Home » #33 – Education, community, re-skilling and up-skilling talent with Ralph Schulz.

#33 – Education, community, re-skilling and up-skilling talent with Ralph Schulz.

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Ralph Schulz is the President and CEO of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce.

What we talked about…

  • Ralph was born in Louisville, Kentucky, and moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee when he was 12. He went to UT Knoxville. 
  • His first job in the mid-1970s was in Nashville. He moved away and returned to Nashville in the late 1990s to run the Science Center. The center was struggling at the time and this piqued his interest. 
  • Ralph is more face-to-face. He’s more about conversation instead of soundbites. He doesn’t use social media.
  • The Nashville Chamber job was the only other job he wanted and when it became open he applied. It attracted him because it’s led by business leaders in the community who want to see a difference. They don’t just hand over a check, they want to be engaged. 
  • Community leaders often have the desire but don’t have the wherewithal to take the steps to support the community. That’s how the Chamber helps.
  • After three years as President of the Chamber, they won the Chamber of the Year Award in 2009. 
  • Determining your value. Setting goals. Scheduling with a timeline.
  • Ask, what do we value as an organization? Create a Purpose statement. Set goals and a timeline to achieve the goals and track the ROI of your work.
  • How to measure success at the chamber from employee retention to where employees depart to. Setting expectations.
  • The chamber is a talent generator it also has to be very good at original research, regional collaboration, agenda facilitation, and economic development.
  • They have a new plan every five years from surveys and polling. They meet with 80 business leaders and determine priorities and metrics to measure success. This doesn’t happen without clarity. 
  • How to communicate clearly for onboarding new hires. 
  • Assigning a buddy for new hires.
  • Re-skilling, up-skilling, and the need for continuous learning. Stackable skills.
  • Common elements in great leaders. 
  • Read American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America by Colin Woodward. 
  • The importance of family. 
  • Contact Ralph via RSchulz@nashvillechamber.com or nashvillechamber.com

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