As 2019 comes to an end and I reflect upon the last 12 months, I recognize there is an underlying trend that can’t be ignored. This was a year of change for the Terrell Chamber of Commerce Convention Visitors Bureau and Terrell Economic Development Corporation. Change sometimes has a bad reputation, but it was welcome and beneficial for us this year.
This past summer, our office building underwent a major renovation—the first in our 46-year-old building’s history. Every inch of the interior of the building was renovated, floor to ceiling. By gutting the interior and reducing the size of our board room, we were able to move all offices to the exterior, gain an additional office and two storage rooms, and create a more welcoming lobby for our guests. If you haven’t been by to see the new space, you should stop by for a visit!
In addition to the major office environment change, our cast of characters has changed significantly as well. Lots of new faces this year, including our new President of Economic Development, Ray Dunlap, our new Director of Marketing & Events, Talana Morris, and our new Membership Services Coordinator, Whitney Calloway. We also regained a friendly and familiar face just this week! Dora Trejo returned to the staff as Event Coordinator. I am excited about this group and the direction in which I believe we are heading.
Besides change, 2019 reminded me once again how fantastic our community is. We are so blessed to have such a supportive group of leaders, business owners and citizens who work together for the greater good. I’m told time and again by those from other communities that we have something special here in Terrell. It’s proven over and over throughout Terrell, and I see it first hand in the events and activities we at the Chamber participate in and organize. We have dedicated volunteers who help with our many events. We also have loyal members—some of whom have been members for over 50 years. We have active social and service clubs who give back to our community. Our school district is benefiting from great leadership, as demonstrated in our continuous improvement in academic ratings—this year up to a B+ rating from a C rating the year prior.
In 2019 we had a great year of events and meetings, including four days of fantastic weather for Terrell Jubilee which resulted in us having our most profitable Jubilee yet. In addition, we had a very successful Civic Auction in October where we raised $194,032, exceeding our goal by $19,032. We also saw record attendance with 800 people, making for a full arena!
There are so many great things happening in Terrell and we’re thrilled to play a small part. 2019 is one to remember for us personally, and we look forward to seeing what great things lie ahead in 2020. We have a lot of exciting things planned in the next year that will allow us to better serve our members and our community.
On behalf of the Terrell Chamber of Commerce CVB board of directors and staff, I’d like to wish each of you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!