As the sun starts to set on 2006 and the winds of change begin to blow in Harrisburg, the PA Chamber says ‘goodbye’ to one of the Captains of the Ship – Jim Welty.
Jim, an avid sailor, is charting a new course that takes him to Kirkpatrick & Lockhart, Nicholson Graham. He leaves behind a legacy of accomplishments that would make even Captain Morgan jealous. As Vice President of Legislative and Corporate Affairs, Jim challenged the General Assembly to improve Pennsylvania's business climate. Navigating through rocky seas and over long nights was often part of the job for Jim and his Government Affairs crew. As one of our trusted co-captains, he commanded us to never give up. And with his guidance and direction, the ship always made it safely back to port – sometimes a bit beaten up – but always ready to sail again the next day.
Captain Welty inspired Pennsylvania’s business leaders to become strong, well-armed advocates for change. He rallied these captains of industry to work together to help move iceberg-sized tax obstacles in order to clear the way for a competitive business environment.
Like any good captain, Jim made sure his crew was equally challenged. He charged each member of the crew -- new and old -- to dig deep within themselves to go the extra mile, to not be afraid to maneuver through unchartered waters or chart their own course with little or no help, and to stand on their own and run the ship as they saw fit. This is Captain Welty's legacy – a legacy that doesn't rest on what we have today, but on what tomorrow has to offer.
Jim leaves the ship well oiled and ready to face 2007. The ship will be permanently marked by Captain Welty’s presence, as will his crew. We offer a salute and bid him farewell, and wonder, if we listen hard enough, will we hear the faint notes of “A Pirate Looks at Forty” being sung in the distance?
Editor's note: The PA Chamber blog will continue on with the musings of Jim's capable crew in the Government Affairs department. Be sure to check back from time to time to learn what's CURRENTly on their minds.