Good things come to those who wait

November 29, 2021Doug Peters, President & CEO of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce

It’s true. Patience is a virtue. My mother was sure to impress those words on me as an impatient young boy, among a gazillion other lessons, some of which I’m understanding (and validating) better as I get older.

And patience has been the centerpiece as your Chamber sought a new home. And not just a home, but an opportunity to accomplish a number of objectives simultaneously.

Nearly four years ago, the Chamber began a purposeful process of identifying its space needs for the foreseeable future. Led by former Chamber Chairman Scott Hibbs (Enprotec / Hibbs & Todd, Inc.) and including a cast of very capable Chamber leaders, it was no easy task.

The work of the Chair-appointed Facilities Taskforce considered dozens of options. We’ve been inside, outside and on top of more buildings across our community than I can count (although the number was more than 20 last time I checked).

The group focused on specifics, and location led their list of attributes. They worked toward optimizing our space, envisioning an open floor plan, and enough room to house the functions that have been quartered in what many consider to be “the Chamber building” downtown on Cypress Street.

It’s a fantastic facility, for sure. But the truth is, after more than 20 years, we’ve simply outgrown the space. The Chamber and Abilene Industrial Foundation (AIF) staff are located on different floors. Aggregating staff together was one of those important objectives.

Back to the “patience” thing.

It finally happened. And we aren’t going far.

Sometime in the first quarter of the coming calendar year (thanks – supply chain challenges), the Chamber will transition from a place we’ve been proud to call home for decades. And we’ll do it at the right price point, in a facility that has many of our friends located in it, and with the attributes the Taskforce set its sights on so long ago.

400 Pine Street. Fifth floor. We waited. And good things came.

We thought about buying. And good thing we didn’t. Not yet anyway. We found ourselves shifting our objective from the long-range to the here-and-now – helping our business community to get through some troubling times. A worldwide pandemic has a way of really goofing up well-intended plans.

Instead, the Chamber is pleased to locate in a building that we believe will be good for us and by extension our growing membership.

We’ll miss our neighbors for sure, but we will look forward to seeing them and so many more, often. And we’ll still be a just a short walk from our current home.

Once we’re in the new space, we will look forward to welcoming you just as we always have. We’ll start with an open house. And whether for a meeting to focus on the needs of our regional business community, or for a casual catch-up over coffee, one thing is certain – you’re the reason we’re here. And we’re grateful for the privilege of serving our members.

We’re working hard to ensure a seamless transition. Careful planning will help us to minimize downtime. And staff will remain on-duty and accessible throughout the process – that’s the Abilene Chamber way.

We’ll see you down the street in just a few short weeks, if not on the sidewalk beforehand.

Thank you for supporting Abilene’s chief business advocacy organization. We’re thrilled to move forward in a way that better serves you.

Onward (and upward)!




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