McKINNEY (Nov. 6, 2014) — With an enthusiastic refrain of ‘our time is now,’ Mayor Brian Loughmiller joined other community leaders in celebrating a year of national accolades during Thursday’s State of the City. The annual gathering, hosted by the McKinney Chamber of Commerce, took place at Christ Fellowship Church.
Leaders from the City of McKinney, Collin College, McKinney Independent School District (MISD) and the McKinney Chamber of Commerce also focused on plans for continuing to deal successfully with rapid growth and development. Methodist McKinney Hospital and the City of McKinney were presenting sponsors for the event.
The panel of speakers included: Dr. Cary Israel, president of Collin College; Dr. J.D. Kennedy, superintendent of McKinney Independent School District (MISD); and Loughmiller.
More than 500 guests attended the State of the City, resulting in a sold-out event.
Lisa Hermes, who recently joined the McKinney Chamber as president, welcomed attendees to the sold-out event. Bruce Miller, pastor of Christ Fellowship, then offered the invocation. Congressman Sam Johnson and McKinney High School Junior ROTC students led the group in the pledge of allegiance. Ray Eckenrode, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, introduced each of the speakers.
Israel, who is stepping down soon as president of Collin College after nearly 16 years of impressive growth and academic success, discussed the school’s achievements and plans for expanding educational opportunities.
Collin College is in the process of developing programs that will offer bachelor’s degrees in nursing, cyber security and respiratory therapy. A state-of-the-art health sciences building is being built at the McKinney campus. Collin is also exploring the possibility of establishing North Texas’ first logistics and packaging academic and training program.
“We will need all of the support of people in this room, and I hope you will be there with us as we move forward,” he said.
Israel expressed appreciation for McKinney’s longtime partnership with Collin College. “I thank all of you for supporting me, the college and our students,” Israel said, before exiting to two standing ovations.
Following him onstage was Kennedy, who is retiring from the top post at MISD at the end of this year. The superintendent listed a variety of honors MISD has earned in the past year, including high national rankings for its three high schools.
He praised voters and community leaders for supporting a bond package that has led to major renovations of McKinney High School and Faubion Middle School, which have been transformed into “beautiful facilities” capable of meeting the changing needs of students.
Business and community partners networked prior to the city's annual presentation.
“This is a great community we live in and part of the reason it is so great is because of the quality of our schools and our community college,” he said, praising leaders’ commitment to supporting programs that prepare students for success in life. “McKinney ISD is all about teaching the whole child.”
As Loughmiller approached the podium, he began removing his tie and dress shirt to reveal a jersey reading ‘McKinney 1.’ His presentation centered on the city’s recent selection as Money Magazine’s No. 1 Place to Live in America, a rise from No. 2 in the last survey.
He pointed out that the Money announcement already resulted in $3.7 million in marketing value to the community, after stories appeared in media throughout the world, including London’s Daily Mail, Forbes and ABC. Loughmiller ticked off a list of reasons why McKinney ranks No. 1, such as its ability to attract new employers and leaders’ dedication to maintaining a good overall quality of life.
Click above to see video of the event.
The future looks even more exciting, he said, as McKinney further develops areas such as the Gateway complex, which will include a hotel and event center, along with at least 40 more acres of restaurants and other businesses. The city is now working on a 10-year plan for growth, to prepare for challenges ahead, such as water conservation.
“All of the accolades we have received over the years reinforce my statement that ‘our time is now,’ ” Loughmiller said. “We will face challenges, but please join me in being optimistic that we can meet those challenges as we grow.”
About the McKinney Chamber of Commerce
The McKinney Chamber of Commerce is an advocate for the McKinney business community and proudly serves as the unified business voice of McKinney. The Chamber represents over 39,000 employees from more than 1,200 business investors in McKinney and throughout the North Texas region. With a rich heritage of leadership and collaboration, the Chamber works in concert with the City of McKinney, community partners and the corporate community to promote, advocate for and expand business. As publisher of McKinney Magazine, McKinneyOnline.com and McKinneyChamber.com, the McKinney Chamber markets the community’s advantages as the foremost location for doing business and to keep a growing community connected. The Chamber is celebrating its Centennial in 2014 — recognizing 100 years of service to the McKinney Business Community and City of McKinney.