Aaron S. Demerson, Executive Director, Office of the Governor – Economic Development and Tourism, was the keynote speaker at the McKinney Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Business Meeting and Quarterly Luncheon held Tuesday at Eldorado Country Club. The event was sponsored by Baylor Medical Center at McKinney.

Outgoing Chamber Board Chairman, Raj Bhargava of Manner Plastics, kicked off the event by highlighting last year’s accomplishments: The start of Leadership McKinney’s 25th Anniversary class, the Chamber's award of a 4-Star Accreditation, a new Buy Local – McKinney First initiative, and improved communications to keep a growing community connected (McKinneyChamber.com and McKinneyOnline.com).

2013 board members were welcomed and 2012 board members were thanked for their commitment to the McKinney business community.

Ernest C, Lynch III of Medical Center of McKinney, incoming chairman, acknowledged Bhargava’s time, successes and commitment to the community, “He put the Chamber in a great position during his year. I have some big shoes to fill. He set the bar high.”

Lynch recognized that the goals for growth in McKinney remain the same.

“We spent this past year with a lot of focused analysis of what we do,” he said. “We want quality over quantity. We will continue to focus on bringing value and continue to build upon being the fifth-largest Chamber in the Metroplex.”

The keynote speaker Aaron Demerson leads a team that markets the State of Texas as a premier destination for both business and travel. He talked about how important McKinney is to the success of the state.

“When we talk about employment and the workforce, it’s the businesses that make the difference,” Demerson said. “You are the ones that make it happen.

“Texas is ahead of a lot of states in terms of the economy.  We don’t take it for granted or rest on our laurels. We will continue to be an epicenter for job creation. We’re the envy of several states. Our future holds more promise than we could imagine. We have diversified ourselves, with emerging technologies, communications and medical growth leading the way. You will find Texas at the forefront in these areas.”

So how is Texas able to maintain success when it seems the economy and job creation is sluggish throughout the nation?

“It’s quite simple when you look at it: You don’t overspend,” he said. “We have a surplus in our rainy-day fun. We have wants and needs, but we don’t spend what we don’t have.”

The success starts at the top, in the governor’s office, with Governor Rick Perry.

“He gets it, he understands it, and he enjoys it,” Demerson said. “There are few governors who are as much as a part of economic development and leading the growth as Governor Perry.”

Demerson reminded everyone that staying on top takes as much work as making it to the top.

“We still need to continue to make good decisions to stay on top,” he said. “We need the communities to keep us focused.”

Jodi Ann LaFreniere Ray, president of the McKinney Chamber of Commerce, closed the event by praising the business community and the dedication of volunteers, staff and chamber members.

“We’re excited at the growth,” she said. ‘It’s truly a team effort focused on building businesses and creating jobs.”


McKinney Chamber of Commerce members listen to keynote speaker Aaron Demerson at Tuesday's luncheon.