The Greater Waco Chamber and Foundation
A well-respected, high-profile economic and community development organization advancing a progressive and visionary agenda for economic growth and quality of life.
- Service Area: Greater Waco, Texas
- Location: Midway between Dallas/Fort Worth and Austin on I-35 in the Texas Triangle megaregion
- Budget: $3.3 million
- Members: 1,551 dues-paying businesses and non-profit organizations
- Board of Directors: 30 elected and 10 appointed directors
- Executive Committee: 6 members
- Staff: 20 full-time; 1 part-time; 1+ interns at various times during the year
- Facility: $4.3 million “first green chamber building in America” (LEED-Gold) opened in 2008
Mission of the Greater Waco Chamber
To prepare and market the Greater Waco region for the businesses and jobs of the future and an outstanding quality of life.
- We will be the most livable and economically vibrant mid-market region in Texas.
- We will educate, attract and retain the workforce businesses and institutions need to succeed.
- We will develop creative and results-oriented public-private partnerships to be competitive.
- We will market Greater Waco to attract talent, growing companies and investment.
- We will be a model for sustainability—economy, ecology and equity.
Strategic Goals for Greater Waco
- Grow Waco
- Develop the workforce
- Reinforce positive perceptions
- Revitalize strategic community areas
- Build a culture of implementation
Targets for 2012-2015
- Position and market our region to compete for development, jobs and investment
- Develop greater downtown and the Brazos riverfront
- Become a magnet for talent
Greatest Strengths of the Greater Waco Chamber
- Professionalism and a highly-capable staff
- Ability to relate to and engage with a large portion of the public
- Positive identity and image in the community; recipient of strong community support
- Great infrastructure — in terms of Chamber building, location and equipment
- Organizational growth and positive momentum
- Solid financial performance and a strong, effective Total Resource Campaign
- Competitive edge as a result of Waco’s location and amenities
- Community Leadership:
Kitchen Cabinet Approach—has the involvement and support of all Waco’s movers and shakers on the majority of the its work, regardless of their disparate roles and opinions.
Hub-of-the-Wheel—recognized as a facilitator for projects and initiatives that the community wants to accomplish.
Greatest Opportunities for the Greater Chamber & Waco in the Next 5 to 10 Years
- Act as the primary leader in:
Regional economic development
Development of local business integration with the BRIC (Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative)
- Act as a strong partner in large-scale community collaborations:
Downtown growth and riverfront development
Waco’s increasing role as a tourist destination—in areas such as sports/recreation, arts, and local amenities that provide high quality of life and an engaging experience for visitors
- Avenues for increasing the level of education and sophistication of the workforce:
- Filling science and research jobs (in particular, SpaceX expansion and Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative)
- Increasing the expansion and development of Texas State Technical College Waco (TSTC Waco), McLennan Community College (MCC), and MCC University Center (affordable four-year degrees)
- Enhancing the career and technology programs and improving alignment between the Waco Independent School District and both TSTC Waco and MCC
- Increasing residential housing within the Waco city limits
- I-35 expanding and completing of signature bridge
History of The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce
The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce began in 1899 as The Waco
Business Men's Club. In 1916 the charter name was officially changed to
The Waco Chamber of Commerce. Their charter, No. 8966, was issued
by D.H. Head, Secretary of State, on Nov. 29, 1899. A charter amendment,
filed on June 23, 1916 and approved by the Secretary of State on June
27, changed the name to Waco Chamber of Commerce. On June 6, 2008, the Greater Waco Chamber opened the first green Chamber building in America. The organization's record
of service since its inception reflects the unselfish leadership of many
distinguished Wacoans and the efforts of hundreds of its members.
What is our Chamber?
The Chamber is a voluntary association of businesses, professionals and
individuals working together to build a healthy business environment,
promote economic development and work effectively to improve the quality
of life in the Greater Waco area. Read about our Program
Who Are Chamber Members?
The members of your Chamber are business owners, professionals, and individuals
from all over the Greater Waco area who are concerned with both social
and economic concerns that impact the community in which we all live and
work. Currently, our Chamber has more than 1600 members.
Who Leads Your Chamber?
The membership provides the basic leadership of the Chamber. The Board
of Directors is elected by the membership to determine policies and
set goals and direction. The day-to-day operations of the Chamber are handled by a professional manager.
Our Chamber has a paid manager who is hired by the Board and who has the
title President/CEO. Currently, the paid staff of the Chamber includes
16 full-time and two part-time positions.
The Chamber relates directly to other organizations on the local, state and national level.
Waco Industrial Foundation:
Your Chamber provides staff support for this local and economic development
group. The Foundation owns and develops property to support the economic
development efforts of the Chamber.
Waco McLennan County Economic Development Corporation:
WMCEDC provides incentives for land, infrastructure, training,
and employees to companies on a case-by-case basis.
Texas Chamber of Commerce Executives:
TCCE is renowned as the oldest and one of the largest associations for chamber
executives in the United States. TCCE is an organization of chamber professionals
from across the state, working together to improve the business climate
in Texas, while developing ways to enhance the quality of life in the
communities that they represent. Since 1906, TCCE has been enhancing and
promoting the professional growth of chamber executives, by providing
leadership for chamber employees through its many publications, recourses,
American Chamber of Commerce Executives:
ACCE is a national association uniquely serving individuals involved in the management of chambers of
Texas Economic Development Council:
TEDC is an Austin-based, statewide professional association dedicated to the development of economic
and employment opportunities in Texas. TEDC provides information, educational
and legislative services to nearly 900 members.
The Waco Chamber of Commerce has led or assisted in the initiation of: