Friday, July 1, 2022

Southlake Chamber Recognizes City of Southlake and Councilmember Kathy Talley at 2022 Awards Banquet

The City of Southlake was honored with the Legacy Award from the Southlake Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber recently held its 2022 Awards Banquet at The Marq Southlake to highlight individuals and businesses for their accomplishments in the community, service, and business.

The City of Southlake was recognized for our engagement, support, and demonstrated history of good deeds as well as impacting the lives of those who live within the Southlake community.

“For the last 38 years, the city has displayed continuous support to the chamber and the business community, and we sincerely appreciate it,” President and CEO of the Southlake Chamber of Commerce Mark Guilbert said.

City Councilmember Kathy Talley was also among the award recipients recognized at this event. She was honored with one of the President’s Awards for her exemplary service to the Southlake Chamber of Commerce through the dedication of time, resources, and ideas that have served to enhance chamber success and opportunities.

“This is the night when we honor those in the Southlake community that have made positive changes in our Chamber and in the city and set an example for others to follow with their initiative, creativity, and energy,” said Guilbert.

Awards presented on June 17 included:

  • Citizen of the Year, Kush Rao
  • Legacy Award, City of Southlake
  • Chairman’s Award, Pastor Sterling Smith
  • President’s Award, Michael Young and Kathy Talley
  • Civic Group of the Year, GRACE
  • Director of the Year, Karl Chester
  • Corporate Business of the Year, Cambria Hotel & Suites Southlake DFW
  • Small Business of the Year, Selph Marketing
  • Volunteer of the Year, Lynda and Robert Warner
  • Ambassador of the Year, Bill Tait III
  • Youth of the Year, Zach Lacy

For more information about the Southlake Chamber of Commerce, please visit their website. To learn more about the Southlake business community, please visit Select Southlake.

The Barrows Firm Named as the Small Business of the Year in Southlake

At their recent annual awards banquet, the Southlake Chamber of Commerce named The Barrows Firm as the 2018 Small Business of the Year.

Held on June 21 at The Marq Southlake, the award program recognizes and celebrates the Southlake community. “The Southlake Chamber of Commerce is proud to be a part of this great city, where volunteerism and corporate citizenship are a way of life,” noted Chamber CEO Mark Guilbert.

In receiving their award, The Barrows Firm was recognized for their service and exemplifying excellence in their commitment to the City of Southlake and their involvement within the Southlake community.

Recently recognized in the Southlake Business Spotlight at the June 19 City Council meeting, Mayor Laura Hill praised the firm and Principal Attorney Leslie Barrows, “Leslie is a perfect example of somebody who not only has embraced the community but someone who the community has embraced. She is giving and also represents herself as a very ethical business in Southlake. Your reputation precedes you. We’re very proud of you and happy to have you in Southlake.”

Opening their doors in Southlake in 2006, the firm has established a  family law practice under the direction of Barrows.

“Living and working in Southlake, in this great community, we have so many great resources,” said Barrows. “I help people go through really challenging times in their lives that are really unexpected. We really focus on our families and making sure the family is represented and they can get through the process in as civil a way possible.”

Barrows currently serves on the Southlake Chamber board of director, is a graduate of the Leadership Southlake Class of 2017-18, member of the Chamber’s Women Empowered committee and has sponsored and volunteered at numerous community events.

TD Ameritrade named the 2018 Southlake Corporate Business of the Year

The Southlake Chamber of Commerce named TD Ameritrade as the 2018 Southlake Corporate Business of the Year at their June 21 awards banquet.

Held at The Marq Southlake, the award program recognizes and celebrates the Southlake community. “The Southlake Chamber of Commerce is proud to be a part of this great city, where volunteerism and corporate citizenship are a way of life,” noted Chamber CEO Mark Guilbert.

TD Ameritrade was recognized for its significant investment in the city and commitment to being an active community partner by supporting numerous events and giving employees eight hours of paid time off each year to volunteer for the organization of their choice.

The Nebraska-based brokerage firm recently opened the 300,000 plus square foot Southlake campus in January 2018 and welcomed almost 2,000 new employees to Southlake.

In a March 2017, My Southlake News article Melissa Matson, a senior specialist for corporate communications at TD Ameritrade, talked about their commitment to the community. “We are committed to growing our footprint in the DFW area and becoming an employer of choice within the community,” she stated.

