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North San Antonio Chamber News
DEC 2017 Members  |  Board  |  Contact
Chairman Phyllis Gallay 

Thoughts about 2017 and What’s to Come

I was told to expect my yearlong term as Chairman would pass in a blur—and it has. Here we are, approaching year’s end, and I can’t let it pass without expressing my deep gratitude to the North San Antonio Chamber – it’s member-businesses, Board and staff, numerous volunteers, and collaborative partners for helping make my term memorable and rewarding, both personally and professionally.

I am profoundly grateful for your hard work, enthusiasm, and dedication as together we made 2017 a remarkable year of thoughtful planning, and skillful execution. As I prepare to pass the torch to our incoming Chairman, Chris Thiel, I do so knowing our work – the ongoing mission of the North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce – is in capable hands.

Workforce Development and Emerging Leaders

From a leadership perspective, the North SA Chamber’s Board is fortunate to have Chris at the helm in 2018; and, the Executive Committee and Councils will continue to execute the agenda we have worked to develop. I am supremely confident that all we did in 2017 will provide foundational support to the North Chamber as it remains focused on its mission of advocacy for businesses in San Antonio and Bexar County.

As I reflect on the year past, I am struck by a sense of progress. During the year, we took a thoughtful, analytical approach to understanding and promoting the North Chamber’s own brand, ensuring people know who we are, and that they know, also, our work on behalf of our member-businesses and the communities in which we live.

I am proud of all we accomplished in 2017—a year that brought renewed focus to our work in the areas of Education and Workforce, core components of the North Chamber’s agenda. We engaged with community partners, like Joint Base San Antonio, SA Works, and the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation to begin developing our strategic response to the workforce needs in San Antonio and Bexar County.

In collaboration with SA Works and our member-businesses, the North Chamber supported Job Shadow Day and paid summer intern programs. These important initiatives have placed numerous high-school students with many of our member-businesses in the fields of science, technology, health, and engineering. Through programs that create experiential learning, the North Chamber will continue providing leadership in this critical area.

In 2017, we saw continued growth in the North Chamber’s successful Leadership Lab program. Working through our non-profit arm, Lead SA, our nine-month Lab reached a milestone in 2017, with more than 1,100 graduates since its inception.

During the past year, Lead SA unveiled its newest development offering, Innovative Leadership. Partnering with the Greehey School of Business at St. Mary’s University, this latest development program is designed specifically for more seasoned professionals, already on a leadership trajectory.

The North San Antonio Chamber and Advocacy

I am especially pleased to see the North Chamber’s emerging focus on advocacy. In 2017, we joined with the San Antonio and Hispanic Chambers – a first-ever collaboration – to bring members face-to-face with elected officials.

Nationally, we participated in SA to DC, bringing members to Washington, D.C., where we had access to Congressional staff and elected representatives, telling our story and sharing our legislative agenda. We also brought members on a Legislative Day trip to our state capitol.

In Austin, we again advocated for pro-business legislation, especially in the key areas of transportation and infrastructure, cybersecurity, revenue caps, healthcare, annexation reform and economic development.

At home, our member-only events, the Mayor’s Vision for San Antonio and State of the County, attracted record attendance and afforded North Chamber members direct access to our city and county officials. I know in 2018, the North Chamber will continue to build a credible, ongoing reputation as leading advocates on behalf of our member-businesses—at all levels of government.

Engaging Members through Events and Programming

The North Chamber’s reputation for creating successful events and programs was again center-stage in 2017 and continued to set the bar for attendance and opportunity.

Salute to Excellence set record attendance as the North Chamber honored the Dawson family of Pape-Dawson Engineers; and, while the day was set aside to recognize the Dawson’s for their half-century commitment to San Antonio, the North Chamber used the event to present $20-thousand in scholarship money, raised by the Dawsons, the Dawson Family Charity, and San Antonio developers, Rene and Marty Wender, to the UTSA School of Engineering. The Small Business Leaders Awards recognized 10 area small businesses for their entrepreneurial spirit and success.

The story of 2017 is written, but it’s only one chapter; and, although I am relinquishing my role as Chairman, the story continues in 2018 and beyond. I invite you to welcome 2018 Chairman Chris Thiel and to join him, the North Chamber staff and North Chamber members at our 44th Annual Gala on February 17, as – together – we continue writing our story.

I am humbled to have been a part of this great organization and effort, and I thank you for your support during my term. Stay tuned for what’s to come. Be a part of our work. Be a part of the North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce.

Phyllis Gallay
Phyllis Gallay
2017 Chairman of the Board
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