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Chamber launches branding campaign
Waco We Do!
2006-10-15

 Our Greater Waco Strategic Economic Development Plan calls for a branding campaign for Waco, and the Chamber has accomplished this goal....because in Waco We Do!

We welcome businesses to use the Waco We Do logo on Web sites and other advertising.

Click here for radio spot.

Click the links below to see the new television spots:
Television Ad 1
Television Ad 2
Television Ad 3


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Sears Methodist Retirement System, Inc. announces a new senior living community in Waco
Retirement center welcome in Waco
2006-12-05

SMRS logo  Sears Methodist Retirement System, Inc. (SMRS) announced that it will build a $65 million luxury senior living community in Waco.   

Wesley Village will be built as a continuing care retirement community (CCRC), a senior living community that offers three basic levels of care: independent residential living for active senior adults; assisted living, for those who require some help with the activities of daily living, like eating, bathing or medication management; and skilled nursing care, which offers both short-term and long-term nursing care should the need arise. 

The campus is designed to offer independent residential living with 50 executive homes and 60 apartments, as well as 40 assisted living apartments and 30 skilled nursing beds for both short-term and long-term nursing care, all on one gated campus.    

In addition, there are plans for a fitness center, full service bank, pharmacy, movie theater, barber/beauty shop and country store.  Designed to provide maximum freedom for seniors in a resort-style atmosphere, a host of amenities will relieve residents from chores like home maintenance, cooking, and cleaning. 

Wesley Village will offer an inclusive package of services, with several options for dining, housekeeping services, home maintenance, transportation, and many opportunities for socially, intellectually, and physically stimulating activities. 

The community will be developed on 62 acres of land with ponds and walking trails, located on the corner of US Highway 84 and Old Lorena Road.  Construction is scheduled to begin in 2008 and occupancy is slated for 2010.   

Sears Methodist Retirement System, Inc. is a faith-based organization known for their expertise in developing quality communities and services for adults 55 and better.  Named after two West Texas ranching families, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Sears and Mrs. And Mrs. John Sears, Sears Methodist Retirement System first opened its doors in 1966 to 30 residents in Abilene, Texas. 

They currently serve more than 2000 residents on 13 campuses throughout Texas, with more growth on the horizon. SMRS developed Wesley Woods Alzheimer’s Care Center here in Waco in February of 2004, which was designed to specifically meet the needs of residents with Alzheimer’s or related dementia, and currently employs 154. 

Sears’ new project, Wesley Village, will create over 300 construction jobs using local subcontractors.  Permanent employment created in Phase 1 will be over 100, with a $3 million payroll plus benefits.  Future phases will create additional jobs.  

For more information about Sears visit
www.sears-methodist.com or contact Rick Heath, Vice President of New Business Development  or (512) 788-1441.

In 2002, Sears Methodist Retirement System was the first aging-service system in the United States to be accredited for across-the-board excellence by the prestigious Continuing Care Accreditation Commission (CCAC) in Washington, D.C.  Named for two West Texas ranching families, Sears Methodist first opened its doors to 30 residents in 1966 in Abilene, Texas. 

Today, the nonprofit faith-based organization has grown to serve more than 2000 residents in Abilene, Amarillo, Lubbock, Odessa, Waco, McAllen, El Paso, and Big Spring, with more growth on the horizon.  Sears Methodist Retirement System’s services comprise an entire continuum of care for the elderly, including independent living executive homes, cottages and apartments, assisted living care, traditional nursing care, Alzheimer’s and related dementia care, Medicare skilled nursing care, home health, hospice, personal assistance services, physical and occupational therapy, geriatric pharmacy services, and a long-term care teaching facility located on the Texas Tech University campus.  

Sears Methodist Retirement System, Inc. has developed admission criteria without regard to the resident’s race, color, national origin, religion, sex, handicap, age, or political beliefs.


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Sanderson Farms announces hatchery, processing facility
Huge job boom to follow
2006-01-12

 Sanderson Farms logoSanderson Farms, Inc., announced that it will build a 170,000-square-foot, $50.5 million poultry processing plant and a 65,000-square-foot, $11.5 million hatchery on the Highway 84 corridor in northeast Waco. The company will bring 1,300 jobs to Waco when this complex is at full capacity, making it the single largest job-creation project in Waco’s history and the biggest economic development announcement here in more than 10 years.
Groundbreaking for the facility is slated for the spring with operations expected to begin May 2007.

         “We’ll be proud to call Waco one of the communities where we do business,” said Bob Billingsley, director of development and engineering for Sanderson Farms, Inc., which is based in Mississippi and has poultry processing plants in Louisiana, Georgia and Bryan/College Station.

            Sanderson Farms’ 10-year history in Texas has gained the company the respect of state officials for its impeccable business practices.

            “I am pleased to welcome Sanderson Farms to the growing list of employers moving to and expanding operations in Texas,” Gov. Rick Perry said. “Texas helped secure this company’s move to Waco with a $500,000 commitment from the Texas Enterprise Fund.  The return on our money is outstanding, given Sanderson’s commitment to create 1,300 new jobs and invest $62 million in the construction of a new plant.”
The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce calls Sanderson Farms’ expansion to Waco a boost for the local economy and job market adding yet another superior employer to the business landscape.

            “Sanderson Farms is an outstanding company with implicit integrity that is reflected in its CEO, Joe Sanderson Jr. and Bob Billingsley, who has worked diligently to develop a partnership with leaders in our community,” said Jim Vaughan, president of the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce. “From its standards as an employer to its exceptional products, Sanderson Farms is just the kind of company we want to have as our neighbor. We are elated they have selected Waco as the ideal location for their new processing facility and hatchery, and we look forward to the role they will have as an employer here for years to come.”

Community leaders are pleased to announce the number of new jobs, which include benefits packages for workers.

            “They are obviously a very responsible employer. Their business practices are very reflective of Waco’s values and our interest in providing jobs to support healthy families,” said Waco Mayor Virginia DuPuy. “This will include such a good number of entry-level jobs as well as higher paying jobs for people in a variety of disciplines.”

            The ripple effect of the surge to the job market will be felt throughout the community, she said.

“The number of jobs this is going to provide for this community is going to have a major impact on the economic vitality of our community,” said DuPuy. “All of this has been a culmination of the city, the county and the Chamber working together, and I very much appreciate the collaboration.”

            Waco City Manager Larry Groth toured the company’s Bryan/College Station facility, which will be mirrored in Waco, and said he is impressed with Sanderson Farms Inc.’s standard of excellence.

            “They want to be good to their employees and come in and not be a burden to the community,” said Groth. “The care they take to produce a good product is exceptional. It’s been an enjoyable process working with the company.”

McLennan County Judge Jim Lewis agrees that Sanderson Farms Inc. will be well-received in the Greater Waco area.

“The qualities of the people we’ve been dealing with are wonderful. When you can do a handshake with someone and feel very confident that the handshake is as good as a signature, that makes you feel very good when you are trying to recruit an industry,” said Lewis, who also is chair of the Waco McLennan County Economic Development Corporation. “When we visited with them in Bryan, we learned their employees were the No. 1 givers to United Way and that speaks volumes for what kind of involvement they had in the community. I think it goes back to that when they take care of their employees the way they do, that spills over into the community.”

            Sanderson Farms Inc. dates back to 1947 when it began as a farm supply business operated by D.R. Sanderson Sr. and his two sons, D.R. Sanderson Jr. and Joe Frank Sanderson. Poultry production was added to the business, and then in 1955 the company was incorporated and has become a top-quality chicken producer in the United States.

            Sanderson Farms Inc. opened a processing plant and hatchery complex in 1997 in Bryan/College Station, which is supported by a feed mill in Easterly in Robertson County. The plan to expand to areas where it could reach its customers included further expansion in Texas at a later date. When officials began the next phase of that plan, the construction of a second processing plant and hatchery complex in Texas, they were already well-acquainted with the state.

            “We had a lot of the homework done on Texas in 1995 and ’96,” said Billingsley. Company officials began visiting Waco for a more serious look in the fall of 2005 and approached the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce economic development team in November. He acknowledged they have been working with the Chamber daily since then.

            Both community leaders and company officials attribute the smooth process to the company’s preparedness to make a decision and the economic development team’s readiness to respond.

            “We would like to thank the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce staff, city and county officials and their staff, the Waco Industrial Foundation and the state for their ongoing support of the project,” said Billingsley. “The response from the community has been excellent.”

            Waco also fit the requirements of the company in a number of areas, said Billingsley.

“We’ve got some 50 site selection criteria that we evaluate to ensure that both the community and our business can be successful,” said Billingsley. “We are very methodical and diligent as we go through the process of collecting information, and we make decisions off of good, sound data.”
            Sanderson Farms acknowledged that Waco and McLennan County measured favorably in all of the criteria points and proceeded with the plan to expand to the area
.


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8th Annual First Community Bank Central Texas First Pitch Sports Lunch
"Holy Toledo!"
2007-01-22

 The 8th annual Baseball First Pitch Luncheon presented by First Community Bank Central Texas will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 6 at the Waco Convention Center.

Milo HamiltonMilo Hamilton, voice of the Houston Astros, will be this year’s featured guest speaker. Hamilton, a four-time Hall of Famer, is most well-known for making the historic call when Henry Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s home run record and for coining the phrase “Holy Toledo!"

In addition, Baylor Baseball’s Head Coach Steve Smith and Lady Bear’s Softball Head Coach Glenn Moore will discuss their programs. McLennan Community College Baseball’s Head Coach Pete Mejia and Highlassie’s Softball Head Coach Manuel Ordones also will speak.

Tickets are available for $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Reserved tables for eight are $240.

For more information or to purchase a table or tickets, please contact Abbie Cooper at (254) 752-6611 x213.

Download Invitation


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Greater Waco Chamber launches new Web site
Releases 2007 Relocation Guide & Membership Directory
2007-01-26

 Directory coverThe Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce has launched its newly redesigned Web site, which complements the branding campaign “Waco We Do.” The Chamber also is showing off its new logo and the We Do campaign in the 2007 Relocation Guide and Membership Directory.

“We are excited to share our new look through our Web site and 2007 Relocation Guide and Membership Directory,” said Lesly Rascoe, communications director for the Chamber. “We consider our Web site to be our window through which the world sees us, and we want to put our best foot forward.”
 

WacoChamber.com highlights Chamber campaigns, such as Challenge Greater Waco, and community efforts, such as Community Visioning, that strive to enhance Greater Waco’s economic development advantages. 

“We designed our Web site to be user-friendly, informative and attractive to local residents as well as people all over the world who want to know about our city,” said Rascoe.

Special new features include a headlines news component, staff blogs and rotating banner sponsorships.
 

The Chamber also released the 2007 Relocation Guide & Membership Directory this week. The guide lists Chamber members and their business information for residents and visitors to use a resource. This 200-plus-page directory contains editorial material about Waco’s professional and recreational attractions – a perfect visitor’s guide. 

Stories feature Waco’s history, demographics and economic development opportunities. 
Directories can be picked up, at no charge, at the Chamber office at 900 Washington Ave.  

For more information contact Lesly Rascoe at (254) 752-6611 x203.


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Waco We Do Campaign earns top honors at local Addy Awards
INNOVATiON, The Marketing Team, took home top honors Feb. 24 at the annual Addy Awards, hosted by the Waco Advertising Federation. Their work on the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce “WACO WE DO” campaign won Best of Show.In total, INNOVATiON won three Gold Addys, three Silver Addys and six Bronze Addys.
2007-02-28

INNOVATiONINNOVATiON, The Marketing Team, took home top honors Feb. 24 at the annual Addy Awards, hosted by the Waco Advertising Federation. 

Their work on the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce “WACO WE DO” campaign won Best of Show.In total, INNOVATiON won three Gold Addys, three Silver Addys and six Bronze Addys. 

They also received a special Judges Award for Best TV for the :60 “WACO WE DO” TV spot, along with the Best of Show for the “WACO WE DO” multimedia campaign created in 2006.

  • BEST OF SHOW - - Waco We Do, Multimedia Campaign
  • JUDGES AWARD FOR BEST TV SPOT - - Waco We Do Television Spot
  • GOLD ADDY - - Waco We Do, Jingle, 72B, sound Music with Lyrics
  • GOLD ADDY - - Waco We Do, Multimedia Campaign, Consumer Magazine, Multi-Page 4 Color
  • GOLD ADDY - - Waco We Do, TV Spot, 42C3, :60 or More, Production Value $1,500 - $2,499
  • SILVER ADDY - - Waco We Do, Internal Campaign, 24B, Campaign 4 Colors
  • BRONZE ADDY - - Waco We Do, Name Drop Ad, 22B, Full Page 4 Colors
  • BRONZE ADDY - - Waco We Do, Flash Banner, 34A, Online Banner

    “It’s very rewarding to see your hard work recognized by peers,” said Randy Robertson, President and CEO of INNOVATiON. “We’ve got a great team here and our main goal is to always produce the most effective work possible for our clients.”

    INNOVATiON, the Marketing Team, is a full-service agency that opened for business in November 2000 by Randy Robertson.

    With headquarters in Waco and a second office in Temple, the agency has seen spectacular growth over the years and now serves accounts at the local, regional, and national levels.  INNOVATiON currently has 11 employees and four interns.

    Four months after its release, the “WACO WE DO” campaign, developed in partnership between the Greater Waco Chamber and INNOVATiON, was recognized for its creative ads in print, radio, TV and for the “WE DO” jingle, which was sung by Waco native Wade Bowen and produced at McLennan Community College.            

    “The WE DO campaign has been a labor of love,” said Dean Riley, creative director and COO at INNOVATiON. “All of us in the Waco community can relate to the many great things we do in this city.”

    Other top winners of the night were The Cowley Group with 12 awards, Baylor University with 11, Pollei Designworks with 10, plus Best of Print, Cameron Park Zoo with eight awards, Michael Bracken with a Special Judges Award and WRS Group with a Judges Award for the Most Unique. 

    Each year, individuals and businesses in the Waco advertising industry submit their work in a local competition with 72 categories. 

    Winners move on to a regional competition in April covering Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.  Winners from the region are forwarded to a national competition at the American Advertising Federation’s national convention in June.

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    Caterpillar announces new logistics center in Waco
    Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) has announced that it will establish a logistics center in Waco, Texas. From this location the company will distribute its machine work tools and related attachments. The 975,000-square-foot facility will provide Caterpillar additional capacity to serve a growing business segment, and is expected to create 40 jobs and generate $7.9 million in capital investments by 2010.
    2007-02-02

     

    Caterpillar logoWACO, Texas – Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) has announced that it will establish a logistics center in Waco, Texas.  From this location the company will distribute its machine work tools and related attachments. The 975,000-square-foot facility will provide Caterpillar additional capacity to serve a growing business segment, and is expected to create 40 jobs and generate $7.9 million in capital investments by 2010. 

     

    Caterpillar Logistics Services, Inc. (Cat Logistics), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Caterpillar, will establish and operate the centralized distribution facility to serve multiple Caterpillar divisions. The operation will enhance logistics flexibility and drive high turnover of products.  Tonnage originating in the United States, Mexico, Europe and Japan will be distributed to prime product locations and directly to customers, resulting in faster deliveries. 

     

    “This focus facility further demonstrates Caterpillar’s commitment to the work tool business,” said Gary Larimore, Cat Logistics Work Tool Logistics Manager. “It enhances our dealers’ efforts to deliver machine tools to customers when they need them, and where they need them.”

     

    Caterpillar has already been acknowledged as a valued corporate citizen in Waco area since the opening of the Caterpillar Work Tools and Service operation in 2005. The Greater Waco Chamber, in partnership with the City of Waco and McLennan County, is pleased to assist Caterpillar in expanding their presence in the area.

     

    “The Waco-McLennan County Economic Development Corporation is pleased to support Cat Logistics,” said McLennan County Judge Jim Lewis.  “The project will not only benefit McLennan County, but also the East Waco area and the surrounding communities.”

     

    In addition to the creation of new jobs and capital investment, the project represents a significant absorption of warehouse space in Waco’s real estate market, and growth in logistics—one of Waco’s target industry sectors. 

     

    “According to Fortune 500, Caterpillar is presently ranked 55th among nation’s largest corporations.  When a company of this size chooses to make significant investment, it says a great deal about the positive business climate here in Waco,” said David Lacy, Chairman, Greater Waco Chamber.  “We are thrilled to welcome Caterpillar to Waco and even more pleased to see this expansion occur in an existing facility that was presently under-utilized.  We look forward to assisting Cat Logistics with the Waco expansion since many from Waco and Central Texas will benefit from the investment.”

     

    The building will be fully operational in the third quarter 2007.


    About Caterpillar

    For more than 80 years, Caterpillar Inc. has been making progress possible and driving positive and sustainable change on every continent.  With 2006 sales and revenues of $41.517 billion, Caterpillar is the world's leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and a wide and growing offering of related services. More information is available here.


    About Cat Logistics

    Caterpillar Logistics Services, Inc. provides world-class supply chain solutions and services to its parent company, Caterpillar Inc., and more than 65 other leading corporations throughout the world.  Headquartered in Morton, Illinois, Cat Logistics operates more than 105 offices and facilities in 25 countries on six continents.  Cat Logistics provides its full service capabilities to companies in market sectors, which include automotive service parts, industrial service parts, consumer retail, technology and electronics, manufacturing logistics, and aerospace service parts. More information is available at here.


    Safe Harbor

    Certain statements in this release relate to future events and expectations and as such constitute forward-looking statements involving known and unknown factors that may cause actual results of Caterpillar Inc. to be different from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements.  In this context, words such as "expects," "anticipates," "intends," "plans," "believes," "seeks," "will" or other similar words and phrases often identify forward-looking statements made on behalf of Caterpillar. It is important to note that actual results of the company may differ materially from those described or implied in such forward-looking statements based on a number of factors and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, changes in economic conditions, currency exchange or interest rates; political stability; market acceptance of the company's products and services; significant changes in the competitive environment; changes in law, regulations and tax rates; and other general economic, business and financing conditions and factors described in more detail in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the current report filed on Form 8-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Jan. 26, 2007.  We do not undertake to update our forward-looking statements.


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    Chamber to host 2008 Membership Banquet
    The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce will host its annual membership banquet Feb. 19 at the Waco Convention Center.The reception will be at 6 p.m., and the banquet will begin at 7 p.m. in Chisholm Hall.
    2008-02-01

    ClarkeThe Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce will host its annual membership banquet Feb. 19 at the Waco Convention Center.The reception will be at 6 p.m., and the banquet will begin at 7 p.m. in Chisholm Hall.

    The banquet celebrates the success of the Chamber under the leadership of outgoing 2007 Chamber Chair David Lacy. Rick Brophy, the 2008 Chamber Chair, will give his remarks on the upcoming year.

    Jamie Clarke, extreme Canadian adventurer, will be the guest speaker.

    "Real winning has nothing to do with beating someone else, or crossing the finish line first, or standing on top. Winning isn't anything external at all. It is an internal satisfaction, a deep inner sense of pride and joy." - Jamie Clarke
     

    Tickets are $75 per person and $600 for tables of eight.
     

    The Chamber Membership Banquet is presented by Saturn of Waco. The gold sponsors are Community Bank & Trust and Curves, and the silver sponsors are Beard Kultgen Brophy Bostwick & Dickson, LLP; Providence Healthcare Network; Texas State Technical College Waco and Waco Convention & Visitors Bureau. 

    Online registration will be available soon.
    For more information, click here or call 752-6551.


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    Chamber launches innovative online mapping tool
    The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce has just sped up and simplified the process of attracting job growth in the City with the launch of WacoProspector.com. The innovative Web site, accessed directly or through the Chamber Web site (wacochamber.com), is an online program to help the attraction of new investment and jobs in Greater Waco. The goal of the program is to simplify the process of obtaining detailed information for relocation and expansion decisions.
    2007-02-06

     The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce has just sped up and simplified the process of attracting job growth in the City with the launch of WacoProspector.com. 

    The innovative Web site, accessed directly or through the Chamber Web site (wacochamber.com), is an online program to help the attraction of new investment and jobs in Greater Waco. The goal of the program is to simplify the process of obtaining detailed information for relocation and expansion decisions. 

    Businesses can access data on key properties without exhaustive research of Census Bureau reports and multiple city departments.  “We are pleased to have supported the WacoProspector.com Web site through our GIS department,” said Waco Mayor Virginia Dupuy. “It is another strong partnership between the City and the Greater Waco Chamber.”

    WHAT WACO PROSPECTOR DOES
    Waco Prospector speeds up and simplifies the site selection process by efficiently answering the main questions that businesses have when they are involved in searching for new locations. These questions include:

    What buildings and land are available in the community?

    What are the market characteristics (demographics, workforce, spending)?

    What are the business synergies and opportunities in unique locations of the community? 

    What are the unique geographic characteristics and advantages?

    Waco Prospector goes far beyond a simple database of available sites and buildings. It provides dynamic mapping capabilities including the ability to zoom in/out, move the map, identify information and view geographic “layers” of information such as incentive areas, zoning, traffic counts, land use, industrial parks, and census tracks.

    Buildings and sites are available throughout the nation; what makes the Greater Waco area attractive is highly related to the location-specific advantages. 

    The importance of providing quality property and site selection information is critical because eighty percent of the initial site selection screening is now done using the Internet. The Greater Waco Chamber responded to this need by creating Waco Prospector that partners data from the local real estate community and quality online information.

    HOW Waco Prospector WORKS
    At the heart of Waco Prospector is powerful GIS (Geographic Information System) technology called ZoomProspector developed by GIS Planning, Inc. that makes this new Internet service more powerful than typical websites.

    GIS is an integration of software and geographic data designed to efficiently display and analyze information. In the case of Waco Prospector, GIS allows visitors to rapidly tailor maps and reports to suit their needs and access data that would normally take weeks to collect and thousands of dollars to obtain from specialty data researchers. 

    For example, available properties can be viewed, along with size, use, cost, development incentives, and contact information. Corresponding demographic reports such as labor force, education levels, consumer spending, and age can be created. In addition, businesses are mapped by industry showing their distribution and concentrations throughout the area. 

    Waco Prospector’S WEB SITE ADDRESS
    The free website program is now available to the public on-line at
    www.wacoprospector.com.

    For additional information and Frequently Asked Questions please visit the Web site. 

    CONTACTS 
    Greater Waco Chamber
    Sarah Roberts
    Vice President, Economic Development
    (254) 723-3269

    Technology information:
    Anatalio Ubalde
    Chief Operating Officer
    GIS Planning Inc.
    (415) 294-4771 


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    Chamber announces Challenge Greater Waco total
    Building Chair Bob Davis announced at the Chamber’s annual membership banquet Feb. 19 that the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce has raised $6,017,563 in its Challenge Greater Waco campaign. Davis said the campaign continues, and funds will be used for the new Chamber headquarters and implementation of the strategic plan.
    2007-02-20

    Chamber logoBuilding Chair Bob Davis announced at the Chamber’s annual membership banquet Feb. 19 that the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce has raised $6,017,563 in its Challenge Greater Waco campaign.

    Davis said the campaign continues, and funds will be used for the new Chamber headquarters and implementation of the strategic plan.

    The banquet celebrated the success of the Chamber under the leadership of outgoing 2006 Chamber Chair Bob Davis. With two major economic development announcements and a key fund-raising campaign, the year reflected the work and commitment of the community, said Davis.

    Sanderson Farms, Inc., announced in January 2006 that it will invest $62 million in a new hatchery and processing facility that will result in 1,300 new jobs. Sears Methodist Retirement Center announced in December 2006 that it will invest $65 million to build the Wesley Village Retirement Center beginning in 2008.

    David Lacy, the 2007 Chamber Chair, thanked Davis for his service and laid out his goals for the next year. Lacy said “Build a Culture of Implementation,” Goal 5 of the Chamber’s strategic plan, is a main priority to him this year. In addition, he encourages graduates of the Chamber’s Leadership Waco program to become involved in the community.


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    TXU plans to become private company
    The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce is encouraged by the new direction announced by TXU Corp. on Feb. 26. The TXU Board announced that the company’s acquisition by an investor group will make TXU a leader in conservation and energy efficiency. TXU’s new strategic direction will seek to achieve top environmental performance in the industry and greater involvement and dialogue with environmental, government and community leaders.
    2007-02-26

     The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce is encouraged by the new direction announced by TXU Corp. on Feb. 26.

    The TXU Board announced that the company’s acquisition by an investor group will make TXU a leader in conservation and energy efficiency.

    TXU’s new strategic direction will seek to achieve top environmental performance in the industry and greater involvement and dialogue with environmental, government and community leaders.

    The Chamber sought to delay the permitting of 11 coal-fired units by TXU until it could be shown facts that operating the plants would not move McLennan County into “non-attainment” status for ozone, President Jim Vaughan said.Reports by professors at Baylor University and the University of Texas released Feb. 20, suggested that the plants could push McLennan County into non-attainment.  

    “Our goal is to grow Waco with cutting edge companies including those who will develop and use new technologies,” Vaughan said.

    “No sector of our nation’s economy offers more opportunity for growth than the energy sector where new and sustainable technologies are being advanced to meet our future needs for power without compromising our environment,” he said.

    TXU’s new direction suggests that it will seek to build new plants with newer and cleaner technologies and become a leader in providing electricity from renewable sources by more than doubling its purchase of wind power.

    “We will support TXU and other companies seeking to grow America’s capacity for generating power from renewable sources and clean technologies,” he said.

    Vaughan said the Chamber will continue to monitor the issue for the benefit of its members until the sale of the company is final.TXU may solicit proposals from other parties through April 16.

    “Other companies or investor groups may not agree to the strategy announced today by KKR and TPR,” Vaughan said.


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    Chamber president receives Difference Maker Award
    Waco Chamber President Jim Vaughan received a Difference Maker Award Feb. 28 from the Waco Tribune-Herald. Vaughan is one of 16 citizens who were honored for their efforts in making Greater Waco a better place to live and work. They were all nominated by the community.
    2007-03-02

    Vaughan and VivioWaco Chamber President Jim Vaughan received a Difference Maker Award Feb. 28 from the Waco Tribune-Herald.

    Vaughan is one of 16 citizens who were honored for their efforts in making Greater Waco a better place to live and work. They were all nominated by the community.

    "With contagious enthusiasm, steady determination and a belief that Waco can be more than it has ever thought it could be, Vaughan in 2006 led the Greater Waco Chamber through the adoption of a long-range master plan, highlighted by plans for a new downtown office building," stated the honor.

    At left is Vaughan with Michael Vivio, publisher of the Waco Tribune-Herald.

    Vaughan is the first to receive the award in the economics category.


    Other honorees are:
    Tommye Lou Davis - Area Growth and Development
    Lois Canada - Beautification
    Doreen Ravenscroft - Cultural Arts
    Linda Ethridge - Civic Leadership
    Joe Nesbitt - Diversity
    Dr. Nancy Grayson - Education
    Dr. George Smith - Health
    Dr. Randy Wood - Literacy
    Paul Carr - Media
    Clifton Robinson - Philanthropy
    Inez Russell - Special Populations
    Brian Davis - Sports and Recreation
    Michael Farley - Volunteerism
    Alan & Nash Turbeville - Youth in Action

    The Greater Waco Chamber congratulates the recipients who share the vision to encourage positive change for our community.

    Some men see things as they are and say 'Why?' I dream things that never were and say 'Why not?' George Bernard Shaw.


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    New Waco sign unveiled on interstate
    The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce joined the Heart of Texas Builders Association, Keep Waco Beautiful, Texas Department of Transportation and the City of Waco March 7 to reveal the new Waco sign on Interstate 35. The community identifier and entry sign has been made possible through the partnership of these groups. The 40-foot-by-10-foot sign constructed of white Austin stone and cast concrete is located at exit 335 at Forrest Lane on the southbound side of the interstate.
    2007-03-14

      Waco SignWACO—The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce joined the Heart of Texas Builders Association, Keep Waco Beautiful, Texas Department of Transportation and the City of Waco March 7 to reveal the new Waco sign on Interstate 35. 

    The community identifier and entry sign has been made possible through the partnership of these groups.

    The 40-foot-by-10-foot sign constructed of white Austin stone and cast concrete is located at exit 335 at Forrest Lane on the southbound side of the interstate.  

    The Interstate 35 Enhancement Committee met regularly and worked with the Texas Department of Transportation and the City of Waco to develop a comprehensive plan to improve the appearance of the I-35 gateways and corridor to enhance Greater Waco’s image as a progressive and attractive location. 

    The signage also includes landscaping and lights, said Pat Hambrick, a director of the Heart of Texas Builders Association, who oversaw the construction project. This mission addressed one of the Chamber’s 10 Breakthrough Initiatives. 

    “The purpose is when people drive through Waco and I-35 they notice that we care about or community,” said Mark Reynolds, chair of the committee. 


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    Chamber Board supports City Bond
    The Board of Directors of the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce unanimously approved a resolution this morning at its regular meeting to support the proposed $63-million city bond. The bond would provide capital needs for six major projects: the Waco Convention Center, fire station, police station, parks, Texas Ranger Museum and Hall of Fame and library.
    2007-03-14

    Chamber logoThe Board of Directors of the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce unanimously approved a resolution this morning at its regular meeting to support the proposed $63-million city bond. The bond would provide capital needs for six major projects:

    Waco Convention Center - $17.5 million for a total renovation

    Fire Station Improvements - $6.8 million to construct a new station at
    Texas State Technical College Waco and to combine two stations into a new site

    Police Facility - $13 million to purchase and renovate an existing facility to provide more than 100,000 square feet of additional space

    Park Improvements - $11.7 million for improvements at Cameron Park, Cameron Park East, trails in existing parks and the South Waco Recreation Center

    Texas Ranger Museum & Hall of Fame - $2 million to help renovate and expand Knox Hall

    Library Improvements - $12 million to renovate the existing Central Library and develop a new West Waco Branch Library

     The Chamber Board encourages the citizens of Waco to support these six projects by voting to approve each at the May 12 election or in early voting April 30 through May 8.

    Resolution

    Citizens for Progress Participation Form


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    Chamber breaks ground on headquarters
    The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce broke ground on its new headquarters April 11 at 101 S. Third St. at Heritage Square, a landmark site in downtown Waco. Celebrate with us as we begin construction on a new marketing center for Greater Waco.
    2007-04-11

     

     Click here for photo slideshow courtesy of the Waco Tribune-Herald

     Chamber Photo Gallery


    The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce broke ground on its new headquarters April 11 at 101 S. Third St. at Heritage Square, a landmark site in downtown Waco. Celebrate with us as we begin construction on a new marketing center for Greater Waco.

    The new building is the first in a proposed three-block, $60-million mixed-use development downtown that will house the staff and committees of the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce and function as a marketing center for the region.

    The 13,916-square-foot-building will be built by Barsh Construction with a one-year completion date. The Chamber will seek to be the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)-certified building in Central Texas.

    The building is the first phase of a construction surge at Heritage Square. SWB Heritage Square Partners will construct a multiuse project to include residential, retail and office space adjacent to the new Chamber building.

