September 6, 2023 917 PM
MARFA — The Marfa Chamber of Commerce, a long-standing local organization originally established 1912, is seeking new leadership as its current president, Abby Boyd, steps down this November.
Boyd has been in the role for over two years and wrapped up her third time organizing the annual Marfa Lights Festival this past weekend. She said while she no longer has the capacity to continue as chamber president, volunteering with the organization has been a challenging, yet rewarding experience and she was looking forward to passing the baton.
“I appreciate being trusted with the position,” said Boyd. “We have an opening for a community leader. I’m excited to see who that person is.”
Boyd announced her departure Monday on social media and was met with words of appreciation from the Marfa community congratulating her on a job well done. During her tenure, Boyd sought to expand event offerings for local families, establishing annual Easter Egg Hunts and Christmas Bazaars.
“We really wanted to make sure that kids and adults had access to community building, family friendly events here in their hometown,” said Boyd.
She also worked with fellow chamber members to grow the business membership program and encouraged local officials to explore short-term rental regulations. Boyd has argued STRs are overabundant and take away vital housing from the local workforce. She plans to continue to advocate for STR regulations via a new organization she helped establish, Help Occupy Marfa Equitably (HOME), which is getting off the ground and will act independently from the chamber.
“We didn’t want that issue, which is polarizing, to detract from the work that the chamber does,” explained Boyd.
The role of the chamber president, not unlike the organization itself, has varied over the years, said Boyd, depending on who occupies the seat. For 36 years running it has included putting on the Marfa Lights Festival, which she said is important to continue, but may expand to include other initiatives.
“When you are with an organization like the Marfa Chamber of Commerce that has this great reputation and history behind it, it gives you the platform to do big things, if you’re able, or small but meaningful things,” said Boyd.
She said moving forward a strong team with diverse talents and the support of dedicated volunteers is needed to keep the chamber alive. Several new board members are also needed.
“We’re hoping that we can get some interested people and vote them in before my exit date of November 1,” said Boyd. “If we can’t, then we’ll have to look into how we can responsibly press pause on the organization until people are willing to join and keep it active.”