May 2017

Take Your Seat... Understanding 
the Chamber's Role As Advocate
By Eddie McBride, IOM

  If your Chamber is like ours, you're still trying to figure out how we and our political priorities are standing during this legislative session.  This session is different, isn't it?  Compared to the last, very pro-business session, this particular session doesn't smell exactly the same.  As I draft this article, some bills won't survive but there is still time in the session to get uglier and dirtier, however, I don't hold out much hope for it to be any more business friendly.
We've been through the sanctuary bill, bathroom bill, anti-local control bills (property tax reform for example), minimum wage increase bills, eliminating the Texas Enterprise Fund, all sorts of stuff that is not considered pro-business legislative activity in a supposed pro-business State.  There is some good business legislation though; health care and education bills, a good chance to decrease or even eliminate franchise taxes, and other bills we all are monitoring.  Overall, many folks don't consider the 85th session anywhere close to being as business friendly, pro-local control as sessions in the past, especially the 84 th session.
Why is all this important to Texas Chambers of Commerce?  These legislative outcomes effect our business members and when they are negatively impacted, so are local Chambers of Commerce.  

Helping You Serve Your Members Better
By Presenting Sponsor Exectras

Exectras enables trade associations to better serve the business needs of their member community thereby strengthening the deep value of membership.  Association KPI's such as new member recruitment, member retention and member engagement are positively impacted as are non-dues revenue opportunities.
Having committed the last decade to partnering with scores of associations and tens of thousands of their members, Exectras is uniquely positioned to offer this business benefits package to both associations and their members.

Better Benefits, Better Performance
Small business owners are challenged on a number of fronts.  Given their size, it's a challenge to purchase the first-class services they may want to run their business.  This has negative impact on their bottom line results.  Additionally, they suffer significant disadvantages when it comes to hiring key talent because their benefit portfolio is not often comparable to the larger companies they compete with.  Because of this, oftentimes they are forced to hire available candidates rather than exceptional candidates.  These employees that the company has invested time and resources in are at risk to leave for larger competitors once they develop competencies in the skills their position requires.  This environment can expose small businesses to a constant drain on budget and morale...


6 Reasons to Listen to Prospective Members
By Shari Pash, Strategic Solutions for Growth

Customizing your "sales pitch" is an important part of successfully recruiting new members. In order to do so, listen to prospects' business needs then help them understand how the chamber can help them realize their goals. When you listen:
  1. It helps you understand your potential member's needs.
  2. You're able to share benefits of the chamber that directly impact their need areas.
  3. It increases your conversion rate of prospects to members.
  4. It helps you design the best benefit solutions for that prospect.
  5. Your recruitment efforts will result a better outcome with a shorter turn time.
  6. It saves time, allowing you to focus on other priorities.
Listening to prospects will be most effective when you ask customized questions.

Want to learn more about creating relevant questions and other items to grow you membership?  Hear from Shari at the TCCE Annual Conference June 20-22 where she will present a keynote and breakout sessions.

Tell A Friend!

TCCE provides excellent professional education and resources to its members.  Not one of us wants to enjoy something great without our friends beside us.  Take a look around your region and see which of your friends is not yet a member and invite them to join you at the next event or explore the resources for their chamber.  You also have the option of sharing their information with TCCE staff or Membership Vice-Chair Mary Siders (Levelland) and we will connect with them.   Thank you for your help.
Silent Auction Anyone?
Lifelong learning is critical to our development as individuals and professionals.  However, sometimes financial resources make it difficult to access the professional development we need.  To help eliminate this barrier the TCCE Board of Directors raises dollars to provide scholarships for Texas Chamber Professionals to attend professional education events including TCCE meetings, U.S. Chamber Institute, ACCE and others through the silent auction held at Annual Conference.  

Please consider donating an auction item and then attend the conference and bid.  Auction items typically include weekend getaways/packages to your community, trips, memorabilia, art, jewelry and the like.  We appreciate your assistance and look forward to many years of providing access to chamber professionals in the state.  Please complete and forward the REGISTRATION FORM and a photo of your item to Camilla Rodriguez at     

On another, similar note, do you host a silent or live auction in your community?  Do you struggle with volunteers and the hassle of reconciling everything at the end of the night?  We have the solution for you!  Contact Aaron at TCCE (512-477-6721/ and he will share opportunities to streamline the process and make your auction life 1000% easier.

Welcome NEW TCCE Members
We are always excited and look forward to welcoming new friends and faces to TCCE. Please welcome our newest members:

Brownfield Chamber and Visitor Information Center             Lorena Valencia

Greater Alton Chamber                                                                   Budelia Rojas

Coming To Annual Conference Early?  Join the fun at TopGolf

Excellent education is always part of the TCCE Annual Conference.  One of the key features though is connecting with colleagues and developing professional contacts and lifelong friendships.  If you are planning to travel to conference on Monday, June 19 be sure to join the group at TopGolf for the opening dinner and activities.    

This year we will be on our own private patio overlooking beautiful Webster, TX, the course and the TCCE   Main Stage at TopGolf Webster.  The group will enjoy golf (competitive and non-competitive), karaoke, giant jenga and more.  We hope you will join us.