    Complete media release


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    Chamber installs live construction camera
    The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce has installed a live online construction camera at its building site at 101 S. Third St. at Heritage Square in downtown Waco giving the community a first-hand look at this project around the clock. The Chamber broke ground on its new $4-million headquarters building April 11.
    2007-04-20

     Chamber

     Construction begins on Chamber Headquarters

         The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce has installed a live online construction camera at its building site at 101 S. Third St. at Heritage Square in downtown Waco giving the community a first-hand look at this project around the clock.
     
         The Chamber broke ground on its new $4-million headquarters building April 11. 
         The live construction camera is sponsored by Hillcrest Health System, which also has a construction camera on its $184-million project at Legends Crossing. Both cameras are online at WacoChamber.com.  
         The camera, manufactured by OxBlue, takes a photo of the site every 15 minutes. All photos from the project are available online, and a time-lapse video will be produced at the conclusion of the project. 
         “It’s exciting to watch Waco grow and now we can do that 24/7 thanks to this innovative technology and our partnership with Hillcrest,” said Chamber President James G. Vaughan Jr.  
         The Chamber’s Web site also features other ongoing construction projects in the community. The Chamber’s building is the first in a proposed three-block, $60-million mixed-use development downtown and will house the staff and committees of the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce and function as a marketing center for the region. 
         The 13,916-square-foot-building is expected to be completed in one year. RBDR Architects designed the building, and Barsh Company is the general contractor. Both companies are Waco-based and members of the Greater Waco Chamber.
         SWB Heritage Square Partners will construct a multi-use project to include residential, retail and office space adjacent to the new Chamber building.  
         The Chamber will seek to be the first LEED© (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)-certified building in Greater Waco. LEED is a program of the U.S. Green Building Council that recognizes building owners for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The Chamber headquarters will represent the Chamber’s mission to enhance Greater Waco as a center of excellence and the community of choice for business.


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    17-acre mixed-use development planned for Downtown Waco
    (HOUSTON, TX) April 25, 2007 – SWB Heritage Square Partners, L.P. (SWB) recently announced plans to help revitalize downtown Waco with the construction of a new 17-acre mixed-use development. Located in the heart of downtown, Waco Town Square will consist of upscale retailers and restaurants, professional office space and residential living, including a student housing development for students at Baylor University, McLennan Community College and Texas State Technical College.
    2007-04-25

    renderingSWB Heritage Square Partners, L.P. (SWB) recently announced plans to help revitalize downtown Waco with the construction of a new 17-acre mixed-use development. Located in the heart of downtown, Waco Town Square will consist of upscale retailers and restaurants, professional office space and residential living, including a student housing development for students at Baylor University, McLennan Community College and Texas State Technical College.

                “We are excited to bring such a unique development to Waco,” said David Wallace, SWB partner. “We envision Waco Town Square as a community gathering spot – a place for area residents to work, live, shop and play.”

                The Waco Town Square development is part of a larger effort by the City of Waco and other economic development groups who are working to redevelop the downtown area. The Waco Chamber of Commerce recently broke ground on a new building, which will be located in the Town Square development.

                “Not only will Waco Town Square build a sense of community, it will also have a positive impact on the vitality and economy of the downtown area,” added Wallace.

    The main-street styled town center is designed to provide unique shopping, fine dining, entertainment and community activities for the residents of Waco. Additionally, offices will sit above retail spaces and restaurants offering an ideal work environment where tenants are within walking distance to area restaurants and shops.

    Scheduled to break ground this fall, the phased development will ultimately consist of 61,880 square feet of retail and restaurants, 68,680 square feet of class A office space and approximately 35,000 square feet of loft-style residential space.

                In addition, approximately five acres of Waco Town Square will be developed as a 450-bed, student housing facility that will accommodate students attending Baylor University and other local colleges.

    “The development’s close proximity to the universities will offer a great alternative for students who want to live close to campus while enjoying all the benefits of the town center atmosphere,” said Kevin Matocha, SWB partner. “Our studies and discussion with university administration show that there is demand for this type of housing.” 

                Waco Town Square will be located between South Third and South Fourth Streets in Waco’s traditional downtown area. Heritage Square will be incorporated into the development providing an area for community events and celebrations. 

    “We anticipate this will become a regional landmark in the next few years,” added Costa Bajjali, SWB partner.

    In addition, SWB recently purchased River Square Center, a more than 90,000 square-foot, mixed-use center that currently consists of a variety of restaurants, retail and Class A office space. The center is located at Second Street and Franklin Street on the east boundary of the future site of Waco Town Square and has been incorporated as part of the overall development.

     

    About SWB Heritage Square Partners, L.P. SWB Heritage Square Partners, L.P., based in the Houston area, was created specifically for the development of Waco Town Square. Partners in the development include David Wallace and Costa Bajjali of Wallace Bajjali Development Partners, L.P. and Kevin Matocha of Stonehenge Companies, LLC. Together, these partners and their development team bring more than 100 years of commercial real estate development experience to this exciting venture. Renderings of the development are available upon request. This press release may be accessed electronically at http://www.wacotownsquare.com/.


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    Greater Waco Chamber accepting applications for Leadership Waco
    The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce is now accepting applications for Leadership Waco Class XXIV due May 31. Leadership Waco, sponsored by Pattillo, Brown & Hill, L.L.P., is a program of the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce designed to identify and develop potential community leaders. The program is open to applicants who are at least 25 years old and have either lived or worked within the city of Waco, its extraterritorial jurisdiction or any city or community within that jurisdiction for the past 12 months. Applicants must be able to commit one day each month for nine months to the program.
    2007-04-26

      
     
     
    The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce is now accepting applications for Leadership Waco Class XXIV. Click here to download the application due May 31.

    Leadership Waco, sponsored by Pattillo, Brown & Hill, L.L.P., is a program of the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce designed to identify and develop potential community leaders.
     

    The program is open to applicants who are at least 25 years old and have either lived or worked within the city of Waco, its extraterritorial jurisdiction or any city or community within that jurisdiction for the past 12 months.

    Applicants must be able to commit one day each month for nine months to the program.
     Participants experience a unique opportunity to become more aware of the dynamics of the social and economic factors affecting our community, while preparing for leadership roles in the future. 

    Also available are a limited number of partial scholarships, which help cover costs of the program, including materials, meals and other expenses.

    To be considered for a scholarship, please complete the scholarship form that is attached to the general Leadership Waco application.
     


    For more information, contact Christy Sanders at (254) 752-6611 ext. 205.


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    Greater Waco Chamber Announces Business Award Honorees
    WACO – The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce will honor five local businesses at the 15th Annual Business Awards Banquet May 21 at the McLennan Community College Conference Center at 4601 N. 19th St. A reception will begin at 6 p.m. with a dinner following at 7 p.m. This year’s recipients are Crawford-Austin, Dealers Electrical Supply, Equipment Depot, Powers Embroidery/Chenille and Sun Belt Insurance & Associates.
    2007-04-27

      logoWACO – The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce will honor five local businesses at the 15th Annual Business Awards Banquet May 21 at the McLennan Community College Conference Center at 4601 N. 19th St.

    A reception will begin at 6 p.m. with a dinner following at 7 p.m. This year’s recipients are:Crawford-Austin Dealers Electrical Supply Equipment DepotPowers Embroidery/ChenilleSun Belt Insurance & Associates Local and regional businesses were nominated by the Chamber membership.

    The selected businesses will be honored for their excellent business reputation, involvement in the community and participation as a Chamber member. 

    Our Gold Sponsors for this event are Providence Healthcare Network and KWTX-10. Our Silver Sponsors are Profiles International, Inc., McLennan Community College and the Waco Coca-Cola Bottling Company.

    Our Bronze Sponsors are Glazer’s Wholesale Distributors, National Lloyds Insurance and Texas State Technical College. The Business Awards Banquet began in 1992 to recognize outstanding businesses in the Greater Waco area. Tickets are $45 per person or $360 for a table of eight. For tickets or more information, contact Christy Sanders at (254) 752-6611 ext. 205.


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    Starburt Junior Golf Classic June 11-13
    The ninth annual Starburst Junior Golf Classic will be June 11-13 at seven area golf courses. The three-day tournament is open to all boy and girl junior golfers ages 7 to 18. This year’s tournament will host more than 1020 players from 16 states and four countries.
    2007-05-23

    Starburst The ninth annual Starburst Junior Golf Classic will be June 11-13 at seven area golf courses.

    The three-day tournament is open to all boy and girl junior golfers ages 7 to 18.

    This year’s tournament will host more than 1020 players from 16 states and four countries.
    Special events at this year’s tournament include a Taylor Made golf demo Monday evening, June 11, and the Time Warner Helicopter Golf Ball Drop Tuesday evening, June 12.

    Both events will take place at Cottonwood Creek Golf Course, the tournament’s home course.

    Visit StarburburstGolf.com for more information or contact Abbie Cooper at (254) 752-6551.


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    Chance to win $2,500
    Time Warner Cable is the new sponsor of the annual helicopter ball drop, a tradition at the Starburst Junior Golf Classic. A maximum of 1,500 golf balls will be sold for $5 each prior to the tournament. They will be dropped from a helicopter onto a green at 8 p.m. June 12 at Cottonwood Creek. The closest ball to (or in) the hole will win $2,500. Tickets for the balls are available at the Chamber office, Time Warner Cable, Rosati’s and Cottonwood Creek Golf Course. For more information about the ball drop or the tournament, visit www.starburstgolf.com or call (254) 752-6551 or info@wacochamber.com.
    2007-06-08

    Ball DropTime Warner Cable is the new sponsor of the annual helicopter ball drop, a tradition at the Starburst Junior Golf Classic.

    A maximum of 1,500 golf balls will be sold for $5 each prior to the tournament. They will be dropped from a helicopter onto a green at 8 p.m. June 12 at Cottonwood Creek. The closest ball to (or in) the hole will win $2,500.
               

    Tickets for the balls are available at the Chamber office, Time Warner Cable, Rosati’s and Cottonwood Creek Golf Course.
               
    For more information about the ball drop or the tournament, visit www.starburstgolf.com, call (254) 752-6551 or info@wacochamber.com.


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    Starburst parent wins $2,500
    Debbie Brister of Paradise City won $2,500 in the Time Warner Cable Golf Ball Drop June 12 at the ninth annual Starburst Junior Golf Classic. Some 1,500 numbered golf balls were dropped from a helicopter at Cottonwood Creek Golf Course, the home base course for the second largest junior golf tournament in the world. The event was part of the three-day tournament that included more than 1,000 players ages 7 through 18.
    2007-06-13

    Debbie Brister of Paradise City won $2,500 in the Time Warner Cable Golf Ball Drop June 12 at the ninth annual Starburst Junior Golf Classic.

    Some 1,500 numbered golf balls were dropped from a helicopter at Cottonwood Creek Golf Course, the home base course for the second largest junior golf tournament in the world. Brister's winning ticket matched the ball closest to the hole. 

    The event was part of the three-day tournament that included more than 1,000 players ages 7 through 18. For photos and complete results from this year's tournament, visit starburstgolf.com.


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    Wingo to speak at Kick Off Luncheon
    First Community Bank Central Texas is proud to present The 19th Annual Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce Kick Off Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Aug. 23 at the Waco Convention Center. Trey Wingo, host of ESPN’s NFL Live and anchor for SportsCenter, will be the guest speaker. A Baylor University graduate, Wingo joined ESPN in 1997 as an anchor for ESPNEWS. In addition to SportsCenter and NFL Live, Wingo has also hosted ESPN’s Baseball Tonight and ESPN2’s NFL 2Night and NBA 2Night shows.
    2007-06-27

    WingoFirst Community Bank Central Texas is proud to present The 19th Annual Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce Kick Off Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Aug. 23 at the Waco Convention Center.

    Trey Wingo, host of ESPN’s NFL Live and anchor for SportsCenter, will be the guest speaker. A Baylor University graduate, Wingo joined ESPN in 1997 as an anchor for ESPNEWS. In addition to SportsCenter and NFL Live, Wingo has also hosted ESPN’s Baseball Tonight and ESPN2’s NFL 2Night and NBA 2Night shows.  W

    ingo graduated from Baylor in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in communications. He won six Mid-America regional Emmy awards for reporting, including three straight years for outstanding sports reporting. 
     

    Baylor Head Football Coach Guy Morriss also will give a preview of the upcoming season, his fifth at Baylor. 

    Tickets may be purchased for $20 in advance and for $25 at the door. Reserved tables are available (seating for eight) for $240. For any questions regarding tickets, please contact Abbie Cooper.


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    Chamber recognized by state organization
    The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce brought home first and second place awards June 26 from the Texas Chamber of Commerce Executives media competition. The Waco We Do branding campaign took first place in the marketing campaign category. WacoChamber.com, the Chamber’s main Web site, won second place in the Web site/Internet category.
    2007-06-27

     The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce brought home first and second place awards June 26 from the Texas Chamber of Commerce Executives media competition.
        
    The Waco We Do branding campaign took first place in the marketing campaign category. WacoChamber.com, the Chamber’s main Web site, won second place in the Web site/Internet category.
        
    The Greater Waco Chamber was judged against Chambers of similar size.
        
    “It is always nice to be recognized by your peers in the professional realm,” said Scott Connell, vice president of economic development. “It’s especially nice when it involves a marketing campaign where we want to change perceptions about our community. In this case, we are receiving recognition by respected media professionals before the statewide Chamber community.”
        
    The Waco We Do branding campaign, developed by INNOVATiON the Marketing Team, was launched in 2006 to address one of the Chamber’s 10 Breakthrough Initiatives.
        
    The newly redesigned WacoChamber.com Web site was launched in January to incorporate the We Do brand and create a user-friendly and practical site for visitors, members and economic development prospects.
        
    “Our Web site is the window through which the world sees us, and we are proud to be honored by TCCE for WacoChamber.com,” said Lesly Rascoe, communications director. “We believe our Web site is often the first contact a prospect or visitor may have with our community, and keeping it fresh, innovative and appealing is what we strive for each day.”
        
    WacoChamber.com was redesigned by Jeremy Ferguson with Redline Technology.


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    Chamber launches We Do Arts Web site
    Who says there’s nothing to do in Waco? Check out WacoWeDoArts.com, a new calendar-style Web site featuring live music, performing arts and visual arts. The Web site is managed by the Greater Waco Chamber to help area venues and artists have a presence on the Internet and give residents and visitors easy access to arts events.
    2007-07-02

    We Do ArtsWho says there’s nothing to do in Waco? Check out WacoWeDoArts.com, a new calendar-style Web site featuring live music, performing arts and visual arts in the Greater Waco area.           

    The Web site is managed by the Greater Waco Chamber to help area venues and artists have a presence on the Internet and give residents and visitors easy access to arts events.           

    “Whether you want to listen to a favorite band on a Friday night or see a Broadway musical, chances are it’s happening here,” said Lesly Rascoe, communications director. “This site is intended to make it easy to enjoy our local arts venues and find events that fit your interests.            

    From rock concerts to orchestra quartets to comedy shows, Waco offers a wide array of entertainment options in places such as the historic Waco Hippodrome, the Bosque River Stage and Indian Spring Park. Restaurants and bars also feature live music all over the city throughout the week.

    The searchable calendar allows visitors to select specific events they want to find on any given date. The Waco Civic Theatre, the Waco Symphony Orchestra, Art Center Waco, Baylor University and McLennan Community College also add to the arts scene making the calendar interesting any time of the year, said Rascoe.

    The site includes an RSS feed so that subscribers can receive messages when information is added for events in their designated preference categories.

    “Add this site to your ‘favorites’ list online and visit often. You’ll be amazed at what’s happening on Central Texas stages,” said Rascoe.


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    Chamber earns four awards this summer
    The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce brought home first and second place awards June 26 from the Texas Chamber of Commerce Executives media competition. The Waco We Do branding campaign took first place in the marketing campaign category. WacoChamber.com, the Chamber’s main Web site, won second place in the Web site/Internet category. The Greater Waco Chamber was judged against Chambers of similar size.
    2007-07-06

    The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce brought home first and second place awards June 26 from the Texas Chamber of Commerce Executives media competition.

    The Waco We Do branding campaign took first place in the marketing campaign category. WacoChamber.com, the Chamber’s main Web site, won second place in the Web site/Internet category. The Greater Waco Chamber was judged against Chambers of similar size.

    “It is always nice to be recognized by your peers in the professional realm,” said Scott Connell, vice president of economic development. “It’s especially nice when it involves a marketing campaign where we want to change perceptions about our community. In this case, we are receiving recognition by respected media professionals before the statewide Chamber community.”

    The Waco We Do branding campaign, developed by INNOVATiON the Marketing Team, was launched in 2006 to address one of the Chamber’s 10 Breakthrough Initiatives.           

    The newly redesigned WacoChamber.com Web site was launched in January to incorporate the We Do brand and create a user-friendly and practical site for visitors, members and economic development prospects.
               

    “Our Web site is the window through which the world sees us, and we are proud to be honored by TCCE for WacoChamber.com,” said Lesly Rascoe, communications director. “We believe our Web site is often the first contact a prospect or visitor may have with our community, and keeping it fresh, innovative and appealing is what we strive for each day.”
               

    WacoChamber.com was redesigned by Jeremy Ferguson with Redline Technology.
               

    In addition, Waco Prospector.com recently received an award in the population category of greater than 200,000 for the Special Purpose Web site submitted for the 2007 International Economic Development Council - Excellence in Economic Development Awards. A panel of economic development experts consisting of members from both the public and private sectors selected the project.
    The award will be presented at a reception during the 2007 IEDC Annual Conference at in Phoenix, Ariz., in September.

    The Waco Chamber & Business Quarterly also has received an honorable mention in the Awards for Communications Excellence media competition through the American Chamber of Commerce Executives. The award will be presented during the ACCE conference in Sacramento, Calif., in August.


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    Clean up day planned for Downtown Waco
    Downtown Waco will get a facelift Aug. 18 with the help of Keep Waco Beautiful, Baylor University students, Sherwin Williams and businesses in the Public Improvement District. Downtown businesses are encouraged to submit a request for ground-level, exterior tasks to be completed. These include painting over graffiti, sanding, cleaning and planting. Please click here for complete information.
    2007-07-10

    Downtown Waco will get a facelift Aug. 18 with the help of Keep Waco Beautiful, Baylor University students, Sherwin Williams and businesses in the Public Improvement District. Downtown businesses are encouraged to submit a request for ground-level, exterior tasks to be completed. These include painting over graffiti, sanding, cleaning and planting. Please click here for complete information.


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    Chamber board supports water treatment facility
    The Board of Directors of the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce passed a resolution today in support of the DAF water treatment facility.
    2007-07-11

    The Board of Directors of the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce passed a resolution at its monthly meeting July 11 in support of the DAF water treatment facility. Download resolution


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    Total Resource Campaign scores homerun
    The 2007 Total Resource Campaign celebrated a victory Aug. 29. The campaign raised $688,741 surpassing the $650,000 goal.
    2007-08-07

     The 2007 Total Resource Campaign celebrated a victory Aug. 29. The campaign raised $688,741 surpassing the $650,000 goal.

    More than 200 volunteers worked in the campaign to raise support for numerous Chamber programs. Sponsorships for program and publications, memberships and budget reduction trades are sold through the campaign to prepare the Chamber for the coming year.

    This year volunteers are sporting baseball shirts under the Waco All Stars league campaign theme. The campaign is led by Chair Terry Stevens with First American Title Company. Stewart Kelly, Kelly, Realtors, is chair-elect. Division chairs are Scott Felton, Wells Fargo Bank; Cindy Neal, Alphagraphics; and Debbie Keel, AT&T.

    This is the Chamber's third Total Resource Campaign. The program raised $640,499 in 2006 and $499,061 in 2005.

    Top individual producers for this year's campaign are Gary Vogel, Bob Davis, Jim Haller, Alee Walker and Nancy Gupton. Top team producers are Fazoli's, First National Bank of Central Texas, Providence Healthcare Network, Community Bank & Trust and American Guaranty Title.


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    Junior College All-Stars to face off at Baylor Ballpark
    WACO—The top junior college baseball players from New Mexico and Texas will compete in the eighth annual Pizza Hut Junior College All-Star Weekend Sep. 28-29 at Baylor Ballpark.
    2007-09-25

     The top junior college baseball players from New Mexico and Texas will compete in the eighth annual Pizza Hut Junior College All-Star Weekend Sept. 28-29 at Baylor Ballpark.

    Area players featured include Michael Huston, Carson Vitale, James Hipp and Matt Bauer of McLennan Community College (MCC), and Daniel Meadows, Tristan Gaines and Jonathan Moore of Temple College. Players are selected by their respective coaches in Region V and XIV.The first of the four baseball games will begin at 3:35 p.m. Sept. 28 with a second game scheduled for 8 p.m. Games will continue at 11:15 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Sept. 29.

    Admission for adults will be $6 for a single day and $10 for a tournament pass. Student admission for college students and younger with a student ID will be $4 for a single day and $6 for a tournament pass. The tournament is sponsored by Pizza Hut and the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce.

    For more information or to request event postings, go to www.wacowedosports.com or contact Blake Harris at (254) 752-6611 ext. 213.


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    12th ANNUAL FIRST COMMUNITY BANK CENTRAL TEXAS TIP-OFF LUNCHEON
    WACO—The 12th annual Basketball Tip-Off Luncheon presented by First Community Bank Central Texas will be at 11:30 a.m. Nov. 6 at the Waco Convention Center. Ron Franklin, ESPN’s primary college basketball & football play-by-play man for Big 12 games, will be this year’s featured guest speaker.
    2007-09-26

     WACO—The 12th annual Basketball Tip-Off Luncheon presented by First Community Bank Central Texas will be at 11:30 a.m. Nov. 6 at the Waco Convention Center.
    Ron Franklin, ESPN’s primary college basketball & football play-by-play man for Big 12 games, will be this year’s featured guest speaker.

    A versatile commentator, Franklin also has provided ESPN with play-by-play for tennis (including 1991, ’92 & ‘93 French Opens), college baseball, and the U.S. Olympic Festival (basketball, synchronized swimming, track and field, weightlifting and wrestling). 

    In addition, he’s hosted The NCAA Today and Sportsman’s Challenge (since 1988).

    In addition, Baylor basketball men’s head coach Scott Drew and Lady Bears head coach Kim Mulkey will discuss their programs. McLennan Community College men’s head coach Kevin Gill and Highlassies head coach Ricky Rhodes will also speak.

    Tickets are available for $20 in advance and $25 at the door, while reserved tables for eight are available for $240.

    For more information or to purchase
    a table or tickets, contact Blake Harris at (254) 752-6611 x213 or bharris@wacochamber.com.


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    Chamber, City offers hospitality event for national media
    The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce and Waco Convention and Visitors Bureau hosted a media hospitality event Aug. 16, 2007, at the Crawford media center. The Dr Pepper Museum and Free Enterprise Institute served Dr Pepper floats in commemorative cups with the help of advertising icon “Peggy Pepper.”
    2007-08-17

      The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce and Waco Convention and Visitors Bureau hosted a media hospitality event Aug. 16, 2007, at the Crawford media center.

    The Dr Pepper Museum and Free Enterprise Institute served Dr Pepper floats in commemorative cups with the help of advertising icon “Peggy Pepper.”
     Jamie Graham of Healing Touch Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine and Frank Reichardt of the Getterman Wellness Center provided complimentary chair massages. The Waco Convention and Visitors Bureau gave away Waco T-shirts. The event was a way to say thank to these reporters from our national media outlets who spend time in Crawford when the president is in town. They stay in our local hotels, frequent our restaurants and enjoy our amenities while in Central Texas. “We have hosted this event three times now so it’s become something of a tradition,” said Lesly Rascoe, Chamber communications director. “The reporters really appreciate taking a few minutes out of their busy afternoon to get a massage and enjoy Waco’s own Dr Pepper.”


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    Chamber announces Leadership Waco Class XXIV
    Leadership Waco, sponsored by Pattillo, Brown & Hill announces the participants for Class XXIV.
    2007-08-24

     Leadership Waco, sponsored by Pattillo, Brown & Hill announces the participants for Class XXIV.

    Wes Allison Heart O’ Texas Fair Complex
    Cynthia Armstrong Sterling Trust Company
    Alan Boyd First Community Bank Central Texas
    Sam Cates Pattillo, Brown & Hill, LLP
    Cathi Davis WRS Group, Ltd.
    Jodi Dickau Community Bank & Trust
    Casey George Equipment Depot, Ltd.
    Rhonda Hall Hillcrest Health System
    Rosie Hardy ATMOS Energy
    Carol Kemp MCYC

    Neil Ling Genco Federal Credit Union

    Sheila Mills Texas Department of Transportation
    Brandon Oates Haley & Olson, P.C.
    Michael Olmstead Providence Healthcare Network
    Matt Price A.G. Edwards & Sons, Inc.
    Brian Reinhardt Extraco Banks
    Sarah Roberts Greater Waco Chamber
    Valerie Robinson Specialty Property, Ltd.
    Kristin Simpson Baylor Law School
    Michael Sobeck Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
    Richard Solis McLennan Community College
    Larry Todd Mars Snackfood US, LLC

    Leadership Waco is a program of the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce designed to identify and develop potential community leaders and encourage them to become more involved in the community. 

    The participants in Leadership Waco will experience a unique opportunity to become more aware of the dynamics of the social and economic factors affecting our community, while preparing for future leadership roles. 

    Participants devote one day each month for 10 months to learn about industry, education, history, health care and other resources in Greater Waco. Applications for the next class will be accepted from March through May 2008.


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    Greater Waco Chamber receives economic development award
    The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) presented its Special Purpose Web site award to the Greater Waco Chamber Sept. 18 at IEDC's Annual Conference in Phoenix, Ariz.
    2007-09-27

                

     
    Scott Connell, vice president of economic development for the Greater Waco Chamber, receives the award from Jill Frick, vice president of the International Economic Development Council.

    The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) presented its Special Purpose Web site award to the Greater Waco Chamber Sept. 18 at IEDC's Annual Conference in Phoenix, Ariz.

    "Economic development efforts have always played a vital role in shoring up the nation's economy, one locality at a time," said Ronnie L. Bryant, IEDC chairman.
    "As our population grows exponentially and as we continue to overcome challenges, both new and longstanding, these efforts have taken on an even greater importance. The award serves as a salute to pacesetting organizations like the Greater Waco Chamber for leading the charge."

               
    Competing in the category of Special Purpose Web site by organizations serving areas with populations exceeding 200,000, the Greater Waco Chamber was a clear standout.

    The Chamber spearheads strategic community initiatives and is the key resource for regional data as a tool for investment in the Waco area. The new Waco Prospector site, www.wacoprospector.com, is a regional database of available sites and buildings for office, retail, industrial and warehouse uses.


    It is easy to search and self-explanatory. This tool also pulls together several sources including the City of Waco and McLennan County GIS systems, US Census statistics, Texas Workforce Commission data and Claritas Business statistics. Local area real estate brokers use this resource as a comprehensive listing for their commercial properties.

    This serves as a tool for site consultants, commercial real estate brokers, industry, and local businesses searching for properties or searching for demographic and business data in a particular area.

    The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is headquartered in Washington, DC. Its mission is to provide leadership and excellence in economic development for communities, members and partners. IEDC's professional economic development awards annually recognize excellence in the economic development profession.


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    Heart O' Texas Fair kicks off!
    The Greater Waco Chamber staff joins the community in celebrating the Heart O' Texas Fair.
    2007-10-05

    Chamber staffThe Greater Waco Chamber staff joins the community in celebrating the Heart O' Texas Fair.

    To show our support, the staff marked Oct. 5 as Heart O' Texas Fair Day and dressed in Western wear.

    This tradition is a huge economic boost for the area and a wonderful opportunity to show off Waco to a wide audience of visitors.

    Read the story in the fall issue Waco Chamber Quarterly for how the Heart O' Texas Fair Complex impacts Greater Waco yearround.


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    Chamber board elects 2008 officers
    The Board of Directors of the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce has elected its 2008 officers.
    2007-10-10

    Rick Brophy
    Dr. Roland Goertz
    Terry Stevens

    2008 Chair 
    Rick Brophy
    Beard, Kultgen,
    Brophy, Bostwick and Dickson, LLP

    Chair Elect
    Roland Goertz
    Family Health
    Center

     Vice Chair 
    Terry Stevens
    First American Title

    Don Moes
    David Lacy
    James G. Vaughan Jr.

     Vice Chair 
    Don Moes
    Equipment Depot

    Past Chair 
    David Lacy
    Community Bank
    & Trust

    President/CEO
    Jim Vaughan
    Greater Waco Chamber

    The Board of Directors of the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce has elected its 2008 officers.

    Rick Brophy of Beard, Kultgen, Brophy, Bostwick and Dickson, LLP, will be chair, and Dr. Roland Goertz of the Family Health Center will be chair elect.

    Vice chairs will be Terry Stevens of First American Title and Don Moes of Equipment Depot.

    Past chair will be David Lacy of Community Bank & Trust.

    President and CEO is Jim Vaughan.

     


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    Roberts elected to Texas Economic Development Council
    Sarah Roberts, vice president of economic development for the Greater Waco Chamber, has been elected to the board of the Texas Economic Development Council (TEDC), an Austin-based non-profit professional association dedicated to the development of economic and employment opportunities in Texas.
    2007-10-12

    RobertsSarah Roberts, vice president of economic development for the Greater Waco Chamber, has been elected to the board of the Texas Economic Development Council (TEDC), an Austin-based non-profit professional association dedicated to the development of economic and employment opportunities in Texas. The council is the largest state association of economic development professionals, volunteers and elected officials.


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    Chamber celebrates Topping Out
    The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce mark a milestone it the construction of its new headquarters with a Topping Out event at 10 a.m. Oct. 23. Join us as we place the final piece of steel and move forward with the building of Waco's first official "green" building.
    2007-10-24

     Topping Out

     Topping Out photo album

    A tree was lifted to the top of the Chamber's new building, which is currently under construction at 101 S. Third St.

    The event marked a milestone in the construction project Oct. 23 as the Topping Out ceremony recognizes the iron workers and the final piece of steel being placed atop the structure.

    The beam and tree represent one of the construction industry's oldest customs.

    The Chinese pistache tree was selected for its environmental qualities that go hand in hand with the construction of Waco's first official "green" building.

    The tree is a hardy shade tree that produces spectacular fall color. It is heat, drought and pest resistant and forms a 30-foot canopy at maturity.

    It is the first shade tree to receive the coveted Earth-Kind designation from the Texas Agricultural Extension Service.

    This tree will be planted in Heritage Square with a plaque marking its role in the Chamber's Topping Out ceremony.

    The two-story, 14,000-square-foot structure is the cornerstone building of the new Waco Town Square.

    The building is slated to be completed in May 2008 and serve as a marketing center for Greater Waco.


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    LEAD program kicks off
    The LEAD program celebrated its kick-off Nov. 1 at the MCC Conference center. Principals, business leaders, and school selected liaisons were present to celebrate the 45 students in attendance.
    2007-11-02

      

     Photo album

     The LEAD program celebrated its kick-off Nov. 1 at the MCC Conference center. Principals, business leaders, and school selected liaisons were present to celebrate the 45 students in attendance.


