Getting Back to Better

May 29, 2020Doug Peters, President and CEO of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce

I’ve spent a great deal of time lately listening to perspectives about the return to “normal” here in our community.

And as I think about all the things I’ve heard, I’ve concluded this.

I don’t think we’ll ever return to the way things were.  I think Abilenians won’t settle for anything short of getting back to better.

Your Chamber has been laser-focused on helping our members – and our business community – through every step of the crisis.  You know where our attention and effort has been invested, and it’s the genuine hope of the Chamber’s leadership that we’ve helped.

In fact, if you consider the Chamber over the last 112 years and the work we’ve been engaged in during that time, we’ve never settled for “normal.”  Our priority is betterBetter conditions for business and the community that benefits from a strong economy.

There are many factors involved in building better.  And it begins and ends with leadership.

It’s no secret that we’re proud of the Chamber’s Leadership Abilene program. Talk about continual improvement. In my short time here, I’ve observed a jewel of a program, revered by the community, get better at creating better. Better sessions, better leaders, and a better Abilene.

Beginning today and throughout the month of June, the Chamber will accept applications for our storied Leadership Abilene program.  The class of 2021 will launch early this fall and will graduate participants in the spring of 2021 into a community that’s different than years past.

The Leadership Abilene class of 2021 will be led by Tim Farrar (United Supermarkets), himself a graduate and an accomplished servant leader. He also happens to be one of the most humble and gracious leaders I’ve had the honor of working with.

Tim will be surrounded by a committee which is working hard to deliver a better program in conditions no one saw coming. Their focus will be on leading and breaking through post pandemic community challenges and emerging as outstanding mentors, leaders, and human beings.  In short, a renewed focus on a better Abilene for the long term.

I have no doubt that the 2021 class will come together to help position our community in this and other crucial times of our future.

I think back about the many names affiliated with Leadership Abilene who have touched the lives of many – some more visibly than others. Names like Dueser, Beard, Rentz, Moore, Copeland, Albus, Crawford…and so many more.  You’re likely among them.  And I have no doubt that you have associates whose names are certainly on the list, all making remarkable impact on our great community in their own way.

They say if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And Leadership Abilene is one of those longstanding community stalwarts that ain’t broke.  But the world we live and operate in is going to take some leadership to be better.

I hope you’ll take the time to consider participating or in recommending a team member or associate to be a member of the Leadership Abilene class of 2021.

Information on this year’s program can be found here.

And, as always if you have any questions about the program, the commitment, the content or anything else Chamber staff is just an email or phone call away.

We’re getting back to better.  And I’m grateful for the role you play in making it so.




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