The Brownsville Chamber of Commerce recently held a special ceremony to induct 26 members of the Brownsville Young Chamber (BYC) and their newly elected Advisory Council.

The historical event is the culmination of the Chamber’s strategic effort to be more responsive to the diversity of its members and the business community. It’s the first time that a membership level is developed to recognize the interests of young professionals.

The purpose of BYC is to provide meaningful and strategic opportunities for the professional and personal development of young professionals. The BYC Advisory Council will soon begin the development of a strategic plan to develop programs and events that will be focused on strengthening the entrepreneurial and economic development ecosystem that Brownsville needs in order to sustain a vibrant and prosperous business community.

It’s no coincidence that BYC members, most of them between the ages of 21 and 32, are eager to make a difference in their community. They define themselves more by their interests and passions than their careers, or their symbiotic relationship with technology. They have a strong sense of community service and entrepreneurship, and are equally passionate about the economy. It’s fair to say that passion is their preferred currency.

While the mission of our Chamber remains the same, to advance the business interests of its members through leadership, civic engagement, promotion, support and advocacy, there is no doubt that BYC members will catapult our mission to new horizons. The way they express and pursue their passions is different. They have access to more tools, are extremely resourceful, well connected, and are especially passionate about things that impact others. They are “change makers!”

It’s an exciting time for our Chamber. Moving forward, we can expect to see our BYC members investing in our community, supporting creativity and innovation, and sustaining and leading entrepreneurship. The long-term development and success of our business community depends on the cultivation and professional development of future business leaders.

We believe strongly that forging a collaborative relationship with young professionals is a step in the right direction for our Chamber and the business community. Together with our members, we will continue to cultivate the pro-business climate that sustains a strong, local economy. Each day, we take small steps toward these goals, and each day we see the success of our members and know that Brownsville is a great city—on its way to greater prosperity.

¡Adelante! Together—We are the Chamber!

Editor’s Note: The above guest column first appeared in the Brownsville Chamber of Commerce newsletter, Progress.