The mission of Texas Midwest Community Network (TMCN) is to promote a regional approach to provide the resources and awareness for its members to achieve economic and community growth.
Texas Midwest Community Network (TMCN) was founded in 1994 to provide a means by which communities in the region could work together to accomplish what one community cannot do alone. Each program and activity sponsored by TMCN is designed to accomplish the goals outlined in the Mission Statement and allow members the opportunity to share ideas and collaborate when possible. Membership in TMCN is comprised of communities within the West Central Texas region with each member community represented by a delegate and alternate.
TMCN is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of nine community representatives and 3 at-large business partners. The Board is responsible for selecting the Executive Director, establishing the meeting schedule for the year and meeting annually to review TMCN goals and define a Plan of Action for the upcoming year.
The TMCN started as a group of community leaders getting together in July of 1993 to brainstorm about strengths, weaknesses, and needs of the area around Abilene. Quickly it grew into a core of committed volunteers who wanted to see something good happen for the region. The initial gathering, called the Big Country Development Forum, was sponsored by Abilene Reporter News, Abilene Chamber of Commerce and WTU and was attended by representatives from 15 area communities.
A task force of 11 volunteers and 5 advisers then began meeting regularly and established a plan of action to determine if the concept of a regional organization was something others in the region would like to see happen.
In January and February of 1994 area meetings were held in Haskell, Comanche, Breckenridge, Ballinger and Sweetwater. Community leaders were identified in as many communities in the region as possible and invited to attend the meetings and interact about what was needed for the region. The information gathered at the area meetings was reviewed by the task force and a plan was developed to move forward with a regional organization.
In the meantime, Texas Rural Communities, Inc. in Austin offered financial support to cover basic administrative costs. TRC, Inc. is a non-governmental organization committed to assisting rural communities in improving and maintaining the quality of rural life in Texas.
A mission statement was developed and bylaws were adopted naming the new regional organization TEXAS MIDWEST COMMUNITY NETWORK. The original task force turned into a steering committee adding 3 more volunteers from the area meetings.
During May and June additional area meetings were held in Stamford, Colorado City, Brownwood, Bronte and Albany to begin introducing the organization to community representatives. On June 14, 1994 a press conference was held at the historic depot building in Abilene to educate media representatives and officially launch the membership drive for TMCN.