Members of the San Angelo Chamber of Commerce:

Early in my career I was a communication systems engineer and one of my first projects was to support the implementation of a command and control network for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  During the Reagan Administration, the recently formed agency had the mission of managing the deployment of national resources in response to natural and man-made disasters.  One of the things I learned during this time is that it is impossible to fully prepare for, or to respond to any disaster completely and perfectly.  The uncertainties as to magnitude, location and effect mean that, as a society, we can only do our best to minimize the negative outcomes and to hasten recovery.

The memories of my early career experiences have been brought to the forefront by recent events.   We are embroiled in and struggling with a set of circumstances that we have never dealt with before.   People are growing tired and frustrated with the prolonged effects of the global pandemic.   Businesses are suffering, events are being cancelled and personal freedoms are being restricted.   The future remains uncertain.

Its very tempting to attribute blame for the negative effects we are feeling in our society to individuals and institutions.  The second guessing of past positions and policies is easy. Our elected officials at the local, state and national levels are clearly in the cross hairs.   To some degree this scrutiny and judgement of our elected officials by the electorate goes with the territory.  Lately, however, it appears that being skeptical as to the skills, motivations, worth and worthiness of our elected officials is becoming a corrosive and counterproductive force.

Accountability of the elected to the electorate is a fundamental tenet of our constitutional government.  Effective engagement with our elected officials is an important part of the process.  Personal attacks on those who serve us in elected office (though recently fashionable) are not.  We are all facing circumstances that are unprecedented and the same is true of our elected officials.  I firmly believe that we all are doing our best to get through our current set of challenges and circumstances, and that by working together we will prevail – stronger than if we had never faced them.

At the Chamber of Commerce, we are taking specific steps to support the move of our business community through recovery and beyond.   The next event in support of this process is the West Texas Moving Forward Conference. This inaugural event will provide a unique opportunity for our attendees to learn more about the industries driving our future economy and the trends shaping our community in a post-COVID environment.  The August 11th conference will be held in-person with optional virtual participation. We have a great and growing array of sponsors and we really appreciate the support.  Given the current policies, the number of in-person attendees will be limited and tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. If you plan to attend virtually or in person, or if you are interested in being a sponsor, we encourage you to go on line at www.sanangelo.org today!

Finally, we ask that you take a moment to like and follow us on Facebook and on other social media platforms if you haven’t already done so. We also ask you to check out our website, www.sanangelo.org, for new information, as we are continually providing updates. I have included my email and personal cell phone number below. Please feel free to contact me at any time

In the meantime, stay safe and keep well…We deeply appreciate you all.

Walt Koenig
President and CEO
San Angelo Chamber of Commerce
walt@sanangelo.org
Personal Cell:  (321) 474-1332