Wheeler: Creativity is best defense against recession

Dec. 07, 2012 @ 04:18 PM

Members of the Union County Chamber of Commerce and others heard positive thoughts from Howard Augustine "Humpy" Wheeler, Jr. on the economy and applauded recipients of the chamber's Volunteer and Ambassador of the Year awards Thursday night.

Beginning about 6 p.m. Thursday, the Union County Chamber of Commerce hosted its 62nd Annual Meeting.

Wheeler was the event's guest speaker and Gayla Tyson, a business development specialist with StaffMasters, Inc. was named Volunteer of the Year while David Smith, a financial planner with Edward Jones, was named Ambassador of the Year.

"It's a way for us to showcase what we've done," Bob Sabin, membership development specialist for the Union County Chamber of Commerce, said.

The chamber's annual meeting attracted 260 people. Throughout the event, participants got a chance to hear Wheeler's thoughts about what to do in the current economy as well as some about what the chamber has accomplished this year and its plans for next year, he said.

Throughout his speech, Wheeler focused on the importance of ideas and creativity in moving forward in the current economy. He gave examples of ways ideas and creativity were helpful when it came to helping run Lowe's Motor Speedway and other jobs and tasks he's been involved with in his life.

"You got to have those really good ideas to do good things," Wheeler said during his speech.

He gave the example of how an employee of the speedway came up with the idea of bringing Robosaurus, a giant mechanical dinosaur that eats cars to the speedway to attract more visitors. 

The employee who came the idea of bringing in Robosaurus wasn't known for having a lot of creative ideas but that particular idea turned out to be very helpful for the speedway. You don't have to be a creative person to be successful but you have to learn to recognize creativity. In the past, creativity has helped many get out of certain situations and can help people struggling through the current economy as well, Wheeler said.

"You always find out we Americans have gotten out of problems before with creativity," he said.

In addition to Wheeler's speech and learning the winners of the night's awards, attendees of the event also heard a few words from Tom Donahue, chairman of the Union County Chamber of Commerce and Ron Brown, the incoming chamber chairman during the meeting.

Many said they enjoyed the event and found Wheeler's speech entertaining and inspirational.

"I enjoyed hearing Humpy Wheeler speak," Drew Lawrence of Lawrence Surveying, said.

Sharon Rosché, president of the Union County Chamber of Commerce, felt similarly.

She thought Wheeler was a great speaker and was happy with the overall message of his speech and the event's attendance, Rosché said.