On April 26, 2018, the company celebrated their grand opening in Southlake. According to TD Ameritrade President and CEO Tim Hockey, who was on-hand for the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony, the Southlake facility will help support the continued growth of the company.

“As TD Ameritrade starts its new chapter in Southlake, we are a much larger company that we were 20 years ago. Our new Business Center is intended to support the continued growth of the company, as well as help our associates become more efficient, collaborative and successful in their careers,” Hockey stated.

Mayor Laura Hill officially welcomed TD Ameritrade to the city at their grand opening event and expressed her excitement for having the company in Southlake.

“You are a part of Southlake now and we knew from the beginning this was special for our community. This has truly been a partnership, and I expect great things from both sides as we move forward. Thank you for being here and making Southlake better,” Hill stated.

“This is exactly the type of high-quality development we want along SH114 and we couldn’t be happier to welcome TD Ameritrade to Southlake,” Hill added.

Mayor Laura Hill Wins Southlake Chamber Citizen of the Year Award

The Southlake Chamber of Commerce named Mayor Laura Hill the Chamber Citizen of the Year during the 2018 Chamber Awards Banquet “Bollywood Nights.”

According to the Chamber, the award is given annually to the Southlake citizen whose unparalleled efforts and service make the City of Southlake a better place for everyone.

“When you think about the definition of a Citizen of the Year, our very own Mayor Laura Hill is the perfect example,” said Cheryl Fairbanks, Chairperson of the Southlake Chamber Board of Directors. “Mayor Hill is business friendly and has opened new avenues for the business community.”

The Mayor called the evening “An amazing evening of friendship, celebrating the Southlake business community and its spirit of giving. While last night was an Awards Banquet, it was really more of a recognition of Southlake and the common goals we share. The Southlake business community is constantly called upon to make donations, offer free services and support with cash. Their generosity is vital to a healthy community.”

A Southlake resident since Southlake since 1997, Mayor Hill has a long history of passionately serving her community. Starting in 2004, she has been involved in City leadership and a strong supporter of future leaders. From the creation of SPARK (Students and Parents Against Risks to our Kids) and SASO (Scholars and Athletes Serving Others) to the creation of SKIL (Southlake Kids Interested In Leadership), the Mayor’s passion for students serving their community has offered many tremendous the opportunities for hundreds of Southlake children and teens.

The Mayor also hosts the popular “Meet the Mayor” events. The events are designed to introduce residents to different Southlake businesses that are often unique to the community.

Mayor Hill is the co-owner of Downey Publishing and Texas Ice Cream. She is the founder and executor for the Downey Art for Education Trust, Advisory Board & Past Board Chair for the Recovery Resource Council of Tarrant County and an Advisory Board Member, Texas State Dyslexia Licensing Committee.

City of Southlake Now Accepting Nominations for the 2018 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 11 for this prestigious honor. Nomination forms can be found here.

Last year’s Youth of the Year Award recipient was an extraordinary young lady named Carlee Miller. Ms. Miller completed over 1,600 hours of volunteer service throughout her high school career. She dedicated significant time to the Best Buddies program, partnering with a student and supporting her buddy at Miracle League. She also volunteered to teach dance at two dance studios and served as a mentor at the Emerald Belles Summer Youth Camps. She also interned for the Carroll Education Foundation for two summers and participated in the PALS program. She managed to accomplish all this while also being a National Merit Commended Scholar and graduating summa cum laude. Carlee is an example of what our community promotes: academic excellence, community service and kindness.

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

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.

Oktoberfest Southlake Brings German Festivities to Southlake Town Square October 6-8

It’s almost time to don your lederhosen, Oktoberfest Southlake will return to Southlake Town Square Friday, October 6, through Sunday, October 8. Back for its 16th year, the German-inspired festival will once again offer live entertainment, authentic German food, activities for the whole family, and widely popular wiener dog races. Hosted by the Southlake Chamber of Commerce, the community event will offer both free parking and free admission.

Guests can expect many of the same exciting elements that have become traditions over the years. The sound of Swiss Longhorns will kick off a weekend of festivities, including live entertainment on three stages. In keeping with the theme, expect performances by The German Band of North Texas and Alpine Dancers, in addition to sounds from popular headliners, Downtown Fever and Walk This Way.

Numerous dining options will surround Southlake Town Square and will also be offered in Die Festalle, the centrally located festival hall tent, which will also serve beer and wine.

