September 2012 Word from the Chairman

When the North San Antonio Chamber decided to re-image our connectivity in 2012, it was a real opportunity to talk to our membership, understand their perceptions of this Chamber and identify their media usage and preferences. Special thanks to the Membership Council chair Chris A. Scherer, the Membership Committee chair Maria Barrett, and staff liaison Renée Crittenden-Garcia, for their work in surveying our membership.  As a result we are having a historic year of growth in membership and depth of involvement.

Additionally, we’ve got a brand new look and re-focused our core emphasis on “Keeping Bexar County Strong.” You may have noticed the new look on our social media channels and here at our headquarters.

In August, we launched a new website, featuring the Marketing Toolkit to help you navigate chamber communications, visibility and referral resources; enhanced Find A Member online membership directory; Chamber and member news content; easy access to Events Calendar & Registration; expanded photo and video event coverage; and social media follow/share options. Special thanks to Texas Creative for delivering a fresh, new logo and hard-working website that will help to promote our members, and our gratitude for the efforts of the many members who helped to achieve the overall rebranding initiative including: Accolades Awards & Engraving, Allegra Print, Cheapo Signs, Comsite, Eagle Print, Full Fusion, Phoenix Promotional Products and Zukini Creative.

Part of the vision this year was to engage with the millennial generation and continue to support small business. Thus, we’ve taken care to utilize dynamic and integrated communication platforms that allow us to listen and respond to our members like never before, as well as give them a voice and increased visibility opportunities.

This kind of environment is ideal for identifying and developing new leadership, and I am extremely proud of our investment in Leadership Lab, the conception of an internship program for small and midsized business and the affirmation from our membership that these are indeed the kinds of programs that help to grow their businesses.

In fact, one of our members – Quality Fence and Welding, recently acknowledged Leadership Lab as an important component of their professional strategy in a recent San Antonio Business Journal article. Craig Noto said, “‘I like learning about communication,’” referring to an effective listening workshop, while, his next daughter, Crystal, stated, “For me, it’s about networking. ’” For every generation the needs may be different, but the North San Antonio Chamber is poised to respond.

This year, your North San Antonio Chamber has been involved in issues that affect your businesses and our community.  Earlier this year the board took a position in support of a $500M+ bond package that will provide for citywide roads and infrastructure projects – among many others; and most recently, this Chamber was asked to respond to the Pre-K 4 SA initiative. Following the Mayor’s Vision for San Antonio luncheon and after discussions with our Executive Committee and Board of Directors, leadership voted to support placing this initiative on the November ballot for the voters to decide. While the Board discussion was not unanimous on the details of such a new program, the North San Antonio Chamber did request additional citizen oversight and emphasize the importance of parental involvement. We have historically supported educational attainment and workforce development initiatives, and we are hopeful for the success of Pre-K 4 SA. Ultimately, the voters of San Antonio will decide if this initiative has a chance for success.

Finally, Lead SA recognized SWBC co-founders Charlie Amato and Gary Dudley with the Governor Dolph Briscoe, Jr. Salute to Excellence Award for their exceptional entrepreneurialism, philanthropy in the areas of education and health care, and their contributions to economic development across the region. Congratulations to them both and to the continued success of SWBC.

Let’s all continue to work together to build business and leaders across Bexar County. Thanks for all you do to keep San Antonio strong, and I hope to see you soon.