Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

June 19, 2014

Secrets of success shared at annual chamber dinner meeting

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD — Secrets of success and gratitude for jobs well done were shared Wednesday during the Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce 108th Annual Dinner Meeting.

Chairman of the board George McGonagle, who is also president of the Bluefield Baseball Club Inc., told the audience filling David’s at the Club in the Bluefield Elks Lodge that the past 18 months had been interesting. During those months, the chamber had hosted everything from meetings with legislators and hosting events such as the Better Living Show and the Cole Chevy Mountain Festival. He thanked volunteers and the chamber’s staff for their work and dedication.

Recently named the King of Baseball, McGonagle was presented with a Blue Jays jersey featuring the No. 1. He reminded the audience that the chamber’s theme in 2013 was “The Value of Involvement,” and urged them to be involved in the chamber and their community. Having minor league baseball in Bluefield and a chamber that works to improve the quality of life are important.

“Two of the greatest assets this community has is the Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce and the Bluefield Baseball Club,” McGonagle said.

Early in the program, McGonagle announced the recipient of the Robert F. Hamilton Award, which recognizes a local citizen and/or business for superior community service. This year’s recipient was Eugenia H. “Genie” Hancock, who has had many accomplishments in the business and community service. Hancock was the first woman president of the Greater Bluefield Chamber, and she has worked in projects ranging from downtown beautification to coordinating the annual Mercer County Reading Bee. Describing Hancock as “truly a volunteer at heart,” he presented her with a plaque honoring her service.

“Thank you, thank you. It’s so exciting to see that the chamber is up and moving, and running and accomplishing things. You have found your niche and exactly what you need to be doing. Let’s play ball,” Hancock told the guests.

The evening’s keynote speaker, Mel Didier, Toronto Blue Jays senior advisor and professional scout, spoke of 10 key traits that make people successful.

“The first thing in being success if how to think, how to organize,” Didier said. “Organization is important whether you are building a small team or a large team, a small business or a big business. Try to think of what you will do in good times and bad and do not be afraid to make a mistake,” he added.

The second ingredient for success is the ability to set goals. Have a plan and stick to the plan, Didier said.

A third item for success is being able to take action. “Goals are nothing without activity and action,” Didier said.

The fourth item for success is to be persistent, and work hard to accomplish goals, he continued. A fifth item for success is to never stop learning, and the sixth is to learn to analyze details.

A seventh item is to focus on your time.

“Boy, time is everything,” Didier emphasized. “It is fleeting. Focus on your time and don’t have distractions.”

The eighth item for success is not to fear being different. “I don’t mean outlandish things, but the courage to be really, really different. Be accommodating, be a friend, but don’t be afraid to be different,” he said.

A ninth item of success is to deal and communicate with people effectively, Didier said. The 10th item was vital for success. The most important thing is integrity, which includes being honest and responsible, he stated.

“When you take things upon yourself, you’ve got to be able to carry the ball,” Didier said.

— Contact Greg Jordan at