Making the Call


Bob Turney, President, Yosemite | Hwy 120 Chamber of Commerce

Making the call is tough. Sometimes, the best call isn’t the most popular one. Or the easiest to communicate. 

Cancelling the 2021 49er Festival was one of the toughest calls I’ve ever faced in business as well as personally. I feel fortunate to have a group of intelligent and experienced individuals serving on your board with me. We discussed and debated for weeks before taking a final vote. We watched daily reports on COVID cases in Tuolumne County, sought advice and guidance from County and State public health, spoke with our major sponsors, and to our partners and families. We tried to come to an agreement earlier in August, but the board was split. Some members felt we should weigh the increase in COVID cases and pressure on our local healthcare system; others felt strongly about the impact on our business community and our rights to personal choice. When we finally voted on August 31, four voted to cancel; two voted against. 

Personal choice is a key factor in making the call. I can choose to attend an event or to stay home and watch a game–either choice impacts only me. But when I put on my Chamber of Commerce director’s hat, it becomes a call that impacts my entire community. And the thought of something happening to any one of YOU…it’s simply unthinkable.

Cancelling the Festival was a tough call but personally, I believe it was the right one.  We are still engaged in the Strategic Planning process and this challenge was a real test of the strength of this team. We’re looking forward to sharing our Strategic Plan at the Chamber’s annual meeting in October and seeing you at next year’s 49er Festival.

Bob Turney is owner of Yosemite Adventure Supplies and the Turnkey Institute.