For many East Texans there are months left in the year, but not for the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce (TACC). Their fiscal year ends on September 30, so their year just came to a close. They celebrated with an annual event recognizing Chamber accomplishments and presenting awards to community members.
I Choose Tyler
The event was held at Harvey Convention Center and catered by Stanley’s and Roast Social Kitchen. The banquet’s theme was “I Choose Tyler,” and that message resonated throughout the evening. “A lot of people come to Tyler for a specific reason,” Henry Bell, TACC’s Chief Operating Officer said, “And they end up staying because it’s just such a great place.”
Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce’s mission is to encourage an environment where businesses can thrive and to enhance both economic well-being and quality of life in the area. Over 2,500 businesses, organizations and individuals make up the association. Amazingly, it is the fourth largest Chamber in the state of Texas.
This Year’s Highlights
The Chamber of Commerce is made up of subcommittees that enhance different aspects of community life and business development. They’re responsible for why so many people do choose Tyler for their place to live and do business.
Big things happened this past year because of each committee member’s commitment to making Tyler even better. Skip Ogle, Chairman of the Board for 2018-2019, introduced a video highlighting accomplishments like these:
- The Aviation Committee celebrated the completion of Runway 422 at Tyler Pounds Regional Airport, part of ongoing improvements to that side of the facility. On July 2, Frontier Airlines started offering nonstop flights to Denver, connecting Tyler to a second transportation hub.
- The Energy Committee offered the 2019 Energy Summit of Northeast Texas, bringing key industry experts to Tyler. They also continued to stimulate area job growth by establishing the Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (FAME) chapter. This partnership encourages apprenticeships between area businesses and educational institutions.
- The Surface Transportation Committee worked to improve the transportation infrastructure around Tyler alongside NetRMA, the Texas Department of Transportation, Smith County and the City of Tyler. Work is ongoing in places like Old Jacksonville, Loop 49, Rhones Quarter Road and Paluxy.
- The Business Development Council hosted multiple expos to support Tyler area businesses. Their program “School is Cool” provided supplies and services for thousands of students before classes started this year.
- The Business Education Council focused efforts connecting local businesses and the area economy. The program matched city and local business leaders with Tyler ISD high school seniors to work together to ensure senior success.
- Visit Tyler reported last year visitors spent $386 million in Tyler. The 2019 Azalea Trail alone had an economic impact of almost $1.9 million.
Business of the Year Awards
The Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce presents the Business of the Year Award to local organizations that support TACC’s mission to enhance the business environment, economic well-being and quality of life for the Tyler area. Cooperative Teacher’s Credit Union received the Small Business of the Year Award because of their heart for giving, community involvement and support for the Chamber Education Committee.
Mewbourne Oil Company received the 2018-2019 Large Business of the Year Award. TACC commended the organization’s high standards in hiring and its support of local events.
TACC Award Winners
The Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce presented several awards at the evening event. Bob Garrett, an East Texas real estate developer and president of Fair Oil Company of Texas received the T.B. Butler Award, an award Butler Publishing Company has presented to outstanding leaders since 1929. Friends and associates describe Garrett as a man of his word, who can handle any challenge and do so with integrity.
The W.C. Windsor Award goes to Tyler’s most outstanding person under the age of 40. This year’s recipient was Lindsey Shaver Harrison, director of sales for medical device company NanoVibronix. Harrison founded flippingtyler.com, is a board member of the Children’s Advocacy Center, serves as public relations chair of the Cattle Baron’s Committee and has been involved in several volunteer organizations.
Volunteer of the Year Award
Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce also presented our own Gates Brelsford with the Volunteer of the Year Award. Gates has been the Team Lead for the Energy Summit of Northeast Texas for several years. The March 2019 Energy Summit had a record of 450 attendees and 35 sponsors. The Energy Summit exists to bring top industry experts to East Texas and focuses on:
- Job creation in Northeast Texas
- New investment in energy resources
- Educating the general public about the benefits of the energy industry
For more on this year’s energy summit, see our 2019 Energy Summit of Northeast Texas Recap.
Live Love Tyler
The Chamber welcomed June Cheatham as the 2019-2020 Chair of the Board. She challenged attendees to ponder what it means to live in Tyler, to love Tyler and to live out your love on a daily basis. “To love Tyler is to love its people,” she said, “To commit to its people…which each of you do on a daily basis as you either own, operate or work for entities that provide jobs and stability for the people of Tyler.”
At Brelsford Personnel, that’s a commitment we take seriously. We feel privileged to be part of the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce and our community. We look forward to serving area residents and members of the business community in the year ahead.