Background & Bio
Originally from Seattle, Washington, Regi McCabe-Gossett came to West Texas to run track at Abilene Christian University in 2005. He earned his undergraduate degree in finance, then went back for a graduate degree in English in 2011 and a Masters in Accounting in 2014. During that time, he met his wife, Jasmine, and they got married in 2012.
Even as a student, McCabe-Gossett worked to give back, teaching basic Excel skills to freshmen in the business college. For one of his first jobs after college, he worked at Workforce Solutions of West Central Texas as a youth case specialist. In 2012, he started working as an accountant at Hendrick Health System.
“I got my feet wet with healthcare and really enjoyed it there,” he said.
At the surgery department of the hospital, he learned business management, helping build finance models, looking at statistics and managing processes. Then he took a bit of a career switch and started working at Parkway Advisors as an accountant. When the Texas Midwest Surgery Center once again had an opening for a business manager in 2019, he took the opportunity and now serves as a co-director and business manager there.
Although he didn’t grow up in Abilene, McCabe-Gossett, and his wife too, have built roots in the community.
“When we decided to make Abilene our home, we wanted to be invested in our community,” he said. “It only made sense to give back to the community that gave so much to us.”
But what could they give? Most people think the way to get involved in boards or community organizations is by donating money.
“We didn’t have money,” McCabe-Gossett said, “but we had time.”
Every year the United Way goes through a grant review process that requires the services of accountants to review documents. McCabe-Gossett volunteered as an accountant in 2013 and loved it so much, he joined the United Way board the following spring.
Today he serves on the boards for United Way of Abilene, the Abilene Cultural Affairs Council, the Future Fund, the Downtown Task Force, the Civil Service Commission, and most recently, the Threshold Initiative created by the Abilene Police Department.
Many nonprofits rely on their board of directors to review their financials, McCabe-Gossett said. They have to strategically manage funds to make sure the various projects are impacting the community the way they’re supposed to. While knowing a lot about financial strategy has helped McCabe-Gossett in that role, it hasn’t always been easy.
“The impact our nonprofits have on Abilene is evident in the testimonies given by those being served, many of which would break your heart,” McCabe-Gossett said. “Do I want to say yes to everything? Of course. Who doesn’t? But that isn’t realistic, which is hard for me to grasp sometimes, especially when I believe in an entity’s mission or purpose.”
The missions and purposes that tug most on McCabe-Gossett’s heart are related to healthcare and education. He said he’s passionate about those two areas of life for Abilene, and sees a lot of hope in the future as new technologies continue to become available in the city’s hospitals and learning opportunities expand for local schools.
Focus on the Future
On June 4, 2020, the Abilene Police Department announced a new community initiative called Threshold. This initiative formed a community group as a response to national conversations about
police and racial tensions. McCabe-Gossett said he was surprised to hear the announcement, but he wanted to be involved, so he called Mayor Anthony Williams. A few weeks later, Chief Stan Standridge emailed to invite him to join the group.
The group discusses things like crime in the city, mental health for police officers, and how to get the community more involved. But they also discuss hard things – like national stories about racial issues.
“I have learned a lot about APD’s policies and procedures,” McCabe-Gossett said. “The chief is being open and honest about things they’ve been working on.”
McCabe-Gossett said the Threshold group is working on ways to get the community to know the officers better through things like “Coffee with a Cop” or ride-alongs.
It doesn’t take a plethora of connections or money to make a difference in Abilene. McCabe-Gossett said making a difference can be as simple as having conversations with the people around you. He said you can even start a book club and read books like Be the Bridge by Latasha Morrison or I’m Still Here by Austin Channing Brown.
Whether it’s through community groups or his daily job, McCabe-Gosset’s goal “is always to improve the place where I live.”
By Haley Laurence