Ready, Set, GLOW!

March 8, 2019Doug Peters, President and CEO of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce

Who’da thunk it?

Several years ago, the Abilene Chamber embarked on a new initiative that some thought had seen its last days. In fact, it had. After going dormant for a short period of time, the Chamber – and namely a special group of dedicated and talented volunteers – resurrected it and it’s been on fire ever since.

That initiative is known today as the Abilene Young Professionals (AYP).

Why did we form it?

Simple. Abilene suffers from the same economic development challenge that impacts many (if not all) communities, large and small, all across the United States: a shortage of available workers. Not to mention the tremendous amount of talent that exists among this emerging segment of our community.

From a selfish perspective, AYP was formed to create a network for our young folks as a means of enticing them to stay in our great city. Brain drain, in our view, could be minimized if we could find a way to connect with, engage and enable our under 40 crowd and to help them to establish a circle of influence among themselves so that they’d think twice before leaving.

To say we’ve exceeded our own expectations would be an understatement.

Way back when, we started with zero members in our AYP initiative. Today, just five short years later, membership in this dynamic group tops 575. Folks, that’s more members than many Chambers of Commerce have in total.

How’d we do it? We empowered those who engaged and got the heck out of their way.

In early April, we will celebrate five full years of impact from this awesome group of young Abilenians. And, we’ll also thank and celebrate the leap of faith that so many Foundation Sponsors took and continue to take in order to make it happen. To see who these generous underwriters are, click here.

So on April 4, from 6:00 -9:00 pm at 389 Walnut street event venue in downtown Abilene, we will host “Five and Glowing,” the annual AYP membership event that celebrates community outreach, professional development and making connections. Sponsored by our friends at Reed Beverage, you’ll want to make sure your own under 40 associates attend. There’s no charge for AYP members plus a guest, and it’s only $25 for non-members. That $25 is an investment that goes towards your AYP membership for the year should you decide to join.

This group is nothing short of spectacular, and it’s been awe-inspiring to watch them work, engage and move the needle on what’s good in Abilene, Texas.

Encourage your folks to attend. You – and they – will be glad you did.



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