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January 13, 2014

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Working for a Chamber of Commerce

When I began my Chamber of Commerce career in 1990, little did I know it would be a lifelong career for me. The statement “it gets in your blood” certainly holds true for me. Read below as I take you through my first year at the Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce.


The Rockport-Fulton area is a “resort” type community on the Texas coast just 30 minutes northeast of Corpus Christi. My community is not industrial based so it relies heavily on tourism and events for an economic impact.


The first day of my Chamber Of Commerce Career was actually during the 3rd HummerBird Celebration September 17, 1990. To be honest with you, I didn’t even know a thing about any bird much less a hummingbird. A TV station was interviewing at this event and chose to interview the new Executive Director — yours truly! I was 30 years old at the time. I remember repeating the word “proud” stupidly throughout the interview. That first day was so exciting: meeting people from all over the world, being on TV and seeing an event unfold. It was just what I was looking for.


That first year, I remember making each and every item of the Chamber the best it could be. Newsletters, meetings, luncheons, events, etc. all got special attention in detail, organization, and “pizzazz.”


A brochure for Institute for Organization Management of the US Chamber of Commerce came across my desk. I knew that was something I had to do to educate myself on how to be the best Chamber Executive I could be.


In June of 1991, I left my husband, and two precious toddlers and arrived at the SMU Campus in Dallas, Texas to attend my first Institute. The first day of that session was so crucial for me. Luckily, we had the right class adviser, who performed the right icebreakers, which created the right synergy and bonding of the class. This “bond” continues today as many of us have stayed in touch. Institute for me was a tense week of focused activity on how to run a Chamber. I learned so much and was so energized.


In the first year, with an incredible group of volunteers, we worked on getting Blue Coats for our Membership Team. We gave them the name of Bay Blazers and established a point/reward system for attendance. This group is still active today.


I remember wanting to implement so many things that first year. It was so important to me to succeed in this field. I loved being able to be creative in so many areas, meeting people from so many different areas, making programs and events get that “wow” factor and then getting that satisfaction in return.


I remember telling my two employees at the time. “It is all in our finger tips… it’s just right there… we just have to make it happen.”  I love my Chamber Of Commerce Career.

Contact Diane Today And Put Her Experience To Work For You And Your Chamber!