Attracting, retaining, and engaging

April 11, 2022Doug Peters, President & CEO of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce

Where has the time gone?

How many of our members are aware of the point and purpose of the Chamber’s Abilene Young Professionals program?

Judging by those in our community who reach out asking for their involvement, it seems many people do.

And, did you know that they’re celebrating seven years this year?

That’s right. Hovering right at 600 members, this group continues to exceed expectations and is proud to now be the largest group in West Texas.

Hard to believe that seven years have flown by when some of our larger employers came together with their young leaders and sought out to create this program – First Financial Bank, Hendrick Health, Condley and Company, LLP, Eide Bailly and Funeral Directors Life.

And you know what the best part of that is? Not only is the group largely leading themselves with great staff support and minimal management intrusion, but the employees of those six foundational businesses continue to engage, lead and help grow the program.

I remain impressed by these folks. Not only are they doing great things (just wait until you hear about their upcoming Leadership Summit!), but their impact is being felt all across all of West Texas.

So, the point of the group is simple: we want them to engage among themselves so that they’re compelled to stay in Abilene. And I don’t apologize for that selfishness one bit. Any community would be thrilled by their vision and their horsepower.

I’ve found over the years that connecting them socially (just like we do many of our “regular” Chamber members), they’re more likely to engage in community advancement initiatives as well as professional development opportunities.

After all, we all feel more comfortable and have more fun by interacting with those with whom we have a social relationship, don’t we?

The other point is to provide them with professional development options through engagement. Their Quarterly Luncheons, Get on Board Non-Profit Initiative, and Leadership Summit are just a few examples of the exceptional work they’re doing.

So this week we hope you’ll encourage your young staff to join us for our annual membership “bash,” where all the AYP members come together to celebrate their relationships, their achievements and to welcome additional members into this coveted group.

On Thursday, April 14 from 6:00 – 9:00 pm at the Grace Garage, these young leaders will Celebrate SEVEN years of professional development, community outreach, and connection-making.

And when I speak of their accomplishments, there are too many to list here individually. But trust me on this one – these people are champions of the cause. And get this – the theme of the celebration is “90’s night!”

“Scrub” off your 90’s gear and come celebrate seven years.

Non-AYP members will pay $25, which we encourage them to apply to an AYP membership.

If you have great young folks in your business who would benefit from participating in this rising group, encourage them to attend and to consider AYP membership.

We promise to take good care of them, and we promise that this event will be the beginning of many compelling opportunities for them through this truly one-of-a-kind program.



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