Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

January 26, 2013

Chamber of Commerce banquet to honor achievement

By Janet Jacobs
Associated Press

— Bryan Flanagan, a motivational speaker with the Zig Ziglar Corporation, will be the keynote speaker for the Corsicana/Navarro County Chamber of Commerce’s annual awards banquet on Feb. 7 at the IOOF Event Center.

This is the 95th annual awards banquet for the Chamber, and the theme is “Proud Past, Progressive Future.” Building on that theme this year, the chamber is once again focusing on what experts say will help attract growth in the city and the area — beautifying the town.

“We need to clean our city up, and that’s not just picking up trash,” said Paul Hooper, executive director. “Two years ago, the chamber board boiled down to five goals and that was one of the top five.”

Towards that end, the chamber is taking the lead on applying to become members in the Texas Beautiful Program. A committee of local government and business members has been formed to help formulate Corsicana’s plans and projects. Through the program, Corsicana could win funding to help with various projects, and certainly some help with planning and ideas.

“We feel like with the right players we can start looking at some projects to do and we should be able to sustain it,” Hooper said.

In addition to taking a lead on the beautification effort, the chamber will also be working as a conduit to help local businesses get more information about the issues that affect them, both from the federal and state governments, Hooper said.

“We’re trying to get the information out and facilitate changes in education, Medicare, Medicaid, payroll taxes, and the impact on businesses,” he said. “I think nobody knows what the new healthcare laws are going to do to them. We’re going to try to facilitate information so they can be better informed and what they need to do in their own businesses.”

The chamber is also updating its website to include an area that will let people know what legislation is being discussed in Austin and Washington, and give them a way to communicate with legislators about each issue.

Incoming president Frank Steed is eager for the latest challenge.

“We’re going to narrow our focus and really concentrate through a couple of committees on the whole beautification process,” Steed said. “With Lee (McCleary, economic development director for the city and county) and the business retention committee, we’re partnering with small businesses to give them the support and tools they need to succeed.”

“We’re going to pull some tools out of the old Strategic Planning Group and apply those,” Steed said.

In addition to the speaker, the banquet will also feature awards for the person with the most community-oriented philosophy, the volunteer of the year, and the service award. A silent auction is also being organized for the event.

Individual reservations are $50 each, or a table of eight is $375. Reservations should be made by Feb. 1. You don’t have to be a chamber member to attend the annual banquet.

Underwriting the event are sponsors Community National Bank and Trust, Guardian Industries, Navarro Regional Hospital and Northshore Harbor Condominiums.

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Janet Jacobs may be reached via e-mail at jjacobs@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “sound off” to this article? E-mail: Soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com