 This is not included with the annual conference registration fee so please register  here.         

Is That A Dinosaur In Your Room? Let It Die
By Jim Mathis, The Reinvention Strategist

"The dinosaur's eloquent lesson is that if some bigness is good,
an overabundance of bigness is not necessarily better."
  -Eric Johnston           

Climate Change

Have you ever heard the expression: "the elephant in the room"? It can refer to an obvious
truth that is being ignored or goes unaddressed. It also applies to an obvious problem no
one wants to discuss. Because an elephant in the room with us would be impossible to
overlook, those in the room who pretend the elephant is not there are more likely to be
focused on small and irrelevant matters, never coming to terms with the looming big one.
Just think what's going to happen when that elephant moves!

Archaeologists tell us that the dinosaurs probably died out and became extinct because they
weren't equipped to adapt to a changed environment and climate. As the climate became
different, they couldn't (or wouldn't) become different. But other species on this planet
survived because they were able to adapt and they thrived with the different climate. It is
called survival of the fittest. The fittest species can survive, regardless of its size.

Your business climate has definitely changed. But there are obvious habits, policies,
attitudes, people and inventory that are holding you back. These aren't making you "fiscally
fit." They cost you more than they deliver in profits. They don't allow you to become what
you could be without them. When you resist changing them by refusing to adapt to a changed business climate, global marketplace or economy they hold you back from making the decision required to move forward. Whatever excuse you choose for avoiding change, it will lead to your own extinction.

Want to learn more about reinvention and taking your chamber to new heights?  Join us at the TCCE Annual Conference June 20-22 where Jim will present a keynote and breakout sessions.  

2017 TCCE Chairman's Conference November 3, 2017
Get Ready for 2018 Leadership Excellence
Training designed to get your chairman and board leadership ready for the year

The TCCE Chairman's Conference (formerly Volunteer Conference) allows chamber CEO's and their volunteer leaders to get on the same page operationally, organizationally and to function at optimal levels as a leadership team.  With up-to-date instruction on key areas of board/staff roles and responsibilities, organizational effectiveness, and leadership this one-day training prepares incoming volunteer leaders to take on their new roles.

Chairman's Conference is more than just a training.  It is the opportunity for Chamber CEO's to spend a full day with their incoming leaders hearing trends and key issues that will impact chambers as well as time to process them and develop strategies to address them in their home community.

This is an event that you do not want your Chairman to miss.  Make plans to attend, November 3, 2017.  For additional information and registration click HERE .

"Fall" In Soldiers...Chamber Basics Is Coming Soon!

Chamber Basics is a one-day course designed for CEOs and staff that have been in the chamber industry for one year or less.  This training is a walk through the part of chamber operations, role of the chamber in the community, membership, marketing and other key areas of emphasis for every chamber.  Make plans today to attend and start your chamber career on the right foot.

Fall Chamber Basics
Friday, August 25
8:00 - 4:00
Sheraton at the Capitol
Austin, TX       
A special room rate has of $149 has been extended to conference attendees through July 30. Call 512-478-1111 to make your room reservation. 
The Session Is In Full Swing and TCCE Helps Cover It For You 

Last month, TCCE announced the new Advocacy Resource Center for TCCE members.   We wanted to remind you about this resource and encourage your to use the weekly legislative update, podcasts and more.  To assist in building the resources available we ask that you share as well.  

If you have items to contribute (legislative agendas, committee structure, issue selection process, etc.) please share them with the TCCE staff so we may provide access for all members.  Simply email them to Gabriella Strong at the TCCE office at 

To view the latest weekly update click HERE.   

Important Upcoming Deadlines & Dates

June 2017
1 - Last day to request a full refund for Annual Conference registration

July 2017
7 - Scholarship Applications due for TCCE Fall Chamber Basics
30 - 2017 TCCE Fall Chamber Basics Hotel Reservation Special Rate Ends

Around the State
Upcoming Chamber Regional Education/Networking Opportunities

If you have an event of regional or state impact you would like to share please email to 

State & National Opportunities

2017 Texas Employment Relations Symposium
July 12 - 14, 2017
Marriott Rivercenter (San Antonio)

2017 TAB Washington, D.C. Fly-In
September 11 - 13, 2017
Omni Shoreham Hotel (Washington, D.C.)

Midwest Institute
June 4 - 8, 2017
Madison, WI

Southeast Institute
June 25 - 28, 2017
Athens, GA

West Institute
July 9 - 13, 2017
Los Angeles, CA

Northeast Institute
July 20 - August 3, 2017
Villanova, PA

2017 Annual Convention
July 16 - 19, 2017
Nashville, TN

2017 Annual Conference
August 15 - 17, 2017
Fort Worth, TX

2017 Annual Conference 
October 18 - 20, 2017
Houston, TX

Faces & Places
New Chamber Professionals and Staff Changes in Texas

Robert Rossell  was named President/ CEO at Mission Chamber.

Laura Mendoza  was named President of the Canton Chamber

Greg Solomon  was named  President/CEO of the Copperas Cove Chamber.

Jeffrey Hentz was named President/CEO of the Port Aransas Chamber.

For information on open positions around the state CLICK HERE
If you have an update or know of a new professional in your area.  Please let us know.