Holly Webb, Office and Projects Manager
Passion! Vision! Heart! Those words do not quite do justice to Rachel E. Pate in describing the charismatic and affable leader. As the Vice President of Economic Development at the Central Texas African American Chamber of Commerce (CTAACoC) and a Waco-native, Ms. Pate often waxes poetic on the unprecedented growth and economic development across the city's landscape in recent years by sharing her excitement for Baylor Football's move from Floyd Casey Stadium downtown to McLane Stadium, the Magnolia Market, and the Elm Avenue revitalization. She has played a leading role in championing opportunities for Wacoans to thrive. Pulling from her background as a small business owner, through the CTAACoC, she helps entrepreneurs, women, and people of color to pursue their dreams.
Rachel graduated from University High School and was highly involved in race equity awareness throughout grade school, which she continues to this day. In addition to working at CTAACoC, she currently serves on the Board of Directors for Start Up Waco, the AJ Moore Advisory Board, the Rapoport Academy Public School Board, and is an active member of Toliver Chapel Missionary Baptist Church.
When looking for someone to help serve in the community, many will turn to Rachel E. Pate. When asked what makes her say yes to a project, she focuses on the feeling of passion. Within recent years Rachel has discovered that her passion comes in the form of business growth and economic development, and she has focused her efforts on seeing Waco develop into the thriving community she dreamed of it becoming.
Rachel possesses a strong, but collaborative voice on inclusive economic development both in her role at the CTAACoC in the community as well as in helping entrepreneurs thrive from all backgrounds in programs that Start Up Waco offers. She has led partnerships with Start Up Waco, the Cen Tex Hispanic Chamber, and her organization to support entrepreneurs of color in a variety of ways.
"So much of who I am comes from my roots in our wonderful city! It's an exciting time here." She feels Waco is on the cusp of its best days yet. "Being born and raised here, I've been waiting my whole life to see the arrival of prosperity and opportunity in our community. This is a time of unprecedented renaissance for Waco, and I want to be present and active in our growth."
Recognizing and celebrating Rachel is easy, not only because of her amazing leadership in the community but even more so because she is a bright light that shines, highlighting what passion and vision can do for a community!