Plans and Projects

January 27, 2020Doug Peters, President and CEO of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce

Ever heard of Leo Tolstoy? He’s the Russian guy who wrote the great novel War and Peace (among others), first published in 1869. I’m no student of pinnacle literature, necessarily – but this fellow wrote something once that I tend to think about every year.

Tolstoy said, “Spring is the time of plans and projects.” In your business and within your Chamber, there’s a certain truth to that statement. It seems we all get past the winter doldrums and find renewed energy when springtime rolls around, although to be truthful, it seems that your Chamber rarely slows down. Just like in your shop, we’re on it and after it, for the sake of your business, year-round.

But this year as I think about the arrival of spring, I think about all the energy and brain power that you’ve put into helping your Chamber to do what it does – provide value and opportunity for those who invest in our mission of helping to develop and promote the economy and quality of life in the Abilene area.

When you combine that driving nugget with the Chamber’s vision, to create and sustain the very best environment for businesses to thrive, grow, add jobs and drive our economy you’ll quickly figure out what scores of your peers alongside our staff have been up to for months. For these folks, we don’t follow the Tolstoy path – we never stop planning, never stop executing and we don’t wait for spring to pull it all together.

So, what happens when our investors come together? They make great things happen. For instance, they work on initiatives to help you build relationships with other business owners, increase your business visibility, promote your business, connect with the community, and continue your education with training and seminars.

How so you ask? Check out this line up of great efforts, pulled together by committees of supercharged business folk who contribute their time and horsepower to help you work on your business and not just in your business:

Beginning February 18 & 19, you’ll want to join us for the longest-running farm and ranch show in the state of Texas, the Texas Farm Ranch & Wildlife Expo. A one-of-a-kind agribusiness event that serves as an opportunity for vendors to interface directly those involved in agriculture from around the Big Country. Find out how you can win a helicopter hog hunt for two! Think it doesn’t apply to you and your business? Think again! Stop out and see why. Sponsored by Lawrence Hall-Abilene, this is a good one.

March 25, our Abilene Business Council brings you the single-largest business-to-business networking event in the Big Country. Business Expo 2020 will be bigger and better than ever and the only thing that it needs at this point is you. Sponsored by Black Plumbing, Pest Patrol and Lawrence Hall-Abilene, you’ll want to bring your associates and stop in to see why dozens of people work year-round to pull this event together to help you better your bottom line.

April 9 will be a big deal, too. The last time we did a similar event I’d been in this great city for literally less than two weeks, and it’s one of the most memorable I’ve ever experienced. Ever. This is the evening we’ll conduct our Chairman’s Showcase – get to know your Chamber Chairman, our staff, dozens of dedicated and talented volunteer business leaders and allow yours truly a chance to say hello and thank you for your support. Find out how to get involved with affiliates and committees and learn more about how the Chamber works on your behalf. And get this – we’ll also be announcing our finalists for the small business awards! There might even be another cool component to this one, and you won’t want to miss it. Great food, outstanding fellowship and a whole bunch of elbow rubbing with a twist or two along the way. Thank you to Black Plumbing & BRIERCROFT RESTORATION / ROOFING for underwriting the cost of this event.

May 4-8 is – you guessed it – National Small Business Week, and this year we’re pulling out all the stops to celebrate the contributions to our economy made every day by our members. Join us as we celebrate small business in Abilene all week long with our annual Small Business Awards Luncheon and a whole host of great activities to help you celebrate the backbone of our economy.  Sponsored by First Financial Bank, America’s SBDC and Star Dodge Hyundai, I hope you’ll join us as we celebrate small business in Abilene all week long with awards and activities.

And while these events and projects are the culmination of months of planning and projects, they’re not all we do. Not by a long shot.

Remember, your Chamber helps our community through the power of business to attract tourism, to protect and preserve the interests of Dyess Air Force Base and our airmen and their families, works hard in the arts, brings our young talent together and combines that effort with others to enhance our workforce. We advocate for business, the economy and our community at all levels of government in accordance with our mission, we help recruit and retain capital investment and the jobs that businesses create in our great city – and much more.

I hope you’ll join all our partners, our leadership and all the other hard-working people who make these things happen to benefit your business!



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