As we near the end of 2019, the end of a decade, I wanted to take a moment to extend my gratitude for another milestone year. The El Paso Chamber endeavors to play a major role in the business community of El Paso. We succeed in our goal of being the premier organization for connecting, coaching, advocating and innovation in El Paso, because of the strength of our members, employees and community. I have been so taken by this community and count myself lucky to run the El Paso Chamber.

Events in our community in August, while heartbreaking, were a reminder to me of why this community is unique and why I feel blessed to call El Paso home. Tragedy is never sought out, but the test of people is how they respond to the pain and loss that others face. In August, and every month since then, I have seen a community that rallies at every turn, not content just to get past the pain, but focused on rebuilding stronger and with more empathy toward each other and toward those who continue to seek dissension.

The chamber plays a role in this process of healing as best we can, but the truth is that El Pasoans are the driving force for this light and unity. I have never been prouder of the city I call home. And this holiday season, while I am sad for those that have been impacted by Aug. 3, I am grateful to be part of this community at this moment in our history.

The community of El Paso is strong because of people and because of the way those people move institutions and organizations forward. As we transition to a new board chair, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank our outgoing board chair, Carlos Keating.

Carlos has been a great partner and leader for the El Paso Chamber Board of Directors and exemplifies the El Paso that has risen to the challenges of August. A native El Pasoan, Carlos came back to the community he loves to make a difference. It is heartening to see someone who wants to make their community the best that it can be. Over this last year Carlos has been a tremendous asset to me and to my staff as well as to the board.

December also represents the end of nearly two years for me as the president and CEO of the chamber. I love what I get to experience daily, whether it is engaging members that are building their small or medium enterprises or working with elected officials to strategize the representation of our community and region, or even thinking about the future and how El Paso and the chamber can best move as many people forward as possible.

The start of the next decade is almost upon us and I am excited for 2020. The chamber has many irons in the fire, and I am proud of the work that my staff and I are endeavoring to complete in the next year.

I hope that as we lay out our strategic vision you will support us and our efforts. I am excited by what the future holds for all of us in El Paso. My best wishes to you and yours for the holiday season. Let us end 2019 with joy and light.

David Jerome is the chief executive of the El Paso Chamber.


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