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This blog is authored by Mark Hinesley, Chamber President/CEO
3 minutes reading time (631 words)

Like A Delicious Dessert…

I hope you had a safe, relaxing, and reflective Christmas and New Year Holiday. If yours was anything like mine, it likely included some tasty sweets and delicious desserts. In all of the hustle and bustle, surrounded by these holiday necessities I really did not give it much thought as I indulged a bit more than was really necessary. However, with the changing of the calendar and finding a bit of time to finally slow down and catch a breath here and there, a particular kitchen concoction caught my attention.

For those of you who know my wife Tonya, this will be of no surprise. For those who have yet to meet her, well that’s a treat in itself. She is a terrific cook and loves to bake things, nearly always without even following any particular recipe. I’m pretty sure there is not a measuring cup in the house if that tells you anything. As for me, anyone who knows me knows how much I love to eat. Regarding her cooking, I can say with near certainty that I have probably never eaten “exactly” the same thing twice. Needless to say, it’s a wonderful combination.

I guess it was about her final holiday baking that gave me pause to ponder how much our community is similar to a fresh-baked loaf of banana nut bread. It’s odd that this particular dessert often starts out with some less than delicious looking, nearly expired bananas. Along with those fore-mentioned bananas, several other things needed include fresh eggs, flour, sugar, butter and in this case some nuts. Other than the nuts, there is nothing in the recipe that would be particularly tasty alone. In fact, eating those bananas, flour, fresh eggs, and butter by itself sounds kind of distasteful to me. But in some magical way, with plenty of practice, and following a few simple steps, baked in a no-frills pan, and heated at the correct temperature for just the right amount of time the result is amazing; and I don’t even eat fresh bananas!

Think for just a second about the wide variety of folks who make up our community. Some might represent the eggs, seemingly hard and crusty on the outside when we all know they are really mushy and soft on the inside. Others may be like the sugar; very sweet in small amounts but not particularly beneficial in large doses. What about the ones which are like creamy butter who seem to make everything a bit tastier? We need to toss in a good dose of those bananas.  And then of course there are those nuts. As much as they sometimes drive us crazy, we have got to have the nuts or it just won’t turn out as good. Then it’s time to blend it all together. Just maybe not having the recipe micro-managed or pre-determined is our little secret.

I happen to believe that the recipe for the future of our community needs to be as inclusive, diversified, and creative as possible if we want it be place that our children and their children will be proud to call home. As more friends and neighbors are added and want to be included in the mix, we can always make the mixing bowl bigger. I’m betting that our future is going to something very special! Follow Mark on Twitter @MJChamber #mjchamber or Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and visit 24/7 at

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