As I sit here in the last week of 2016 I can’t help but reflect on how things have changed this year. For those of you who don’t know me well, I started the year working in a hospital and studying to finish a Bachelor’s degree in Radiologic Sciences. I don’t think that on January 1 Haley Hoover was 100% sure she’d be spending a considerable amount of time in Australia either. But time passed, things changed and here we are. Haley and I both stepped out of our comfort zones and took chances. I couldn’t be happier.

When I interviewed for this job one of the first questions they asked me was if I knew for sure that I needed to change careers before it even took off. Trust me, I had thought of that well before I sat down at that interview. I worked really hard, sacrificed family time and spent a lot of stressful hours working toward a career in radiology. However, I am also smart enough to know that I am not ultimately in control of my life. Yes, I can make a lot of decisions that alter its course but sometimes things are put in our path by someone other than man.

You see, I had considered this Chamber Lady gig before and never felt it was the right time. Either I was pregnant or some other “thing” was happening that wouldn’t allow me to give it my all. This time was different. The timing in 2016 meant I could come to work and go home in the same town. It meant that even though I do work longer hours occasionally, I wouldn’t have to continue sacrificing my time with my husband and daughter the way I had been. It meant that I was probably mature enough to understand better how my community works and what it might need but to also be humble enough to not know these things and when to shut up and listen to someone else.

I knew deep down that it was time to give this a try. Even though I tried to come up with reasons it might not work, deep down I knew. It also helped that my “deep down” voice was sounding oddly like Lance Bohannon with a lot of rational arguments as to why I could and should try this. (I hope I’m not the only person whose inner monologue sometimes sounds like Lance!)

I’m telling you all this so you’ll understand that I really, really work hard at this job and believe in the work I do. I may not always make the right decision but the decisions I make are with Frederick in mind. I come to work every day hoping that what I do might help a business, bring a new family to town or encourage growth in some small way. I believe in Frederick and its people. I believe that when we work together we can eclipse any problem that gets in our way.

Times are hard and some things may not seem in our favor but if we work together then I truly believe we can help our community prosper. I’m not naïve enough to think it will be easy because it won’t. It’s going to take some creative thinking and potentially scary change to keep Frederick growing and becoming more economically sufficient. I’ll say it again, I believe in Frederick and its people.

Let’s come together and make 2017 a great year for Frederick.

Don’t Forget: Be Kind. Be Heard. Be Local.

Felisha Crawford,
Executive Director