Sunday, May 29, 2022

Southlake Chamber of Commerce Commemorates 35th Anniversary with Mortgage Burning Ceremony

The February Business Exchange for the Southlake Chamber of Commerce was not just another event. Although it had all the staples of a regular Business Exchange (held monthly) – food, beverages and networking – the February 8 after-work reception also included special guest speakers, valet parking and a Champagne toast! More than 100 people turned out for the special Business Exchange, which was catered by Scratch Kitchen in Southlake.

According to Southlake Chamber CEO and President Mark Guilbert, he and his team pulled out all the stops to commemorate two special occasions: the Chamber’s 35th anniversary and paying off the mortgage for its building at 1501 Corporate Circle, which was the site of the event.

“We wanted to gather current and past members, as well as community leaders, to celebrate these milestones in the Chamber’s history, along with all of the people who got us here,” Guilbert stated at the event, taking the opportunity to recognize several past chairman of the board who were in attendance.

Representing the City of Southlake, which is a longtime partner of the Chamber, were Council Members Shawn McCaskill and Chris Archer.

“I want to congratulate the Southlake Chamber and recognize the great work they do in our community. We value our partnership with the Chamber for Oktoberfest, Leadership Southlake and other programs – all of these things make a big difference,” said McCaskill.

Archer reiterated the Chamber’s contributions in his comments. “The quality of people and businesses here are remarkable and make a difference in our community.”

Sandra Baber-Sandefur, who began working at the Chamber in 1991 and served as its president from 1994-2001, took the podium and told the crowd about the Chamber’s history and achievements during the past 35 years:

  • 1983: Southlake attorney Brad Bradley founded the Southlake Chamber of Commerce.
  • 1985: Chamber hosted first awards banquet.
  • 1986: Chamber hired first paid part-time staff member.
  • 1987: Chamber hosted first golf tournament.
  • 1989: Chamber hired first paid full-time president.
  • 1989: Chamber hosted first Southlake Stake-Out casino night fundraiser.
  • 1990: Chamber hosted first Leadership Southlake class.
  • 1998: Chamber surpassed 500 members.
  • 2000: Chamber broke ground on building.
  • 2001: Chamber hosted first Southlake Oktoberfest.
  • 2013: Chamber hired its fifth president, Mark Guilbert.
  • 2015: Southlake Oktoberfest exceeded 100,000 attendees.
  • 2016: Chamber began awarding annual $2500 scholarship to SKIL youth program.
  • 2016: Chamber hosted inaugural Women’s Empowered event.
  • 2018: Chamber paid off building mortgage.

To conclude the event, Sean Shope of First Financial Bank (which has held the bank note), led the official “burning of the mortgage” ceremony, along with Guilbert, Sandefur and former board chairman Ian McLean.

“As a longtime member of the Chamber, our histories are aligned, along with a desire to build a great community together,” said Shope.

The mission of the Southlake Chamber is to serve the needs of local businesses. For additional information, go to their website or call 817-481-8200.

Photos of the event were taken by Thaddeus Harden.

City of Southlake Now Accepting Nominations for the 2016 Youth of the Year Award

Annually, the City of Southlake sponsors the Youth of the Year Award presented at the Southlake Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet. This award recognizes outstanding teens who have made a difference in our community.  The City traditionally receives exceptional nominations for young residents of Southlake demonstrating their commitment to our community. If you know a teen (ages 12-18) who deserves recognition for their outstanding role in the community, please nominate them by Friday May 13 for this prestigious honor. Nomination forms can be found online here.

Last year’s Youth of the Year Award recipients was an extraordinary young lady Sarah Friske. Ms. Friske is a member of numerous community groups including the Southlake Youth Action Commission (SYAC). This young lady has inspired the community with her hard work, determination and dedication to a cause – we are looking forward to hearing how other youth residents of Southlake have made an impact on the community this year. If you have additional questions please do not hesitate to contact the City at 817-748-8019 or

Annual Oktoberfest Celebration returns to Southlake October 2 – 4, 2015


The 14th annual Oktoberfest of Southlake returns to Town Square from October 2 – 4, 2015. Hosted by the Southlake Chamber of Commerce and presented by Millennium Title and Grubbs Infiniti, the family friendly event is one of the largest German-inspired festivals in the area.

Attendance for the weekend is expected to exceed 100,000 this year. With free parking and admission, everyone is encouraged to come and enjoy this community event that offers everything from live entertainment, food and beverages to wiener dog races.

Live entertainment will take place all weekend on two stages. Micah Blalock, Brave Combo and School of Rock return, joining other performers like The German Band of North Texas, the Alpine Dancers and the Carroll Jazz Band, just to name a few.