    These students have been selected out of 15,000 district wide to participate in this Chamber sponsored program.


    The event served as an introduction for the students to meet other sixth through 12th graders in the program as well at the other business leaders who are involved.

     

    The LEAD (Leadership Education and Development) program is a business and education partnership that is being sponsored by the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce to develop business leader-student relationships for educational improvement and life success.


    The relationships
    are expected to educate and expose students to the various business fields and applications that businesses use today.

    This is expected to improve the student’s knowledge and skills base to motivate them to graduate and pursue a higher form of education and to ensure greater employability and quality of life.


    Students will be mentored by a business professional as selected through the LEAD process. Each LEAD professional will mentor two to four students.

    The LEAD process has matched students and professionals with similar aspirations


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    TriVan Truck Body announces Waco location
    TriVan Truck Body announces the establishment of a Texas location in Waco. The multi-million dollar project will create up to 50 jobs and retrofit 35,000-square-feet of manufacturing and office at 3120 Gholson Road.
    2007-12-05

    TriVan Truck Body announces the establishment of a Texas location in Waco.  The multi-million dollar project will create up to 50 jobs and retrofit 35,000-square-feet of manufacturing and office at 3120 Gholson Road. 

    TriVan will produce custom made trailers, truck bodies and enclosures supplying a diverse range of markets including mobile movie, oil well servicing, municipalities, and regular freight hauling.         

    “TriVan is very excited to open this new facility in Waco,” said Adrian Harthoorn, president and general manager TriVan, “We can further serve our current Texas customer base, as well as introduce an excellent quality product to a market dominated by volume builders.”    

    According to Harthoorn, TriVan officials selected Waco for a number a reasons including geographical proximity to the target market areas, a stable workforce, and the City’s commitment to increasing industry to the area.   

    “This is tremendous news for our community and we thank Trivan bringing 50 new jobs, to our Waco families, for investing in a 35,000-square-foot building retrofit and reuse, and for developing a new two story office on the site.  For Waco, this equates to construction jobs, bank business, real estate transactions and additional business for area vendors. Waco also will be welcoming four new Canadian families into our community to develop and oversee operations of the TriVan facility,” said Waco Mayor Virginia DuPuy. 

    “An interesting aspect of the site selection strategy was a requirement for cost-effective access to the Dallas-Fort Worth-Houston markets. The story goes that TriVan principles took a Texas map, moved a penny around to find the best geographic location…and Waco won.”  

    The project is supported by Waco-McLennan County Economic Development Corporation, the City of Waco, McLennan County, Greater Waco Chamber and several local firms.   

    “There are a number of local persons and groups that have made this process a success including members of the City of Waco and McLennan County, Extraco Banks, Bush Construction Services and Texas Commercial and Industrial Real Estate,” said Harthoorn.   

    TriVan is a subsidiary of Intercontinental Truck Body, a privately-held, custom truck body and trailer manufacturing firm with more than 60 combined years engineering and operating experience.  ITB currently operates in three Canadian facilities including British Columbia, Alberta, and Manitoba.  TriVan Truck Body is the United States operating company and currently has one facility in Washington State. 

      


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    Chamber hosts Downtown Summit
    2007-11-20

    Downtown PartnershipThe Greater Waco Chamber hosted a Downtown Summit Nov. 15 bringing together key stakeholders in Waco's downtown development efforts. Announcing a "billion-dollar decade" and Partnership for Downtown, the summit included discussion about the new Waco Town Square, a $60-million mixed-use development soon to be under construction and other projects on the drawing board for downtown. Waco Tribune-Herald story 


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    Chamber unveils book for community program
    The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce announced today that Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore with Lynn Vincent will be the One Book, One Waco community book for Spring 2008.
    2007-12-11

     WACO – The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce announced Tuesday that Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore with Lynn Vincent will be the One Book, One Waco community book for Spring 2008. 

    “We want community participation. We want all of Waco reading this engaging book.  We hope that this book will speak to the heart of the community encouraging thoughtful discussion,” said Allan R. Marshall, director of community development and chair of the One Book, One Waco program.

    One Book, One Waco is a community-wide reading program and is part of a larger nationally recognized movement that encourages the pursuit of education and literacy.

    “This program has been successful in many other cities across the United States, and I think it can be very successful here in Waco,” said One Book, One Waco steering committee member Jo Welter.

    Published in 2006, Same Kind of Different As Me has slowly gained readership through word-of-mouth advertising. This is the first time the book has been selected for a community-wide reading program.

    “This book was attractive to us for a couple of reasons,” said book selection committee chair Bryan Fonville. “It is a gritty, real-life story that inspires readers through the unlikely friendship of its authors. It’s our hope that readers will experience the same transformational insights that so many individuals have already experienced nationwide.”

    Throughout the month of February and the beginning of March, a series of community events will be hosted by the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce and program sponsors.

    One Book, One Waco organizers hope that all organizations – universities, colleges, businesses, churches, literary groups, and others – will hold book discussions as well as attend the official One Book, One Waco events.

    For more information, contact Allan R. Marshall at (254) 752-6611 ext. 312.


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    Hewlett Packard chair to speak at luncheon
    Hewlett Packard Chairman Mark Hurd will be the guest speaker at a Chamber luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Jan. 11 at Ridgewood Country Club.
    2007-12-19

    Mark HurdHewlett Packard Chairman Mark Hurd will be the guest speaker at a Chamber luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Jan. 11 at Ridgewood Country Club.

    A graduate of Baylor University, Hurd has been chief executive and president of HP since 2005 and was named chairman in 2006. 

    With the goal of establishing HP as the world’s leading information and technology company, Hurd has sharpened HP’s strategic focus and improved its operating efficiency, financial performance and customer focus.  

    Hurd will share with us HP's core competencies and corporate objectives that guide the company the “HP Way.”

    Tables of nine are $600. Individual tickets $75. For reservations, contact Christy Sanders.


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    Chamber participates 100% in United Way
    2008-01-10

    United WayThe staff of the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce is participating in this year's United Way campaign at 100 percent.

    The United Way of Waco-McLennan County works with 20 local organizations to improve the quality of life in our community and ensure that critical local needs are met in an efficient, effective manner.


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    Martin Luther King Jr. Day
    The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce will be closed Jan. 21 in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. As we pause to recognize his contributions to society, we reflect on his words that moved a generation and carry on to remind us of his message of peace and brotherhood.
    2008-01-17

     
    MLK

    Martin Luther King Jr 
    "I have a dream"
    Aug. 28, 1963

    The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce will be closed Jan. 21 in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. As we pause to recognize his contributions to society, we reflect on his words that moved a generation and carry on to remind us of his message of peace and brotherhood.

    Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable...Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering and struggle: the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.

    Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.

    We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.

    Local MLK Jr. Day events


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    Coca-Cola Enterprises to Construct New Waco Facility
    WACO, Texas – A valued corporate citizen for more than 102 years, Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Waco announced it will build a new sales and distribution center in Waco, Texas. The approximately 60,000-square-foot facility represents a multi-million dollar investment in the market place and the retention of valued jobs. The company has selected a site on Texas Central Parkway in the Texas Central Park with the intention to begin construction in the first quarter of 2008.
    2007-12-20

    CokeWACO, Texas – A valued corporate citizen for more than 102 years,  Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Waco announced it will build a new sales and distribution center in Waco, Texas.

    The approximately 60,000-square-foot facility represents a multi-million dollar investment in the market place and the retention of valued jobs. The company has selected a site on Texas Central Parkway in the Texas Central Park with the intention to begin construction in the first quarter of 2008.

    The Waco-McLennan County Economic Development Corporation, the City of Waco, McLennan County, Waco Industrial Foundation and the Greater Waco Chamber collaborated to support Waco Coca-Cola in securing the new location after the company sustained damages in a 2006 tornado that caused them to seek new facility options.

    “We appreciate all the support from the community during this challenging time and for getting us to this point,” said Scott Bottoms, Waco Coca-Cola Sales Center Manager. “We look forward to our new facility and serving the Waco area for years to come.”

    County Judge Jim Lewis stated, “We are glad to help them grow their facility in McLennan County. We hope our support helps Waco Coca-Cola continue to expand as our area grows in the future.”

    Waco Coca-Cola is a subsidiary of Coca-Cola Enterprises of Atlanta, Georgia. Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. is the world's largest marketer, distributor, and producer of bottle and can liquid nonalcoholic refreshment. Coca-Cola Enterprises sells approximately 80 percent of The Coca-Cola Company's bottle and can volume in North America and is the sole licensed bottler for products of The Coca-Cola Company in Belgium, continental France, Great Britain, Luxembourg, Monaco, and the Netherlands.


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    L-3 Expanding Waco Operations with P-3 Wing Refurbishment Facility
    L-3 Communications Integrated Systems has announced the expansion of its Waco operation to include a wing refurbishment facility. The wing refurbishment facility will be used to structurally refurbish wings for P-3 Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance aircraft. L-3 currently refurbishes P-3 aircraft for the U.S. Navy, the Department of Homeland Security, as well as international customers.
    2007-12-19

    L-3 logoWACO, Texas – L-3 Communications Integrated Systems has announced the expansion of its Waco operation to include a wing refurbishment facility.

    The wing refurbishment facility will be used to structurally refurbish wings for P-3 Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance aircraft. L-3 currently refurbishes P-3 aircraft for the U.S. Navy, the Department of Homeland Security, as well as international customers.

    "This wing facility broadens our capability to include all facets of P-3 maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) in addition to the systems development, integration and installation work for which we are known" said Mike Holmes, Vice President of Federal Programs and Waco Site Executive. "Adding to existing capability, this wing refurbishment facility positions L-3 Waco to become known as a Center of Excellence for P-3 modernization and maintenance."

    The new facility, located at 1555 Old Hewitt Drive in Waco, is designed to simultaneously refurbish multiple sets of wings that have been removed from aircraft. The wings will be transported by truck between L-3’s facility at Waco’s Texas State Technical College Airport and the wing facility.

    "We plan to begin wing refurbishment operations in January," Holmes said, "Having this operation locally will help to improve our schedule performance and keep costs low."

    The wing facility will initially employ approximately 40 employees, with that number expected to reach more than 80 by the end of 2008 and growing to approximately 100 at peak capacity, including all mechanics and support personnel.

    The company is currently accepting applications for experienced sheet metal installers and mechanical installers via its web site at www.L-3Waco.com. Interested applicants should click the "Careers" tab at the top of the web page.

    L-3 Integrated Systems develops and integrates defense and commercial technology for U.S. and allied customers worldwide. Headquartered in Greenville, Texas, L-3 IS has more than five decades of experience in the development of complex intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems; command and control; and secure communications. It is recognized internationally as a systems

    integration organization specializing in the modernization and maintenance of aircraft of all sizes. It is a leader in advanced technologies for signal processing, electronic countermeasures, sensor development and aircraft self-protection. Systems provided or maintained by L-3 IS help protect military and civilian personnel, bases, assets and national borders throughout the world.

    Headquartered in New York City, L-3 Communications employs over 63,000 people worldwide and is a prime system contractor in aircraft modernization and maintenance, C3ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) systems and government services. L-3 is also a leading provider of high technology products, systems and subsystems. The company reported 2006 sales of $12.5 billion. To learn more about L-3, please visit the company’s web site at www.L-3Com.com.

    SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT UNDER THE PRIVATE SECURITIES LITIGATION REFORM ACT OF 1995

    Except for historical information contained herein, the matters set forth in this news release are forward-looking statements. Statements that are predictive in nature, that depend upon or refer to events or conditions or that include words such as "expects," "anticipates," "intends," "plans," "believes," "estimates," "could" and similar expressions are forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements set forth above involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from any such statement, including the risks and uncertainties discussed in the company’s Safe Harbor Compliance Statement for Forward-looking Statements included in the company’s recent filings, including Forms 10-K and 10-Q, with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements speak only as of the date made, and the company undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements.


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    Starburst registration begins Feb. 14
    On-line registration for the 10th annual Starburst Junior Golf Tournament begins at 8 a.m. (CST) on Feb. 14. More than 1,000 junior golfers will be accepted into the 2008 tournament. The 10th annual Starburst Junior Golf Classic will be June 9-11 at seven area golf courses. The three-day tournament is open to all boy and girl junior golfers ages 7 to 18. In 2007, the tournament had 1020 players from 16 states and four countries.
    2008-01-22

    StarburstOn-line registration for the 10th annual Starburst Junior Golf Tournament begins at 8 a.m. (CST) on Feb. 14. More than 1,000 junior golfers will be accepted into the 2008 tournament.

    The 10th annual Starburst Junior Golf Classic will be June 9-11 at seven area golf courses. The three-day tournament is open to all boy and girl junior golfers ages 7 to 18. In 2007, the tournament had 1020 players from 16 states and four countries.           

    The cost is $180 per player and includes all green fees, range balls, goody bag and dinner for the player’s entourage Monday and Tuesday night.
               

    The 2007 tournament received 246 entries during the first hour of online registration.
      

    Two divisions were full in the first 24 hours and five divisions were full in the first week of registration.
    Caddies are welcome at the Starburst tournament. Girls and boys ages 7 to 10 will play nine holes Monday through Wednesday.

    The older golfers will play 18 holes Monday through Wednesday. Registration will not be accepted via phone.

    Complete tournament information can be found here or contact Blake Harris at (254) 752-6551.


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    One Book, One Waco kicks off Jan. 29
    One Book, One Waco will kick off its schedule of spring events with a book review and discussion Jan. 29. The program, which encourages reading and discussion in the community, will spotlight Same Kind of Difference As Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore.
    2008-01-24

    OBOWOne Book, One Waco will kick off its schedule of spring events with a book review and discussion Jan. 29.

    The program, which encourages reading and discussion in the community, will spotlight Same Kind of Difference As Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore.

    Informal book discussions, discussion panels and various receptions will be among the events to enhance participation. Authors Ron Hall and Denver Moore will be present to answer questions about their story as the final event of the program.

    Members of the community are encouraged to attend as many events as they would like.

    Kickoff: Book Review & Discussion • 7 p.m. Jan. 29 at Waco-McLennan County Library, 1717 Austin Ave.

    Teacher Appreciation Reception
    • 4:30 p.m. Jan. 30 at Baylor

    Coffee and a Book Discussion • 7 p.m. Feb. 5 at Barnes and Noble, 4909 W. Waco Drive

    TSTC Book Discussion Event • 3 to 4 p.m. Feb. 15 at IDEAS Center, 3801 Campus Drive

    Campuswide Event Baylor • 4 p.m. Feb. 19 Location TBD

    Book Review & Discussion • 4 p.m. Feb. 26 at McLennan Community College Conference Center

    Essay Contest Reception • 4 p.m. March 3

    Unity in the Community Event at Baylor: Come Meet Authors Ron and Denver • 7 p.m. March 3 at Waco Hall

    Updates to the schedule can be found at WacoChamber.com.


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    New Caterpillar Service Parts Center selects Waco, McLennan County
    Building on the strength of a best-in-class global service parts distribution network, Caterpillar Logistics Services, Inc. ( Cat Logistics), a wholly owned subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT), is announcing plans to open a new parts distribution center in Waco, Texas. The new facility marks the beginning of a multiyear expansion and enhancement of the Caterpillar service parts distribution network throughout North America.
    2008-01-28

    CatBuilding on the strength of a best-in-class global service parts distribution network, Caterpillar Logistics Services, Inc. ( Cat Logistics), a wholly owned subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT), is announcing plans to open a new parts distribution center in Waco, Texas. The new facility marks the beginning of a multiyear expansion and enhancement of the Caterpillar service parts distribution network throughout North America.

    The more than 500,000-square-foot facility will employ between 140 and 180 people, increase network capacity and provide primary aftermarket parts support to six Caterpillar dealers in North America. Once operational, the new facility will replace the smaller regional distribution centers in Dallas, Texas, and Kansas City, Missouri, while increasing total warehouse capacity. It will process dealer stock and emergency orders as well as inbound parts.

    "We certainly recognize the significant value parts availability provides our end users," said Bill Springer, Caterpillar vice president responsible for the Marketing and Product Support Division. "Therefore, this new parts distribution center will help Caterpillar and Cat dealers maintain our industry leadership by enabling quicker order-to-delivery time."

    Currently most parts are routed through a single global entry point in Morton, Illinois. Through this network modernization plan, the new Texas distribution center will also handle inbound processing of parts directly from suppliers.

    Services at existing Cat facilities in York, Pennsylvania, and Denver, Colorado, will be expanded to do the same. When complete, these process improvements will get parts on the shelf faster and improve Caterpillar's ability to fill dealer orders.

    "We are enhancing the Caterpillar parts distribution network to ensure we continue meeting the expectations of our dealers and customers in the years ahead. This demonstrates our ongoing commitment to product support excellence," said Steve Larson, vice president of Caterpillar Inc. and chairman and president of Caterpillar Logistics Services, Inc.

    Groundbreaking for the new Waco parts distribution center is planned for the second quarter 2008, with operations expected to be underway in early 2009. About Caterpillar For more than 80 years, Caterpillar Inc. has been making progress possible and driving positive and sustainable change on every continent.

    With 2007 sales and revenues of $44.958 billion, Caterpillar is the world's leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines and industrial gas turbines. The company also is a leading services provider through Caterpillar Financial Services, Caterpillar Remanufacturing Services, Caterpillar Logistics Services and Progress Rail Services. More information is available at: http://www.cat.com .

    About Cat Logistics Caterpillar Logistics Services, Inc. provides world-class supply chain solutions and services to its parent company, Caterpillar Inc., and more than 65 other leading corporations throughout the world. Headquartered in Morton, Illinois, Cat Logistics operates more than 105 offices and facilities in 25 countries on six continents. Cat Logistics provides its full service capabilities to companies in market sectors, which include automotive, industrial and aerospace service parts, consumer durables, technology, electronics and manufacturing logistics. More information is available at http://www.CatLogistics.com .

    Safe Harbor Certain statements in this release relate to future events and expectations and as such constitute forward-looking statements involving known and unknown factors that may cause actual results of Caterpillar Inc. to be different from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. In this context, words such as "will" and "expect" or other similar words and phrases often identify forward-looking statements made on behalf of Caterpillar. It is important to note that actual results of the company may differ materially from those described or implied in such forward-looking statements based on a number of factors and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, changes in economic conditions, currency exchange or interest rates; political stability; market acceptance of the company's products and services; significant changes in the competitive environment; epidemic diseases; changes in law, regulations and tax rates; and other general economic, business and financing conditions and factors described in more detail in the company's Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on February 23, 2007. We do not undertake to update our forward-looking statements.

    SOURCE Caterpillar Logistics Services, Inc. Corporate Public Affairs, Rachel Potts of Caterpillar Inc., +1-309-675-6892, Potts_Rachel_A@Cat.com, or Cat Logistics Media Relations Liva Vosekalna of Caterpillar Logistics Services, Inc., +1-309-266-3470, Vosekalna_Liva@Cat.com


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    One Book, One Waco to feature author presentation
    The spring One Book, One Waco program will wrap up with a presentation by the authors of Same Kind of Different As Me at 7 p.m. March 3 in Waco Hall. Ron Hall and Denver Moore will discuss their story with members of the Waco community.
    2008-02-22

    authorsThe spring One Book, One Waco program will wrap up with a presentation by the authors of Same Kind of Different As Me at 7 p.m. March 3 in Waco Hall. 

     

    Ron Hall and Denver Moore will discuss their story with members of the Waco community.

     

    “It is such an incredible honor and privilege to have both Ron and Denver tell their stories in person. I think this event will further our efforts to unite the community,” said Allan R. Marshall, director of community development at the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce.

     

    The program will feature explanation of the book selection process, a brief history of One Book, One Waco and an introduction of the authors by Mayor Virginia DuPuy. Hall and Moore will then elaborate on their story and take questions from the audience.

     

    “This event is such a unique opportunity to get to hear the personal story of Ron and Denver. It is also a great way to promote unity in our community as we listen to the presentation,” said Bryan Fonville, chair of the book selection committee.

     

    The One Book, One Waco community event is sponsored by the Friends of the Waco-McLennan County Library, Baylor University and Greg May Honda.

     

    One Book, One Waco exists to provide a common experience for members in the community and promotes education and literacy.

     

    For more information, contact Allan Marshall, director of community development at the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce, at (254) 752.6621 x.312 or visit t WacoChamber.com.


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    Staff to recommend I-35 tolls as option
    Memorandum to directors and members from President Jim Vaughan: The subject of utilizing toll revenue to pay for additional lanes on I-35 in McLennan County has received considerable news coverage recently. Considering that the Office of Management and Budget says the federal highway fund faces a $4.3 billion shortfall in two years, I believe our leadership would not want the Metropolitan
    2008-01-28

    Memorandum to directors and members from President Jim Vaughan:

    The subject of utilizing toll revenue to pay for additional lanes on I-35 in McLennan County has received considerable news coverage recently. Considering that the Office of Management and Budget says the federal highway fund faces a $4.3 billion shortfall in two years, I believe our leadership would not want the Metropolitan Planning Organization to preclude the option of using toll lanes here.

    Our leadership is committed to realizing a Billion Dollar Decade in our city center and riverfront;

    Our Traditional Neighborhood Development Task Force is planning for better street, bicycle and pedestrian linkages between Baylor University and downtown;

    Our I-35 Task Force is advocating aesthetic and economic enhancements along the entire route in McLennan County; and

    There is considerable support for constructing a signature bridge on I-35 at the Brazos River.

    With a federal shortfall looming and additional funds required for these and other enhancements in the I-35 corridor, managed toll lanes may be our only option.

    Based on my understanding that free access on I-35 will continue to be available to local and through traffic and that additional lanes and enhancements in the corridor will likely be delayed for many years due to lack of funding, I will recommend that the Chamber Board consider a Resolution encouraging the MPO to consider toll lanes as an option. This will enable the Texas Department of Transportation to continue planning the I-35 improvements and allow time for additional public discussion and consideration of the options.

    Please attend the MPO meeting at 2 p.m. Tuesday Jan. 29 in the Bosque Theater in the Waco Convention Center.


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    Coca-Cola Enterprises breaks ground on new Waco facility
    Coca-Cola Enterprises will broke ground Wednesday on its new Waco sales and distribution center on Texas Central Parkway in Texas Central Park. The approximately 60,000-square-foot facility represents a multimillion dollar investment in the market place and the retention of valued jobs.
    2008-02-13

    Coke

    Coca-Cola Enterprises broke ground Wednesday on its new Waco sales and distribution center on Texas Central Parkway in Texas Central Park.

    The approximately 60,000-square-foot facility represents a multimillion dollar investment in the market place and the retention of valued jobs.

    The Waco-McLennan County Economic Development Corporation, the City of Waco, McLennan County, Waco Industrial Foundation and the Greater Waco Chamber collaborated to support Waco Coca-Cola in securing the new location after the company sustained damages in a 2006 tornado that caused them to seek new facility options.

    “We appreciate all the support from the community during this challenging time and for getting us to this point,” said Scott Bottoms, Waco Coca-Cola Sales Center Manager. “We look forward to our new facility and serving the Waco area for years to come.”

    County Judge Jim Lewis stated, “We are glad to help them grow their facility in McLennan County.  We hope our support helps Waco Coca-Cola continue to expand as our area grows in the future.”

    A valued corporate citizen for more than 102 years, Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Waco announced it will build a new sales and distribution center in Waco, Texas.

    Waco Coca-Cola is a subsidiary of Coca-Cola Enterprises of Atlanta, Georgia.
     

    Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. is the world's largest marketer, distributor, and producer of bottle and can liquid nonalcoholic refreshment. Coca-Cola Enterprises sells approximately 80 percent of The Coca-Cola Company's bottle and can volume in North America and is the sole licensed bottler for products of The Coca-Cola Company in Belgium, continental France, Great Britain, Luxembourg, Monaco, and the Netherlands.


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    Chamber seeks nominations for Business Awards
    2008-02-13

    The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations for the Annual Business Awards Banquet, which will be May 28 at the McLennan Community College Conference Center.

    Each year local and regional businesses are honored for their excellent business practices, involvement in the community and participation as a Chamber member.

    Banquet attendees will see a video, which documents each award recipient and its commitment to the Greater Waco community.
      

    The Business Awards Banquet began in 1992 to recognize outstanding businesses in the Greater Waco area.

    More information and nomination form:

    www.wacochamber.com/awardsbanquet.php

    For more information, contact Linda Beasley at (254) 752-6551 or lbeasley@wacochamber.com


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    Tractor Supply Company breaks ground on expansion
    Tractor Supply Company breaks ground on the expansion of its distribution center on Interstate 35, more than doubling the size of its current facility. The $10.2-million project will substantially increase their workforce and bring the size of the center at 2801 Corporation Parkway from 305,000 square feet to 654,221 square feet.
    2008-02-06

    TSC logoTractor Supply Company breaks ground on the expansion of its distribution center on Interstate 35, more than doubling the size of its current facility. The $10.2-million project will substantially increase their workforce and bring the size of the center at 2801 Corporation Parkway from 305,000 square feet to 654,221 square feet.

    “Waco’s central location offers many benefits to the company and our vendors, now and in the future,” said Larry Corrigan, Director of Distribution. “We appreciate the City of Waco and McLennan County and the productive business partnership we share.”

    The Tractor Supply Distribution Center has been located in Waco for 10 years and relocated to its current center in 2003. The center initially serviced 74 stores in Texas and Oklahoma and now services 135 stores in Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. The service area will increase to include stores inLouisiana, Mississippi and New Mexico.

    “This is a strong company that continues to grow and expand, and I’m so grateful that they are choosing Waco as a site to expand their distribution operations,” said Waco Mayor Virginia DuPuy. “I’ve been watching them for a long time, and I am thrilled with what’s happening with their growth and its effect on our local economy. The jobs continue to be so important to our community for the employees and their families adding to the overall economic stability of Greater Waco and McLennan County.”

    The visible location of Tractor Supply on Interstate 35 is an added benefit, she said.

    “The construction that is going on along I-35 is encouraging. Tractor Supply adds to the entrance to Waco at along with the Hillcrest Health System project and Central Texas Marketplace. These projects create a strong entrance into our city,” said DuPuy.

    The project is supported by the Waco-McLennan County Economic Development Corporation, the Waco Industrial Foundation, the City of Waco, McLennan County and the Greater Waco Chamber.

    Tractor Supply Company, listed on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange as TSCO, operates more than 751 stores in 43 states. 

    Tractor Supply Company stores are focused on supplying the lifestyle needs of recreational farmers and ranchers. The company also serves the maintenance needs of those who enjoy the rural lifestyle, as well as tradesmen and small businesses.

    Tractor Supply Company stores are located in the outlying towns in major metropolitan markets and in rural communities. The company offers a comprehensive selection of merchandise for the health, care, growth and containment of horses, livestock and pets; a broad selection of agricultural products; and tools and hardware selected for our customers’ needs. 

    In addition, the company sells light truck equipment; work clothing for the entire family; and an extensive line of seasonal products including lawn and garden power equipment products. For more information, visit TractorSupply.com.

    ---


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    Young Professionals meet Tuesday
    2008-03-10

    Young Professionals 
    The Young Professionals will meet March 11 at Café Cappuccino at the new downtown location, 100 N. Sixth Street, compliments of owner, Dale Knight. Networking begins at 5 p.m., and the program will start at 5:30. Michael Wray, developer of Austin Avenue Flats, will speak to the group about his downtown development. Chamber President Jim Vaughan will give an update on the construction of the new Chamber headquarters. The group also will hear about the “Work in Waco” event coming up in April.


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    Local students win One Book, One Waco essay contest
    2008-03-12

     High school students Crystal Haubert, Catelia Romero, and Megan Kittner won first place in One Book, One Waco contest.

     

    "We had 51 students enter essays in the contest, but these three clearly put a lot of thought and hard work into their essays. Their stories were touching," said Allan Marshall, director of community development for the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce.

     

    The essay contest had three different categories for the students to choose from. The student could either write an essay on the character they saw as being most important in the book, the themes they saw as being pivotal, or an unlikely friendship of their own that reminded them of the friendship Ron Hall and Denver Moore developed.

     

    The three students will receive prizes and a dinner with the authors of Same Kind of Different As Me immediately following the reception.

     

    Hall and Moore will tell more of their story at the communitywide "Meet the Authors" event held at 7 p.m. on Monday in Waco Hall on the campus of Baylor University.

     

    For more information on One Book, One Waco, contact Allan Marshall at the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce at (254) 752-6611 ext 312.


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    Chamber supports Waco ISD bond
    The Greater Waco Chamber board has passed a resolution supporting Waco ISD's $172.5-million bond package that will build a new high school, three new elementary schools and allow renovations and upgrades to almost every other campus Waco Independent School Distict currently serves more than 15,000 students spread across 33 campuses and five support facilities.
    2008-03-26

    The Greater Waco Chamber board has passed a resolution supporting Waco ISD's $172.5-million bond package that will build a new high school, three new elementary schools and allow renovations and upgrades to almost every other campus Waco Independent School Distict currently serves more than 15,000 students spread across 33 campuses and five support facilities.

    While lack of school buildings is not an issue, the age and condition of many of the facilities certainly is. The average age of Waco ISD campuses is 70.4 years. Only four new schools have been built in the past 20 years and only seven in the past four decades.

    Older schools were constructed for fewer students resulting in smaller campuses that are too expensive, said superintendent Dr. Roland Hernandez.

    "Smaller campuses are ineffecient," he said. "We need 500 to 600 students per campus instead of 100 to 200."

    The district has called for a bond to replace some schools, combine others and upgrade many of its facilities to enhance the learning environment of the city’s youth.

    The board of directors of the Greater Waco Chamber passed a resolution at its March meeting supporting the bond and Waco ISD’s efforts to enhance its facilities.

    The three-phase plan also would address issues such as security, handicap access and larger cafeterias and libraries to relieve overcrowding during peak times.

    A major challenge is the lack of adequate science labs, an important facet of middle and high school education. In fact, the lab shortage creates a scheduling issue for multiple classes who need access.

    "Only three science labs in the 11 secondary schools currently meet standards," said Hernandez. This concerns the administration considering the state’s new requirement that students take four years of high school science in order to graduate.

    Additions to Waco High and A.J. Moore Academy would include new science labs and expanded cafeterias and libraries.

    The plan also calls for replacing University High School, part of which was built in the 1940s and serves about 1,200 students. The new $70-million building would provide a modern facility in time for the 2011-2012 school year. The new school could accommodate up to 2,000 students.

    Another important construction project in the first phase of the plan is to combine J.H. Hines and Doris Miller Elementary Schools into a new East Waco Elementary.

    Replacing older elementary schools such as Dean Highland, which was built in 1917, and Bell’s Hill, which was built in 1924, with new facilities while retaining the existing newer gymnasiums will save costs, said Hernandez.

    For the students’ safety, new schools will be built further back from the road with circle drives and more green space.

