Editor's Note: The following is guest commentary by Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce from its 2021 Chairwoman of the Board, Shannon Hitt.
Hey y’all! I don’t know about you, but I was definitely ready for 2021 to come around that mountain! I am both honored and delighted to serve as the 2021 Chairwoman of the Board. I have had the privilege of working with and serving with a vast amount of business leaders, community members, educators, government representatives and officials, and volunteers in the short time that I have been in this community. For over 90 years, the Chamber of Commerce has been the leading supporter for local businesses. This year will be a catalyst for many new things as we settle into our “new normal”.
Be on the lookout for our 2021 Membership Magazine coming out soon! It will be full of information about our own little oasis in east Texas. On it's pages you will meet businesses and individuals that support our community and our chamber. You will also discover all that Jacksonville, and surrounding communities, has to offer in the way of activities, lodging, restaurants, entertainment, and more.
I want to take a moment to applaud Patty Rivers for her leadership in 2020. It was a challenging year, to say the least, and she handled it with grace and tenacity! I appreciate all she did to stay involved and head up the volunteer base that continued to serve the community, navigating the challenges that were presented. What an amazing leader! She definitely stayed focused on the present day while looking to create a brighter tomorrow.
As a volunteer with the Chamber, I have had the opportunity to learn many things about this wonderful community. Coming from another state, I have discovered that Jacksonville reminds me a lot of my hometown. The people, the community mindedness, the family of it all. There are so many opportunities to serve, and we continue to look for innovative ways to do that. The catalyst for my involvement came when I participated in the Jacksonville Leadership Institute. Since then I have been a co-chair for that program. It has become my passion to look for and train current and future leaders within this community. That occasion has afforded me the honor of meeting and working alongside many great community leaders both professionally and personally.
Please make an effort to visit with the Chamber staff about where you can volunteer and serve. You can find information about upcoming events at www.JacksonvilleTexas.com, or https://www.facebook.com/JacksonvilleChamber. Not a member yet? That can be fixed in short order! There are several membership packages that will best suit you, whether you join as a business or an individual. A great friend recently told me that “a community only grows from the steps of those that are willing to be involved!” That is so true! The Chamber staff and board are available to answer any questions or lead you in the right direction. Each of us are ready to help lead you into Jacksonville’s future!
Thank you to all of the businesses and individuals that have supported the Chamber, and its community minded programs, throughout its history. I invite and challenge you to be a leader of our city’s future!
2021 Chairwoman of the Board