Breckenridge Texan

Buckley unveils Breckenridge Become plan at Chamber event

Buckley unveils Breckenridge Become plan at Chamber event
March 13
14:53 2022

By Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

A major change to the way several local organizations operate was announced by Breckenridge Chamber of Commerce CEO and Executive Director Colton Buckley at Saturday night’s annual Chamber banquet and awards ceremony.

The event served as the unveiling for Breckenridge Become, a new strategic alignment of the Chamber of Commerce, Breckenridge Economic Development Corporation, Breckenridge Improvement Council and Breckenridge Industrial Foundation. Although each of the four entities will continue to operate under their own leadership toward specific goals, they will all come together under the direction of Buckley and the current Chamber staff. (Click here to read about the awards ceremony portion of the evening.)

Breckenridge Chamber of Commerce and BEDC CEO and Executive Director Colton Buckley introduced Breckenridge Become to the crowd a the annual banquet and awards ceremony Saturday night. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/ Breckenridge Texan)

Buckley came to Breckenridge last April as the executive director of the BEDC when Virgil Moore retired from the position. In December, the BEDC and the Chamber merged under one leadership model with Buckley at the helm. The staff also includes Whitney Stultz as operations manager and Rachelle Walters as administrative assistant. The three staff members will assume those roles over the new Breckenridge Become. Jonathan Newton serves as the president of the Chamber’s Board of Directors, and Nic McClymond is the president of the Breckenridge Economic Development Corp. board.

“When I was brought on to take over the Economic Development Corporation  and the Chamber of Commerce, we met with new boards, new leadership, new presidents, new volunteers and new staff to drive the new mission to make Breckenridge become the community that we all know that it can be,” Buckley said Saturday evening. “So we started off looking at what other communities are doing, what Abilene has done, what Waco has done, what Tyler has done, what the Greater Houston Partnership has done, to bring together these different boards, these different groups, these different visions to mold this one. So we can have one staff, one vision, one mission to make Breckenridge the best place that we all know it can be.”

Buckley said that although the people in the community frequently talk about “Boomtown Breckenridge” when the population was 40,000, the truth is that the population has dwindled.

“It is the mission of these boards, this staff and the folks in this room to turn the community around” he said. “What we’re doing with the Economic Development Corporation is business development, business retainment, business expansion.”

The Chamber will focus on community development, as well as professional development for Chamber members. Some upcoming projects include new entry signs welcoming visitors as they come into Breckenridge and quarterly training opportunities on topics such as marketing for Chamber members.

“We must treat Breckenridge as a package that you see on a shelf and make it marketable for those folks that are moving from out of state to Texas and the folks in different communities in Texas who want to call a rural community, like ours, home,” Buckley said. “We’re also working with the school district and the Superintendent Bryan Allen in unveiling within the next week, a youth ambassador program within the Chamber of Commerce, so that we can bring and grow the next generation of young leaders in Breckenridge and Stephens County, so they can understand how important it is for local commerce, government and business to survive, and how we make them thrive in a rural community that we all know and love.”

While the BEDC is focusing on business retention, expansion and recruitment and the Chamber is putting its efforts into business advocacy, professional development and community improvements, the Breckenridge Industrial Foundation, with Kevin Simmons as its board president, will take on the development of housing in the community. The lack of housing options has been a complaint of some businesses that say they can’t relocated to Breckenridge because there is nowhere for their employees to live, Buckley said in an interview last week. The BIF will be aggressive in their plans for new housing, he said.

Additionally, the Breckenridge Improvement Council, with Cayce Malcuit as its board president, will focus on beautification efforts in the community, Buckley said.

The Chamber recently created the Breckenridge Downtown Development Council, which comprises a variety of local citizens, including business owners, property owners, chamber members, and others.

“These are volunteers and individuals who have come before these boards as an advisory council so that we can rebuild the heartbeat of our rural community with the revitalization in downtown,” Buckley explained Saturday night.

He also announced a joint effort between the Chamber of Commerce, the Economic Development Corporation and a few other entities, to launch a $100,000 grant fund for downtown façade improvements.

“…so that we can revitalize, regenerate and renew what our downtown community looks like,” he said. “Folks, we’re getting back, here in the Chamber of Commerce, to being the voice of business in Stephens County.

“No longer is this going to be the Chamber that comes to you only asking for money or sponsorship for this,” Buckley continued. “We’re getting back in the business of supporting your business and making your business grow in Breckenridge. You’ve got to remember, together we can create the vision for the future of what Breckenridge can become.”

The new Breckenridge Become alignment has a website that is still in its beginning stages:

Cutline, top photo: The annual Breckenridge Chamber of Commerce banquet and awards ceremony served as the unveiling for the new Breckenridge Become, which brings together four community entities to plan Breckenridge’s future. Colton Buckley, the Chamber CEO and Executive Director, explained the alignment to the crowd gathered at Chandelier Ridge for the event. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)


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Editor’s note: This story was updated at about 4 p.m. Sunday, March 13, to correct information about the planned grant fund for downtown facade improvements.

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