    "The timing is very, very important to do this and move our district forward," said Hernandez.


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    Voters approve school bonds
    Voters on Saturday approved $248 million of bonds for school improvements in the Waco and Midway Independent School Districts.
    2008-05-12

    Voters on Saturday approved $248 million of bonds for school improvements in the Waco and Midway Independent School Districts. 

    The election came one year after city voters approved $63 million of bonds to rennovate the Convention Center, redevelop Cameron Park and for a new police facility, two fire stations, and improvements to libraries and the Texas Ranger Museum. 

    In November 2006, a $74.5 million-bond issue was approved for new buildings and capital improvements at McLennan Community College. 

    These victories are signs of a confident and caring community that is committed to an even brighter future. Kudos to the volunteer committees led by Ralph Cooper (Waco) and Ken Cooper (Midway) for mobilizing voters to invest in our schools.
     

    And thanks to our Chamber's officers, directors and members for weighing in on these important issues and for investing the time and resources it takes to make Greater Waco an even better place to live and do business.


    Jim Vaughan, President and CEO


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    Shrek tonight!
    Come downtown tonight for Movies in the Square, a free event presented by Hilton Waco and the Greater Waco Chamber. The movie will be shown on a giant inflatable screen by Austin's Alamo Drafthouse.
    2008-05-15


    Come downtown tonight for Movies in the Square, a free event presented by Hilton Waco and the Greater Waco Chamber. The movie will be shown on a giant inflatable screen by Austin's Alamo Drafthouse.

    Families are encouraged to bring their own chairs and blankets.
    All children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

    Waco Water Park passes will be give to every child 12 and under.

    Free popcorn will be handed out and sodas will be available for sale - $1 for a child's drink and $2 for a large drink.
    No alcoholic beverages will be sold or allowed.

    Still cameras will be allowed but no taping of the movie will be allowed.

    Park in city lots in front of City Hall.


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    One Book, One Waco announces Marley and Me for summer
    The One Book, One Waco communitywide reading program has announced that the Summer 2008 reading selection will be Marley and Me by John Grogan.
    2008-05-16

     The One Book, One Waco communitywide reading program has announced that the Summer 2008 reading selection will be Marley and Me by John Grogan. 

    “We are excited about this book because it appeals to all audiences,” said Bryan Fonville, chairman of the One Book, One Waco Book Selection Committee. 

    “Everyone will be able to laugh and cry through this touching tale of the trials and tribulations of owning a pet.”
     

    Events will include a pet photo contest, training demonstrations by professional dog trainers and book discussions. 

    The big event will be a breakfast in the park featuring pet trick demonstrations and a reading of book selections for the whole family to enjoy.
     

    “With all the hands-on activities we are offering in conjunction with Marley and Me, we hope every member of the community is able to participate in something that they truly find fun and informative,” said Allan Marshall, director of community development at the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce. 

    “We are excited about this book because it appeals to all audiences,” said Bryan Fonville, chairman of the One Book, One Waco Book Selection Committee.  “Everyone will be able to laugh and cry through the touching tale of this fun-loving Labrador.” 

    Marley and Me tells the true story of author John Grogan’s experience raising his yellow lab Marley, who tested his patience constantly.  He shares the life lessons he and his family learned from the 13 years Marley lived with them. 

    Grogan has authored two additional books about Marley, which One Book, One Waco will also use.  Marley: A Dog Like None Other is geared towards readers 8 to 12 years of age and Bad Dog, Marley! is an illustrated book for children ages 4 to 6.

    One Book, One Waco organizers hope that all organizations – universities, colleges, businesses, churches, literary groups, and others – will hold book discussions as well as attend the official One Book, One Waco events.

    For more information, contact Allan Marshall at (254) 752-6611 x. 312.


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    Green Mountain Energy Company donates solar array for new Chamber headquarters
    Waco’s new Chamber of Commerce headquarters is going to be even ‘greener’ thanks to a donation by Texas-based Green Mountain Energy Company. Green Mountain and the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce today began installing a 9.6 kilowatt (kW) solar array on the rooftop of the Chamber’s new headquarters. The installation will be one of the few solar arrays in Waco. The new Chamber building will open June 6 and is located at 101 S. Third St. at Heritage Square.
    2008-05-20

       Waco’s new Chamber of Commerce headquarters is going to be even ‘greener’ thanks to a donation by Texas-based Green Mountain Energy Company.

    Green Mountain and the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce today began installing a 9.6 kilowatt (kW) solar array on the rooftop of the Chamber’s new headquarters.

    The installation will be one of the few solar arrays in Waco. The new Chamber building will open June 6 and is located at 101 S. Third St. at Heritage Square.

    Officials from the Chamber, Green Mountain and Waco Mayor Virginia DuPuy were on hand for today’s groundbreaking event.  

    The Green Mountain Energy® Solar at the Waco Chamber of Commerce is expected to be completed in July. The solar facility will be built with 48 photovoltaic (PV) solar panels that will be mounted on the building’s roof.

    These panels convert sunlight into electricity, producing 9.6 kW of clean energy. When completed, the solar array will be nearly 720 square feet and will offset approximately 6.5 percent of the building’s annual electrical usage.  

    This solar array will also offset more than 26,500 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2). To put this in perspective, that’s as much CO2 emissions avoided as more than 1,500 trees would absorb in one year.

    It is also equivalent to recycling more than 65,000 aluminum cans and more than 10,500 pounds of newspaper.
     

    The solar panels are being installed by Texas-based Standard Renewable Energy.
     Additionally, a display will be located in the Chamber explaining how the solar array works and how it contributes to the building’s energy efficiency.  

    Green Mountain is funding the Chamber’s new solar array through its Big Texas Sun Club®, a program in which Green Mountain’s Texas customers can choose to support solar energy installations in Texas by paying an additional $5 on their monthly Green Mountain Energy® electric bill (for information, visit www.greenmountain.com/sunclub).

    To date, 12 solar projects have been built in Texas thanks to the Big Texas Sun Club. With this 13th installation, Green Mountain’s Big Texas Sun Club will be responsible for creating nearly 146 kW
    of new solar energy capacity in Texas since 2002. Austin-based Green Mountain is Texas’ only electric provider dedicated to cleaner electricity.

    “The Greater Waco Chamber is pleased to accept this generous grant from Green Mountain Energy Company, which makes it possible for us to use solar energy to power our building,” said Chamber President James G. Vaughan Jr.  

    “We are proud to incorporate photovoltaic solar panels into our design and to set the standard for innovative ways to utilize cleaner, renewable technologies.”
     

    “Green Mountain Energy Company is proud to partner with the Waco Chamber to build this new solar array and help make downtown Waco greener,” said Paul Markovich, senior vice president, Residential Services, for Green Mountain. "Building this solar facility supports our mission to change the way power is made.”

    The Chamber is seeking to be the first LEED© (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified building in Greater Waco.

    LEED is a program of the U.S. Green Building Council that recognizes building owners for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings.

    The solar array will earn the building a possible LEED point based on the percentage of annual savings.

    Construction began on the new headquarters in April 2007. The 14,000-square-foot building is the first in a three-block, $60 million mixed-use development downtown.

    The building is funded through the Challenge Greater Waco Campaign and will be owned by the Waco Chamber of Commerce Community Development Foundation.

    About Green Mountain Energy Company
    Green Mountain, the nation’s leading provider of cleaner energy and carbon offset solutions, began in 1997 with a simple idea: “to change the way power is made.”  The company offers consumers and businesses the choice of cleaner electricity products using renewable sources such as wind, water and solar that help reduce the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted into the air.  Green Mountain customers have collectively helped avoid over 4.1 million tons of CO2 emissions.

    Visit
    www.greenmountain.com.


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    2008-06-03


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    First green Chamber building in America opens in Waco
    2008-06-06

     

    Rick Brophy, David Lacy, Don Moes, Terry Stevens, Bob Davis, Tom Salome, Johnny Mankin, Dr. Roland Goertz and Jim Vaughan

    Photo gallery

    The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce hosted a dedication and open house for the first green Chamber building in America June 6.

    The new building at 101 S. Third St. at Heritage Square, a landmark site in downtown Waco, is seeking L.E.E.D.TM certification through the
    U.S. Green Building Council.

    The new building is the first in a three-block, $75-million mixed-use development downtown and houses the staff and committees of the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce and function as a marketing center for the region.

    “This new building is the culmination of the efforts of many and a symbol of the confidence the business community has in the future of Greater Waco,” said President and CEO James G. Vaughan Jr.
     RBDR Architects designed the 13,906-square-foot building, and Barsh Construction Company was the general contractor. Both companies are Waco-based and members of the Greater Waco Chamber.

    “We expect to set a standard for future new construction downtown with an urban scale building that is oriented to the street rather than a parking lot, and with windows and doors opening on to sidewalks to make streets safer and more interesting and with architecture appropriate to both our history and our vision for downtown,” said Vaughan.

    The building’s major public spaces to open onto Heritage Square and will contribute to additional use of the park.


    The building is funded through the Challenge Greater Waco campaign and will be owned by the Waco Chamber of Commerce Community Development Foundation.

    The Challenge Campaign to fund the building and to implement the Chamber’s Strategic Economic Development Plan was led by Campaign Chair Thomas G. Salome.
     
    More than 200 businesses, foundations and individuals have invested in the Challenge Greater Waco Campaign, which raised $7.5 million for the building and the implementation of the strategic economic development plan.

    Rick Brophy, 2008 Chamber Chair and chair of the strategic planning committee, expresses gratitude to the businesses and individuals who have said yes to this project.

    “Raising the funds to construct the building and carry out the Strategic Plan is evidence that Waco We Do is much more than a slogan,” said Brophy.


    The building also represents the community’s desire to pursue environmentally sound construction practices to make Waco a green, livable city and to revitalize downtown, said Bob Davis, past Chamber chair and building chair.  “So instead of a suburban-scale building surrounded by parking, we envisioned our building as part of a full block of offices, restaurants, retail and housing,” Davis said. “With the support of the City and a SWB Heritage Partners, that plan has grown to four blocks of development.”

    SWB Heritage Square Partners is c
    onstructing a multi-use project to include residential, retail and office space adjacent to the new Chamber building.

    Vaughan expresses thanks to members of the Executive Committee during the planning and fund-raising phases of the project including Rick Brophy, Bob Davis, Dr. Roland Goertz, Jim Haller, Kent Keahey, David Lacy, Terry Stevens and Jim Vaughan.
     

    The Chamber headquarters will represent the Chamber’s mission to enhance Greater Waco as a center of excellence and the community of choice for business.


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    Mid-Year Membership Luncheon
    2008-07-10

     The annual Mid-Year Membership Luncheon will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 25 at the Waco Scottish Rite Bodies Lee Lockwood Library, 2801 W. Waco Drive.

    Waco City Manager Larry Groth will give a presentation on the numerous projects throughout the community as a result of the bond election last year.

    Lunch is $5. Reservations can be made by July 22 through Christy Sanders.


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    First Community Bank Central Texas 20th annual Kick Off Luncheon is sold out
    2008-07-28

     Dave Campbell Art Briles

     Dave Campbell
    founder
    Texas Football
    Magazine

     Art Briles
    Baylor Head
    Football Coach
     

    First Community Bank Central Texas is proud to present the 20th annual Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce Kick Off Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Aug. 21 at the Waco Convention Center. The event is sold out.

    The event will honor the legendary Dave Campbell and welcome new Baylor Head Football Coach Art Briles
     For the first time ever, John Morris, “the voice of the Baylor Bears,” will hold a Q&A with Campbell and Briles.   

    Briles also will give us a preview of the Bears and the upcoming season, his first at Baylor. The event will recognize the local high school state champions and view the KWTX News 10 High School Football Season preview. 


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    Baylor-Wake tickets available for $20 through Chamber discount
    The Greater Waco Chamber and Baylor University are teaming up to make tickets to the first home game, Baylor vs. Wake Forest, Aug. 28 available for $20.
    2008-08-11

    Beat WakeThe Greater Waco Chamber and Baylor University are teaming up to make tickets to the first home game, Baylor vs. Wake Forest, Aug. 28 available for $20. 

    “We want to fill the stands for this televised game and show our support for the new season,” said Steve Smith, senior vice president of sports and special events for the Chamber.  

    Tickets may be purchased from Aug. 12-26 at the Chamber at 101 S. Third St. or on-line at WacoWeDoSports.com. Enter the code “beatwake” to receive the discount.  

    In addition, Bear Force One will sell tickets Aug. 15 at the Woodway Drive H-E-B at the group rate of $20 each.

    The H-E-B promotion will be sponsored by the Chamber, H-E-B and Bear Force One.
     

    All purchases made through the Chamber or at the H-E-B on Aug. 15 also will receive a coupon for a free Gold Rush T-shirt that can be redeemed at Floyd Casey Stadium on game day only. 

    Seats for the Chamber tickets will be in Sections S and T. When those two sections sell out, tickets will be available in sections U and then V.

     


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    Baylor-Wake tickets still available for $20
    2008-08-12

     The Greater Waco Chamber and Baylor University are teaming up to make tickets to the first home game, Baylor vs. Wake Forest, Aug. 28 available for $20. 

    A few discount tickets are still left.

    “We want to fill the stands for this televised game and show our support for the new season,” said Steve Smith, senior vice president of sports and special events for the Chamber.
     

    Tickets may be purchased at the Chamber at 101 S. Third St. or on-line at WacoWeDoSports.com. Enter the code “beatwake” to receive the discount. 
     

    All purchases also will receive a coupon for a free Gold Rush T-shirt that can be redeemed at Floyd Casey Stadium on game day only.

    Seats for the Chamber tickets will be in Sections S and T. When those two sections sell out, tickets will be available in sections U and then V.


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    The Big Read and One Book, One Waco announces Fall Book
    The Big Read, a nationwide initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts, and One Book, One Waco have joined forces to announce Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury as the communitywide reading selection for fall 2008.
    2008-08-12

    The Big Read, a nationwide initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts, and One Book, One Waco have joined forces to announce Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury as the communitywide reading selection for fall 2008. 

    “We are happy to partner with The Big Read program - which is a part of a larger national movement to restore reading to the center of American culture - and we are happy that The Big Read will be one of our sponsors for the fall,” said Allan R. Marshall, director of community development for the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce and chair of the One Book, One Waco program. 

    From August to October, the community will celebrate Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury with a full calendar of events. Fahrenheit 451 recounts the story of a future society in which books are outlawed and burned by firemen. 

    “Given the political climate surrounding our upcoming presidential election and talk for the future of our country and society, we thought this would be the perfect selection for our community,” said Bryan Fonville, Baylor student body president and chair of the book selection committee. “Bradbury’s book is a masterpiece of literary history, and we look forward to the exciting discussions to emerge in the coming weeks and months.” 

    In June, the National Endowment for the Arts announced that One Book, One Waco received a federal grant to put on a communitywide reading program for the fall by selecting a literary classic.

    Waco is one of 189 communities nationwide participating in The Big Read from September 2008 through January 2009. To date, the NEA has funded more than 500 Big Read programs in the nation’s towns and cities.
     

    “The Big Read grant validates the necessity for a communitywide reading program and how important these programs are across our nation,” said Marshall.

    One Book, One Waco organizers hope that universities, colleges, businesses, churches, literary groups and others will hold book discussions on Fahrenheit 451 as well as attend the official One Book, One Waco events.

    For more information, contact Allan Marshall at (254) 757-5630 or click on the “One Book, One Waco” link at WacoChamber.com.


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    Associated Hygienic Products announces Waco facility
    Associated Hygienic Products LLC ("AHP") announces that in partnership with the Waco-McLennan County Economic Development Corporation and the State of Texas, the Company will build and operate a new disposable baby diaper manufacturing and distribution facility in Waco, Texas.
    2008-08-21

    Associated Hygienic Products LLC ("AHP") announces that in partnership with the Waco-McLennan County Economic Development Corporation and the State of Texas, the Company will build and operate a new disposable baby diaper manufacturing and distribution facility in Waco, Texas.

    This custom, design-to-build, world-class facility will be approximately 250,000 square feet with additional land available for future expansion, located on Texas Central Parkway in the Texas Central Park. AHP plans an operating staff of at least 115 personnel to be employed at this facility and anticipates a larger staff within two years of the startup.

    AHP is one ofthe leading manufacturers ofCorporate Brand Baby Diapers and Training Pants in the USA and will celebrate its 25th Anniversary in 2009 when its new Waco plant is expected to begin commercial operation.

    AHP is a wholly-owned subsidiary of DSG International Limited ("DSG") which has manufacturing locations throughout SE Asia and Greater China. DSG is globally recognized as a successful manufacturing company for over 35 years, with a strong reputation of offering innovative and creative products for the disposable baby diaper and adult incontinence product markets.

    AHP recently completed a major expansion of its manufacturing facility located in Delaware, OH (Columbus, OH metro area) which began commercial production in 2007, replacing an older manufacturing facility located in Marion, OH. This World Class facility is also a custom, design-to-build facility, and now has more than 370,000 square feet of manufacturing and distribution space.

    The Company also operates a third manufacturing facility in Vancouver, WA (Portland, OR metro area) and has its Corporate Home Office and SE Distribution Center located in Duluth, GA (Atlanta, GA metro area). In total, the Company currently employs almost 500 personnel.

    AHP President and CEO Mr. George H. Jackson III said: "I am extremely proud and excited about announcing our new world-class facility to be built in Waco, Texas. It is a clear reflection ofour tremendous growth and success; but more importantly to our sincere commitment to AHP's Corporate Vision "To be a Customer and Consumer Driven World Class Company....".

    Waco, Texas was specifically chosen after thorough analysis ofgeographic locations which most benefit our valued retail customers. Another key influence was that Waco had, for over 20 years, a very successful manufacturing facility of baby diapers located there -Paragon Trade Brands (PTB-formally Weyerhaeuser Co.) that employed over 300 personnel. I am in fact, an ex-Weyerhaeuser manager, and was very familiar with the facility located here, and viewed it as a top performing manufacturing plant. When considering a number ofpotential sites for our new facility, I viewed Waco as geographically and strategically located for our retail customers and knew there was a "wealth and depth of technical diaper manufacturing expertise" in the area. This new facility will also make AHP the only supplier of PL diapers and training pants with three strategically located domestic facilities serving the entire USA market. With the pricing ofdiesel fuel at an all time high, it simply makes sense to offer improved transportation costs to our retail customer partners."


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    Greg May Father-Son Tournament
    A new tradition will start this fall when the Greg May Father-Son Tournament tees off Sept. 13-14 in Waco. Professional and amateur teams of father / son, father-in-law / son-in-law, stepfather / stepson or grandfather / grandson combinations are welcome in the 36-hole tournament.
    2008-08-28

    A new tradition will start this fall when the Greg May Father-Son Tournament tees off Sept. 13-14 in Waco. 

    Professional and amateur teams of father / son, father-in-law / son-in-law, stepfather / stepson or grandfather / grandson combinations are welcome in the 36-hole tournament. 

    Saturday will be a two-man scramble, and Sunday will be low ball. Cottonwood Creek Golf Course and Twin Rivers Golf Club will host the tournament. 

    Registration is $300 per team and includes continental breakfast both days and lunch on Sunday.

    The event is presented by Greg May Chevrolet and the Greater Waco Chamber.
     To register or for more information, visit GregMayGolf.com.


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    Vaughan named Green Hero
    It’s not every day that the first green Chamber building in America opens, and when that happened this summer here in Waco it caught the attention of the National Audubon Society’s TogetherGreen initiative. The program has named Greater Waco Chamber President and CEO James G. Vaughan Jr. a Green Hero for his vision that businesses can be green while making green.
    2008-09-02

    VaughanIt’s not every day that the first green Chamber building in America opens, and when that happened this summer here in Waco it caught the attention of the National Audubon Society’s TogetherGreen initiative. 

    The program has named Greater Waco Chamber President and CEO James G. Vaughan Jr. a Green Hero for his vision that businesses can be green while making
    green.
     

    The Chamber headquarters is seeking L.E.E.D.TM certification through the U.S. Green Building Council for its energy efficiency, natural lighting and sustainability. The building also boasts Waco’s only living roof. 

    The building would be the first L.E.E.D.TM- certified Chamber building and the first of its kind in Waco. Only 63 buildings in Texas are L.E.E.D.TM-certified. The facility also has been recognized with the Keep Waco Beautiful Partners in Pride award. 

    “I’m pleased to be recognized, but I’m especially pleased that the word is getting out that Waco is taking a lead in sustainability,” said Vaughan. 

    TogetherGreen’s Web site recognizes exceptional leaders across the country that are making a difference in their community. An important alliance between Audubon and Toyota, TogetherGreen focuses on funding and supporting innovative conservation projects, leadership development and volunteer opportunities. For more information, visit TogetherGreen.org.


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    Business BEFORE Hours Friday
    Please join us for our first Business BEFORE Hours at 7:30 a.m. at the Hampton Inn & Suites South at Central Texas Marketplace at 2501 Marketplace Drive (Highway 6 and Interstate 35). End your week networking with Chamber members....bring your business cards and eat breakfast in this wonderful new hotel.
    2008-09-18

    Business Before HoursPlease join us for our first Business BEFORE Hours at 7:30 a.m. at the Hampton Inn & Suites South at Central Texas Marketplace at 2501 Marketplace Drive (Highway 6 and Interstate 35).

    End your week networking with Chamber members....bring your business cards and eat breakfast in this wonderful new hotel.


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    Chamber to host Membership Media Luncheon
    2008-09-19

    Media LuncheonThe Greater Waco Chamber will host a Membership Media Luncheon presented by E.H. Anderson Public Relations at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 10 at the Waco Scottish Rite Bodies Lee Lockwood Library, 2801 W. Waco Drive.

    Jeff Crilley, author of Free Publicity, will be the guest speaker. Come hear his fun upbeat presentation on how to get noticed. Whether you're a non-profit, small business without a marketing department or large business with a marketing department, this is for you.

    A panel of local reporters will be on hand to interact with the audience and answer questions about getting your story out there.

    Tickets are $20. RSVP by Oct. 5. A Mexican buffet by El Tapitio will be served. For more information, call (254) 757-5611.


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    Chamber flips the switch on solar panels
    2008-09-24

     Waco’s new “green” Chamber headquarters is now being powered partly by solar energy. Waco Mayor Virginia DuPuy, Chamber officials, Green Mountain Energy Company’s Super Earth mascot, along with other company officials, and members of the community were on hand Wednesday to officially “flip the switch” for the new solar array.

    The environmentally sustainable Greater Waco Chamber building opened June 6 at 101 S. Third St. at Heritage Square.The installation is the largest solar array in downtown Waco. The Green Mountain Energy® Solar at the Greater Waco Chamber was built with 48 photovoltaic (PV) solar panels that are mounted on the building’s roof. These panels convert sunlight into electricity, producing 9.6 kW of clean energy.

    The solar array is nearly 720 square feet and will offset approximately 6.5 percent of the building’s annual electrical usage. The solar panels were installed by Texas-based Standard Renewable Energy.  Green Mountain funded the Chamber’s new solar array through its Big Texas Sun Club®, a unique program in which the company’s Texas customers can choose to support solar energy installations in Texas by paying an additional $5 on their monthly Green Mountain Energy® electric bill (for information, visit www.GreenMountain.com/SunClub.)

    To date, 13 solar projects have been built in Texas thanks to the Big Texas Sun Club. With this installation, Green Mountain’s Big Texas Sun Club has been responsible for creating nearly 146 kW of new solar energy capacity in Texas since 2002. Austin-based Green Mountain is Texas’ only electric provider dedicated to cleaner electricity. 

    “Green Mountain’s Big Texas Sun Club customers helped make the Waco Chamber solar array and 12 others in the state possible,” said Paul Markovich, senior vice president of Residential Services for Green Mountain Energy Company.  “Through their participation in the Big Texas Sun Club, these customers have helped support the City of Waco’s goal to become a sustainable leader and Green Mountain’s mission to change the way power is made. 

    This solar array will offset more than 26,500 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually. To put this in perspective, that’s as much CO2 as more than 1,500 trees would absorb in one year. It is also equivalent to recycling more than 65,000 aluminum cans or more than 10,500 pounds of newspaper.

    Additionally, educational signage is located in the Chamber explaining how the solar array works and how it contributes to the building’s energy efficiency.

    During today’s event, Waco officials also announced that the Chamber is purchasing 100 percent renewable energy from Green Mountain for two years to offset the Chamber’s remaining electricity usage. Based on the Chamber’s estimated annual usage, the purchase of 100 percent renewable energy is equivalent to avoiding more than 326,000 pounds of C02 a year, not driving more than 323,000 miles for a year. The Chamber is seeking to be the first LEEDTM (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)-certified building in Greater Waco. LEED, a program of the U.S. Green Building Council, is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. The solar array and renewable energy purchase qualifies the Chamber to earn one LEED point in the energy and atmosphere category at the gold level based on the percentage of annual savings. 

    “The solar panels and renewable energy purchase represent the Chamber’s commitment to using clean renewable energy, a key component of conservation and smart business,” said Chamber President Jim Vaughan. “Our partnership with Green Mountain has made this project possible, and we hope it is the first of many such efforts in our community.” 

    Construction began on the new headquarters in April 2007. The 14,000-square-foot building is the first in a three-block, $60 million mixed-use development downtown. The building is funded through the Challenge Greater Waco Campaign and is owned by the Waco Chamber of Commerce Community Development Foundation. 

    About Green Mountain Energy Company
    Green Mountain, the nation’s leading provider of cleaner energy and carbon offset solutions, was founded in 1997 “to change the way power is made.” The company is the longest serving green power marketer in the U.S. and was ranked the highest in residential customer satisfaction with retail electric service in Texas by J.D. Power and Associates. Green Mountain offers consumers and businesses the choice of cleaner electricity products from renewable sources such as wind and water and carbon offset products through its BeGreen division (BeGreenNow.com). Green Mountain customers have collectively helped avoid over 4.1 million tons of CO2 emissions. For more information, visit GreenMountain.com.

     Green Mountain Energy Company received the highest numerical score among residential electric service providers in Texas in the proprietary J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Texas Residential Retail Electric Service Satisfaction StudySM.  Study based on responses from 2,572 consumers measuring 8 providers and measures opinions of consumers with their electric service provider. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of consumers surveyed in June 2008. Your experiences may vary.  Visit jdpower.com.  


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    Leadership Waco announces Class XXV
    2008-09-05

    Leadership Waco has named the 2008-2009 Leadership Waco Class.

    Leadership Waco is a program of the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce designed to identify and develop potential community leaders and encourage them to become more involved in the community. 

    The participants in Leadership Waco will experience a unique opportunity to become more aware of the dynamics of the social and economic factors affecting our community, while preparing for future leadership roles. Participants devote one day each month for 10 months to learn about industry, education, history, health care and other resources in Greater Waco. 

    This year’s program is presented by Pattillo, Brown & Hill and sponsored by Providence Healthcare Network and First National Bank of Central Texas. Applications for the next class will be accepted from March through May 2009.


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    Join us for lunch hour Web chat on the economy
    2008-09-17

    Questions about the continuing upheaval on Wall Street, the housing crisis, the job market, investments and how all this could impact us here in Waco?

    Go to WacoTrib.com at high noon Thursday Sept. 18 to chat with famed economist Ray Perryman, founder and president of The Perryman Group here in Waco, and Tom Kelly, professor of economics and director of Baylor University's Center for Business and Economic Research.

    They'll be taking your questions for the full hour. Join us!


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    Greater Waco Aviation Alliance announces Freedom Ball
    The Greater Waco Aviation Alliance will host its inaugural Freedom Ball from 7 p.m. to midnight Oct. 25 in the Act I Hangar at Texas State Technical College Airport.
    2008-10-08

     The Greater Waco Aviation Alliance will host its inaugural Freedom Ball from 7 p.m. to midnight Oct. 25 in the Act I Hangar at Texas State Technical College Airport. 

    The World War II‐themed gala will benefit aviation scholarships and salute the men and women of the armed forces. The popular Austin‐based band, Rotel and the Hot Tomatoes, named one of America’s Top 10 party bands, will provide the evening’s entertainment.

    The event will feature dinner, drinks and dancing.
     “This event represents a new step for the Greater Waco Aviation Alliance,” said Jim Allmon, president of the Aviation Alliance advisory board and president/CEO of Waco’s Blackhawk Modifications.

    “Our first fund-raising activity is designed to emphasize our commitment to education because we understand the benefits of having a strong, skilled aerospace workforce in making Waco an attractive community for growth in the aviation industry.”
     

    Proceeds will be used for Greater Waco students pursuing careers in aviation, with special consideration given to those who are dependents of active‐duty military personnel. 

    Event attire is “after 5.” Current and former military personnel encouraged to wear their uniforms (mess dress). 

    The Greater Waco Aviation Alliance is a committee of the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce and advocates for more than 30 aviation and aviation‐related companies that attract companies and individuals to Waco from around the world by offering diverse products and services ranging from the installation of sophisticated communications systems in military aircraft to aircraft repair, performance upgrades, engineering, systems design and maintenance facilities. 

    Tickets are $75 per person.

    Veterans and active duty military personnel are offered a discount rate of $50 per person. Tables of eight are available for $500.

    To purchase tickets, contact Christy Sanders at (254) 757‐5611.
    For more information, visit WacoAviation.com.


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    Cooper trained by Gore to deliver educational slideshow on climate change
    Greater Waco Chamber Research Manager Alexis Cooper is one of 1,200 Americans personally trained by Nobel Laureate Al Gore to spread the message about the challenges of and solutions to the climate crisis. Cooper completed The Climate Project (TCP) training program in October 2008.
    2008-10-16

    Cooper Greater Waco Chamber Research Manager Alexis Cooper is one of 1,200 Americans personally trained by Nobel Laureate Al Gore to spread the message about the challenges of and solutions to the climate crisis. Cooper completed The Climate Project (TCP) training program in October 2008.

    “Ms. Cooper is an outstanding example of the millions of Americans who have been energized by the call to action on the climate crisis,” said Gore. “We are so pleased that she has made a serious commitment to this challenge.”

    Cooper is available to make presentations during the next six months mainly in the Waco area discussing how individuals, businesses and communities can reduce their environmental impact and urge others to action.

    Cooper is part of a select group of individuals who have been chosen to become TCP volunteer presenters. Each presenter takes part in an intensive training session, focused on climate change and global warming and potential solutions.

    Volunteers receive technical training to become effective presenters of a version of Gore’s slideshow, which was the basis of his best-selling book and the Academy Award-winning documentary film An Inconvenient Truth.

    TCP recently held its first-ever faith-based training session, which resulted in the training of 135 additional presenters. This latest group of trainees is as diverse as previous classes of TCP presenters, with the new trainees representing 37 states and numerous faiths.

    “People of faith are vital to the effort to combat the climate crisis and represent all walks of life,” said Gore. “This new group of trainees is absolutely amazing. I am certain that they will have a tremendous impact as they return home to their congregations and communities all across the United States.”

