About 450 community members answered a call for participation made by the Prosper Waco backbone organization and gathered February 18, 2015 for Prosper Waco’s Inaugural Event. Community members began to craft a common agenda for Waco, envisioning a path for every member of our community to maximize his or her potential.
Dr. Roland Goertz, Prosper Waco Board President, began the day with a brief history of how the collective impact initiative was created through a confluence of existing community programs. He explained that Prosper Waco will continue and expand this outstanding work already accomplished by Waco’s extraordinary citizens, who care deeply about their community.
Dr. Matthew Polk, Executive Director of Prosper Waco, described the collective impact model and how it is intended to create a structure for addressing complex social problems through cross-sector collaboration and alignment. Specifically, Prosper Waco will address complex social problems in three impact areas: Education, Health and Financial Security.
After the general session, community members participated in one of three steering committee open sessions related to Prosper Waco’s impact areas. In these sessions, historical data was reviewed to create a snapshot of the education, health and financial security arenas in the Waco community. Steering committee chairs were introduced:
Dr. George Kazanas, Superintendent, Midway ISD
Chair, Education Steering Committee
Dr. Jim Morrison, Chief Medical Officer/Executive Vice President, Baylor Scott & White—Hillcrest
Chair, Health Steering Committee
Matt Meadors, President & CEO, Waco Chamber of Commerce
Chair, Financial Security Steering Committee
After the steering committee chairs presented relevant data to provide a context for discussion, facilitators engaged those attending the open sessions and asked them to consider what goals they wanted to prioritize for our community and what results they wanted to see in each of the impact areas.
At a dinner banquet, Mayor Malcolm Duncan addressed the audience, showing his passion and belief that Waco needs collective impact and that Prosper Waco is poised to foster transformational work in our community. Following his remarks each of the steering committee chairs reported the results of their work sessions.
Matthew Polk gave closing remarks and inspired the audience to see themselves as Prosper Waco, as the initiative is about community collaboration between businesses, non-profits, schools, government agencies, and community volunteers.
Watch the Inaugural Event General Session and Dinner Banquet speeches:
Watch the Inaugural Event Steering Committee Open Sessions: