he do for the "urban core"?  He's an overpaid, over tenured guy who probably should step down and let a fresh face in.  He's an embarassment just like his latest PR message.

tufsu1

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Re: Guest Series: JAX Chamber's President Wally Lee
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2012, 07:56:00 AM »
^ and a rant like this can also seem a bit embarassing

JeffreyS

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Re: Guest Series: JAX Chamber's President Wally Lee
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2012, 08:05:48 AM »
Simms3, you make a good point but then you take it too far with the personal attack. He made a few specific points.
1. They have a dedicated annual fund for downtown development. (Hard to argue with money where his mouth is)
2. They have hired Tony Allegretti to be a specific point man on this issue.
3. Gave official support to the DIA which is a bold move in the face of the "Tea Party" anti-government rhetoric you hear in these parts.
It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.  Mark Twain

Garden guy

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Re: Guest Series: JAX Chamber's President Wally Lee
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2012, 08:09:20 AM »
Simms3, you make a good point but then you take it too far with the personal attack. He made a few specific points.
1. They have a dedicated annual fund for downtown development. (Hard to argue with money where his mouth is)
2. They have hired Tony Allegretti to be a specific point man on this issue.
3. Gave official support to the DIA which is a bold move in the face of the "Tea Party" anti-government rhetoric you hear in these parts.
I he a Teaparty guy?

JeffreyS

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Re: Guest Series: JAX Chamber's President Wally Lee
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2012, 08:15:29 AM »
Simms3, you make a good point but then you take it too far with the personal attack. He made a few specific points.
1. They have a dedicated annual fund for downtown development. (Hard to argue with money where his mouth is)
2. They have hired Tony Allegretti to be a specific point man on this issue.
3. Gave official support to the DIA which is a bold move in the face of the "Tea Party" anti-government rhetoric you hear in these parts.
I he a Teaparty guy?
No I am not saying that but I generally see the Chamber as a more conservative group. Not radical, but lots of GOBs who have been running businesses in the area paying chamber dues for a long time.  My guess is pursuing progressive business tactics like using tax money to improve QOL might see some resistance.
It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.  Mark Twain

simms3

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Re: Guest Series: JAX Chamber's President Wally Lee
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2012, 08:20:43 AM »
I guess the $150K marketing slush fund is a positive step and something tangible...but I just get tired of hearing the SAME few talking points all the time.  Outside of MetroJax, when's a public figure going to complain about something significant and then work to fix that one problem before moving to the next?  Every public figure in Jacksonville says the same thing and they don't seem passionate about anything lower than 30,000 ft (well except for Bill Brinton and his signs...which is passion that works against us).

And Wally has been president of the chamber for about 23 years now, after 3 years as president of Spartanburg's and 5 years as head of Mobile's.  This guy is the FRD/Richard Daley of the Chamber.  I guess people feel he's the best man for the job...for the past 23 years.

vicupstate

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Re: Guest Series: JAX Chamber's President Wally Lee
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2012, 08:52:43 AM »
I think the frustration that simms3 is expressing is based on 'do they really mean it this time', 'will we truly get implementation, or just more of the same'? 

I think the Chamber and the mayor really do want to get DT off the dime,  but they are faced with skepticism from the decades of fits and starts in the past.  That is why they need a real 'money where the mouth is, and we understand the basics' base hit project, to help get everyone believing that it is REAL this time.

That's why I suggested the Laura Trio, but getting Synder on a better track would be a good start too. 
 
"The problem with quotes on the internet is you can never be certain they're authentic." - Abraham Lincoln

mtraininjax

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Re: Guest Series: JAX Chamber's President Wally Lee
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2012, 08:54:19 AM »
Quote
Wally Lee?  I know who he is, but what the hell does he do for the "urban core"?  He's an overpaid, over tenured guy who probably should step down and let a fresh face in.  He's an embarassment just like his latest PR message.

+1

Putting Tony into this mix with the Chamber is akin to putting lipstick (Tony) on a pig (Chamber). As long as Lee and Mallot are running the show, we will get the status quo from the Chamber. If you want real change, Change at the top!
And, that $115 will save Jacksonville from financial ruin. - Mayor John Peyton

“This is a game-changer. This is what I mean when I say taking Jacksonville to the next level.”
-Mayor Alvin Brown on new video boards at Everbank Field

cline

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Re: Guest Series: JAX Chamber's President Wally Lee
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2012, 09:47:39 AM »
Quote
Wally Lee?  I know who he is, but what the hell does he do for the "urban core"?  He's an overpaid, over tenured guy who probably should step down and let a fresh face in.  He's an embarassment just like his latest PR message.

+1

Putting Tony into this mix with the Chamber is akin to putting lipstick (Tony) on a pig (Chamber). As long as Lee and Mallot are running the show, we will get the status quo from the Chamber. If you want real change, Change at the top!

Yes, this is just more lip service that will result in nothing for downtown.

Tacachale

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Re: Guest Series: JAX Chamber's President Wally Lee
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2012, 10:26:58 AM »
^I really don't understand what all that negativity is about. The Chamber of Commerce isn't a government agency or a downtown development unit, it's, well, a Chamber of Commerce.

As a C of C they're involved in a lot more than downtown development, but regardless the piece does discuss tangible developments such as the Everbank move, the renovation of the Chamber building, and the hiring of Allegretti.

There's also the issue that while the Chamber can support initiatives like the "downtown empowerment agency", the actual execution of is on the City. If the City botches it, does it mean the concept itself or its supporters are wrong? No.

This article may not tell Metro Jax readers anything we haven't heard already here, but as someone who's been around long enough to remember local business leaders saying that Downtown was not important or even that it doesn't exist, I'm happy to see our Chamber taking a strong pro-downtown stance these days. That in and of itself is a tangible improvement.
Do you believe that when the blue jay or another bird sings and the body is trembling, that is a signal that people are coming or something important is about to happen?

mtraininjax

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Re: Guest Series: JAX Chamber's President Wally Lee
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2012, 10:39:09 AM »
Quote
This article may not tell Metro Jax readers anything we haven't heard already here, but as someone who's been around long enough to remember local business leaders saying that Downtown was not important or even that it doesn't exist, I'm happy to see our Chamber taking a strong pro-downtown stance these days. That in and of itself is a tangible improvement.

Mind you, these are the same "Chamber leaders" who helped open up the Southside area to expansion and growth. These folks are the worst at talking out of both sides of their mouths. They are pro-growth, just depends on which way the wind (and MONEY) is blowing.
And, that $115 will save Jacksonville from financial ruin. - Mayor John Peyton

“This is a game-changer. This is what I mean when I say taking Jacksonville to the next level.”
-Mayor Alvin Brown on new video boards at Everbank Field

tufsu1

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Re: Guest Series: JAX Chamber's President Wally Lee
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2012, 11:26:27 AM »
Mind you, these are the same "Chamber leaders" who helped open up the Southside area to expansion and growth. These folks are the worst at talking out of both sides of their mouths. They are pro-growth, just depends on which way the wind (and MONEY) is blowing.

sure, but that's true with Chambers everywhere...so if the wind is blowing towards the urban core these days, I'm all for it!