    TCP, a nonprofit organization based in Nashville, Tenn., began operations in June 2006 with the mission of increasing public awareness of the climate crisis at a grassroots level in the United States and abroad. By April 2007, a diverse group of 1,000 volunteers from throughout the United States had been trained by Gore himself to educate members of the public about climate change.

    They have now delivered more than 20,000 presentations and reached a combined audience of 2 million people.In addition, TCP initiatives have resulted in the training of hundreds of equally committed individuals in Australia, Canada, India, Spain and the UK. TCP’s 2,500 presenters worldwide have reached a total audience of more than 4 million.


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    Seavest breaks ground for two medical office buildings in Waco
    2008-10-21

    White Plains, N.Y.-based Seavest has broken ground for the construction of two medical office buildings on the campus of Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center in Waco. The first building, Hillcrest Community Medical Office Building, is a three-story, 107,000-square-foot facility that will serve the adjacent Hillcrest Community Hospital. The medical office building will connect to the hospital by way of a skybridge on the second floor.

    The second building, Hillcrest Women’s & Children’s Medical Office building, is a two-story, 59,000-square-foot medical office building that will serve the adjacent Hillcrest Women’s & Children’s Hospital. Seavest is partnering with Lillibridge Health Care Services for the project, and will develop and own both properties. Completion is scheduled for summer 2009. Real Estate Business Online


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    2008-10-31


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    Education Summit Nov. 19-21
    2008-11-17


    The Greater Waco Community Education Summit will be Nov. 19-21 at the Waco Convention Center. The summit is open to the public and will engage participants from all segments of the community to create, lead and implement a plan of action for insuring all students’ educational achievement. The summit is the first of five annual summits designed to produce meaningful and systemic change to the community's engagement in the support of the educational process of its students from birth through post-secondary. MORE


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    Linking town and gown
    2008-11-18

    Waco Tribune-Herald

    By Allan Marshall, Director of Community Development

    Life is about relationships. Community is about relationships. When I attended Baylor University, I always had a sense that its relationship with the Waco community could be stronger.

    Clearly the benefits cut both ways — benefiting the community and the college community.

    Through a strong town-gown relationship we can accelerate and enhance the revitalization of downtown Waco.

    Through such a relationship we improve local education. And that’s not all.

    It is through such a relationship that we make Waco move toward the future. MORE


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    Waco area continues to add jobs
    The Waco Metropolitan Area continued to add jobs in October. Based on data released from Texas Workforce Commission, the Waco area workforce added 200 people, and the employed ranks grew by more than 100 people. This led to a lower unemployment rate of 4.7% compared to September figures of 4.8%.
    2008-11-24

    The Waco Metropolitan Area continued to add jobs in October. Based on data released from Texas Workforce Commission, the Waco area workforce added 200 people, and the employed ranks grew by more than 100 people. This led to a lower unemployment rate of 4.7% compared to September figures of 4.8%.

     

    This activity runs contrary the trend experienced in other parts of the United States. The unemployment rate for Texas grew to 5.4% from 5.2% from September to October. The United States unemployment rate moved up to 6.1% from 6.0% month to month.

     

    “We are very encouraged by the numbers released today,” said Scott Connell, senior vice president of strategic development at the Greater Waco Chamber. “The strong diversified economy in the Waco area stands in contrast to the issues faced in other parts of the country. We have some great companies, and Central Texas is a competitive place to do business.”

     

    Texas Workforce Commission data indicates the Waco MSA added jobs in October in Wholesales Trade, Professional & Business Services, Government and Education & Health Services. Professional and Business Services have grown the most during the past year, adding 400 positions for a 4.4% annual growth rate.

     


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    Downtown Waco building wins statewide award
    The Greater Waco Chamber’s Salome Commerce Center was named Best New Construction Project by the Texas Downtown Association (TDA).
    2008-11-24

    TDA AwardThe Greater Waco Chamber’s Salome Commerce Center was named Best New Construction Project by the Texas Downtown Association (TDA).  The winners of the 2008 Presidents Awards Program were announced Nov. 13 at the Texas Downtown Revitalization Conference in Temple sponsored by the Texas Downtown Association and the Texas Main Street Program. Since 1998, more than 100 projects, events and people in Texas downtowns have received statewide recognition through the awards program. 

    “We at the Chamber are truly proud to be pioneers working in the first newly constructed building built in downtown Waco for close to 30 years and are looking forward to more and more exciting new things to join us here in the heart of the community,” said Chris McGowan, director of urban development for the Chamber. 

    The Best New Construction Award recognizes excellence in new construction in downtown or commercial district.  Judges deemed the project exemplary for the green design of the building, which anticipates being the first LEED Chamber building in the United States and for fitting well into the long-term design and plan for downtown Waco. The other finalist in this category was Texas Country Title in La Grange. Representatives from downtown Waco made a presentation to a statewide audience at the annual Texas Downtown Revitalization Conference.  Winners were announced at the awards gala that evening.                                                                                                                                                                                                 

    Judging for the awards took place on July 25 in Austin.  The distinguished jury panel included the following representatives:  Scott Day, Urban Development Services, San Antonio; Carolyn Howard, Beaumont Main Street Manager, Beaumont; Rich MacMath, HDR, Inc., Austin; and Stephen Sharpe, Texas Architect, Austin. TDA is a statewide nonprofit organization comprising more than 400 members involved in more than $1 billion in downtown revitalization projects. By fostering development and revitalization, TDA strives to enhance the economic vitality of Texas downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts by providing resources, networking opportunities, education and advocacy. For more information, including the complete list of awards finalists, visit TexasDowntown.org.


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    Happy Holidays from Greater Waco Chamber
    2008-12-19

    Thank you to Dr. Fred Huffman and Christmas Decor for lighting the exterior of our building and to Kim Seesing with Bloomingal's for decorating our tree and Robinson Gallery.


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    Edwards to speak at 2009 Membership Banquet
    The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce will host its annual membership banquet Feb. 19 at the Waco Convention Center.
    2009-01-28

    The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce will host its annual membership banquet Feb. 19 at the Waco Convention Center.

    The reception will be at 6 p.m., and the banquet will begin at 7 p.m. in Chisholm Hall.

    The banquet celebrates the success of the Chamber under the leadership of outgoing 2008 Chamber Chair Rick Brophy. Dr. Roland Goertz, the 2009 Chamber Chair, will give his remarks on the upcoming year.

    Congressman Chet Edwards will be the guest speaker.

    Tickets are $75 per person and $600 for tables of eight.

    The Chamber Membership Banquet is presented by Saturn of Waco. The gold sponsor is Curves, and silver sponsors are Beard Kultgen Brophy Bostwick Dickson & Squires, LLP; McLennan Community College, Sears Methodist Retirement Center, Providence Healthcare Network and Waco Convention & Visitors Bureau.

    For more information, visit WacoChamber.com/membanquet.php or call 757-5611.


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    Greater Waco Aviation Alliance endorses One Book, One Waco, announces scholarship
    The Greater Waco Aviation Alliance endorses the One Book, One Waco’s spring book, Rocket Boys by Homer Hickam, and announces the establishment of an Aviation Alliance scholarship.
    2009-02-19

     The Greater Waco Aviation Alliance endorses the One Book, One Waco’s spring book, Rocket Boys by Homer Hickam, and announces the establishment of an Aviation Alliance scholarship. 

    “We couldn’t have selected a better book,” said Jim Allmon, president of the Greater Waco Aviation Alliance advisory board. “This book’s emphasis on a community supporting young people who want to learn about aerospace is such a natural fit for our industry.” 

    The book is Hickam’s memoir about growing up in a small coal-mining town and deciding to build rockets so that he could help the United States advance in the space race. The town eventually rallies behind him as he and a group of friends launch a series of rockets. 

    In addition to the endorsement, the Aviation Alliance also announced the creation of a special scholarship to be made Feb.25 at the Central Texas Science & Engineering Fair, which sends two students each year to the International Science & Engineering Fair where Hickam competed in 1960. 

    The award will be funded from a portion of the proceeds from the Aviation Alliance’s inaugural Freedom Ball held last fall.
     

    “In the same way that Homer Hickam had the support of his community, we want to encourage young people of Central Texas to pursue their dreams of working in the aerospace industry,” said Allmon. 

    Hickam eventually became an aerospace engineer and worked for NASA. Aviation Alliance members SpaceX, L-3 Integrated Systems, Texas State Technical College Waco, McLennan Community College and Baylor University are sponsoring the One Book, One Waco program this spring and even more companies are encouraging their employees to participate. 

    The Greater Waco Aviation Alliance is a committee of the Greater Waco Chamber and advocates for more than 30 aviation and aviationrelated companies that attract companies and individuals to Waco from around the world by offering diverse products and services ranging from the installation of sophisticated communications systems in military aircraft to aircraft repair, performance upgrades, engineering, systems design and maintenance facilities.


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    Greater Waco Chamber takes Best of Show at Addy Awards
    The Greater Waco Chamber won Best of Show Feb. 28 at the Waco Addy Club Awards for its Grand Opening Box celebrating the opening of the first green Chamber building in America. The box was sponsored by Wells Fargo and the structural design and printing was done by Englander Container & Display. The project also took a gold award at the event.
    2009-03-03

    Green Box The Greater Waco Chamber won Best of Show Feb. 28 at the Waco Addy Club Awards for its Grand Opening Box celebrating the opening of the first green Chamber building in America. The box was sponsored by Wells Fargo and the structural design and printing was done by Englander Container & Display. The project also took a gold award at the event.

    The Chamber also won a Silver Addy Award for the Southwest Conference Luncheon invitation and a Gold Addy Award for the First Green Chamber Building in America media kit.

    More than 200 entries were entered in this year’s competition, a record for AAF-Waco (American Advertising Federation – Waco chapter). The winning entries will be forwarded to the District 10 competition, which includes Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas.
     

    The Waco Chamber & Business Quarterly magazine took a merit award the same night at the Texas Public Relations Association Silver Spur / Best of Texas awards in Frisco.


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    Clearview's new data center in Waco features next level of business continuity, disaster relief services
    2009-03-03

    DALLAS, TX--(Marketwire - March 3, 2009) - Clearview Managed Services announced today the development of a unique, multi-purpose data center that will become a nearly failsafe solution for clients' business continuity and disaster recovery programs.

    Today, most data centers operate on a cold-site recovery plan that requires building a solution after a disaster. Clearview's high availability approach has a recovery solution built in. That means customers experience little or no downtime in the face of a disruption.

    The Waco Information Technology Gateway (ITG) will repurpose a Cold War nuclear fall-out shelter, providing physical security previously unmet in the commercially available data center market. Its Central Texas location is within a 100-mile radius from Dallas, Austin and San Antonio, and within 200 miles from Houston, allowing for true data replication between the Waco ITG and clients in those cities. In addition, the Waco location is easily accessible by car in the event that the nation's airways are disrupted.

    The Waco ITG is located on a power grid separate from Texas' major city systems, providing an advantage during potential blackouts and brownouts. It will incorporate dual transformer commercial power feeds and multi-carrier fiber availability for operating capacity and redundancy. The facility will feature a layered security protocol that includes biometrics, smart cards, DVR cameras and 24x7 personnel. Plans are also in the works to rapidly convert an 80-space parking lot to support mobile work-space recovery vehicles in case employees are displaced from their daily work environments.

    Clearview partner Clay Hill notes, "The Waco ITG is a logical fit for business continuity and recovery. Learning lessons from disasters such as 911 and Katrina, we felt compelled to develop data centers that could withstand the physical, virtual and personnel disruptions that nationwide disasters create."

    Jay Looney, Clearview partner, added, "Disaster recovery and business continuity are becoming more and more important to clients every day. We have developed a business unit to specifically focus on these important business issues, turning what otherwise might have been catastrophes into predictable, manageable continuity and recovery scenarios."

    Paul Kite Company teamed with Clearview as developers of the facility. Cody Campbell, executive vice president of New Development for Paul Kite Company, said, "We are thrilled about completing the Waco ITG project, and thrilled about our partnership with Clearview. This development is part of a broad, nationwide data-center development initiative for us. In this challenging economic time it is a testament to the effectiveness of our strategy and the proficiency of our team."

    About Clearview: Clearview Managed Services has been bringing clients improved IT strategy and outsourcing services since 1996. Through our multiple data centers, Clearview provides a redundant, reliable, scalable and practical suite of services that can be tailored to support clients' needs from business and IT strategy to complete computing infrastructure. Clearview is headquartered in Dallas and has facilities throughout North America, Europe and Australia. http://www.cvglobal.com

    About Paul Kite Co.: Paul Kite Co. is a privately funded and widely diversified real estate development and investment firm headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. Paul Kite Co. actively engages in real estate development projects from coast-to-coast. These projects encompass many sectors of the real estate market including retail, office, multi-family residential, single-family residential, hospitality, industrial and medical properties. The company has strategically focused its considerable resources to the pursuit of mission critical facilities development. Paul Kite Company is quickly becoming one of the preeminent data center developers in the United States. http://www.paulkiteco.com


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    Greater Waco Chamber announces Business Awards honorees
    2009-03-18

    The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce will honor four local businesses at the 17th Annual Business Awards Banquet April 28 at the McLennan Community College Conference Center at 4601 N. 19th St. A reception will begin at 6 p.m. with a dinner following at 6:45 p.m.

    This year’s recipients are:

    CTWP Document Imaging Solutions

    Glazer’s Family of Companies

    RBDR Architects

    Sheehy, Lovelace & Mayfield, P.C.

    Local and regional businesses were nominated by the Chamber membership. The selected businesses will be honored for their excellent business reputation, involvement in the community and participation as a Chamber member.

    The gold sponsor for this event is Providence Healthcare Network, and the silver sponsors are Coca-Cola and Profiles International. Bronze sponsors are Hampton Inn & Suites and Texas State Technical College Waco.

    The Business Awards Banquet began in 1992 to recognize outstanding businesses in the Greater Waco area. Tickets are $45 per person or $270 for a table of six. For tickets or more information, contact Christy Sanders at (254) 757-5611 or csanders@wacochamber.com.


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    Business Goes Green to celebrate Earth Day
    The Greater Waco Chamber will host its first “Business Goes Green, Earth Day ‘09” from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. April 22 at the Chamber Headquarters, 101 S. Third Street. Business Goes Green, Earth Day ’09 will include a conference from 8 a.m. to noon with short presentations about sustainable projects in the community, roundtable discussion opportunities for participants, a panel discussion on best practices for small business and the launching of the Green Business Recognition Program.
    2009-03-25

    Business Goes GreenThe Greater Waco Chamber will host its first “Business Goes Green, Earth Day ‘09” from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. April 22 at the Chamber Headquarters, 101 S. Third Street.

    Business Goes Green, Earth Day ’09 will include a conference from 8 a.m. to noon with short presentations about sustainable projects in the community, roundtable discussion opportunities for participants, a panel discussion on best practices for small business and the launching of the Green Business Recognition Program. 

    Conference Registration Form

    Green Business Fair Registration Form

    “The focus will be on the financial benefits of sustainability for small businesses. Business owners can expect to learn about topics that can be implemented in their operations immediately,” said Scott Connell, senior vice president for strategic development.

    Participants can tour the Chamber Headquarters, the first green Chamber building in America. The tour will highlight cost-saving aspects of the facility that other businesses can incorporate into their buildings.

    Cost for attending the event is $15 and will include a box lunch to be enjoyed in Heritage Square.

    A Green Business Fair will be held in conjunction with the event in Heritage Square adjacent to the Chamber building from 11 a.m. to 1:30p.m. 

    Businesses interested in presenting their green products and services are encouraged to reserve a table for $35. A table reservation includes one lunch. This is an excellent opportunity to highlight sustainable business to a key audience of conference participants.

    The event is sponsored by Capstone Mechanical, Texas State Technical College Waco and Tammy Harralson.

    For more information, contact Scott Connell at (254) 757-5626.


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    Greater Waco Chamber wins Keep Texas Beautiful award
    2009-03-25

    The Greater Waco Chamber has won first place in the 2009 Keep Texas Beautiful Civic Organization Leadership Award project category. The honor recognizes the efforts of the Chamber to enhance their community and protect the Texas environment.

    The Greater Waco Chamber opened the first green Chamber building in America June 6, 2008. The 14,000-square-foot building was designed and constructed to meet the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards at the gold level set through the U.S. Green Building Council.

    The building at 101 S. Third St. serves as the marketing center for Greater Waco and features 48 photovoltaic solar panels provided through Green Mountain Energy’s Big Texas Sun Club. In addition, the building consumes about 20 percent percent less energy than conventional construction and boasts Waco’s only living roof.

    Chamber President and CEO James G. Vaughan Jr. said the Chamber’s building is a flagship for green construction in Greater Waco and testament to the hard work and commitment of the organization’s investors who made it possible.

    “We are honored to receive this outstanding recognition from a respected statewide organization such as Keep Texas Beautiful. This is a special award for certain as we continue to elevate Waco as Texas’ green livable city,” said Vaughan.

    “The Chamber is providing opportunities for our business community to learn more about the LEED process and to be recognized for exceptional green business practices through our Waco We Do It Green committee.”

    The Chamber will host Business Goes Green, Earth Day ’09 from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. April 22. The event will include a conference with short presentations about sustainable projects in the community, roundtable discussion opportunities for participants, a panel discussion on best practices for small business and the launching of the Green Business Recognition Program. 


    Each year, Keep Texas Beautiful acknowledges deserving civic organizations, senior citizens
    , community groups, individuals, media, government entities and law enforcement officials for their commitment to litter prevention and cleanup, illegal dumping enforcement, education and publicity of environmental issues and community beautification. The Chamber award is one of nine categories in the Keep Texas Beautiful Awards program.

    Award winners will be recognized during the 42nd Annual Keep Texas Beautiful Conference, June 8-11 in Houston. A full list of winners and award descriptions can be found at KTB.org.                 

    Keep Texas Beautiful, a statewide grassroots environmental and community improvement nonprofit, strives to educate and engage Texans to take responsibility for improving their community environment. KTB and its more than 360 affiliates work with government, businesses, civic groups, and volunteers to ensure that every Texan has the opportunity to make Texas the cleanest, most beautiful state in the nation. For more information,, call 1-800-CLEAN-TX.


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    Workforce grows raising unemployment rate to 6%
    The unemployment rate rose from 5.8 to 6 percent from February to March primarily due to more people in the workforce, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.
    2009-04-20

    The unemployment rate rose from 5.8 to 6 percent from February to March primarily due to more people in the workforce, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.


    The civilian labor force in McLennan County grew by 700 jobs and employment grew by 400 jobs in March. Employment in March 2009 also is greater than March 2008 by 200 jobs.
     

    “It is very encouraging to see the employment numbers increase over last month and over this time last year. Our diverse economy continues to hold up against the challenges of the national economy,” said Scott Connell, senior vice president of strategic development. 
     

    The Texas Workforce Commission tracks employment sectors based on nonagricultural employment. Education and health services and government sectors lead the way in annual job creation—600 and 500 respectively.


    For March, eight of the 10 sectors added jobs or stayed at the same level compared to February.

    “The attraction of new people to the workforce indicates that Greater Waco is an attractive place for job seekers.  We are not seeing a declining workforce as is seen in other parts of the country,” said Connell. “We continue to watch the local statistics closely and keep in regular contact with our area employers. This can be a challenging and uncertain time. The Chamber staff is actively engaged with businesses to stay abreast of issues and stands ready to assist when a need arises.”


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    Allen Samuels Chamber Classic is on!
    2009-04-30

     The 2009 Allen Samuels Chamber Classic will tee off as scheduled with the morning round at 8 a.m. and the afternoon round at 1:30 p.m. May 1 at Cottonwood Creek Golf Course. We look forward to seeing you there and thank our sponsors for their generous support of this tournament.


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    Baylor, businesses team up to show spirit
    2009-05-01

    Bayor SpiritSign up your business today to support your hometown team and receive these great Baylor items at NO COST:

    • Baylor Spirit Program window decal
    • Your choice of Baylor flag or vinyl banner
    • Bear claws to place on the sidewalk outside your business
    • Baylor athletic schedule card holders and pocket schedules
    • Tickets to select Baylor athletic events
    • Baylor athletic posters

    CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP TODAY
     For more information, contact John Garrison at (254) 710-3073. 


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    Greater Waco Chamber wins Keep McLennan County Beautiful Award
    The Greater Waco Chamber has received the Recycling Business of the Year Partners in Pride award from Keep McLennan County Beautiful. The award recognizes the Chamber’s efforts regarding recycling in its facility and at Chamber events as well as encouraging its members to establish recycling programs.
    2009-05-15

    The Greater Waco Chamber has received the Recycling Business of the Year Partners in Pride award from Keep McLennan County Beautiful.

    The award recognizes the Chamber’s efforts regarding recycling in its facility and at Chamber events as well as encouraging its members to establish recycling programs.

    “Recycling is an important hands-on way we all can have a positive impact. Collectively, recycling means we reduce waste and apply that to every aspect of our lives—both at home and in the workplace,” said Scott Connell, senior vice president of strategic development.  “Our Waco We Do It Green committee is taking a proactive approach to helping local businesses look at their own operations and incorporate a recycling program into their waste management programs.”

    The Partners in Pride awards also recognized Baylor University Athletic’s recycling program, and the City of Woodway was named the Recycling City of the Year.

    Mars Snackfood was recognized as a “Go Green” Business for its innovative methane capture process that retrieves methane from the landfill to power part of its operations.For more information, visit KeepMcLennanCountyBeautiful.org. 

    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    The Greater Waco Chamber opened the first green Chamber building in America June 6, 2008. The 14,000-square-foot building was designed and constructed to meet the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards at the gold level set through the U.S. Green Building Council. For more information, visit WacoChamber.com.


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    Chamber featured on AT&T Real Yellow Pages
    The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce headquarters is featured on the cover of the new 2009 AT&T Real Yellow Pages directory serving the Waco area.
    2009-05-18

    AT&T Directory 
    (From left) Roland Rodriguez, Regional Marketing Manager, AT&T; Jim Vaughan, Greater Waco Chamber President and CEO; Debbie Keel, Regional Director, AT&T; Bob Davis, Chamber Building Chair, Fazoli's; and Dr. Roland Goertz, Chamber Chair, Family Health Center.

    The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce headquarters is featured on the cover of the new 2009 AT&T Real Yellow Pages directory serving the Waco area.

    More than 216,878 copies of this AT&T Real Yellow Pages directory have been produced for distribution in the area this year. Delivery begins today and will run for about four weeks. The directory also will be available to new residents and businesses throughout the year.

    “We are pleased the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce headquarters is featured on the cover of our new AT&T Real Yellow Pages directory for this area,” said Roland Rodriguez, area marketing manager-South Texas Region. “We always strive to make our directory covers special on the outside and to tailor the content inside to best serve the needs of our communities. You can count on the AT&T Real Yellow Pages as your complete source of local information.”

    The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce headquarters is the first green chamber building in America. This 14,000-square-foot building was built on a sustainable site and meets the specifications for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification through the U.S. Green Building Council. The building consumes 65 percent less energy than conventional construction. "This is a wonderful structure that serves as an anchor for the continuing development of downtown Waco," said Jim Vaughn, president and CEO for the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce."Waco is on the move, and this new copper-domed energy-efficient building is just the first step along the way. We’re very excited about our new facility, and what it means to the greater Waco area. I'm glad people in the community will be able to see it all year long on the AT&T Real Yellow Pages cover."

    “AT&T has a long, proud tradition of community support, and we’re honored to feature this beautiful facility on the cover of our directory, “said Deborah Keel, regional manager-external affairs.

    AT&T Real Yellow Pages directories are recyclable, and the paper used to print the directories contains recycled materials. The remaining paper fiber comes from residual sawdust created through lumber processing operations.

    AT&T has several recycling partners in Waco including Keep Waco Beautiful; Keep McLennan County Beautiful; the City of Waco; HEB Stores; Sunbright Waste Paper Company; and US GreenFiber, which has a plant in Waco, and manufactures blow-in insulation from recycled directories.Directories will be collected at Waco-area HEB stores, and at the Waco City Hall. The toll-free number, 1-800-953-4400, will be on the directory cover to provide recycling information based on the caller’s zip code.

    AT&T Advertising Solutions offers the most effective, full suite of advertising search products that enables advertisers to connect with potential customers anytime, anywhere. In addition to our print directories, we provide search information through YELLOWPAGES.COM, RealPagesLive.com, YPmobile, YP411 and more. Combined, these print and online products receive more than 5 billion consumer searches a year for local business information and provide more than 1 million advertisers with valuable sales leads to help their businesses grow.

    For more information on the print directory or YELLOWPAGES.COM, call AT&T Advertising Solutions at 800-GET-REAL (438-7325).


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    Starburst Junior Golf Classic is world’s largest youth tournament
    The Starburst Junior Golf Classic is now the world’s largest youth tournament with 1050 players registered for the 2009 event.
    2009-06-05

    StarburstThe Starburst Junior Golf Classic is now the world’s largest youth tournament with 1050 players registered for the 2009 event. 

    “While our goal has always been to be the best junior golf tournament, being the largest is a significant milestone and one we are proud of,” said Steve Smith, senior vice president of sports and special events for the Greater Waco Chamber and tournament director. “Our team of volunteers has worked hard to make Starburst a first-class event.”

     

    This is 11th year for the tournament, which will be played June 15-17 on seven area courses in and around Waco, Texas. Starburst is open to all boy and girl junior golfers ages 7 to 18. Players from 11 states and Mexico will participate in this year’s event.

     

    Registration begins in February each year with many divisions filling immediately.

     

    “We realize each year at registration time the draw we have for top notch youth golfers. Many of these players are among the best in the country. We’ve seen Starburst champions go on to win other tournaments and earn college scholarships,” said Smith. 

     AJGA exemptions apply to the Starburst championship divisions. 

    Special events at this year’s tournament include the Titleist golf demo June 15 and the Time Warner Helicopter Golf Ball Drop June 16. Both events will be at Cottonwood Creek Golf Course, the tournament’s home course.

     
    “We want to thank our sponsors and golf course personnel who make this event possible and allow us to deliver a professional level experience for these junior golfers,” said Smith.  


    Mars Snackfood US is the presenting sponsor under the Starburst brand. The Snickers and Skittles brands also are sponsors. Adidas and Titleist are apparel sponsors. The event is organized by the Greater Waco Chamber and supported by the City of Waco. Rosati’s, Outback and Fuddrucker’s are food sponsors. Drinks are provided by Dr Pepper. Other sponsors are Greg May Honda, AT&T, McLennan Community College, Transgraphics, Time Warner Cable and Scott & White Hospital.

     


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    One Book, One Waco announces summer reading list
    The Greater Waco Chamber announces Little Chapel on the River by Gwendolyn Bounds as the summer 2009 book selection for One Book, One Waco.
    2009-06-18

    Little ChapelThe Greater Waco Chamber announces Little Chapel on the River by Gwendolyn Bounds as the summer 2009 book selection for One Book, One Waco.  Little Chapel on the River chronicles a Manhattan journalist’s search for a place to belong following the Sept. 11 attacks.

    The novel explores themes of family and friendship as well as the importance of building a strong community. Along with Bounds’ book, One Book, One Waco selected two additional books—The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs and The Case of the Most Ancient Bone: Hank the Cowdog Series by John Erickson—for community planners and younger readers to enjoy during the dog days of summer.  

    “I’m excited about all of the books we have chosen because we have a diverse selection of books that we hope will speak to everyone in our great community,” said Allan R. Marshall, director of community development for the Chamber. 

    “Our goal with the One Book, One Waco program is always to promote the importance of literacy and community involvement through reading and learning together,” said Bryan Fonville, chair of the book selection committee for One Book, One Waco. “We were glad to find a book that promotes building community. We hope Waco readers will find it entertaining and educational in these summer months.”

    About One Book One Waco:One Book, One Waco was started by two Baylor students in an effort to increase literacy in the Waco community, and was restructured in 2007 under the Greater Waco Chamber community development department. One Book, One Waco includes three reading selections for the community, college, high school and middle school students per year, with a companion book for elementary school students. The books are supplemented by academic and social community events.


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    Business Week names Waco among top places to start over
    Business Week’s list of 20 U.S. markets where jobs are available and real estate is affordable lists Waco at No. 14.
    2009-06-23

    Business Week’s list of 20 U.S. markets where jobs are available and real estate is affordable lists Waco at No. 14.

    The list explores areas of the country where opportunity outweighs economic crisis and where Americans might consider relocating when seeking career stability and improved quality of life.Texas is the most popular state destination for people who are willing to relocate for a fresh start.

    Amarillo and Beaumont / Port Arthur also made the list that includes data such as companies planning to hire in the next quarter, the average home price and unemployment rate.


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    Greater Downtown Master Plan Presentation
    2009-07-13

    master plan kick off


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    Schmooza Palooza Business Expo & Mega Business After Hours
    2009-07-28

    Schmooza BoxReserve your booth today for the hottest networking tradeshow in town. “Schmooze” with Waco’s best at the first Schmooza Palooza party and trade show. Chamber member businesses will showcase their products and services to prospective clients in a casual and fun environment while guests enjoy food, drink and door prizes.

    MORE


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    Chamber takes Grand Award at national convention
    2009-08-04

     The Greater Waco Chamber & Business Quarterly received a Grand Award in the 2008 Awards for Communication Excellence from the American Chamber of Commerce Executives recently at their annual convention in Raleigh, NC.

    The ACE awards recognize outstanding communications in Chambers of Commerce. The Greater Waco Chamber competes at the highest level with the largest Chambers in the United States. The Grand Award is given to the highest scoring entry in each division.

    The Chamber's magazine won in the Member & Community Communications division.

     The Chamber also received an Award of Excellence for the Greater Waco Chamber Grand Opening event for the opening of the new building last year.

    "It's an honor to be recognized by your peers in the Chamber realm," said Lesly Rascoe, vice president of communications for the Greater Waco Chamber. "Our magazine is an important piece of our communications program, and we are indebted to our sponsors who make this publication possible for our membership."

    The magazine explores relevant topics to the Greater Waco business community and provides a platform for members to be lauded for their work to grow Waco.


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    Waco VA Hospital nets national pharmacy contact center, 224 jobs
    2009-08-12

       The Waco Veterans Affair Hospital will be the site of a National Pharmacy Contact Center that will create 224 new full- and part-time jobs for Greater Waco with an average annual salary of $45,000.

    Hiring is expected to begin as early as next month with full employment by October 2010.

    Bids for the renovation of Building 90 on the VA campus in Waco will be released in September at a price tag of $4.5 million. This project brings the total of new investment at the Waco campus to more than $62 million in recent years.

    “The creation of jobs of this caliber is good news for our local job market,” said Sarah Roberts, senior vice president, economic development for the Chamber. “The health care sector is key in this area, and the addition of these quality jobs only strengthens our local workforce.”

    The center is part of a Department of Veterans Affairs initiative to improve customer service to veterans, who will be able to seek information regarding their prescriptions through the new center. 

    U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki and Congressman Chet Edwards made the announcement from the Waco VA Hospital.