“We are excited to offer a wide variety of authentic German food at Oktoberfest Southlake. Guests will find unique dishes they may have never heard of before,” stated Mark Guilbert, the president of the Southlake Chamber of Commerce, adding that nearly 30 food vendors in total will be on site.

With something for everyone, there will be nearly 90 arts and crafts vendors, a Family Fun Zone with various activities for all ages and a petting zoo, and a Sports Zone, which will be home to a football-shaped mechanical bronco, a jumbo screen showing college and NFL football games, and the popular Biergarten. Throughout the weekend, also expect a German costume contest, a yodeling contest, and a stein hoisting competition.

The wiener dog events, a crowd favorite, will take place on Saturday morning of the festival, and include a dog costume parade and the highly anticipated Wiener Dog Races. Dachshund owners are encouraged to register their dogs online prior to the event.

Although parking at the event is free, additional parking and a shuttle service will be available at White’s Chapel United Methodist Church over the weekend. Shuttles will run continuously to and from Southlake Town Square.

For additional information, including event hours, visit

Student Leaders Honored in Second Annual SKIL Awards Reception

The future never looked brighter than it did Wednesday, May 17, night at The MarqSouthlake. City leaders, Mayor Laura Hill, CISD trustees, parents and students involved in the SKIL (Southlake Kids Interested in Leadership) program convened to celebrate the end of the program’s successful second year.

SKIL is a youth leadership program created in partnership between the City of Southlake, the Carroll Independent School District and the Southlake Chamber of Commerce. The program’s mission is to enhance engagement with the city’s youth through education and leadership opportunities, or, in Mayor Hill’s words, “to give the kids a seat at the table.”

Before Mayor Hill took the stage to discuss the program and bestow accolades upon the SKIL participants, Daniel Cortez opened the evening with some remarks about the program.

Cortez, the program’s City staff liaison, spoke about how proud he was of this year’s SKIL group, which includes 20 juniors from Carroll Senior High School. After starting the program in October, the group visited various departments throughout the city, and also visited the capitol in Austin to learn about leadership at the state level.

The program’s second year culminated with a presentation to City Council on Tuesday night, followed by the awards reception on Tuesday. During the ceremony, Mayor Hill awarded each student with a plaque and a Certificate of Achievement. Carroll Senior High teacher Eddie Morman, Chamber President Mark Guilbert and CISD Superintendent Dr. David Faltys also spoke about their pride in the program, but the Mayor wasn’t finished doling out awards to the crop of talented Dragons.

SKIL student Ganeev Kaur was awarded $2,500 for the college of her choice, and Kaur currently plans to study medicine after graduating from Carroll Senior High in 2018. Furthermore, Kaur will be interning in State Representative Giovanni Capriglione’s office this summer—just one example of the stellar work being done by the motivated students in the SKIL program.

Applications for next year’s SKIL group will open up in August, and next year’s group will have big shoes to fill. As Morman said, “There’s no doubt about it—these kids are the best of the best.”

Visit the City website to learn more about the SKIL program.

Southlake Chamber Celebrates Graduates of the 2015-2016 Leadership Program

The Southlake Chamber of Commerce recognized the fourteen graduates of Leadership Southlake at its luncheon May 26 at Evans Hall, White’s Chapel UMC. The program, launched in 1989, has graduated over two hundred men and women by providing classes in local and state government, education, business management, team building, professional/personal development and project and personnel management.

The Graduates for this year are: LaDondra Wilson, Dean Speers , Toya Walker, Janice Horak, Jenni Hubby, Matt Woolsey, John Loyd, Brent McIIvain, Julie Walter, Jessica Smith, Deborah Brown, Lyndsay Lord, MaryLee Alford and Billy Braxdale. Cheryl Fairbanks was the facilitator of the once-monthly classes.

This year’s class of area business men and women presented a review of their year with a video presentation and the announcement of their advocacy project. The class project, “Band Aide” raised $20,000 to supply instruments for the Carroll ISD Middle School Band Program. They achieved their goal through various community fundraisers with the School Bands performing at the functions.

SCOC Chamber President and CEO Mark Guilbert said at the event, “We must remember to always actively and intentionally help develop the next generation of leaders – it can’t be left to chance.”

If you would like more information about Leadership Southlake, please contact Maurine Grant at 817-481-8200 or email at