Collaboration Is More Important Than Ever

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Our theme for August has been law, justice, ethics, and collaboration. This past week for Leadership El Paso, we hosted a stellar line-up of guests who represented those interests (more on that later). But before the end of the month, I wanted to spend a bit more time talking with you all about one of those areas in particular: collaboration.

The El Paso Chamber has long been a lynchpin organization for El Paso business and historically EPC has played a key role in opening doors for diversity in business and by effect throughout the community. The role the Chamber has played in connecting, advocating, and innovating continues today, but I see those roles magnified by how the Chamber continues to facilitate and encourage regional collaboration. I wanted these themes of law, justice, ethics, and collaboration to be tackled in August because I think they intersect and fuel how our community progresses.

Our colleagues at The University of Texas at El Paso and the Paso del Norte (PDN) Health Foundation are setting important milestones for collaboration and they are both partners we are proud to work with on various projects—like the College of Engineering’s efforts to promote defense and aerospace research or the PDN Health Foundation creating collaborative space (literally and figuratively) to improve El Pasoans access to green space across the city. These partners understand how to connect organizations and networks so as to accomplish bold steps for El Paso’s future. I see EPC as marshalling a different—but no less important—set of resources and brainpower: our business community, which comprises businesses that scale in size from small to Fortune 500-sized corporations. These lines of collaboration point to strategic visions that have long been fostered by many in El Paso, but as we have experienced over the course of the last several months, sometimes shocks have the potential to derail progress.

To that end, I want to remind members that, as we move forward, collaboration is crucial as is economic integration. EPC wants to continue our role in marshaling regional business resources. Whether that is pooling networks of experts together or using our digital presence to coach businesses of all sizes, I recognize that we must work in concert across organizations and recruit our partners in municipal, county, state, and federal government as well as our partners in Ciudad Juárez. We must plan together and strategize, we must take advantage of our combined insight and knowledge, and we must move with speed and efficiency. Together we can create a rising tide that lifts all ships. But we must remain especially vigilant that all sectors of the economy benefit from collaborative efforts. Even in a time of shock, we can be thoughtful and proactive to bring as many people and as many businesses along as we chart new courses.

In this newsletter we’ll share some of what the LEP class learned from El Paso business giant Woody Hunt, as well as aggregated articles that reenforce some of the trends in collaboration between public and private partners in a regional context.

Finally, this week the majority of our area school children return to school and the following week, students at UTEP and El Paso Community College will return as well. The start of the year will feature a mix of face-to-face and virtual courses. The excitement of the start of a new year cannot be dulled by the environmental challenges of COVID-19, and while I no longer have school-age children, I sense the excitement and nerves of parents this week. There is much to be faced in this school year, but above all, I wish members’ children of all ages a great start to the new year, I congratulate parents for managing over the complicated summer, and for members whose children are starting university for the first time I extend the heartiest of best wishes! This week the Star will be lit in honor of our area school districts and the following week we will light the Star to celebrate the start of UTEP and EPCC’s fall semesters.