    “By centralizing its pharmacy expertise in Waco, the VA can provide better health care to veterans at a savings to taxpayers.  That’s a win-win,” said Edwards. “This important announcement is an exclamation point for the future of the Waco VA Medical Center.  It is a clear statement that the Department of Veterans Affairs sees the Waco VA as a vital resource for veterans throughout Texas and across the nation.”   

    Edwards thanked Waco Mayor Virginia DuPuy and Greater Waco Chamber President Jim Vaughan for the strong collaboration between the City and the Chamber that made this project possible. 

    Vaughan and Roberts were present at the announcement and are working with the VA to help generate a constant flow of qualified applicants for the positions to be created.


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    2009 Total Resource Campaign By-the-Numbers
    2009-08-14

        

    TRC

     $826,117

     raised in 2009 all-volunteer total resource campaign 

     $762,614

      raised last year

     $127,874

      produced by Fazoli's team, the top-producing team in the campaign 

     $63,503 

      more raised in 2009 than in prior year      

     21

      company-sponsored teams produced $10,000 or more   

     10

      weeks the 2009 campaign production was ahead of last year 

       6

      weekly records set for most revenue generated   

     5

      volunteers produced $30,000 or more 

     2

      company-sponsored teams produced $100,000 or more 
      Amount Raised by Top Teams in Campaign—    

     $127,874

     Fazoli’s

     $101,626

     First National Bank of Central Texas 

     $65,965

     American Guaranty Title

     $56,573

     Providence Healthcare Network

     $53,816

     Ambassadors
      Amount Raised by Top Individual Producers in Campaign— 

     $53,104

     Bob Davis, BRD Management, Fazoli’s Team

     $44,337

     Alee Walker, Hillcrest Baptist Hospital Team

     $43,377

     Jim Haller, First National Bank of Central Texas Team

     $32,872

     Pat Nowotny, Texas First Bank, Fazoli’s Team

     $31,036

     Gary Vogel, Vogel Financial Group, Fazoli’s Team
               


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    Greater Waco Chamber launches Green Business Network
    2009-08-19

     The Greater Waco Chamber announces the Waco Green Business Network, a new program to engage local businesses in sustainable practices. Magnolia Homes has joined the Chamber as the presenting sponsor to assist with public promotion of the program.  

    The Waco Green Business Network is one of the first local efforts in the country to educate, identify, recognize and promote businesses that engage in sustainable practices. Participation is available at no expense to member businesses. 

    “Greater Waco businesses are focused on good stewardship of our environment and natural resources” said Rick Tullis, president of Capstone Mechanical and chair of the Greater Waco Chamber Green Committee.  “Some are further along than others. We wanted to create a program to find out what companies are doing in sustainability, help get companies started and to connect them with more experienced firms. The network will act as a community of green knowledge.”  

    The program has five Steps to Sustainability. 

    • Business Sustainability Checklist 78 suggested activities for businesses to incorporate into their daily work. 
    • Green business Survey Tell us what your business does that’s green. 
    • Recognition The Greater Waco Chamber will recognize and promote local green businesses. 
    • Networking WacoGreenBusinesses.com, a business networking Web site, was developed for business owners and sustainability coordinators to discuss “How did you do that in McLennan County?” 
    • National database Network companies will be listed on GenGreen Life, an online database green companies throughout the country. 

    “The Waco Green Business Network is for companies that operate sustainably no matter that their product or service is,” said Scott Connell, senior vice president of strategic development for the Chamber. “Any type business can be green including non-profits and government.” 

    Recognizing sustainability practices in local businesses coincides with the Chamber’s mission to promote Waco as a green city. 

    “We believe Greater Waco can be recognized as the ‘Greenest Place in Texas’ “, said Jim Vaughan, Chamber president. “ And the business community will lead the way.” 

    Companies can join easily by going to WacoChamber.com and click the Green button in the top navigation bar.


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    Employers: Time to update major employers list
    The Greater Waco Chamber is updating our major employers list. If you have more than 45 employees in McLennan County, please take this brief survey by Sept. 10. For more information, call Alexis Weaver, research manager, at (254) 757-5628.
    2009-08-24

    The Greater Waco Chamber is updating our major employers list. If you have more than 45 employees in McLennan County, please take this brief survey by Sept. 10. For more information, call Alexis Weaver, research manager, at (254) 757-5628.


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    Waco Prospector expands across social media platforms
    WacoProspector.com, the clearing house for commercial and industrial real estate in McLennan County, has gone social. Now, with the click of a button, users of the site can “virally” share any of the available property, demographics, business, and labor force reports across a number of social networks, including Twitter, Linkedin, MySpace and Facebook. Contact Chamber staff with questions, or see for yourself by visiting WacoPropspector.com.
    2009-08-24

    WacoProspector.com, the clearing house for commercial and industrial real estate in McLennan County, has gone social. Now, with the click of a button, users of the site can “virally” share any of the available property, demographics, business, and labor force reports across a number of social networks, including Twitter, Linkedin, MySpace and Facebook. Contact Chamber staff with questions, or see for yourself by visiting WacoPropspector.com.


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    Waco MSA’s unemployment rate remains below state, nation
    2009-08-24

    The Waco Metropolitan Statistical Area’s unemployment rate for July is 7.2 percent, lower than the state’s 7.9 percent and the nation’s 9.4 percent, according to figures release by the Texas Workforce Commission.

    Slightly higher than the 7.1 percent reported in June, the rate matches the neighboring Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood rate.

    While last year’s unemployment rate was 5.1 percent for July, the numbers reveal that only 200 fewer people were employed in July of this year than last year although the rate for 2009 was higher.

    Scott Connell, senior vice president of strategic development for the Greater Waco Chamber, said that is because Waco’s labor force is growing.

    This year’s July labor force totaled 114,900 with 106,600 employed compared to a total force of 112,600 with 106,800 employed at the same point last year.

    The number of people who are employed has grown by 400 people since June, when 106,200 were employed.

    “This means that as the economy recovers, Waco has people to fill jobs as they become available,” said Connell.

    Several job-creation projects on the radar include L-3 Communications Integrated Systems, which just built a $10 million hangar, and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center recently announced it will hire 224 people for its pharmaceutical call center during the next year. 


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    Start-Ups Are Poised For Latest Space Race
    In America's latest space race, a new breed of scrappy entrepreneurs could be facing off against some of the government's largest, long-established aerospace contractors.
    2009-08-24

    In America's latest space race, a new breed of scrappy entrepreneurs could be facing off against some of the government's largest, long-established aerospace contractors.

    The Obama administration is leaning toward outsourcing major components of its space program, such as ferrying cargo and astronauts to the International Space Station. The scale and nature of sending this type of work to private contractors, unheard of in the history of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, could help the administration cope with an increasingly dire budget situation and fill crucial gaps in its program. MORE


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    Sun, Stone and Shadows selected as fall book
    The Greater Waco Chamber has announced Sun, Stone and Shadows: 20 Greater Mexican Short Stories as the fall book for One Book, One Waco.
    2009-09-04

     The Greater Waco Chamber has announced Sun, Stone and Shadows: 20 Great Mexican Short Stories as the fall book for One Book, One Waco. 

    The book represents a sample of the best Mexican fiction published during the first half of the 20th century featuring some of the most important writers of Hispanic-American literature. 

    As Mexico and the United States share a long border, they also share a common history through interrelated economic ties, political cooperation and cultural exchange. 

    More information about this book is available at WacoChamber.com/onebook.php. 

    About One Book, One Waco: One Book, One Waco was started by two Baylor students in an effort to increase literacy in the Waco community, and was restructured in 2007 under the Greater Waco Chamber community development department. One Book, One Waco includes three reading selections for the fall, spring and summer quarters, with a companion book for elementary school students. The books are supplemented by academic and social community events.  One Book, One Waco is recognized by The Big Read, an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts designed to revitalize the role of literary reading in American popular culture. 


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    Schmooza Palooza caught on video!
    2009-09-11

    Check it out here

    Schmooza Palooza

     


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    College Day is cancelled
    The weather does not look to clear up and may get worse. To avoid the effort of packing and unpacking, we are going to cancel the College Day event in Heritage Square. Thank you for your support of this event. We will be in touch in the next week to get your input about possibly rescheduling the event. Stay tuned.
    2009-09-12

    Well, the rains keep coming!The weather does not look to clear up and may get worse. To avoid the effort of packing and unpacking, we are going to cancel the College Day event in Heritage Square. Thank you for your support of this event.  We will be in touch in the next week to get your input about possibly rescheduling the event. Stay tuned.Thank you for your understanding and support for our college students. Have a nice day and stay dry.Scott Connell


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    H1N1 Flu Recommendations for Employers
    The H1N1 virus is not to be called “swine flu” anymore. There has been significant misinformation about the virus. The virus cannot be transmitted by eating pork or any food. It is transmitted like other seasonal viruses: by a person with the illness sneezing or coughing on another person, or on an object that is contacted by another who touches their eyes, nose, or mouth without appropriate cleaning of the hands or object before doing so.
    2009-09-14

    The H1N1 virus is not to be called “swine flu” anymore. There has been significant misinformation about the virus. The virus cannot be transmitted by eating pork or any food. 

    It is transmitted like other seasonal viruses: by a person with the illness sneezing or coughing on another person, or on an object that is contacted by another who touches their eyes, nose, or mouth without appropriate cleaning of the hands or object before doing so.

    The virus can live on surfaces for several hours if not wiped or disinfected. So far the virus has resulted in predominately relatively minor illness, but that could change, so do not take lightly recommendations for preparation or prevention until we are much further into the typical flu season, which is also likely the same season for the H1N1 flu.** 

    ·    Review your current pandemic flu plan or develop a new plan. Involve your employees in development and review of the plan. Share the plan and polices with your employees.

    ·   Engage your state and local health department to confirm channels of communication and methods for dissemination of local outbreak information.

    ·   Consider ways to allow sick employees to stay home without fear of losing their jobs.

    ·   Develop flexible leave policies to allow employees to stay home to care for sick family members or for children, if schools dismiss students or childcare programs close.

    ·   Share best practices with other businesses in your community. Work with companies in your supply chain as well as chambers of commerce and local associations to improve response efforts.

    ·   Add a “widget” or “button” to your company Web page or employee Web site so employees can access the latest information on the flu:

    www.cdc.gov/widgets

    www.cdc.gov/SocialMedia/Campaigns/H1N1/buttons.html

    www.hhs.gov/web/library/hhsfluwidgets.html

    www.flu.gov/news/socialmedia

    ·    Purchase supplies such as tissues, soap, and alcohol-based hand cleaners to encourage healthful habits in the workplace.

    ·    Plan for how business can continue if many employees must stay home. Designate and train other employees in the event someone becomes sick to make sure you can continue your critical functions.



    Take These Steps Now

    Take steps now and continue during the flu season to help protect the health of your employees.

    ·   Advise all employees to stay home if they are sick until at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever (100 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius) or signs of a fever (have chills, feel very warm, have a flushed appearance, or are sweating). Make sure fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicines (any medicine that contains ibuprofen or acetaminophen).

    ·  Employees who get sick at work should go home as soon as possible. If the employee cannot go home immediately, he or she should be separated from other employees.

    ·   Encourage sick employees at higher risk of complications from flu to contact their health care provider as soon as possible. Taking antiviral medicines early might prevent severe complications from the flu, such as hospitalization or death.  As of September 8, 2009, only high risk patients, children 5 years of age or less, pregnant women, or anyone (especially the elderly) with serious chronic illnesses who have flu-like illness for 48 hours or less are candidates for antiviral medicines.  Also, currently, pregnant women are the only ones who are recommended to have nasal swab tests for confirmation of the virus.

    ·    Encourage all employees who want protection from flu to get vaccinated for seasonal flu. Also encourage employees who are at higher risk for complications from 2009 H1N1 flu to receive the vaccine when it becomes available. People at higher risk for 2009 H1N1 flu complications include pregnant women and people with chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, heart disease, or diabetes). The H1N1 virus is also seen more frequently in children 5 years of age of less. For more information about priority groups for vaccination, visit www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/vaccination/acip.htm.

    ·   Provide resources and a work environment that promotes hand washing and covering coughs and sneezes. Provide tissues, no-touch trash cans, hand soap, and alcohol-based hand cleaner. Offer education on hand washing and covering coughs and sneezes in an easy-to-understand format and in appropriate languages. Go to www.flu.gov/plan/workplaceplanning/toolkit.html to find tools businesses can use.

    ·  Clean surfaces and items that are more likely to have frequent hand contact with cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas. Additional disinfection beyond routine cleaning is not recommended. Public use phones, keyboards, carts, etc.

    ·   Provide information to employees overseas about what to do if they become sick.


    Take Additional Steps if Flu Conditions are More Severe

    The flu may become more severe and additional steps may be necessary to slow the spread of flu and maintain a healthy workforce.

    ·  Conduct active screening of employees when they arrive at work. Ask all employees about symptoms such as fever, cough, runny nose, muscle aches, and sore throat during the previous 24 hours. Employees who have flu-like symptoms should be asked to go home. Continue to advise employees to check for any signs of illness before coming to work each day.

    ·    Extend the time sick employees stay home to at least 7 days. People who are still sick after 7 days should continue to stay home until at least 24 hours after symptoms have gone away, even if they feel better sooner.

    ·   Try to change work duties, workspace, or work schedules for employees who are at higher risk for flu complications to reduce the possibility of getting sick at work. If this cannot be done, allow these employees to work from home, or stay home if feasible. 

    ·    Plan to minimize face-to-face contact between employees. Consider strategies, such as using e-mail, Web sites and teleconferences, canceling large meetings and gatherings, and encouraging flexible work arrangements (telecommuting or flexible work hours) to reduce the number of employees who must be at the work site at the same time or in one specific location.  Discourage hand shaking if many employees have become ill.

    ·    Provide guidance to employees who are traveling overseas on what to do if they become sick. Also provide information about possible travel delays, health screenings and other activities targeted towards travelers.


    For more information:

    Visit: www.flu.gov

    Contact CDC 24 Hours/Every Day 1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636)

    TTY: (888) 232-6348 dcinfo@cdc.gov 

    ** Italicized remarks are added by Dr. Goertz.  The other segments are from the US Centers of Disease Control Web site.

    PDF Version


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    TRC surpasses goal!
    2009-09-18



    Final results from Chamber’s 2009 Total Resource Campaign

    $943,623 Raised

    That’s $93,623 more than our $850,000 campaign goal.

    Kudos to Campaign Chair Scott Felton, America’s best Chamber volunteers and a truly outstanding Campaign Director, Amber Greenwood.  


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    Greater Waco Chamber earns LEED designation at gold level
    The Greater Waco Chamber has earned a LEED® certification at the gold level for its headquarters at 101 S. Third St. ­, and the designation is generating national attention for the economic and community development organization and for Waco
    2009-09-28

    Leed logoThe Greater Waco Chamber has earned a LEED® certification at the gold level for its headquarters at 101 S. Third St. ­, and the designation is generating national attention for the economic and community development organization and for Waco

    The Chamber’s building is the first in Greater Waco to be designed and constructed to meet the stringent guidelines of the U.S. Green Building Council. It also is the first Chamber of Commerce building in America to be LEED-certified.LEED, for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a designation conferred by the U.S. Green Building Council that assigns points for various sustainability measures included in buildings.

    The Chamber will celebrate its LEED certification with a ceremony at 4 p.m. Oct. 28 at the Chamber building followed by a reception until 6 p.m.

    Chamber President Jim Vaughan said it was a goal of the Chamber’s board of directors to construct a building that would make a positive first impression for the Chamber and that going green was determined to be an important way to differentiate Greater Waco as a positive, forward-thinking community.

    “Chicago, Portland and Seattle are the top-ranked cities in America in terms of LEED projects with 70, 63 and 55 respectively,” said Vaughan, citing a survey by the Center for Urban Future, a New York-based think tank. “But the decision to build a green building for the Chamber and the organization’s commitment to sustainability initiatives is putting Waco on the map.”

    Waco is one of eight chambers invited to present green programs that have resulted in economic benefits at the “Enterprise at Home for Progress at Large” conference sponsored by Partners for Livable Communities on October 6, in Washington D.C.

    Other cities presenting are Bridgeport, Conn.; Chapel Hill, N.C.; Chattanooga; Columbia, S.C.; Kansas City, Mo.; Los Angeles; and Indianapolis.   

    Vaughan said Waco’s presentation will feature the Chamber’s green building and Waco Green Business Network.No LEED buildings were being considered in Waco when the Chamber began planning its building in 2006.

    “We wanted to show that you can build attractive, functional and high-efficiency buildings that reduce waste and utilize sustainable products and materials,” said Vaughan.

    The new building boasts a 1,400-square-foot living roof, reduces water use by up to 30 percent and consumes 22 percent less energy than a standard building.

    Other features of the building that contributed to its LEED designation include bicycle storage and changing room; storm water management and water efficient landscaping; reduced indoor water usage; living roof and white reflective roof; photovoltaic solar panels; 100 percent renewable energy source for electricity; 97 percent of construction waste diverted from the landfill to recycling centers; 33 percent of the building’s materials made from recycled content; the use of regional materials reducing transportation and related waste; use of wood harvested from Forest Stewardship-certified forests; low-emitting adhesives, sealants and paints; and natural lighting through skylight and windows on 75 percent of workspaces.

    The Chamber achieved LEED Gold certification with 41 of a possible 69 points in five categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environment.

    The USGBC encourages sustainability through the LEED certification process, said President, CEO & Founding Chair Rick Redrizzi.

    “With each new LEED-certified building, we get one step closer to USGBC’s vision of asustainable built environment within a generation,” said Fedrizzi. “As the newest member of the LEED family of green buildings, the Greater Waco Chamber is an important addition to the growing strength of the green building movement.”


    After the Chamber announced that it would design to meet LEED certification, others followed suit. McLennan Community College, for example, welcomed students this fall with three new buildings totaling more than 200,000 square feet—all designed to be LEED-certified. Caterpillar Logistics, Wells Fargo and Baylor University are also seeking status for new buildings in Waco.

    Baylor’s Truett Theological Seminary recently received a LEED certification in a separate category for existing building.

    The 13,916-square foot facility was designed by RBDR, PLLC and constructed by Barsh Company on a sustainable site at Heritage Square made possible by the City of Waco.

    The Chamber also has been recognized by the Texas Downtown Association as Best Downtown Project for 2008; by the Associated General Contractors of Texas as the best project in 2009; and by Keep Texas Beautiful, Keep Waco Beautiful and Keep McLennan County Beautiful, among others.  

    “It is in this building where we often have the chance to make a first impression with site selectors—those who make the decisions that bring jobs. Now that impression can certainly be formed around the fact that we set our goals high and we don’t compromise,” said Vaughan. “Through the commitment of our investors the Chamber has made it clear that this is a forward-thinking community and we are ready for any and all opportunities that lie ahead.”


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    Forbes names Waco No. 3 among best cities for new jobs
    Forbes has named Waco No. 3 on its list of best cities in America for new jobs. Based on the number of employers who are hiring or firing, Waco came out way ahead compared to many other locations.
    2009-10-06

    Best CityForbes has named Waco No. 3 on its list of best cities in America for new jobs.

    Based on the number of employers who are hiring or firing, Waco came out way ahead compared to many other locations.

    Chamber President Jim Vaughan said that Waco ranks high on this list because of its well-rounded economic base. 

     "We are strengthened by our diverse economy and the number of companies who have selected Greater Waco as a place to relocate or expand their business," said Vaughan.

    "With healthy sectors such as transportation, health care, aviation and advanced manufacturing providing jobs here, it's no wonder that Waco is strong enough to be recognized by Forbes' assessment of America's best cities for new jobs."

    Announcements of local job creation have captured the headlines this year including 224 full- and part-time jobs at the National Pharmacy Contact Center at the Waco Veterans Affair HospitalCaterpillar Logistics added 140 new positions at its new distribution center; Associated Hygienic Products is hiring for more than 115 initial team members at its new advanced manufacturing site; Clearview Managed Service is hiring to staff its new data center; and L-3  is adding 100 new jobs at its Waco-based platform integration headquarters. 


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    Chamber names new director of community affairs
    The Greater Waco Chamber has named Alexis Weaver as director of community affairs for the organization’s community development department.
    2009-10-08

    Alexis Weaver

    Alexis Weaver

    The Greater Waco Chamber has named Alexis Weaver as director of community affairs for the organization’s community development department.  

    Weaver has been research manager for the economic development department since January 2008.  

    “Alexis brings a tremendous drive and an integrated background into the position,” said Ken Hampton, senior vice president of community development. “Her experience in economic development and community planning will be a tremendous asset for the community development team going forward as we continue to drive engagement and support for our community initiatives.”

    Weaver graduated from Baylor University in May 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in economics and environmental studies, and in May 2007 she earned a master’s degree in community and regional planning from the University of Texas at Austin.  

    Virginia Ferguson

    Virginia Ferguson

    In addition, Virginia Ferguson will continue with her current duties as well as take on additional responsibilities for the LEAD program and other special events as director of programs for community development


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    International Economic Development Council recognizes Chamber
    The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) recognized the Greater Waco Chamber for its exceptional multiyear economic development endeavor and Waco Prospector Web site at is annual conference Oct. 4-7 in Reno, Nev.
    2009-10-16

     The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) recognized the Greater Waco Chamber for its exceptional multiyear economic development endeavor and Waco Prospector Web site at is annual conference Oct. 4-7 in Reno, Nev.

    "Furthering economic development is rarely a simple task in the best of times, and advancing the cause in the midst of a global financial crisis is nothing less than arduous," said Ian Bromley, IEDC chair. "As the consequences of the widespread economic turmoil have taken hold, we have seen our members become even more ardent proponents of economic development, flying in the face of one of the most challenging economic environments we have experienced in our careers. We proudly present these awards to the Greater Waco Chamber for its superior work during these difficult times."

    Competing in the category of Multiyear Economic Development Programs by organizations serving areas with populations exceeding 200,000, the Greater Waco Chamber was a clear standout, winning with the Challenge Greater Waco program for economic development.

    In 2005, the Chamber launched Challenge Greater Waco to build a public-private economic development collaboration, engaging more than 100 private-sector investors and raising $7 million. The enhanced financial resources and private sector involvement through the program provided for technology and additional team members that have delivered results, said Chamber President Jim Vaughan.

    “Technology opens so many doors as we publicize what Greater Waco has to offer and implement cutting-edge tools for site selectors and investors,” said Vaughan. “Every dollar that we invest in technology produces results by generating new leads and improving perceptions. We are a forward-thinking community, and these resources (made possible through Challenge Greater Waco investors) allow us to utilize the programs and employ the staff to get that message into the hands of current of future employers.”

    Since 2006, the public-private team conducted over 382 on-site business retention calls, secured 38 projects including 16 new companies and 22 expansions resulting in the announcement of 3,453 new jobs, $344 million in capital investment and 3.9 million square feet of new construction and absorption.

    Challenge Greater Waco also promoted quality of life projects to create the sense of “place" needed to attract and retain talent: $240 million in Downtown Waco construction, $140 million in Brazos River Corridor improvements, three medical center expansions creating 602 jobs, and more than $300 million in educational bond projects.

    “Greater Waco’s economic development success is a result of the collaboration and support of the public and private sector,” said Sarah Roberts, senior vice president of economic development for the Greater Waco Chamber.  “Through the strategic vision of Challenge Greater Waco, we have pursued a holistic economic development program to recruit, grow and retain companies and build the sense of place that they will desire.” 

    Additionally, WacoProspector.com was selected as the winner of the Special Purpose Web site category for areas with populations exceeding 200,000.

    Originally launched in 2007, WacoProspector.com is the clearinghouse for commercial and industrial properties in Greater Waco. The upgraded WacoProspector.com with Super Maps was launched March 2009.

    This searchable, interactive database of available sites and buildings for office, retail, industrial and warehouse uses is a multilayered program that combines McLennan County and City of Waco GIS systems, U.S. Census data and Claritas business data to provide aerials, traffic counts and statistics for the eight-county trade region.

    The upgraded interface offers a user-friendly Google Maps interface, social media functionality, and thematic mapping tools at the census block level and an expanded drive time analysis to cover the eight-county trade region. Further, profiles and demographics were added to market each of the McLennan County municipalities.

    The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is headquartered in Washington, DC. Its mission is to provide leadership and excellence in economic development for communities, members and partners. IEDC's professional economic development awards annually recognize excellence in the economic development profession.


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    Join us for Greater Downtown Waco Workshops
    2009-10-23

    Downtown WorkshopsDowntown is on the brink of a renaissance and we need your participation to ensure a very bright future for Waco’s urban center. Join us for two community workshops to provide input on what you want to see in Greater Downtown Waco.

    The fun and interactive events are designed to bring the Waco and the surrounding communities together to realize a collective vision of what downtown Waco is to become. The result will be the Greater Downtown Waco Plan that will be the foundation that will shape a successful, vibrant future.


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    Chamber celebrates LEED certification today
    2009-10-28

    LEED celebration


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    Freedom Ball tickets on sale now
    2009-10-29

    Freedom Ball


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    Chamber celebrates LEED certification
    2009-10-30

    LEED Ceremony 
     Chamber President Jim Vaughan, building chair Bob Davis, campaign chair Tom Salome and LEED consultant Gary Olp show off the Chamber's bronze plaque representing LEED gold certification the building recently received from the U.S. Green Building Council.


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    Strategic Plan Survey
    2009-11-05

    The five-year Strategic Plan update is underway. Your opinion is important! Please take our six-question survey this week. Thanks for your input on progress and future needs for Greater Waco.


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    Central Texas to receive state bond money to widen I-35
    (AUSTIN) -- The Texas Transportation Commission today approved staff recommendations for widening Interstate 35 in McLennan, Hill, and Bell counties through bond proceeds approved by Texas voters in 2007. Rep. Charles "Doc" Anderson, R-Waco, hailed the vote as "critical step to improve the safety, mobility, and economic vitality of McLennan County, Central Texas, and the entire state which depends on a safe 'Main Street of Texas'."
    2009-11-19

    (AUSTIN) -- The Texas Transportation Commission today approved staff recommendations for widening Interstate 35 in McLennan, Hill, and Bell counties through bond proceeds approved by Texas voters in 2007. 

    Rep. Charles "Doc" Anderson, R-Waco, hailed the vote as "critical step to improve the safety, mobility, and economic vitality of McLennan County, Central Texas, and the entire state which depends on a safe 'Main Street of Texas'."

    "I also appreciate the responsive approach that TxDOT has taken in my attempts to keep them constructively engaged with our area stakeholders for the development of this vital economic corridor," Rep. Anderson said, referring to the long-term process to keep Waco and surrounding areas a top priority for the Texas Transportation Commission.

    Earlier this year, Representative Anderson convened a series of meetings along the I-35 corridor, coordinating the efforts of McLennan, Hill, and Bell County stakeholders in a unified effort, encouraging TxDOT officials to address the urgency of I-35 expansion. 

    Rep. Anderson stated that "It was determined by TxDOT that, when more funding became available, the I-35 corridor in central Texas would receive top priority.  I am pleased that this is being accomplished.  This will absolutely save lives."

    "The safety and efficiency improvements that need to be made along this critical stretch of interstate," Rep. Anderson continued, "are of importance to McLennan County and all Texans.  I am pleased that the Texas Transportation Commission shares this view, and has the long-term interest of the entire state in mind as they make their decisions."


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    Unemployment drops in Waco area
    The Texas Workforce Commission reported today that the Waco MSA experienced a drop in unemployment rate for the month of October to 6.9 percent. The area added a net 400 jobs from September to October, while the entire labor force grew also. The Waco MSA continues to maintain a lower unemployment compared to the state of Texas (8.1%) and the country (9.5%).
    2009-11-20

    The Texas Workforce Commission reported today that the Waco MSA experienced a drop in unemployment rate for the month of October to 6.9 percent. 

    The area added a net 400 jobs from September to October, while the entire labor force grew also.

    The Waco MSA continues to maintain a lower unemployment compared to the state of Texas (8.1%) and the country (9.5%).

    The diverse employment base in the Greater Waco area is the strength of the economy, as indicated in the employment patterns.  Professional and Business Services, Education and Health Services and Government increased employment in the month.

    The Workforce Commission indicated the growth in government was largely due to the resumption of the school year.

    “The Waco area continues to show resilience during this challenging national economy. Our expanding labor force shows there is interest to live and work in our community. A lot of that comes from our ability to provide jobs. We are in a great position for growth as the country moves out of the recession,” said Scott Connell, senior vice president strategic development.


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    Workshop to address hiring the hidden workforce
    The Greater Waco Chamber and Workforce Solutions for the Heart of Texas wants to help local businesses learn about hiring the hard-to-hire population, which includes the poor and homeless, disabled and others who are struggling to re-enter the workforce.
    2009-12-02

    The Greater Waco Chamber and Workforce Solutions for the Heart of Texas wants to help local businesses learn about hiring the hard-to-hire population, which includes the poor and homeless, disabled and others who are struggling to re-enter the workforce.

    Strategies for Employing the Hidden Workforce
    8 a.m. to noon • Dec. 17
    Chamber Cooper Room
    Light breakfast refreshments will be served
    RSVP by Dec. 10 • (254) 757-5630

    Strategies for Employing the Hidden Workforce is aimed at employers and human resource managers and will offer information on the Work Opportunity Tax Credit—a federal incentive program that provides employers up to $9,000 per individual hired depending their classification. Other information on employing the hidden workforce will be available, as well as where employers can find trained individuals (specifically Meyer Center M-Powerment Program and CWJC.)

    “It is our desire not to overlook this population but to tap into the skills they can lend to local businesses,” said Alexis Weaver, director of community development for the Greater Waco Chamber. “When we can move someone from a desperate situation into a profitable, life-sustaining situation, we have moved forward as a society. Businesses also can gain from this program through the federal incentives.” 

    The workshop will detail the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), a federal program designed to give employers between $2,400 and $9,000 per individual hired who falls into one of nine categories, including veterans, TANF recipients and ex-offenders.

    Additionally, they will cover Project RIO, a Texas program for the reintegration of offenders, and Fidelity Bonding Services and the Federal Bonding Program, which insure employers when hiring “at-risk” job applicants. Representatives from the Texas Veterans Commission and the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services will present information regarding local training and assistance for employers who hire from those categories of job applicants.  

    The Meyer Center and Christian Women’s Job Corps will explain where to hire these individuals and training options.  Future events include a presentation for potential employers in mid-January by Carlton Willis and Jay Cockerham of Central Texas Iron Works. 

    Project Homeless Connect will be Jan. 28 and provide opportunities to interview individuals in the hidden workforce categories. Individuals can participate in sessions on interviewing skills, resume writing, how to do dress for employment and interviewing and appropriate work behavior. A job fair is planned for early February. 

    For more information on these events, contact Alexis Weaver at (254) 757-5630.


