Local businesses that choose to invest in membership at the Southlake Chamber of Commerce get a lucrative return on their venture. The Chamber focuses on engaging its members in business opportunities and networking events that provide them with more exposure and connectivity that alone they wouldn’t be able to grasp.
With more than 500 members, the Chamber designates one night a year to honor those that have gone above and beyond to benefit Southlake and its prosperity. At its annual Awards Banquet, the Chamber unveils its prestigious Citizen of the Year honoree and many other notable individuals and businesses that have impacted the community.
In 2018, the Chamber honored Southlake Mayor Laura Hill as its Citizen of the Year for her countless efforts on behalf of the city, such as creating the S.K.I.L. (Southlake Kids Interested in Leaderships) program.
The chamber also named winners for the Chairman’s Award, President’s Award, Civic Group of the Year, Director of the Year, Corporate Business of the Year, Small Business of the Year, Ambassador of the Year, Volunteer of the Year and Youth of the Year.
When the Chamber is not bestowing honors to worthy individuals, they are helping millenials – and other members — transition from newbie to pro. One way they do this is by hosting several networking events each month, allowing members to make contacts and promote their products and services.
Through the Southlake Young Professionals Group, individuals age 39 and under offers individuals a great way to generate business referrals, get leads on employment opportunities and have a good time.
“The Southlake Young Professionals group is a social group of the Southlake Chamber of Commerce focused on the involvement and connection of young professionals in the area,” said Rachel Porter, Personal Mortgage Consultant at Red Diamond Home Loans. “We host a monthly happy hour event to provide an opportunity for a diverse group of professionals to connect and network in a relaxed yet purposeful atmosphere.”
Another way the Chamber helps professionals make the most of their membership, and expand their skills, is through Leadership Southlake. This nine-month program goes from August to May, giving participants a behind-the-scenes look of how the city and its entities operate. In addition, the class visits the state capitol and the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport.
The Chamber’s most celebrated event is Oktoberfest, which further garners a sense of community among member businesses and residents. As the chamber’s largest event, Oktoberfest features a little something for everyone, no matter the age or interest. Food vendors line Southlake Town Square with German fare, mouthwatering barbecue, kettle corn, desserts and numerous other tasty treats.
Arts and crafts vendors set up shop too, and attendees can browse booths for one-of-a-kind finds, such as crochet pieces, toys, signs, pet treats, photographs, jewelry, candles, pottery and metals. Likewise, there are numerous opportunities to sponsor a booth during Oktoberfest, with various levels available.
There is also an excitement-packed sports zone for catching the big game, a family fun zone, and the always-popular and much-anticipated, wiener dog races, where approximately 100 Dachshunds compete for the title of champion.
For members who would like to talk business over a challenging round of golf, the Chamber can make that happen every year. In 2018, the Annual Golf Shootout takes place at Cowboys Golf Club. This is a great opportunity to mix business with pleasure.
Moreover, the Women’s Empowerment Luncheon enables professionals of varying specialties to sit down together, network and build relationships while listening to talented speakers. This is a great opportunity for women to meet other successful individuals on similar paths and career goals.
With a look into the future, the Chamber is seeking accreditation from the United States Chamber of Commerce. Accreditation from the U.S. Chamber will further establish the Southlake Chamber’s clout within in the business community.
Whether looking to grow a business, meet other local leaders, discover new resources or simply get involved in the community, the Chamber is the perfect place to start.