2019 certainly seems to have flown by and here we are about to begin a new decade.
As I look back on the year as chair of the Cumberland Region Tomorrow Board of Directors, I am pleased with the progress we have made. We knew that this year would bring an enormous amount of transition and, in truth, uncertainty. The departure of Carol Hudler at the end of 2018 left us with a multitude of important decisions.
We entered into a partnership with the Greater Nashville Regional Council which has allowed us to increase our access to resources and expertise. We have been extremely fortunate to have the talented Shelly Hazle managing our operations through this partnership. Shelly has provided organizational expertise and a broad base of knowledge about our mission as we moved through the year. We focused on strengthening the organization, launched a new website, and engaged with partners across the region.
In October we hosted our premier event -- the Power of Ten. The summit brought together nearly 300 residents of the Middle Tennessee region to discuss some of the most important issues facing our communities. Chuck Marohn, Jr, co-founder and president of Strong Towns, provided a thought-provoking keynote presentation and regional leaders shared their insight during a panel discussion. Participants took part in breakout sessions that facilitated conversations around specific challenges facing the region and explored possible solutions. I invite you to read more about the summit here and be sure to mark your calendars for next year’s event on October 1, 2020.
While 2019 was transitional, we are looking forward to 2020 being transformative. Our board ended 2019 with the acceptance of a new program of work that will focus on Cumberland Region Tomorrow’s role as a resource and forum on issues related to how our communities grow. We will be producing original content and sharing news from around the region, as well as sharing ideas, publications and opinions from leading voices in the quality growth community. Be sure to follow our website and social media in the coming months as we roll out these new features.
Our work would not be possible without the generous support of our donors. This year’s Power of Ten owes its success to a long list of sponsors, led by presenting sponsor, Pinnacle Financial. We are also deeply grateful to Vanderbilt University, which has demonstrated its commitment to our region’s future and our mission through its underwriting of our daily operations.
As we move forward into the new decade, we hope to expand our base of support beyond corporate donations and foundations. Preserving the quality of life and sense of place that make our region attractive will take growing grass roots support and influence of individuals across geography, demographics and sectors. We invite you to support Cumberland Region Tomorrow by following our website and social media, sharing our work with your friends, family and colleagues, and, of course, donating.
Best wishes for the holidays and a wonderful new year.