What a year!
As I wrote that headline, I wasn’t sure if I was referring to 2018 or 2019!
Regardless, the Abilene Chamber has just wrapped up a productive calendar year and is positioned to make sure that 2019 is just as impactful for our member investors.
2019 brings the final year of the Chamber’s three-year strategy, as directed by the Board and as aligned with the community’s economic development strategy, known as the “TIP Strategy,” adopted by the DCOA in early 2016.
Your Chamber will continue to produce the events, functions and offerings that are staples to our members while the strategy brings into alignment three specific priority areas that matter most to our members and to our community:
Enabling economic growth by focusing on growing and sustaining the economic health and vitality of the Abilene area.
Fostering community engagement by empowering the community, and specifically developing a sense of place, ownership and helping to enhance the quality of life in our area.
And at the front of our minds each day, and the standard by which our processes are decided, we will deliver value to members by providing opportunities that give our members added value and a competitive edge.
In each of those three priority areas, there have been scores of local business leaders engaged in designing, executing and driving results – and they have produced.
As we worked to enable economic development, we focused on a skilled workforce for business; career mobility for Abilene residents; working to enhance our central business district as a place for employment and investment and working through the establishment of an innovation ecosystem to provide for organic economic growth – in short, growing our own.
By prioritizing our effort to foster community engagement, we worked hard to enhance a positive identity for Abilene; ensuring community connections and lifetime experiences; working to make sure that we create, mold and support the next generation of Abilene’s leaders and by involving each and every member we could to get these things done.
And while the third focus area has always been first in my mind, we’ve done all that we’ve accomplished and will accomplish with the mindset of making sure that action delivers values to our members – the very lifeblood of the Chamber organization. We’ve charged ourselves and the leadership of the Chamber with serving the diverse needs of the business community – companies both large and small – by listening, actively engaging the subject matter experts and launching initiatives to meet their needs. We have and will continue to identify opportunities to increase the bottom lines of our members, and to make sure the conditions for businesses to operate in are optimal through an aggressive government affairs advocacy role right here at home, in Austin and in our nation’s capital.
We’re extremely proud of the work that was undertaken by each of our volunteer leaders over the last calendar year – and I’m happy to share the organization’s annual report – AVAILABLE HERE so you can see but a few of the accomplishments we’ve compiled by working together.
We’ll continue to press forward in each of these three areas in the coming year by ensuring that we not only maintain our course of action, but also by measuring the results of our work and the resulting impact the effort brings.
Keep this in mind – for us, it all starts with jobs. When our members are able to grow, so too does our great community.
It is my hope that this new year brings with it great health, tremendous opportunity and prosperity for all of our great city.