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    Caterpillar to expand Waco campus
    Caterpillar Inc. has announced that it plans to add a precision manufacturing center for additional work tool production at the company’s Waco campus. The new facility will encompass 75,000 square feet of manufacturing and office space and is expected to begin operations in early 2011. Work tools are attachments used on a wide variety of Cat machines. The production of these new work tools requires specialized manufacturing methods in a controlled environment, including precision machining, heat-treating and assembly and testing.
    2009-12-10

     Caterpillar Inc. announced it plans to add a precision manufacturing center for additional work tool production at the company’s Waco campus. The new facility will encompass 75,000 square feet of manufacturing and office space and is expected to begin operations in early 2011. Work tools are attachments used on a wide variety of Cat machines. The production of these new work tools requires specialized manufacturing methods in a controlled environment, including precision machining, heat-treating and assembly and testing.   In finalizing the site selection, Caterpillar worked closely with the city of Waco, McLennan County and the Waco Chamber of Commerce.

    Chamber President Jim Vaughan said, “It is an important endorsement of our community that Caterpillar has again chosen to invest in Greater Waco. This is the fourth new Cat facility to locate in Waco-McLennan County in four years and this one brings a design and engineering presence here. All told, these projects will create more than 325 new jobs and $88 million in capital investment in Greater Waco.” 

    The new facility will be located adjacent to Caterpillar’s existing work tools manufacturing facility in Waco, which includes production lines for hydraulic excavator buckets and quick couplers.  In addition, Caterpillar operates a work tools distribution center for North and South America in Waco and Caterpillar Logistics Services, Inc. (Cat Logistics) operates another parts distribution center in Waco  

    “Waco and the state of Texas offer a very positive business climate for globally competitive companies like Caterpillar,” said Larry Pillers, Waco work tools project manager for Caterpillar. “We have developed a very strong working relationship with the community and its leaders, and we look forward to opening this new facility in Waco.”   

    Construction is expected to begin in February 2010, pending final approvals by the city of Waco and McLennan County.   

    About Caterpillar:For more than 80 years, Caterpillar Inc. has been making progress possible and driving positive and sustainable change on every continent. With 2008 sales and revenues of $51.324 billion, Caterpillar is the world's leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines and industrial gas turbines. The company also is a leading services provider through Caterpillar Financial Services, Caterpillar Remanufacturing Services, Caterpillar Logistics Services and Progress Rail Services. More information is available at http://www.cat.com.  

    Safe Harbor Certain statements in this release relate to future events and expectations and as such constitute forward-looking statements involving known and unknown factors that may cause actual results of Caterpillar Inc. to be different from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. In this context, words such as "will," "would," "expect," "anticipate," "should" or other similar words and phrases often identify forward-looking statements made on behalf of Caterpillar.  It is important to note that actual results of the company may differ materially from those described or implied in such forward-looking statements based on a number of factors and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, (i) adverse change in general economic conditions; (ii) adverse change in the industries Caterpillar serves including construction, infrastructure, mining, energy, marine and electric power generation; (iii) Caterpillar's ability to manage material, including steel, and freight costs; (iv) Caterpillar's ability to generate cash from operations, secure external funding for its operations and manage its liquidity needs; (v) material adverse change in customers' access to liquidity and capital; (vi) currency exchange or interest rates changes; (vii) political stability; (viii) market acceptance of the company's products and services; (ix) significant changes in the competitive environment; (x) epidemic diseases; (xi) severe change in weather conditions negatively impacting operations; (xii) changes in law, regulations and tax rates; and (xiii) other general economic, business and financing conditions and factors described in more detail in "Item 1A – Risk Factors" in Part II of our Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on October 30, 2009 for the 3rd quarter of 2009.  This filing is available on our website at www.cat.com/sec_filings.  We do not undertake to update our forward-looking statements.

     


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    Best wishes for a prosperous new year
    2009-12-21


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    Nolan Ryan to speak at First Pitch Luncheon
    The 12th annual First Pitch Luncheon presented by First Community Bank will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 11 at the Ferrell Center at Baylor University. Nolan Ryan, National Baseball Hall of Famer and president of the Texas Rangers, will be the guest speaker.
    2010-01-06

    Nolan Ryan

    Nolan Ryan, National Baseball Hall of Famer and president of the Texas Rangers, will be the guest speaker at the  12th annual First Pitch Luncheon presented by First Community Bank from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 11 at the Ferrell Center at Baylor University.

    Also speaking at the luncheon will be Baylor Baseball’s Head Coach Steve Smith and Lady Bear’s Softball Head Coach Glenn Moore. McLennan Community College Baseball’s Head Coach Pete Mejia and Highlassie’s Softball Head Coach Manuel Ordones also will speak. 

    The First Community Bank First Pitch Luncheon also is sponsored by the Waco Convention and Visitors Bureau, Baylor Athletics, Baylor ISP Sports, American Guaranty Title, Brazos Mobile Imaging, ESPN 1660, Greg May Honda, Hillcrest Health System, KWTX News 10, Nell and Jim Hawkins, Northern & Nye and Time Warner Cable. 

    Balcony tickets (without lunch) are available for $15. Make checks payable to the Greater Waco Chamber and mail check to: Greater Waco Chamber • P.O. Box 1220 • Waco TX 76703-1220

    For more information, call Blake Harris at (254) 757-5605.
     


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    Secretary Andrade visits three Chamber businesses
    2010-02-04

    Texas Secretary of State Hope Andrade is recognizing three long-time local businesses to thank them for their contributions to the Texas economy. Joined by members of the Greater Waco Chamber, Andrade is visiting RAM Aircraft, LP, Central Texas Ironworks and Englander Container and Display.

    “I look forward to visiting these businesses as they are fine examples of the many companies in the region that make a positive impact in the lives of their employees, their families, and this community,” said Andrade. 

    Andrade also met with leaders of the Chamber to thank them for the role they play in supporting and advocating for Waco’s local businesses. 

    “I am grateful for the support my local Chamber provided to me during my 30 years as a San Antonio entrepreneur, and I am so very pleased to see a similar support system here in Waco. The Greater Waco Chamber is a valuable local partner in Texas’ economic development efforts and they play an integral role in business development throughout this community.”

    While highlighting the significance of bringing new companies and jobs to Texas, Andrade also addressed the importance of recognizing the many contributions of Texas’ “homegrown” businesses through the years. 

    “As the top relocation destination in the U.S. for the past five years, we are always excited to celebrate with new companies interested in beginning operations in Texas. At the same time, we recognize and greatly appreciate the many long-time businesses that have served as the backbone of the Texas economy for so many years.”


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    Mid-Tex Farm & Ranch Show Feb. 9-10
    2010-02-09

    The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce will host the 39th annual Equipment Depot Mid-Tex Farm & Ranch Show Feb. 9-10 at the Heart O’ Texas Fair Complex in the Coliseum and General Exhibits Building.

    The show is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Feb. 9 and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 10. Admission is free. 

    The Mid-Tex Show offers exhibitors a first-rate forum to present their products and services to an expected attendance of more than 3,000 Central Texas farmers and ranchers.

    Visitors to the Equipment Depot Mid-Tex Farm & Ranch Show will have the opportunity to view top exhibits of the newest farm and ranch equipment, seed, chemicals and agriculture-related services and technologies.  

    The 48th Annual Blackland Income Growth Conference (B.I.G.) will be held in conjunction with the Mid-Tex Show and will offer commodity sessions, special meetings and forums. Topics of discussion will include beef, horticulture and grain; health and fitness with a busy schedule; cotton, forage and wildlife; and other training and recertification sessions.   

    Tuesday selected McLennan county high school students will be awarded scholarships for outstanding FFA, FHA and 4-H members at the Allen Samuels Dodge Chrysler, Jeep Scholarship Luncheon. These unique and exceptional students also plan to major in an agricultural and home economics related field. Scholarships are sponsored by Associated Concrete Contractors, Brazos Valley Equipment and John McClaren Chevrolet. Other Sponsors include: Alliance Distributing, Bar None Country, Dealers Electrical Supply Co., Educators Credit Union, Greg May Chevrolet, News Channel 25, Oak Farms Dairy, Texas State Technical College, Time Warner Cable, Tractor Supply, Wells Fargo Bank, Greater Waco Chamber and Texas Cooperative Extension  

    For more information about the Equipment Depot Mid-Tex Farm & Ranch show, call Blake Harris at (254) 757-5605, or visit WacoChamber.com/midtex.php.


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    Cisco NOW Van visits Chamber
    2010-02-17

    Cisco NOW Van visits Chamber
    9 a.m. to 1 p.m. • Feb. 17

    The Cisco Network on Wheels (NOW) is a 25-foot van equipped with the latest Cisco networking technologies. This unique showcase provides hands-on demonstrations of proven integrated networking solutions that are customizable to your business size and needs. Once onboard, you'll take part in interactive demonstrations of technology solutions that can sharpen your competitive edge, maximize productivity, reduce operating costs and increase user satisfaction.

    Get a firsthand look at Key Solutions for Business:

    • Unified Communications Solutions (Lower costs and expand business capabilities by adding voice and video to your data network.)
    • Mobility/Wireless Solutions (Increase organizational productivity and reduce expenses while in the office, on the road or at home)
    • Network Foundation Solutions (Enablement of new business applications to enhance employee productivity and reduce network costs)
    • Security Solutions (Safeguard your business with integrated network security)


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    Friday is Green and Gold Day
    2010-03-25

     The Greater Waco Chamber encourages fans to support the Baylor Men’s Basketball team and the Lady Bears Basketball team by wearing “Green and Gold” Friday. Wearing the school colors will give all employees, students and fans a great opportunity to show their support for this historic weekend for Baylor sports. 

    Both teams will continue playing in the 2010 March Madness Tournament by advancing to the Sweet 16 tournament. This marks the first time in Baylor’s long history that both teams will compete in the Sweet 16 in the same year. 

    The men will play St. Mary’s College at 6:27 p.m. Friday at Reliant Stadium in Houston. The Lady Bears will play the Tennessee Lady Vols at 11 a.m. Saturday at the FedEx Forum in Memphis.


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    Author to speak tonight at Waco Hall
    2010-03-30

    the Summer KitchenThe Greater Waco Chamber is pleased to announce that national bestselling author Lisa Wingate, author of The Summer Kitchen and 12 other novels, will speak at 7 p.m. March 30 at Waco Hall on the Baylor University campus in conjunction with One Book, One Waco.

    Wingate will share the touching real-life inspirations for her latest novel from Penguin Putnam, The Summer Kitchen.  In this latest offering, Wingate draws heavily on Waco inspirations, including stories from Waco's own Gospel Cafe, where meals are served up with love in the Kate Ross neighborhood three days a week, regardless of customers' ability to pay.

    Admission is free. A donation of a canned item is requested.

    The Waco community is invited to meet Wingate and hear her speak while she is in town. She will be on KWTX at 11:30 a.m. and at Baylor University’s Dr Pepper Hour from 3 to 4 p.m. March 30 at the Bill Daniel Student Center Barfield Drawing Room.

    For more information: One Book One Waco.


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    Waco seeing growth in young professionals as more jobs, social opportunities emerge
    2010-04-28

    By Bill Teeter Tribune-Herald staff writer

    Lara Robertson gets a predictable response when she tells friends who live in bigger cities where she resides.

    “Why would you want to live in Waco?” they ask the Midway Middle School seventh-grade teacher.

    Her answer: She’s happy here.

    Robertson, 30, is one of a growing number of workers between ages 25 and 34 in the Waco area.

    MORE

    Waco Young Professionals is an initiative of the Greater Waco Chamber to attract professional talent for the workforce. The Chamber's strategic plan calls for becoming a magnet for young professionals.

     


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    Major Employers Survey
    2010-05-06

    Major Employers Survey


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    Greater Waco Chamber supports Baylor University, Big 12
    2010-06-10

    The Greater Waco Chamber stands with Baylor University and the Big 12 Conference.

    We are hopeful that the Conference will survive the realignment that appears to be occurring.

    Being a Big 12 city has been a source of pride here in Greater Waco and it's been an economic generator also.

    We have asked Governor Rick Perry, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst and Texas House of Representatives Speaker Joe Straus to help us keep the Big 12 together and, if that fails, to keep the Big 12’s Texas schools together.

    We have also thanked the presidents of the University of Texas, Texas A&M University and Texas Tech University for their efforts to keep the Big 12 together or to keep the Big 12’s Texas schools together if that becomes necessary.

    The business of college athletics is a big business, and we have benefited from the dividends of that business and have certainly enjoyed the rivalries among the Big 12 schools.

    While we are hopeful that the Big 12 will continue, we are unequivocal in our support of Baylor University, its outstanding athletic programs and the fine student athletes who represent our community.


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    12th annual Starburst Junior Golf Classic
    2010-06-15

    The Starburst Junior Golf Classic is


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    Greater Downtown Master Plan Kickoff
    2010-07-26

     Join us at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 26 at the Phoenix Ballroom, 401 S. Third St. for the unveiling of the Greater Downtown Master Plan.

    More details


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    Ekpe Udoh to receive Send-Off
    2010-08-27

    Baylor All-American and Golden State Warriors rookie Ekpe Udoh, the first lottery pick in the program history will be honored with a community send-off Sept. 4.

    Udoh will be available from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. prior to the kickoff of the Baylor-Sam Houston State game in Snickers Touchdown Alley located outside Floyd Casey Stadium. Udoh also will be available during halftime at the George's Party Zone. The reception is free and open to the public to give fans a chance to get autographs and take photos with the Edmond, Okla., native.

    The event is sponsored by WacoWeDoSports.com and George's Restaurant and Catering.


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    Waco, Texas embraces growth and 'new urbanism'
    2010-09-14


    WACO, Texas — In the 1980s, when Larry Groth worked late in his City Hall office downtown, he walked out onto deserted streets to get home. Often, his car was the only one in sight.

    Now, the city manager sees many cars and people on the streets. He even lives minutes away from work — in a loft.

    Lofts, downtown living, people walking to work, talk of a trolley. MORE


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    Chamber finalist for Global Innovator's Award
    2010-09-20

    CoreNet awardPHOENIX, Sept. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Greater Waco Chamber was named a finalist for CoreNet Global's 11th Annual H. Bruce Russal Global Innovator's Award at Salute, a Celebration of Accomplishment, during CoreNet Global's Summit Sept. 19 in Phoenix.

    Chamber President James G. Vaughan Jr. made a presentation in August at Emory University in Atlanta as part of the selection process. The Chamber's entry focused on its initiatives regarding sustainability in Greater Waco, specifically building the first LEED-certified Chamber building in America and spawning a green construction movement in Waco.

    Space Matrix, an architectural and interior design firm based in Singapore, was awarded the top award for TZED (Towards Zero Energy Development), India's first LEED Platinum-rated housing development in Bangalore, which houses 80 residential units and 15 stand-alone homes.

    The other four presenting finalists were: Space Matrix, FXFOWLE, Kansas City Area Development Council and WICELY.

    Corporate real estate's top professionals traveled from across the globe and came together at Emory University to compete for CoreNet Global's GIA. For the second year in a row, the case competition was held at Emory University's Goizueta Business School, thanks to the hospitality provided by Professor Roy Black.

    TZED has set the benchmark for future developments, as the project brought together numerous thinkers and designers in developing systems and innovations that clearly were in the realm of out-of-the box ideas and thinking, most notably the fact that they looked at off-site construction waste.

    Judges for the 2010 GIA were well represented by leading companies worldwide and included:

    • Roy Black, Director Real Estate Program, Professor in the Practice of Finance, Goizueta Business School, Emory University
    • Alan Carswell, Director of Real Estate, Stanley Black & Decker
    • Donald Davis, Head, Global Corporate Real Estate, Visa
    • Roger G. Gaudette, Director, Asset Management, Ford Land
    • Daniel B. Johnson, Global Director, CRE Workplace, Accenture
    • Kevin Kampschroer, Director, Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings (MG), U.S. General Services Administration
    • Trex Morris, Americas Director, Real Estate Services, Americas Real Estate Services
    • Frank Robinson, Vice President of Corporate Real Estate, McKesson Corp.
    • Charemon Tovar, MCR, CB Richard Ellis, Global Corporate Services, Director, Innovation and Information Manager, Sprint Account
    • Constance Van Rhyn, Senior Manager, Workplace Strategy & Sustainability, PepsiCo. Inc.

    "In addition to the process/approach being the innovation, many of the specific solutions they delivered were, in their own right, innovative and also represented transferable thinking to the industry at large," said Daniel Johnson of Accenture.

    Frank Robinson with McKesson added, "Firms can learn a lesson from TZED, in terms of taking the same approach of looking at every aspect of the project from a sustainability standpoint. And it has a financial payback."

    For purposes specific to the GIA, innovation is defined as an activity or initiative that brings about a paradigm shift in the way business is done in a rapidly globalizing economy. It produces a new concept to practice and makes it a commercial success. It concerns the search for and the discovery, experimentation, development, imitation and adoption of new products, processes and organizational set-ups.

    Launched in 2000, the GIA winners have spanned a wide geography, crossed multiple private and public sectors, touched on a diverse range of disciplines and brought an incredible array of precedent-setting case studies. The GIA winner is selected by peers with considerable real estate, workplace, service provider and academic experience.

    Highlights from Space Matrix's presentation include:

    SPACE MATRIX

    India is one of the fastest-growing economies of the world fueled by the growth of various sectors, most notably the service sector. As a result, development has a direct implication on all support infrastructure; housing serving as a primary need. Known as "Sustainable Urbanism," TZED is a celebration of modern technology and its progression toward more common ecological concerns. The project aims to prove that sustainable living in the urban areas of India is not only economically and technically viable, but can also be comfortable and manageable for individuals. This residential campus features many firsts: LEED Platinum-rated residential apartment, central air (with no CFC and HCFC), no water supply from outside the community and treated and reused waste. All residences are currently occupied and sold out.

    CoreNet Global is the world's leading association for corporate real estate and workplace professionals, service providers and economic developers. Our 6,500 members, who include 70 percent of the top 100 U.S. companies and nearly half of the Global 2000, meet locally, globally and virtually to develop networks, share knowledge, learn and thrive professionally. For more information, visit www.corenetglobal.org.

    SOURCE CoreNet Global


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    Salome presented Economic Development Leadership Award
    2010-10-05

     Tom Salome, president and CEO of Tom Salome Investments, was awarded the 2010 Citizen Leadership Award by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), for his extraordinary efforts in promoting economic development. The honor was presented at an awards ceremony Sept. 27 during the IEDC Annual Conference in Columbus, Ohio.

    Greater Waco Chamber President Jim Vaughan was present when Salome was recognized.

    “Tom’s generosity and commitment to Greater Waco has impacted virtually every sector of this community. He shows true leadership by inspiring others to give back and serve,” said Vaughan. “We are delighted that he has been recognized by IEDC for enhancing economic development here. We applaud their selection and are honored to have Tom as an outstanding citizen in Greater Waco.”

    On the behalf of the Greater Waco Chamber, Salome led the Challenge Greater Waco capital campaign.  The campaign also secured the funds for the construction of the Greater Waco Chamber headquarters, recognized as the first LEED-certified Chamber building in the nation and the first LEED new construction project in Waco.  The Chamber building was named the Salome Commerce Center, in honor of the man who led the charge and was the project’s largest investor.

    The Citizen Leadership Award recognizes a community or business leader, or an individual who is not an economic development practitioner, but who plays a key leadership role and has endeavored to further the profession. 

    Waco, Texas has a champion in Tom Salome, President of Tom Salome Investments.  As chairman of the Waco YMCA’s capital fund-raising campaign, he facilitated the raising of more than $4.4 million to redevelop a vacant campus that was once home to a historical African American college. 

    In the 1990s, Salome, along with a group of local businessmen, campaigned to the city and county for the development of an incentive fund that could compete with the grants offered through the economic development sales tax.  The result was an incentive pool funded jointly through city and county general funds. 

    This innovative program has raised $27 million in incentive funds and has supported 35 projects since it began in 1997.Salome has also served as president of the Waco Industrial Foundation (WIF), a non-profit real estate development board that has developed more than 5,000 acres in its 52-year history.  Because of his extensive efforts to mobilize the community of Waco, the International Economic Development Council is honored to present the Citizen Leadership Award to Tom Salome.

    The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is the premier membership organization dedicated to helping economic development professionals create high-quality jobs, develop vibrant communities and improve the quality of life in their regions. Serving more than 4,500 members, IEDC represents the largest network of economic development professionals in the world.  IEDC provides a diverse range of services, including conferences, certification, professional development, publications, research, advisory services and legislative tracking.


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    Crilley to speak at Chamber Membership Media Luncheon
    2010-10-11

    Jeff CrilleyJeff Crilley, public relations expert and author of Free Publicity, will be the guest speaker at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 20 at the Chamber’s annual Membership Media Luncheon. The event is open to anyone interested in learning more about ramping up exposure for their business and how to network more effectively. The luncheon will be at Galloway Suites at Floyd Casey Stadium.The event is presented by Specialty Property, Ltd., and sponsored by Baylor University.Tickets are $20 and can be purchased in advance by contacting Christy Sanders at (254) 757-5611.
    MARKETING WITHOUT MONEYAll of us would like to take our PR game to the next level. And who better to help us do that than a media insider? Emmy Award winning TV reporter Jeff Crilley will share the secrets to getting good news stories that even many seasoned PR pros don't know.
    Jeff believes in combining learning with laughter. His charismatic speaking style lends itself perfectly to this fun, interactive, information-packed talk. Takeaways include:

    • How to come up with stories the media will love
    • How to become the "expert" in your field the media will call for a quote
    • How to use extreme customer service to "Wow" your customers
    • How to network the right way, from a spirit of abundance
    • How to create your own buzz so that your customers bring you new customers
    You won't want to miss this talk. Jeff has a popular demonstration to illustrate one of his points that will have everyone blowing bubbles.


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    Greater Waco Chamber wins 2010 Community Economic Development Award
    The Greater Waco Chamber received the 2010 Community Economic Development Award for cities with a population between 100,001 and 250,000 from the Texas Economic Development Council Oct. 7 in Houston.
    2010-10-15

    CEDA AwardThe Greater Waco Chamber received the 2010 Community Economic Development Award for cities with a population between 100,001 and 250,000 from the Texas Economic Development Council Oct. 7 in Houston.

    The Chamber and partners were recognized for being the catalysts in transforming the shuttered General Tire plant into a state-of-the-art commercialization center that will attract knowledge-based industry to Central Texas. The project brought together a dozen public and private entities to launch and fund the $30 million commitment to create the Central Texas Technology and Research Park.

    Chamber President Jim Vaughan said attracting new jobs, particularly in technology- and science-related industries, strengthens the local economy.
     “We applaud our public sector partners who see the value in developing a research park in Greater Waco.” Vaughan said. “Texas State Technical College, McLennan County and the cities of Waco and Bellmead invested with Baylor in the park. McLennan Community College, area foundations and local chambers of commerce are also partners. “This project has potential for major economic impact here,” he said. “With the resources we have locally, an ideal facility and the commitment of our educational institutions, the park is a true collaboration of visionaries whose foresight will be appreciated for years to come.”

    In 1995, the TEDC established the Community Economic Development Award (CEDA), to honor excellence and exceptional contributions of Texas communities in economic development. The criteria used to determine the CEDA recipients include innovativeness, transferability, community commitment and leveragability, measurable objectives and ancillary benefits to the community.


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    Waco ranks first in job creation in Texas
    2010-10-27

    Waco ranked first in job creation in Texas adding 3,100 jobs – a gain of 2.9 percent - from September 2009 to September 2010.  The Texas’ economy added 177,600 jobs from September 2009 to September 2010, an annual gain of 1.6 percent outpacing the U.S. which experienced a slight gain of 0.4 percent for the same period when comparing total employment. Data for this report is collected monthly from the Texas Workforce Commission.

    “The Greater Waco economy is strong and has added jobs in key sectors such as manufacturing and professional and health services in the past year.  It is exciting that Waco’s job growth rate is nearly double that of Texas’ impressive performance,” said Jim Vaughan, President/CEO of Greater Waco Chamber.  “Several years ago, the Chamber adopted a strategic initiative to exceed Texas’ average for job growth, which is no small feat given that Texas has created more than 80 percent of the private sector jobs in the nation during the past five years. The region’s focus on being a leader in Texas’ robust economy is paying off.”

    The private sector is playing a key role in job creation in Waco, accounting for a gain of 2,000 jobs.  That sector also posted an annual employment growth rate of 1.9 percent in Texas compared with 0.5 percent for the nation from September 2009 to September 2010, according to the Texas Real Estate Center.Waco was followed by Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood, College Station-Bryan and McAllen-Edinburg-Mission in job creation for the same period.


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    Education Summit
    2010-11-08

    Education Summit


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    Construction started on new downtown headquarters for regional law firm
    A former warehouse in downtown Waco soon will be the headquarters of a growing, regional law firm. Beard Kultgen Brophy Bostwick Dickson & Squires, LLP broke ground on its complete renovation of the former Nabisco Warehouse building in the heart of downtown Waco with plans to occupy the building by January 2011.
    2010-11-11

    A former warehouse in downtown Waco soon will be the headquarters of a growing, regional law firm. Beard Kultgen Brophy Bostwick Dickson & Squires, LLP broke ground on its complete renovation of the former Nabisco Warehouse building in the heart of downtown Waco with plans to occupy the building by January 2011.

    The 15,000-square-foot renovation project supports the firms expanding practice, which has grown from six to 16 attorneys since 2003.

    The new facility also will accommodate future growth with 19 law offices, a conference center with more than six conference rooms, board room, library, indoor/outdoor café and state of the art multimedia and presentation equipment.

    The office will be equipped to host board meetings, multiparty mediations, depositions, merger/acquisition and real estate closings, trial preparations and large social gatherings to support the firm’s diverse practice. The office is surrounded by loft apartments and local restaurants and is within walking distance of both the state and federal courthouses and Cameron Park providing connectivity to amenities that will attract and keep talent.

    Located near the corner of Fourth Street and Franklin Avenue, the renovation project joins an area that has seen a recent burst of new construction with the addition of the award-winning Greater Waco Chamber building and the new Wells Fargo’s branch office – both designed to Leadership in Energy and Environmental design standards.

    The renovation of the 50-year-old warehouse demonstrates the firm’s commitment to the City of Waco and its effort to revitalize the downtown area.

    “We are excited about opening an office downtown and contributing to the revitalization of Downtown Waco,” said Rick Brophy, founding partner of the firm and past president of the Greater Waco Chamber. “The renovation of a warehouse that was partially abandoned in the heart of downtown is consistent with our firm’s vision and is exciting for the firm and for the City of Waco. Our firm has always supported the City of Waco and the Greater Waco Chamber’s vision for downtown Waco, and this project signifies our commitment. This is an exciting time for our firm and for the City of Waco, whose downtown area is being transformed.”

    The warehouse renovation and addition of green spaces are supported in part by the City’s Tax Increment Finance Zone (TIF) Board, which has consistently contributed funds for infrastructure improvements to aid in the development of downtown Waco and the Brazos Corridor.

    For more information, visit www.TheTexasFirm.com.


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    L-3 Celebrates 25th Anniversary of Waco, Texas Platform Integration Facility
    L-3 Platform Integration has celebrated 25 years of operations at its Waco, Texas facility, with a ceremony coinciding with National Aerospace Week.
    2010-11-12

    L-3 Platform Integration celebrated 25 years of operations at its Waco, Texas facility, with a ceremony coinciding with National Aerospace Week.

    Company officials and community dignitaries dedicated a plaque honoring employees of the facility who have faithfully served its customers over the years.

    The plaque reads, “Dedicated to the men and women who have designed, produced, modified, tested and delivered effective ground and airborne systems supporting the United States of America and its allies.”

    “Our employees have earned this facility a reputation for delivering superb aircraft modifications,” said James Burkhardt, president of L-3 Platform Integration. “Today, we applaud the quick-reaction, whatever-it-takes attitude of these men and women who have dedicated their careers to equipping those serving our nation.”

    The company estimates that over the last 25 years, more than 13,000 employees have worked at the facility, where employment is currently at just over 2,000. This location has modified more than 70 different types of military aircraft and ground vehicles, including the C-27, C-130, 747,
    E-6, P-3, UH-60 and numerous head-of-state/VIP aircraft interiors on commercial aircraft variants. One of the most complex projects recently completed, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) for NASA and Germany’s space agency, involved the installation of a more than 20-ton infrared telescope on a 747SP aircraft with an 18-foot-high door that opens in flight.

    During the ceremony, several dozen current employees, who have worked at the location since it opened as a modification facility for the Richardson, Texas-based Electrospace Systems, Inc., were recognized.

    The celebration marks the beginning of L-3 Platform Integration’s National Aerospace Week activities, including days honoring the facility’s diversity, with free hamburger lunches, volunteer recruitment for a community service project, and a major family day celebration.

    L-3 Platform Integration provides complex integration services for military, commercial and OEM customers. It has operations at Waco, Texas; Crestview, Fla.; Warner Robins, Ga.; and Tulsa, Okla. The company is part of the L-3 Integrated Systems Group. To learn more about L-3 Integrated Systems, please visit the group’s website at www.L-3com.com/is.

    Headquartered in New York City, L-3 Communications employs approximately 67,000 people worldwide and is a prime contractor in C3ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) systems, aircraft modernization and maintenance, and government services. L-3 is also a leading provider of a broad range of electronic systems used on military and commercial platforms. The company reported 2009 sales of $15.6 billion. To learn more about L-3, please visit the company's website at www.L-3com.com.

    Safe Harbor Statement Under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995

    Except for historical information contained herein, the matters set forth in this news release are forward-looking statements. Statements that are predictive in nature, that depend upon or refer to events or conditions or that include words such as “expects,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “estimates,” “will,” “could” and similar expressions are forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements set forth above involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from any such statement, including the risks and uncertainties discussed in the company’s Safe Harbor Compliance Statement for Forward-Looking Statements included in the company’s recent filings, including Forms 10-K and 10-Q, with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements speak only as of the date made, and the company undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

    # # #

    Notes to editors: The following historical information is provided regarding the facility for your use:

    Key dates

    ·         1985 – Opened with one 84,556-square-foot hangar as part of Electrospace Systems, Inc. (ESI)

    ·         1987 – ESI acquired by Chrysler Corporation

    ·         1989 – Name changed to Chrysler Technologies Airborne Systems (CTAS)

    ·         1996 – Acquired by Raytheon, became part of Raytheon Aircraft Integration Systems

    ·         2002 – Acquired by L-3 Communications

    ·         2008 – Established as headquarters of L-3 Platform Integration division

    ·         2010 – Currently houses six aircraft hangars with more than 500,000 square feet, as well as a 100,000-square-foot wing modification facility and more than 200,000 square feet of warehouse

    Employees

    ·         1985 – No validated number of actual Waco-based employees is known for 1985. Many employees traveled to Waco from the original company’s engineering offices in Richardson, Texas.

    ·         2010 – Current employees: 2,045

    ·         25-Year Employees – 59 individuals have been identified who worked for ESI in 1985 and still work at Waco.

    Aircraft

    ·         More than 70 different types of aircraft have been modified at the facility.

