ABILENE - "Opening Doors to New Opportunities!" is the theme of the 24th Annual Texas Midwest Conference to be held Wednesday October 25 at the Abilene Convention Center.

ABILENE - "Opening Doors to New Opportunities!" is the theme of the 24th Annual Texas Midwest Conference to be held Wednesday October 25 at the Abilene Convention Center. Timely solution seminars will provide city leaders, economic development professionals, chamber representatives and students with information to better prepare for challenges member communities face today and in the future.

The Texas Midwest Community Network is the only regional organization of its kind in the state and the Annual Conference is the only one-day event in the region providing access to numerous agencies, organizations and businesses that provide resources and services to rural communities.

"The most valuable aspect of the conference is the networking among the organization’s 50-member community representatives as they share successes as well as insights to challenges they have overcome," said Kathy Keane, executive director of TMCN.

The conference will kick-off with an inspiring presentation by Diane Bayes, San Angelo CVB vice president. Bayes is a fifth generation Texan with a great love for the Lone Star State and over 20-years in the travel and tourism industry. A little over a year ago she and her husband decided to pack their stuff and start traveling the back roads in their fifth wheel with their two dogs, Diann's Nikon cameras, and enough rice and beans to get then through as they shared their adventures through her blog "Eccentric Nomads." Her presentation will include her stories about the uniqueness of rural communities, what made them stop and take a second look, and how communities can appreciate their own community by looking through visitor goggles.

The luncheon will include the recognition of the communities of Anson and Miles as Communities of Achievement and the announcement of this year’s All Star Community Award. The communities of Early and Strawn are competing for this prestigious award. Kevin Tutt and Mike Daggs of Tutt & Daggs will recognize the 2017 Leadership TMCN community projects developed by member community high school students and their business mentors and assist in the presentation of scholarships to the top three projects. Participating communities include Ballinger, Breckenridge, Clyde, Cross Plains, Dublin, and Early.

TMCN member cities include Abilene, Albany, Anson, Aspermont, Baird, Ballinger, Brady, Breckenridge, Bronte, Brownwood, Buffalo Gap, Cisco, Clyde, Coleman, Colorado City, Comanche, Cross Plains, De Leon, Dublin, Early, Eastland, Eden, Goldthwaite, Gorman, Hamilton, Hamlin, Haskell, Hico, Jacksboro, Jayton, Knox City, Menard, Merkel, Miles, Munday, Ranger, Rising Star, Robert Lee, Roscoe, Rotan, San Saba, Santa Anna, Seymour, Snyder, Stamford, Sweetwater, Throckmorton, Tye, and Winters.

Attendance at the conference is open to all community leaders including city and county officials, economic development professionals and board members, chamber of commerce executives and members, civic volunteers, healthcare professionals, school officials and high school students. Estimated attendance is 300. For more information and to register visit www.tmcn.org. or call 325-795-8626.