When I drew up a list of monthly articles for the year this past January, the December article topic would be my final one for the year and likely for my full-time career here at the chamber as well.  The priorities I was thinking about in January for the chamber in the future are somewhat altered due to the pandemic but, by and large, will stand the test of time, I hope.

My Chamber of Commerce journey began in Corpus Christi while working for a commercial real estate broker. They were working to snare a homeport from the Navy, and the push was on. The yearly chamber membership drive took on new importance, and I was asked at age 29 to assist. Then at age 34 I became chair of the Board of the Rockport-Fulton Chamber, having served on the  board the previous three years.  Our paid staff was a whopping one!

A change in career for me occurred in 1988 with my good fortune to land in New Braunfels as the tourism director. I had no idea that this would be my final stop. Previous to this I had worked for eight different companies in my first 13 years out of college. My father would kid me (I think) why I couldn’t hold a job very long. But my work experience in marketing and real estate evidently was the secret sauce for my positions with the Chamber here.

During my 32+ year career here, I have come to appreciate even more the importance of partnerships between the public and private sectors. Each has strengths to bring to the table, and when a community can harness both sectors, good things happen. Space here does not allow a listing of all those successes, but suffice to say it includes many thousands of good jobs, multiple community improvements, and a better quality of life for residents.

I have also been asked lately what I would have liked to have gotten accomplished that has not come to fruition yet. The list is long, and I came to realize several years ago that the list will always be unfinished. I really hope the community continues to push for more broadband-fiber service here, kicking off the South Castell vision, having more skills training for our youth,  and the kick off for more youth sports fields at the Zipp Family Sports Park. 

To keep the amenities and services coming will take continued dedication to economic development.  Key investments must continue as our community evolves. Our capitalistic system gives no guarantees and is very competitive.  Success today does not mean we will win the next company tomorrow. The New Braunfels Economic Development Corporation Board understands this, and City Council has stayed the course in supporting key investments.

Finally, my wish for the Chamber of Commerce is to continue on its mission to promote civic and commercial improvements.  

The organization is unique and is the only one in our community dedicated to these purposes.  I look forward to seeing the community prosper even more.

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