Lindale chamber retools with new positions, expanded vision

Unveils “3 Year Strategic Plan’’

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For anyone who’s been paying the least bit of attention, it’s clear the business climate in the Lindale area has experienced some rapid growth in the past few years.

To keep up with this business expansion, officials with the Lindale Area Chamber of Commerce have presented an updated blueprint for its members – the “3 Year Strategic Plan’’ – designed to bring new ideas, initiatives and innovations to the ever-expanding base of the LACC.

But this new focus won’t be the only changes.

Shelbie Glover, long-time LACC Executive Director, now has the title of President/CEO while Jerry Alexander will be this year’s Chairman of the Board instead of president.

Joining office assistant Brenda Jones in the LACC office will be Director of Marketing Elizabeth Thacker and Director of Membership and Sales Lisette Whatley.

“Around the first of May, Jerry Alexander and I began to talk about improving the investment for our members and how can (the chamber) be part of the growth and change in Lindale,’’ Glover said. “We wanted to find out how we could be both an advocate and catalyst for growth in Lindale.’’

This led to meeting with chamber of commerce professional Frank Kenny, who Glover said is well known across the U.S. for his expertise in molding and shaping chambers of commerce.

In addition to Glover and Alexander, he met with Lindale City Manager Carolyn Caldwell, Mayor Jeff Daugherty, Lindale Economic Development Corporation President Susan Gill, Lindale ISD Superintendent Stan Surratt and Smith County Judge Nathaniel Moran.

“We learned a lot about what other chambers were doing and what our board and committees should be doing for our members,’’ Glover said, adding there was one key word mentioned over and over – synergy.

“(Synergy) is the key,’’ she said. “The only way communities thrive and grow is to work together. It’s going to take all of us to make this work.’’

As the business climate continues to improve and expand in Lindale, Glover said it’s essential for the chamber to be a solid ally for each business and merchant.

“Things have changed so much in the past few years,’’ she said. “Ten years ago when I started, we had 250 members. Now, we have 650.’’

During those meetings this past spring, Glover said the recurring theme was “how can we provide more return on the investment’’ the members have made with the chamber?

She pointed to two new opportunities for businesses to be viewed as a leading business in the Lindale area – the Chairman’s Circle and President’s Circle, which will help those who join as leading businesses of the community.

Each chamber member received a packet outlining the details of the Chairman’s and President’s Circles.

One way for members and the community to keep track of LACC events is to log on to www.lindalechamber.org and soon this site will be upgraded to be more user friendly.

“We’ve always had our calendar of events on our website and pretty soon, it will be even easier to access everything you need,’’ she said.

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