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Creating Opportunities for Port Lavaca

I know whenever traveling it is very wise to have a map or GPS. I’ll drive for a while toward my destination but every now and then I have to check where I’m at and how much further I have to go.

Last week, the Port Lavaca Chamber of Commerce board of directors and staff held a planning retreat to look how far we’ve come since January and discuss where we want to go and how we’re going to get there.

Evaluating the programs and progress is a critical part of our mission and we talked of changes to make new opportunities and new ideas.

I’d like to share a few key points.

A recurring theme in our business retention and existing industry meetings is workforce development, particularly customer service. During our planning session the lack of customer service was unanimously cited as a problem the Chamber needs to address and we are. The next informative community breakfast, which we have since named Good Morning Port Lavaca, will be held on July 12 and the topic will be customer service programs and training opportunities.

Creating opportunities for members to participate is very important to the success and growth of the Chamber. Many times I have been out in a community talking to people about their business and am told they never hear from the Chamber. Basically what we have here is failure to communicate.

Our Beacon newsletter, which for a trial period is now going out twice a month rather than weekly, was developed to provide more opportunities to let our investors know about upcoming events, programs being offered and assistance available. The Chamber is also in the process of setting up committees for our business retention program and special events. These will not require much time commitment because none of us has enough, but certainly offer all our investors the chance to be engaged and to be a part of the Chamber team.

Speaking of special events – we have some very exciting new events coming up in the next 12 months! Our group came up with some very imaginative, fun ideas. A New Year’s Eve event, coastal art and music festival, and a special evening gala in February are already in the works.

However, our group kept coming up with ideas - the only problem was they had too many! So the Port Lavaca Chamber of Commerce will be inviting you to take a short survey to tell us what events you most want to see here in Port Lavaca.

Our discussions were open, candid and energetic which did not surprise me. During the four months I’ve called Port Lavaca home I’ve been amazed by the enthusiasm shown by not just members of the board or the ambassadors – though they set the bar – but all the Chamber volunteers, school district representatives, and City staff.

Be engaged, get involved and help us make this the best Chamber of Commerce on the Coastal Bend!

Chris Hines

Executive Director

Port Lavaca Chamber of Commerce

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