Saturday, December 14, 2019

Southlake Chamber of Commerce Places Priority on Economic Development in Search for New President

The Southlake Chamber of Commerce has a big year planned. In addition to its monthly luncheons, leads groups and networking receptions, the Chamber is continuing its Charter Business Breakfast Series and will host special events throughout the year:

  • Southlake Shootout Golf Tournament: April 22
  • Annual Awards Banquet: June 20
  • Oktoberfest: October 4-6
  • Regional Expo: TBD

According to Board of Directors President Traci Bernard, it’s business as usual despite the departure of former President Dana Davis, who left in February for a position with the Bentonville/Bella Vista Chamber of Commerce in Northwest Arkansas.

“It goes without saying that I received Dana’s resignation with a sense of loss as well as pride in his selection,” states Bernard. “Dana’s contributions to the community of Southlake during his tenure are many. His leadership has influenced practically every aspect of our Chamber, from business to city relations, overall strategy, communications and marketing, information technology, and more.  Dana has been the consummate executive team member and will be missed as both a colleague and friend.”

Leading the Chamber on a day-to-day basis is Interim President Mark Guilbert, who served on the Chamber’s board of directors for more than six years and as chairman from July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012. Guilbert, along with the board of directors, is using this opportunity to evaluate the Chamber’s programs and future direction before hiring a permanent replacement.

“We are at a crossroads to redefine the Chamber and are taking a step back to determine the position’s role and research salary requirements,” explains Bernard. “We are working closely with the City to define our relationship, specifically as it relates to economic development.”

To do this, Bernard recently met with Southlake Mayor John Terrell and City Manager Shana Yelverton to discuss Southlake’s business recruitment, retention and expansion initiatives. Terrell and Yelverton provided input for the president’s job description and how the City and Chamber might become more closely aligned. Other topics under consideration is to how to expand Oktoberfest, which draws approximately 20,000 people to Southlake and is the Chamber’s largest revenue generator.

One of the most important items on the Chamber’s to-do list this year is to redesign its website, which is already underway and will be overseen by Guilbert in conjunction with i5 web works, an internet marketing agency in Southlake.

“Our mission of serving the needs of local businesses will not change, but we need to make sure we know what those needs are and how we can best address them,” Bernard adds.

For additional information, contact the Southlake Chamber of Commerce at 817-481-8200 or go to www.southlakechamber.com.