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Chane Griggs: A Beacon of Servant Leadership in Salem

Written by Zev Glass on Jun. 13th, 2023
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The Salem Chamber of Commerce recently awarded Chane Griggs the prestigious First Citizens Award, recognizing her exceptional accomplishments as a servant leader in the community. Griggs has never sought recognition for her professional or volunteer work but remains deeply committed to making a difference in Salem.

Griggs’ achievements in servant leadership can be traced back to her personal life experiences and background. In various leadership positions, she has focused on building diverse teams and fostering an environment where everyone’s talents can flourish. The Gerry Frank Salem Rotary Amphitheater project serves as a prime example of Griggs’ dedication to servant leadership. As the leader of the Design Committee, she not only sought funding for the project but also ensured the community had a voice in selecting the design and architectural firm.

Her commitment to servant leadership has also been evident in her roles as President of the Rotary Club of Salem and President of the Salem Planning Commission, where she prioritized listening and making thoughtful decisions. Griggs’ accomplishments have had a significant impact on her personal life, as she continues to balance her family, work, and volunteer responsibilities. Prioritizing her family has been key to achieving this balance, and she is grateful for the tremendous support she has received from her husband, Jim.

Griggs’ personal values and experiences have helped her forge relationships with local organizations, nonprofits, and government entities to drive positive change in the community. As the former Regional Director for the Oregon Community Foundation, she collaborated with numerous nonprofits and government agencies to address various community issues. Additionally, as Assistant Director for the Department of Corrections, she secured funding for programs aimed at reducing recidivism rates.

The influence of Griggs’ family and support system cannot be understated in her journey as a servant leader. Her engaged parents served as role models, inspiring her commitment to giving back to her community in the same way her mother did with Dorothea Dix Hospital and Wake Med Hospital, and her father with his work with youth in North Carolina.

As a First Citizens Award recipient, Griggs envisions using this recognition to emphasize the importance of giving back to the community. Although she does not seek accolades for her work, she hopes that her example will inspire others to engage in their city and make a positive impact on the lives of those around them.

Griggs offers valuable advice to individuals who aspire to combine their personal passions and professional ambitions to make a difference through servant leadership. She encourages them to find ways to engage in their city, whether by joining a neighborhood association or volunteering for a city board or commission. She believes that if everyone contributes in some way, Salem will become a city where future generations will want to live and work.

Chane Griggs’ unwavering commitment to servant leadership, coupled with her numerous accomplishments, make her a deserving recipient of the First Citizens Award. Her passion for making a difference in the lives of others serves as a shining example for the Salem community, highlighting the power of servant leadership in fostering a better future for all.

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