It has been a tremendous honor and privilege to have served this past year as your board chair. As I look forward to 2020, I am confident that exceptionalism will continue to be the norm in Round Rock and at the Chamber. As we wrap up 2019 Chamber business, let me just emphasize one last time that we have such outstanding, bright, and talented chamber investors who serve on our boards and subcommittees and participate in all our activities. The highlight of my year was meeting so many fabulous individuals who care greatly about our community. I also cannot say enough about our Chamber team, a tremendous group of talented, articulate, dedicated staff members who work tirelessly to make our Chamber one of the best and most successful in the nation.
As you know, 2019 was a year of transition that started with the departure of our long-time and very successful CEO to Knoxville, TN. A substantial part of the year involved creating a search committee to conduct a nationwide search for a new CEO. That search resulted in the review of close to 100 resumes from around the country and the hiring of Jason Ball, who was the CEO of the Sioux Falls, SD Chamber. We feel confident that we hired one of the top Chamber CEO’s in the nation because of the strength, desirability, and economic vitality of Round Rock and the region as a whole. We also began the process of hiring a vice president of economic development which should be completed the first quarter of 2020.
During this transition, the chamber team worked tirelessly to continue moving our organization forward, they were supported by a very proactive board, particularly the finance committee led by Jeremy Barclay, CEO of St. David’s Hospital Round Rock, Ryan Therrell, The Beck Group and the Momentum chair and Scott Swindell, chair-elect who was a tremendous partner and sounding board to me. We also worked very closely with the City, our Mayor Craig Morgan, Councilman Baese, Councilwoman Young, and City Manager Laurie Hadley.
From an operational standpoint, we ended the year with a larger than normal budget surplus so we were able to allocate some of those funds to upgrade the Chamber computer systems and give the Chamber building a much needed facelift. As you know, the Chamber’s priorities are the continuance of strategic economic growth and development, a vibrant business climate, enhancing job creation through entrepreneurship, support of infrastructure improvements, and talent development.
A few highlights of 2019 :
9 announced new economic development projects
468 new jobs
508 jobs retained
$30.4 million in new investment
Advocated and supported Wilco road and parks bond passage
Partnered with ACC and RRISD to continue accelerated HVAC and plumbing certification classes
Launched a Chamber awareness campaign and produced a skilled trades image campaign video focused on healthcare industry
Conducted 14 business tours for 200 RRISD teachers
And, of course, our continued work on Leadership Round Rock and Ascend, two of our best programs.
We have much to be proud of and I look forward to all the exciting things that are going to happen in 2020.
David Hays, Georgetown Title Company
2019 Round Rock Chamber Board Chair