The Chamber After 90 Days

October 15, 2019Veronica Fuentes, Director of Committees for the Abilene Chamber of Commerce

To say the past three months of working with the Chamber has been interesting, fun and a dream come true, well, that would be an understatement. I have enjoyed the last three months with the Abilene Chamber of Commerce; each day is something new and different. And, I mean EVERY DAY!

Having come from the member/volunteer business side to now working with the Chamber has been an eye-opening experience. For so long, when I thought of “The Chamber of Commerce” I immediately would think of mom and pop shops that needed free advertising. Wow was I wrong!

The Chamber, along with their affiliates, are truly championing Abilene and the people who live here.  I have never met a group of people who all want the same thing and that is for Abilene to succeed and continue to grow.

The Abilene Industrial Foundation (AIF) is out all over the country meeting with big corporations telling them about how great Abilene truly is and how we can help make their business stronger and better.  Our Abilene Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB) and the Abilene Cultural Affairs Council (ACAC) are actively seeking ways to draw in people from all over the country to visit our beautiful home of Abilene.  They make sure when people come to visit, they know the best cafés, places to shop, place for a cold beverage and places to stay. They want everyone to feel welcomed and included. I promise you, there is something going on every day. These Chamber affiliates are second to none.

The Chamber works tirelessly for our members; and a Chamber membership is not just about free advertising. We truly do try to help you find the right tools to help your business succeed, grow and help you maintain a healthy and positive business outlook. We know what you are doing is not an easy task and more than anything we want to help you and advocate for you.

Did you know that there is not a magical wand that is waived around to get Business Expo, Business Mercado, Abilene Young Professional Summit or any of our other signature events set up or taken down?  It takes the Chamber staff and our amazing volunteers to get these events planned, set up, and running smoothly. And when I say we work together; I mean we work as a TEAM.  Not one person will ever say “that’s not my job” but I guarantee you, you will always hear “what do you need me to help you with?” It doesn’t matter who it is or what they do, each person works diligently and efficiently so that we can all better serve our members and our community. Things that you would never think of (tablecloths, I’m looking at you!) I promise, someone else in this office has already thought of it and is working to get that taken care of so that you have one less thing to worry about.

Being able to see behind the curtain and how things truly work has been mind boggling. I never knew exactly how much work truly goes into making sure members are happy, taken care of, events are successful, and all the small details that go into planning.

I have been given an amazing opportunity to work with some of our community’s greatest leaders, committee chairs and members. Each committee has taught me something different and each one has opened my eyes to what makes Abilene so incredibly amazing. One thing I have learned in my new role is that sometimes a leader must take a step back and trust that their teammates will do what they say and do it well. The Chamber’s Board of Directors, Military Affairs, Government Affairs, Abilene Business Council, Hispanic Business Council, Agriculture Council, Young Professionals, Leadership Committee and Redcoats, along with the Chamber and our Affiliates, work so hard you would be amazed at how much time, effort and love goes into each day. This is truly a passion for what we all do, and it’s a privilege to ser

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