By Hope Oriabure-King, NDG Special Contributor
“Collin County, is it a good county?” questioned Sanjiv Yajnik, Chair of the Collin County Business Alliance (CCBA) and a Capital One executive. In response, the room erupted into applause, cheers and emphatic “yes!”
Then Yajnik spoke of the ongoing growth in the region with awe inspiring statics and the mission of the CCBA. However, the panelists also spotlighted the challenges such rapid growth presents for the county.
The crowd of 400 attendees gathered last Friday for the inaugural Collin County Business Alliance State of the Business luncheon. The event featured a conversation with Gov. Gregg Abbott on the state of business in Texas and the inspiration behind his book “Broken but Unbowed.”
“Collin County is a vibrant example of Texas and the United States,” said Gov. Abbott. He recalled to the crowd how he had played high school football in Duncanville and would travel by bus to play McKinney. He spoke of the vast amount of countryside he would pass and how these land masses were now a vibrant business environment. Gov. Abbott also explained he was working hard to get the, “boot of government” off the back of Texas businesses so they could continue to create jobs.
Following Gov. Abbott’s conversation, local and state elected officials discussed the interconnected roles public policy and business has on the state of Collin County’s business environment and quality of life. The moderator was Tracy Merzi of the Dallas Business Journal and a Collin County resident for a number of years.
The topics discussed included infrastructure, rising property taxes and Collin County College. City of Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere was the first to take the microphone and tout how wonderful the City of Plano was, but did discuss the growing pains of more street improvements and more traffic. However, Mayor LaRosiliere indicated he would gladly welcome the companies looking to headquarter in the area over the oil companies who had moved to Denton.
The other panelist included, Rep Jodie Laubenberg, District 89, Rep Jeff Leach, District 67, Mayor Brian Loughmiller, McKinney, Mayor Maher Maso, Frisco, County Judge Keith Self and Sen. Van Taylor, Collin County.
Each attendee received a signed copy of Governor Abbott’s book after the program.