May 2019

TCCE Partners With Texas A&M To Expand Training Resources for Chambers 
In keeping with its mission to provide the best in professional education to chamber professionals, TCCE has partnered and signed a five year Memorandum of Understanding with Texas A&M University (TAMU).  The new partnership will provide expanded professional education opportunities for Chamber of Commerce staff throughout the state.  The agreement encompasses several dimensions that will unfold over the next several months.  

First, Texas A&M University will be the official partner an accrediting body of the Center for Chamber of Commerce Excellence, the three-year "mini-institute" that serves Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and other states that is led by TCCE.  The union will also facilitate the creation of a new catalog of online professional education covering topics from the basics of "what is a chamber" to advanced topics in leadership and chamber management.   

" This is a true example of how the business and academic communities can come together to create greatness," said TCCE Chairman  Mitch Thames . "This partnership will elevate the training options for chambers while simultaneously building awareness, expertise and creating career paths for a new generation of chamber professionals."

Finally, the partnership will also provide avenues within the chamber industry for capstone and internship opportunities for university students along with greater knowledge and academic resources for chamber professionals through TAMU faculty, staff and subject matter experts.   "This partnership allows us to provide our robust conference facilities, training infrastructure, expert faculty and dedicated students in the development of future Chamber of Commerce executives as they build upon their skillset," said Chad Wootton, associate vice president of external relations, Texas A& M University." "Leadership is one of our six core values as a university and we are excited to enhance our close relationship with the business community."

This is a very exciting time and special opportunity for TCCE and all chamber members of the association.  There is a lot of hard work that goes into creating a partnership like this.  Special thanks to Beth Journeay (Angleton) and Laura Mitchell (Lake Travis) who were an integral part of the development and lead the CCCE Advisory Committee.  Also a huge thank you to Mitch Thames (Bay City) and Jenna Armstrong (Lake Houston) our TCCE Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Professional Development who have been leading from the TCCE board.  We also owe a huge THANK YOU to our friend and colleague, Royce Hickman in College Station, who has played a key role throughout the entire process.

Stay tuned for updates and what's next from this new partnership that will elevate our training opportunities to new heights.  
TCCE is Ready for El Paso...Are You?

Finalize your plans or make room in your schedule for the 2019 TCCE Annual Conference. 

This year will provide you with a great opportunity to connect with colleagues, gain new knowledge, and meet some incredible companies that can help you in your day to day work.   

This year boasts a great agenda and speaker line-up. 
Here is a preview of one of this year's keynote speakers, 
Kathy Gruver....take a look!

The Well Dressed Agenda
Bob Harris, CAE

How often do you review the content and format of your board meeting agenda?  In this article friend of TCCE, Bob Harris, shares an interesting and insightful look at the how and why of developing your board agenda.  

The Well Dressed Agenda

The focus of the board meeting is the agenda.

An agenda is the list of activities in the order in which they are to be taken up, beginning with the call to order and ending with adjournment.  It usually includes specific items of business to be acted upon.  It may, but is not required to, include specific items for one or more activities.

A well-dressed agenda can achieve so much more. With a few reminders, the agenda can address IRS and FTC issues. 


First Take - State Chamber View of the 86th Legislative Session 
Texas Association of Business
Government Affairs Team

Monday closed out the 86th Texas Legislative Session.  TAB feels the Texas business community fared well and the session was productive and effective in large part due to the leadership and dedication of Governor Abbott, Lt. Governor Patrick and Speaker Bonnen.  With their guidance, HB 3 passed and is one of the most important investments in Texas public education. 

TAB has strongly supported Pre-K education since the very beginning. We believe ensuring young children have full-day Pre-K will provide a strong educational foundation that will support development in the years to come. Young children are the future of Texas businesses, and we want them to have the best advantages possible. The passage of HB 3 is a win for Texas business.  Property tax reform passing was also a highlight of this session because it will ease the tax burden on businesses.

One notable loss to Texas business during this session was the failure of legislation to preempt city regulation of employment benefits. TAB strongly believes that private employer policies, like paid sick leave, are best left to negotiations of private employers and their employees.

Overall though we were pleased to see the preservation of several economic development tools move forward. We're also happy with the passage of bills that (1) reduce taxes for telecommunications providers and (2) improve regulations and lower costs for Texas industries.

Here is a quick look at the wins from the 86th legislative session:
  • Chapter 312 is the most significant tool in the economic development toolbox. We are pleased that lawmakers recognized the importance, and the value, by renewing the tax agreements. The Chapter 312 extension in HB 3143 is a win for the Texas economy.
  • The passage of SB 1152 reduces taxes of telecom providers by eliminating double taxation of a right-of-way line. Stopping double taxation of telecommunications companies will improve technology infrastructure in Texas - a win for Texas. 
  • We are pleased lawmakers authorized a constitutional amendment allowing Texans to vote whether to approve an additional $3 billion bond to fund the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). TAB is supportive of the ongoing funding and taxpayer support of the innovative research to keep Texas as a leader in cancer research.
  • The passage of SB 1264 creates consumer protections against health care billing by prohibiting out-of-network providers balance billing when consumers have no choice over who provides their care, including out-of-network lab work and imaging. TAB has been supportive of this bill to protect consumers from surprise billing in Texas.
We were also successful in defeating a large number of bills that would have increased regulatory and litigation costs to many industries.


Chamber Basics is Around the Corner-
Register Today!

Summer is here and there is no better time for Boot Camp.  Summer Chamber Basics is coming August 9 and there is no better time or place to get your new staff immersed in Chamber fundamentals.  

Take a moment and register your newest chamber employees who have been in the industry for 18 months so they have the opportunity to receive the answers to those burning questions and enlightening concepts many have when entering a new position, and potentially a new industry.  

Taught by experts in the field as well as seasoned chamber executives, topics covered will include essential elements such as:
  • The Chamber's Role in the Community
  • Your Role in the Chamber
  • Membership Sales and Retention
  • How to work with Boards and Committees
Take a moment and Register TODAY!


At the heart of the TCCE mission is professional education for chamber of commerce staff members.  We almost half way through this year, but there is still time to take advantage of amazing opportunities for professional growth with programming that is sure to help in your career.  Don't miss these remaining 2019 opportunities:

TCCE Annual Conference
June 18-20
El Paso Convention Center
El Paso, TX

Summer Chamber Basics
August 9
Kingwood, TX (Insperity Auditorium) 

TCCE Chairman's Conference
October 18
Sheraton Austin-Georgetown
Georgetown, TX

Preview full Upcoming TCCE events here.

U.S. Chamber Institute for Organization Management
June 9-13

June 23-27

July 17-21

July 14-17
Long Beach, CA

July 18-19
San Antonio, TX

September 25-27
Washington D.C.

Each year the TCCE board works hard to raise and budget funds to assist Texas chamber professionals in accessing training and professional education at TCCE events, U.S. Chamber Institute and others.  If there is training you would like to attend, do not let money be the issue that prevents it.  See below for scholarship opportunities and deadlines and make 2019 a year of learning and growth.


June 14
Summer Chamber Basics

August 16
TCCE Chairman's Conference

November 9
U.S. Chamber Institute for Organizational Management (Winter)

Download Scholarship Application here.


Membership in TCCE pays great dividends.  Share the knowledge with a neighboring chamber about the benefits of being connected.  If you would like to connect, or connect with someone, you can reach out to the TCCE staff or Membership Vice-Chair Tim Culp (Deer Park) and we will connect with them.

Thank you for your assistance in ensuring that all Texas chambers have access to excellent resources.