Greetings from the NC Chamber and SEPI, Inc. I am Sepi Saidi, and I am honored to write to you from my new position as Chair of the NC Chamber’s Board of Directors.
I would first like to extend my appreciation to my predecessor: Ward Nye, President and CEO of Martin Marietta. Ward, thank you for everything you and your team have done these past two years to support NC Chamber members and job creators throughout our state as we have worked together to keep our businesses and our communities moving forward. You have left big shoes to fill – I look forward to our continued partnership as I embrace the opportunity!
Warren Bennis, the late scholar and pioneer in the field of leadership studies, once remarked: “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.”
I could not agree more. I am an engineer by training and by trade – which means I am always on the lookout for opportunities to turn today’s possibilities into tomorrow’s realities. I noticed early in my career that the most effective leaders typically possessed an ability to see beyond the problems of the moment to envision a brighter, bolder future waiting just over the horizon. This visionary approach to leadership is the approach I cultivate within my own company, SEPI, Inc., and I am excited to exercise this approach in this new role.
As the quote above implies, however, strong leadership does not end with the vision.
One lesson I have learned in growing a successful business from the ground up is that it takes an ability to clearly communicate your ideas, build consensus around them, and inspire teamwork from others to transform even the clearest vision into a workable reality. Fortunately, business leaders in North Carolina have a long history of working together and partnering with others to cultivate success. In doing so, we have managed to build one of the strongest business climates in the nation, and we have the potential to do so much more.
From advancing broadband development in rural areas and advocating for sustainable transportation funding solutions, to expanding education and workforce development partnerships and modeling stronger commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion, it is our responsibility as leaders to set the course for our continued growth. It is this collaborative leadership – this mutual effort between NC Chamber members, our business allies, and partners in the public-sector and elsewhere to build a better future for all North Carolinians – that I am most excited to foster in this new role.
I know that Gary and his team are just as excited to continue expanding these partnerships in the year ahead. If you missed the chance last week to read Gary’s annual kickoff message to Chamber members, I encourage you to read it soon. It outlines several major priorities the NC Chamber team will focus on throughout 2022 to nurture collaboration among all stakeholders with an interest in securing North Carolina’s competitive future.
“Go as far as you can see,” said J.P. Morgan. “When you get there, you’ll be able to see farther.”
As job creators, we have so many opportunities to create success for our businesses, our people, and the customers and communities we serve. In 2022, I encourage all of us to dig deeper, to imagine new ways we can leverage our positions to inspire growth. By envisioning positive outcomes and working together to make them a reality, we will not simply be ushering in a more prosperous future for our state – we will illuminate the path ahead and reveal new opportunities to reach even farther.
I am excited to help shape the vision behind our collective efforts – and for the chance to collaborate more closely with leaders like you to keep opportunity growing across North Carolina. Thank you in advance for your support of the NC Chamber as we look to make 2022 a year for courageous vision and bold action on behalf of our businesses and our people!
Sepi Saidi, PE
Founder and Chief Executive Officer