Driving Tomorrow, Today

August 23, 2021Doug Peters, President & CEO of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce

I really struggled with a topic to share with you this morning. So many things to talk about. So many things to be proud of as Abilenians. So many opportunities. And, as there always is, a challenge or two along the way.

I’ve chosen instead to share with you a few thoughts about optimism. Thinking and acting positively when the chips appear to be down.

If I was in one meeting last week where the conversation could’ve been a challenge, I was in five or six. It would’ve been easy to focus on negative influences and jump square into a pity party. But that didn’t happen. Not in one single meeting.

Let’s face it – the world is full of challenges. But as I said last week, we’re thankfully and uniquely Abilene, Texas. That in itself provides reason enough to be optimistic.

I participated in one meeting in particular that I found to be very inspiring.

I’m referring to the Chamber’s executive committee meeting, which met last Wednesday to talk about all things Chamber.

The men and women of the executive committee – made up of officers of the Board of Directors and led by Chairman Marshall Morris (First Financial Bank) – work hard and think proactively on behalf of our partners and the community at-large. Their drive and determination to move the Chamber organization, and by extension our business community forward, is truly unmatched. They exude leadership.

Among the topics on last week’s agenda was how we move forward in a period of uncertainty. What do we do about programming in the next few months, given the challenges of an unrelenting virus that has confronted us for far too long?

They talked and debated. They respected varying opinions. And collectively they agreed. The Abilene Chamber of Commerce and its affiliates have an important role to play in this community. I can tell you that we won’t tap the brakes as it relates to our role in serving the interests of business. That is for certain.

In short, they confirmed that our position hasn’t changed.

We will continue to suggest personal responsibility and individual choice while doing all that is reasonable and necessary to ensure that the Chamber serves the business community without compromise.

Next month we will celebrate the completion of the Chamber’s 113th year of service to our members. Our evening of celebration of our history while looking forward to the future is scheduled for September 23.

How did the executive committee recommend we responsibly plan and execute an event that brings many people together? Their answer was simple.

We monitor the challenge and respond in-kind. We take every precaution to help keep our participants safe. Whether it’s encouraging the vaccine, making masks available, spacing out the venue, utilizing sanitizing stations or the use of biotechnology, we intend to proceed.

There’s a lot to celebrate at this year’s Annual Membership Meeting & Awards Celebration sponsored by Taylor Telecom. And based on the planning, it will be a fantastic opportunity for us all to come together safely and recognize friends, colleagues, and fellow members for their achievements over the last year.

We hope you’ll join us.


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