Food vendors will be stationed throughout the event offering a wide variety of concessions including everything from authentic German cuisine to traditional fair food. Up to 100 area arts and crafts exhibitors will offer hand-crafted products for sale, including jewelry, furniture and artwork. There will also be a special area for children, which will feature bounce houses, rock climbing, an obstacle course and much more.

Annual Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest Wiener Dog Race – Photo courtesy of Southake Chamber of Commerce

The wildly popular wiener dog races will take place on Saturday morning of the festival, beginning with the costume parade at 9:30 AM and races at 10:00 AM. Dachshund owners may register their dogs online for a $20.00 entry fee or on site for a $25.00 entry fee.

Hours of operation for Oktoberfest Southlake are Friday 5:00 to 11:00 PM, Saturday 10:00 AM to 11:00 PM, and Sunday 12:00 to 5:00 PM. For additional information, contact the Southlake Chamber of Commerce at 817-481-8200 or visit

Bob Jones Nature Center & Preserve will celebrate new Bluebird Trail Educational Signage

The Southlake Chamber of Commerce Leadership Class of 2013 and the Bob Jones Nature Center Organization (BJNCO) and have partnered with the City of Southlake through the SPDC matching funds program to design and install educational signage along the Bluebird Trail at the Bob Jones Nature Center & Preserve.

On Friday, September 25 at 8:00 AM, BJNC will hold a Ceremony and Ribbon Cutting to commemorate the completion of the signage installation. Light refreshments will be served. After the ceremony, there will be guided trail hikes available during the day.

Throughout the weekend, BJNC will celebrate with other events and activities to celebrate the debut of the signs. Please visit for additional information or call 817.491.6333.

Sponsorship Opportunity Supports Dragon Observatory

Dragon Observatory Sponsorship FlyerThe 2015 Leadership Southlake Class is leading the effort to recruit financial support for the Dragon Observatory at Johnson Elementary School.

JR Pix (23)Sponsorship dollars are being raised to offset future maintenance costs associated with the observatory.  Last October, Carroll ISD opened the Dragon Observatory. Made possible through a grant from Hudson Foundation, the observatory will offer students an opportunity to view planets, star clusters, galaxies and nebulae. The grant also covers the purchase of a portable star lab to be used by both students and members of the Southlake community.

Click here for more information and sponsorship pricing.

Avant Chamber Ballet “Holiday Celebration” – Thursday, November 20

Holiday Celebration Photo 1Fresh off their successful run of “Carnival of Animals,” Avant Chamber Ballet is further establishing their position at the forefront of Dallas dance through their commitment to combining dance with live music topped with an ever-tasteful presentation. Now, enjoy the performance “Holiday Celebration” November 20 at White’s Chapel Methodist Church in Southlake presented by Apex Arts League.

“Everyone wants their offering to have something special and different,” said Artistic Director Katie Puder. “Instead of embellishing our production, we took a minimalist approach to make our mark by presenting everyone’s favorite sections of the Nutcracker.”

The evening consists of two ballets, “Nutcracker: Short and Suite” and “Sleigh Ride.” Internationally acclaimed pianist Konstantyn Travinsky will provide the only accompaniment for the selected Nutcracker pieces for which Puder has choreographed all new movement. “Sleigh Ride,” is a more jaunty collection of works performed by ACB’s Music Director David Cooper’s brass quintet, Bishop Arts Brass, with Cooper on the French horn, Steve Peterson on trombone, Clay Garrett on tuba and Kyle Sherman and Cody McClarty playing trumpet.

This year, ACB is comprised of 18 dancers, up from 15 last season, from a wide-range of backgrounds and experiences, a choice Puder said she made deliberately, to create a group of dancers who dance together beautifully, but who possess individual strengths.

Their already full season continues to grow, with more and more encore bookings.

“The support has been almost staggering,” said Puder. “Both from inside the dance community and outside, people really seem to respond to the combination of chamber music and dance.”

 Tickets are $20 Adult | $15 Seniors-Students-Apex Members | $5 Children (12 and under) – AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR or contact Apex Arts League (email: or call 1.800.481.8914)


Dodge, Daniel Featured At Southlake Event July 20

Former Dragon quarterback Chase Daniel returns to Southlake on July 20 as keynote speaker for the Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet.

Former Class 5A state champion and current New Orleans Saints quarterback Chase Daniel will be the featured speaker at the 2012 Southlake Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet at the Hilton in Town Square. The event will be held Friday, July 20. The event’s emcee will be Daniel’s former coach Todd Dodge, who the Dragons to four state titles during his tenure. Dodge is currently the head coach at Marble Falls High School. The theme of the evening is fun in the sun and it will begin at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase on the Southlake Chamber of Commerce website at $75 per person.

Southlake Chamber of Commerce Website