Kim Bosher moved to Abilene in 1995 with her family. She started working at Star Dodge not long after that, working for the dealership’s marketing and community relations. In this role, she said she thrived at organizing activities and fun events with the city such as parades, chili cookoffs, or fundraisers. This led her to be involved on not one or two, but many local nonprofit boards. Over the years she has served on the boards of the Day Nursery of Abilene, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Rotary Club, the Abilene Business Council, Goodwill of West Texas, the Paramount Theatre, Junior Achievement, Connecting Caring Communities, and the Chamber of Commerce.
Today she serves as the Conventions Director for the Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau. She also seeks to mentor younger members of the chamber of commerce, teaching them the importance of service, just as she has always served others.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST PASSIONATE ABOUT?
The thing I’m most passionate about is people. So many people don’t know that they’re loved. I’m passionate about people in all walks of life, wherever they’re at in their lives and their circumstances.
WHAT DO YOU THINK MAKES ABILENE UNIQUE?
Absolutely the people. Our people, our hospitality, our culture, the way we take care of each other. We take care of our community. Abilene is favored, and it’s because of our spirit of taking care of one another. That’s what makes it great. I couldn’t think of a better place to raise a family.
AS YOU SERVED ON LOCAL BOARDS, WHAT WAS YOUR GOAL?
My gift is to get out and work the mission of various boards. I like to be amongst the people that the mission serves, however that was. My other favorite thing is to get the word out about the mission and educate the community about the importance of what that nonprofit does so they can get the support whether through volunteering or financially.
WHAT AREAS HAVE YOU SEEN GROWTH OR SUCCESS OVER THE YEARS?
One of my biggest growing experiences was Connecting Caring Communities working in the Alameda Neighborhood. I think it was in 2010, the Alameda Neighborhood was number one in aggravated murder. This was the neighborhood right behind the dealership. I drove through it every day. I watched the children walk to school in the morning. And it just broke my heart. Connecting Caring Communities came to the dealership and asked if we wanted to support that neighborhood. We did a summer program for the youth, in collaboration with Pioneer Drive and Stan Standridge with the Abilene police. We had 150 kids show up. We did a neighborhood meeting and had a neighborhood association. We had a community center at Pioneer Drive. And we saw the crime decrease. I remember when we first went in, I had hope and I knew it could be done but I knew it was a long road, and we committed to it. By the end of the two years, we had a community center. We saw children come to know Jesus. That is probably the thing I was the most proud of – so many people coming together to work in that neighborhood.
WHAT CHALLENGES DOES ABILENE FACE CURRENTLY?
One of the Chamber’s missions is to grow our labor force. We want to bring more business here, but it’s hard to do that when we don’t have people to fill those jobs. We also have to figure out how to keep talent in Abilene. How do we attract young professionals and keep them here? For the Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau, our job is to bring tourism to Abilene, which generates about $45 million a year in tax dollars. With COVID, it has been a challenge to restructure after being shut down for a year. We saw a lot of things go virtual. But grassroots, being face-to-face, being personal is still important. We’ve lost that human touch, so
that would be another challenge. How do we keep the human touch and do that in a safe way?
WHERE DO YOU SEE ABILENE IN THE NEXT 5-10 YEARS?
I think we’re going to see tremendous growth. We will accomplish the goals of growing our labor pool. We’re going to see the new hotel continue the growth in this area. I believe we’ll see improvement in education as well. I’m a see the glass half-full kind of gal. We need to look at all of our challenges as opportunities.
BOOK: Max Lucado’s Devotional Bible
PODCAST: Beth Moore
DRINK: Vitamin Water Energy
By Haley Laurence