    ·         Aircraft modified include variants of the: A-3, A310, A340, 707, 737, 747, 757, 767, 777, B-52, C-9, C-12, C-27, DHC-6, C-130, C-135, C-141, C-5, C-22, DC-8, DC-10, MD-11, MD-80, P-3, G-IV, H-60, AW139


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    Greater Waco Chamber earns EPA’s ENERGY STAR® for superior energy efficiency
    prestigious ENERGY STAR, the national symbol for protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency, for its LEED-certified building at 101 S. Third St. in Waco, Texas. This signifies that the building performs in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency.
    2010-11-24

    Energy StarThe Greater Waco Chamber has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) prestigious ENERGY STAR, the national symbol for protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency, for its LEED-certified building at 101 S. Third St. in Waco, Texas.

    This signifies that the building performs in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency.  

    "The Greater Waco Chamber is pleased to accept EPA’s ENERGY STAR in recognition of our energy efficiency efforts,” said James G. Vaughan, Jr., Chamber president / CEO. "Through this achievement, we have demonstrated our commitment to environmental stewardship while also lowering our energy costs.” 

    Commercial buildings that earn the ENERGY STAR use an average of 35 percent less energy than typical buildings and also release 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.  The Greater Waco Chamber improved its energy performance by managing energy strategically across the entire organization and by making cost-effective improvements to its building.  

    “Improving the energy efficiency of our nation’s buildings is critical to protecting our environment, “ said Jean Lupinacci, Chief of the ENERGY STAR Commercial & Industrial Branch. “From the boiler room to the board room, organizations are leading the way by making their buildings more efficient and earning EPA’s ENERGY STAR.” 

    EPA’s ENERGY STAR energy performance scale helps organizations assess how efficiently their buildings use energy relative to similar buildings nationwide. A building that scores a 75 or higher on EPA’s 1-100 scale is eligible for the ENERGY STAR.

    The Greater Waco Chamber earned a 98. Commercial buildings that can earn the ENERGY STAR include offices, bank branches, financial centers, retail stores, courthouses, hospitals, hotels, K-12 schools, medical offices, supermarkets, dormitories, houses of worship, and warehouses.  ENERGY STAR was introduced by EPA in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency.

    Today, the ENERGY STAR label can be found on more than 60 different kinds of products, new homes, and commercial and industrial buildings. Products and buildings that have earned the ENERGY STAR prevent greenhouse gas emissions by meeting strict energy-efficiency specifications set by the government.

    Last year alone, Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR, saved nearly $17 billion on their energy bills while reducing the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of 30 million vehicles. 

    For more information about ENERGY STAR visit www.energystar.gov/buildings.


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    Waco earns top ranking for military retirement
    The city of Waco may be the prime location for military personnel looking for the perfect place to settle down when they retire.
    2010-12-09

    By Regina Dennis / Tribune-Herald staff writer

    The city of Waco may be the prime location for military personnel looking for the perfect place to settle down when they retire.

    Waco ranked No. 1 on the inaugural “Best Places for Military Retirement” list sponsored by the United Services Automobile Association and Military.com. The list, to be unveiled today, offers direction to military retirees on where to relocate once they leave the service. MORE


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    Holiday Message
    2010-12-10

    Christmas Card


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    Equipment Depot Mid-Tex Farm & Ranch Show Feb. 8-9
    The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce will host the 40th annual Equipment Depot Mid-Tex Farm & Ranch Show Feb. 8-9 at the Extraco Events Center in the Extraco Coliseum and Extraco Exhibits Building.
    2011-02-02

    The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce will host the 40th annual Equipment Depot Mid-Tex Farm & Ranch Show Feb. 8-9 at the Extraco Events Center in the Extraco Coliseum and Extraco Exhibits Building. 

    The Mid-Tex Show offers exhibitors a first-rate forum to present their products and services to an expected attendance of more than 3,000 Central Texas farmers and ranchers. Visitors to the Equipment Depot Mid-Tex Farm & Ranch Show will have the opportunity to view top exhibits of the newest farm and ranch equipment, seed, chemicals and agriculture-related services and technologies.  

    The 49th Annual Blackland Income Growth Conference (B.I.G.) will be held in conjunction with the Mid-Tex Show and will offer commodity sessions, special meetings and forums. Topics of discussion will include beef, horticulture and grain; health and fitness with a busy schedule; cotton, forage and wildlife; and other training and recertification sessions.   

    Wednesday selected McLennan county high school students will be awarded scholarships for outstanding FFA, FHA and 4-H members at the Allen Samuels Dodge Chrysler, Jeep Scholarship Luncheon.

    These unique and exceptional students also plan to major in an agricultural and home economics related field. Scholarships are sponsored by Associated Concrete Contractors, Brazos Valley Equipment and John McClaren Chevrolet. 

    Other Sponsors include: Alliance Distributing, Bar None Country, Dealers Electrical Supply Co., Educators Credit Union, First National Bank of Central Texas, Greg May Chevrolet, News Channel 25, Oak Farms Dairy, Pioneer Steel & Pipe Company, Time Warner Cable, Tractor Supply, Wells Fargo Bank, Greater Waco Chamber and Texas Cooperative Extension  

    For more information about the Equipment Depot Mid-Tex Farm & Ranch show, call Blake Harris at (254) 757-5605, or visit WacoChamber.com/midtex.php.


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    Chamber board adopts resolution regarding 82nd Texas State Legislative session
    2011-03-18

    Ken HamptonKen Hampton • Senior Vice President, Community Development

    An updated
    legislative resolution was adopted by the Greater Waco Chamber's Board of Directors on March 9. The resolution strengthened and outlined the Chamber's long-standing commitment to economic development, education, environmental protection, healthcare and transportation. The Chamber outlines its position while stating support for the state's constitutional requirement for a balanced budget.


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    Caterpillar celebrates grand opening of precision manufacturing center
    Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) celebrated the opening of its precision manufacturing center for hydromechanical work tool production March 28, 2011, at the company’s Waco campus.
    2011-03-28

    Caterpillar logoCaterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) celebrated the opening of its precision manufacturing center for hydromechanical work tool production March 28, 2011, at the company’s Waco campus. The new facility, which spans 75,000 square feet, began operations earlier this year and will employ approximately 60 people when fully staffed and at full capacity. Work tools are attachments used on a wide variety of Cat machines. The facility currently produces four models of hammers, including the H110E s, H115E s, H120E s and H130E s, for use on small and medium Cat excavators and the 450E backhoe loader. The facility will eventually introduce 10 additional hammer models into production.

    Photo Gallery

    "We’re pleased to be expanding our Work Tools and Caterpillar presence in Waco, and we appreciate the continued support of the Waco community and the state of Texas," said Bill Springer, Caterpillar vice president with responsibility for the Diversified Products Division.

    Caterpillar’s presence as a major employer in Greater Waco for six years makes the company a valued corporate citizen, according to community leaders.

    "The City of Waco and the Waco-McLennan County Economic Development Corporation is proud to support Caterpillar," said McLennan County Judge Jim Lewis. "Strong companies such as Caterpillar further define our economic strength and provide

    jobs for people in our county. We are pleased to offer incentives to projects that grow Greater Waco and enhance the quality of life for our citizens. We look forward to a continued long partnership with Caterpillar."

    This facility is the fourth new Caterpillar location to open in Waco since 2005, joining Caterpillar’s existing work tools manufacturing campus that produces hydraulic excavator buckets and quick couplers. In addition, Caterpillar Logistics Services, Inc. (Cat Logistics) operates a work tools distribution center for North and South America in Waco and also launched the Modernized Cat Parts Network (MCPN) in 2008 with the construction of another parts distribution center in Waco.

    "Caterpillar is ranked 66th on the list of Fortune 500 companies. How fortunate we are to now boast four Caterpillar facilities here," said Chamber President Jim Vaughan. "The investment this company has made in Greater Waco goes beyond dollars. Their addition of a product design team for their global work tools division presents new employment opportunities and demonstrates this company’s commitment to the future."

    About Caterpillar:

    For more than 85 years, Caterpillar Inc. has been making sustainable progress possible and driving positive change on every continent. With 2010 sales and revenues of $42.588 billion, Caterpillar is the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. The company also is a leading services provider through Caterpillar Financial Services, Caterpillar Remanufacturing Services, Caterpillar Logistics Services and Progress Rail Services. More information is available at: http://www.caterpillar.com.

    Forward-Looking Statements

    Certain statements in this press release relate to future events and expectations and are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are subject to known and unknown factors that may cause Caterpillar’s actual results to be different from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Words such as "believe," "estimate," "will be," "will," "would," "expect," "anticipate," "plan," "project," "intend," "could," "should" or other similar words or expressions often identify forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements regarding our outlook, projections, forecasts or trend descriptions. These statements do not guarantee future performance, and Caterpillar does not undertake to update its forward-looking statements.

    It is important to note that Caterpillar’s actual results may differ materially from those described or implied in its forward-looking statements based on a number of factors, including, but not limited to: (i) global economic conditions and economic conditions in the industries and markets Caterpillar serves; (ii) government monetary or fiscal policies and government spending on infrastructure; (iii) commodity or component price increases and/or limited availability of raw materials and component products, including steel; (iv) Caterpillar’s and its customers’, dealers’ and suppliers’ ability to access and manage liquidity; (v) political and economic risks associated with our global operations, including changes in laws, regulations or government policies, currency restrictions, restrictions on repatriation of earnings, burdensome tariffs or quotas, national and international conflict, including terrorist acts and political and

    economic instability or civil unrest in the countries in which Caterpillar operates; (vi) Caterpillar’s and Cat Financial’s ability to maintain their respective credit ratings, material increases in either company’s cost of borrowing or an inability of either company to access capital markets; (vii) financial condition and credit worthiness of Cat Financial’s customers; (viii) inability to realize expected benefits from acquisitions and divestitures, including the acquisition of Bucyrus International, Inc.; (ix) the possibility that the acquisition by Caterpillar of Bucyrus International, Inc. does not close for any reason, including, but not limited to, a failure to obtain required regulatory approvals; (x) international trade and investment policies, such as import quotas, capital controls or tariffs; (xi) the possibility that Caterpillar’s introduction of Tier 4 emissions compliant machines and engines is not successful; (xii) market acceptance of Caterpillar’s products and services; (xiii) effects of changes in the competitive environment, which may include decreased market share, lack of acceptance of price increases, and/or negative changes to our geographic and product mix of sales; (xiv) union disputes or other employee relations issues; (xv) Caterpillar’s ability to successfully implement the Caterpillar Production System or other productivity initiatives; (xvi) adverse changes in sourcing practices of our dealers or original equipment manufacturers; (xvii) compliance costs associated with environmental laws and regulations; (xviii) alleged or actual violations of trade or anti-corruption laws and regulations; (xix) additional tax expense or exposure; (xx) currency fluctuations, particularly increases and decreases in the U.S. dollar against other currencies; (xxi) failure of Caterpillar or Cat Financial to comply with financial covenants in their respective credit facilities; (xxii) increased funding obligations under our pension plans; (xxiii) significant legal proceedings, claims, lawsuits or investigations; (xxiv) imposition of operational restrictions or compliance requirements if carbon emissions legislation and/or regulations are adopted; (xxv) changes in accounting standards or adoption of new accounting standards; (xxvi) adverse effects of natural disasters; and (xxvii) other factors described in more detail under "Item 1A. Risk Factors" in Part I of our Form 10-K filed with the SEC on February 22, 2011 for the year ended December 31, 2010. This filing is available on our website at www.caterpillar.com/secfilings.


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    Investing in public transit can save you money
    2011-04-05


    1000 FriendsBy Chris McGowan, Director Urban Development
    More than two thirds of McLennan County residents responding to a recent poll believe that expanded public transportation services are needed in our community.  

    Among those 63% support a tax increase to fund expanded public transportation services. According to a recent article by Todd Litman of the Victoria Transportation institute, the pollsters are correct in their thinking. Litman’s research suggests that households who live in cities with high quality transit network save more that $1500 a year. 

    According to Litman rather than asking “How much should we spend on public transit?,” we should be asking “How much can we save with transit?” because efficient, convenient transit service allows us to spend less even after raising our taxes to make the investment. For more information visit 1000friendsofwaco.com/


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    Waco ranks No. 4 among cities for jobs after military
    2011-04-14

    Why it's so great: The city is full of small to mid-sized manufacturing plants offering jobs in a variety of industries, has an affordable housing market, and is home to Bayor University for cultural and re-education opportunities. In addition Fort Hood is within 50 miles. Texas does not tax federal pensions. MORE


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    Greater Waco Chamber in 2011 Energy Star's Battle of the Buildings
    The Greater Waco Chamber has been selected to participate in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA's) ENERGY STAR National Building Competition: Battle of the Buildings to help improve the energy efficiency of commercial buildings and protect the environment. In the spirit of popular weight-loss competitions, the Chamber will battle it out against hundreds of other teams from buildings across the country to work off the waste through improvements in energy efficiency with help from EPA’s ENERGY STAR program.
    2011-05-06

     The Greater Waco Chamber has been selected to participate in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA's) ENERGY STAR National Building Competition: Battle of the Buildings to help improve the energy efficiency of commercial buildings and protect the environment. In the spirit of popular weight-loss competitions, the Chamber will battle it out against hundreds of other teams from buildings across the country to work off the waste through improvements in energy efficiency with help from EPA’s ENERGY STAR program.  

    “The Greater Waco Chamber is honored to be a part of EPA’s ENERGY STAR National Building Competition,” said Jim Vaughan, Chamber president and CEO. "We are committed to improving our energy efficiency, and we look forward to seeing how the country’s first green Chamber building measures up against other buildings across the nation.” 

    The Chamber represents the community’s desire to pursue environmentally sound construction practices to make Waco a green, livable city.  It is the first building built from the ground up in Waco to be LEED-certified at the gold level. The designation from the U.S. Green Building Council required many energy-efficient features such as an array of solar panels, which reduces energy consumption by 6.5 percent; motion detectors for lighting in certain areas; and a reflective white roof.

    “Although our building was designed to consume 22 percent less energy than a standard building, we strive to seek more ways to conserve energy and welcome the challenge to compete with other resource-conscious organizations across the country,” said Vaughan.

    The 2011 ENERGY STAR National Building Competition includes 245 teams from 26 different types of commercial buildings - such as retail stores, schools, hotels and museums - that hail from 33 states and the District of Columbia. Eleven buildings are 100 years old or older; the smallest building is just more than 6,000 square feet; and 15 buildings cover more than 1 million square feet of floor space with the largest totaling nearly 3 million square feet. 

    As the 2011 ENERGY STAR National Building Competition spokesperson, actor John Corbett will provide energy saving tips and encouragement through videos posted on the competition website. The 2011 ENERGY STAR National Building Competition spokesperson is provided by jcpenney, EPA's co-sponsor for these events. The competition website will also feature a flash media wall with photos of all of the competitors, a live Twitter feed and a Competitor Forum for exchanging ideas and strategies. 

    “Buildings of all shapes and sizes are saving money and energy with help from EPA and ENERGY STAR,” said Jean Lupinacci, Director of EPA’s ENERGY STAR Commercial Buildings Program. “We applaud the contestants of EPA’s ENERGY STAR National Building Competition for taking action to protect the environment and save energy in the buildings where we work, play and learn.” 

    Competitors will measure and track their building's monthly energy consumption using EPA's ENERGY STAR online energy tracking tool, Portfolio Manager; make improvements to their building's energy performance; and share their progress. Of the initial pool of 245 competitors, a small group of buildings will be selected as finalists in July. Among the finalists, the building that demonstrates the greatest percentage-based reduction in energy use intensity will be recognized as the winner on Nov. 2.

    To try to reduce the amount of energy being used, the Chamber has taken or will take the following steps:

    ·  Adjust thermostats to accommodate varying weather patterns

    ·  Close blinds in boardrooms According to EPA, energy use in commercial buildings accounts for nearly 20 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and energy use at a cost of more than $100 billion per year.

    On average, 30% of the energy used in commercial buildings is wasted. Thousands of businesses and organizations work with EPA’s ENERGY STAR program and are saving billions of dollars and preventing millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions from entering our atmosphere each year. 

    Watch the battle unfold.


     The Chamber headquarters will represent the Chamber’s mission to enhance Greater Waco as a center of excellence and the community of choice for business.

    More about the building


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    Gov. Perry Announces TEF Investment in Waco
    2011-05-06

    Coll Materials Exchange to create 111 jobs

    AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry announced May 3, 2011, the state is investing $550,000 through the Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF) in Coll Materials Exchange for the company’s expansion into Waco. Contingent upon the completion of a local incentive agreement, this investment will create 111 jobs and generate an estimated $5.9 million in capital investment.

    “Employers from around the nation and all over the world continue to seek the job-friendly climate we’ve created in Texas with our low taxes, reasonable and predictable regulations, fair legal system and skilled workforce,” Gov. Perry said. “This TEF investment will help with Coll Materials’ expansion into Waco, create jobs for 111 Texans and generate millions of dollars into the City of Waco’s local economy.”

    A national post-industrial and post-consumer plastics recycling company, Coll Materials Exchange uses state-of-the-art equipment to process plastic scrap into pellets for reuse and resale. Processed material is sold to plastic manufacturers for various uses, including thermoformers, injection molders, structural foam molders and vacuum formers. This TEF investment will allow the company to expand its current operations to the Southwest, where the combined capacity of the two plants will produce more than 100 million pounds per year, with the capability for growth.

    “Coll Materials is excited about doing business in Texas, specifically in the great City of Waco,” Coll Materials Exchange President and CEO Brian Coll said. “The State of Texas and Texas Enterprise Fund, as well as the economic development representatives and officials in the City of Waco and McLennan County, have been tremendously helpful in providing competitive incentives, assisting with the details of doing business, and responding promptly to our questions.”

    “The quality jobs that will be created by Coll Materials are a testament to the business climate and collaborative support that growing companies find in Waco, McLennan County and the State of Texas,” said Jim Vaughan, president/CEO of the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce.

    “I am pleased to announce the culmination of months of work with state leadership, the Greater Waco Chamber, Sen. Birdwell's office, my office, and other stakeholders to bring a new business to the Waco/McLennan County area,” Rep. Doc Anderson said. “This investment by the Texas Enterprise Fund is a testament to the vitality of our region and the great team we have in place working with leadership to bring jobs and growth to Waco. We welcome Coll Materials to the heart of Texas, with their exciting potential, and look forward to a mutually productive relationship.”

    The legislature created the TEF in 2003 and re-appropriated funding in 2005, 2007 and 2009 to help ensure the growth of Texas businesses and create more jobs throughout the state. TEF projects must be approved by the governor, lieutenant governor and speaker of the House.

    The fund has since become one of the state’s most competitive tools to recruit and bolster business. To date, the TEF has invested more than $434.7 million and closed the deal on projects generating 59,136 new jobs and more than $14.7 billion in capital investment and more than $14.7 billion in capital investment in the state.

    For more information about the TEF, please visit http://www.texaswideopenforbusiness.com/financial-resources/texas-enterprise-fund.html or http://www.governor.state.tx.us


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    Program to help children in hunger this summer
    With summer right around the corner, it’s time to think about keeping children eating healthy while school is out. During the school year, 27,000 McLennan County children participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).
    2011-06-01

    With summer right around the corner, it’s time to think about keeping children eating healthy while school is out. During the school year, 27,000 McLennan County children participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).

    The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) provides healthy free meals to children 18 years and younger during the summer months. Sponsors provide meals at sites throughout the community through school districts, food vendors and on-site preparation.

    In 2010, only about 3,000 participated in the SFSP. Help get the word out and increase participation in 2011. As co-chair of the Food Planning Task Force of McLennan County, Waco Mayor Jim Bush has partnered with Commissioner Todd Staples to remind citizens that hunger doesn’t take a summer break.  

    “Feeding our kids during the summer is essential for their health and success. We know without the summer meals program kids will be eating whatever they can find, their health will suffer and they will not be ready to learn in the fall,” said Mayor Jim Bush. 

    As part of this initiative, volunteers are being recruited to help increase public awareness of the many locations where free meals and fun activities will be served.
     The McLennan County Hunger Coalition (MCHC) and the Food Planning Task Force of McLennan County (FPTF) have seen an increase in volunteers for this summer.  

    Rev. Kenneth Moerbe, co-chair of the FPTF and chair of MCHC knows that congregations are particularly vital in providing volunteers.  

    “We want to thank the multiple congregations who have already signed up to help by providing activities at sites, becoming meal sites, and telling their congregants and partners about the SFSP. People of faith have a natural affinity for helping hungry children – they just need to know about the opportunity,” said Moerbe. 

    Many more volunteers are still needed to help publicize summer sites throughout the county. Volunteers are always welcome and critical to the success of this summer nutrition program. Volunteers can assist with transportation, outreach, business processes, providing enrichment activities and serving meals directly to the children. Businesses can place information in company break rooms and at staff meetings.


    “It takes the entire community – children, parents, people of faith, business leaders – to make sure that our future generations are getting the nutrition they require. Greater Waco is known for our philanthropic nature – let’s make sure our youngest citizens are receiving adequate nutrition this summer,” said Bush. 

    We are sponsoring a week of outreach to help publicize summer sites – June 4-12. Find site locations by: 

    1. Go to www.mclennanhunger.org/summersites to find McLennan County sites and days and hours of operation.

    2. Go to www.SummerFood.org and click on the link “Eat Right Find a Site!” to find the site nearest you.

    3. Call 2-1-1 and they will provide the sites nearest you.  Join us for a community block walk June 11 in your neighborhood – share the information with your neighbors about sites closest to them. Pass out community flyers in your house of worship or at your business (available at www.mclennanhunger.org/summersites) . 

    The Food Planning Task Force and McLennan County Hunger Coalition are a diverse group of organizations, businesses and individuals working together to end hunger in McLennan County. 


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    FedEx Ground, partners commemorate groundbreaking for facility in Hewitt
    2011-07-12

    Hewitt, Texas – FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) celebrated the groundbreaking of its 102,000-square-foot distribution facility in Central Texas. The site doubles capacity here with 96 van positions, expandable to 120. In addition, production will increase by 7,500 more packages per hour to 22,500. FedEx reports that the new space will allow for an increase in volume, which could translate into an increase in workforce over time.

    “Since 2003 this region has experienced a 70 percent volume increase. FedEx Ground has launched four projects this year alone to support growing volume, and this new facility is the biggest out of them,” said Roy Pittman, Managing Director Gulf Coast FedEx Ground. “We are excited about this new site. By doubling our capacity, we will be able to improve our delivery times and better serve Central Texas consumers.”

    The project is a boost for Hewitt’s Commerce Park at Interstate 35 and Alliance Parkway. The site is the largest project to locate in the 147-acre Commerce Park development, is a master-planned commercial and industrial development of Intrust Properties.

    "The City of Hewitt is proud to have FedEx in our marketplace,” said Adam Miles, City Manager of Hewitt.

    The new facility was made possible by the collaboration of multiple partners; the City of Hewitt, Hewitt Chamber of Commerce, Intrust Properties, Greater Waco Chamber and Texas Commercial & Industrial Real Estate Services, Inc.

    "Every player understands the bottom line and has worked diligently to achieve it (in this project)," said Nick Jones, Development Manager of Jones Development Company.

    "FedEx is an important member of our robust logistics industry that includes 20 distribution centers totaling nearly 8 million square feet,” said Sarah Roberts, Senior Vice President Economic Development for the Greater Waco Chamber. “This project is a great example of Greater Waco’s regional efforts to support existing business expansions and we appreciate the partnerships that have made it possible to welcome this newest logistics expansion."

    About FedEx Ground: FedEx Ground has a network of more than 500 distribution hubs and local pickup-and-delivery terminals with a workforce of more than 69,000 employees and independent contractors nationwide. With 29,000 vehicles on the road, the company delivers more than 3.5 million packages daily throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. The company reported annual revenue of $8.5 billion in fiscal year 2011.


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    Camp Better America to host parade, camp for military families
    2011-07-22

    Camp Better America logoCamp Better America and the Greater Waco Chamber invite the community to come out to support and acknowledge military families for a parade at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 1 beginning at Ben E. Keith on University Parks drive, turning left on Franklin and left on Third Street. The families will arrive at Diamond Back’s for dinner at the end of the parade route. The parade is a surprise for the families, and we encourage people to bring flags, signs and enthusiasm to honor these soldiers and their loved ones. We invite military personnel and veterans to wear their uniforms. 

    Camp Better America Co-Founders, Kimberly Burleson and Kathleen Gagg, announce the next Camp Better America will be July 31 through Aug. 4 at Moon River Ranch in Satin.  The camp will host 22 military families from Fort Hood.   

    Camp Better America is a 501(c)3 organization focused on the reconnection process for military families after the service member in the family returns from war. 

    Camp Better America hosts military families that have a service member who has served multiple deployments. Camp Better America also hosts wounded warriors and families dealing with the loss of their fallen soldier 

    The atmo­sphere is family-oriented and filled with fun at resort-like locations. It is an opportunity for the service member and his/her family to relax, let their walls down and reconnect with each other. At the same time, they will be exposed to leading experts in the fields of mental, financial, emotional and physical well-being.

    It is our goal at Camp Better America to maintain a relationship with all of the families that come to our camps and continue to offer support, tools and opportuni­ties to these families as they move forward in life.  

    This is an opportunity for Waco and all Americans to be part of a solution in supporting the American service member and their families!   


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    Texas Small Business Forum Aug. 9
    The Greater Waco Chamber has partnered with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development & Tourism and the Texas Workforce Commission to host the Texas Small Business Forum Waco Regional Conference from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 9 at the Waco Convention Center.
    2011-07-22

    The Greater Waco Chamber has partnered with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development & Tourism and the Texas Workforce Commission to host the Texas Small Business Forum Waco Regional Conference from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 9 at the Waco Convention Center. 

    The event is free and open to business owners and prospective owners throughout Central Texas. The Waco Conference is part of a series of meetings held throughout the state. It provides some key presentations from the Texas Workforce Commission and presenters focused on local business issues. 

    “We have great speakers providing presentations in breakout sessions devoted to Business Essentials, Innovation/Technology/Marketing, and Leading and Managing Your Business,” said Scott Connell, Senior Vice President Strategic Development at the Chamber. “The event is meant for a regional audience and all kinds of businesses.” 

    Several partners are working together to bring this conference including the Heart of Texas Economic Development District, Workforce Solutions for the Heart of Texas, McLennan Community College, TSTC-Waco, Bellmead Economic Development Corporation, Cen-Tex African American Chamber of Commerce, Centex Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Temple College.  A number of corporate sponsors are also participating. 

    The luncheon speaker will be Texas Secretary of State Hope Andrade. Secretary Andrade will also award Texas Workforce Commission Small Business of the Year awards. The keynote speaker is Seena Sharp, author of “Competitive Intelligence Advantage,” business consultant, noted speaker and expert on the topic of competitive intelligence – business knowledge that helps companies compete.

    To register, contact Scott Connell at (254) 757-5626 or sconnell@wacochamber.com or obtain the registration form at WacoChamber.com.


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    C3 job fair 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 19
    2011-08-16

    C3/CustomerContactChannels has extended its job fair 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 19 at Hilton Waco. On the spot interviews will be conducted. Apply in advance at C3Connect.com. Flyer for more details on job fair.

    Interested applicants should call Lauren San Miguel at (254) 757-5628 to schedule an interview.

    C3/CustomerContactChannels manages nearly every facet of customer communications for corporations who rank Customer Management as a strong component of their growth and brand development strategies. Led by a team of seasoned professionals with significant experience in key industries, C3 builds solid partnerships with its clients based on mutually determined business objectives.


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    Haggard & Stocking celebrates grand opening of Woodway facility
    Haggard & Stocking Associates, Inc., celebrated the grand opening of its 20,000-square-foot warehouse facility at 251 Douglas in Woodway. The new site capacity is four times larger than their original facility, which was located at 7201 Santos Circle. The $1 million investment will allow H&S to better serve the Central Texas region. The mission of H&S is to communicate effectively with customers to determine the optimum products and services to meet or exceed expectations and to reduce total operating costs.
    2011-08-19

    Haggard & Stocking Associates, Inc., celebrated the grand opening of its 20,000-square-foot warehouse facility at 251 Douglas in Woodway. The new site capacity is four times larger than their original facility, which was located at 7201 Santos Circle. The $1 million investment will allow H&S to better serve the Central Texas region.

    The mission of H&S is to communicate effectively with customers to determine the optimum products and services to meet or exceed expectations and to reduce total operating costs.

    “In 2004, we were given the opportunity to open a facility in Waco to support L-3 and since then our love for the area has grown,” said Herb Haggard, owner and CEO, Haggard & Stocking. “We are looking forward to entering into new markets, being that our new facility has the capacity to more efficiently serve our existing clients as well as make room for additional ones.”

    H&S supplies the industrial marketplace with everything from general MRP products to highly technical tooling used in precision industrial machinery. H&S serves the automotive, aerospace, foundry, machine tool, airline, heavy transportation, rail, woodworking and metal fabrication markets with the most advanced products and technical support available.

    “It is exciting to see a company such as Haggard & Stocking expand because they are a key component for local aerospace companies. The partnership between H&S and L-3 shows the endless opportunities for future growth within Greater Waco and the aerospace industry,” said Jim Vaughan, president and CEO, Greater Waco Chamber. “This project also is a great example of Greater Waco’s regional efforts to support existing businesses. Expansion projects have accounted for a significant number of new local jobs.” 

    About Haggard & Stocking Associates, Inc.:Found in 1972 as a manufacturing representative firm, Haggard and Stocking Associates, Inc. has enjoyed more than 35 years of consistent growth in the distribution business. High quality products and impeccable service, along with a customer-driven philosophy have made them one of the Midwest’s largest and finest industrial suppliers. Customer requests have opened up new opportunities for growth, while new attitudes toward partnering, vendor reduction and single sourcing have caused H&S to diversify their product lines and service capabilities to meet changing demands.


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    Waco ranks No. 15 as best place to live in "youngest" category
    2011-08-25

    Money Magazine has named Waco as one of the top 15 cities in the country for to live in the "youngest" category.


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    Chamber staff celebrates College Colors Day
    2011-09-02


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    Chamber members collect items for fire victims
    George's and Pinnacle Insurance are collecting items to help the fire victims in the Hill Country. Canned goods, bottled water, toiletry items, pet food and clothing can be dropped off at either George's location or Pinnacle. The donations will be delivered to Bastrop on Friday Sept. 9. Please help our neighbors who are enduring loss due to the extreme drought.
    2011-09-07

    George's and Pinnacle Insurance are collecting items to help the fire victims in the Hill Country. Canned goods, bottled water, toiletry items, pet food and clothing can be dropped off at either George's location or Pinnacle. The donations will be delivered to Bastrop on Friday Sept. 9. Please help our neighbors who are enduring loss due to the extreme drought.


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    One Book One Waco announces 2011 selection
    One Book One Waco announces the 2011 book selection, The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore. The book is the true story of two boys with the same name, who started out poor in similar circumstances, and ended up in drastically different places. The author, a Rhodes Scholar and Army combat veteran, explores the issues of poverty, education, community and personal responsibility and how they work together, or don’t, to influence the lives of those in poverty.
    2011-09-22

    The Other Wes MooreOne Book One Waco announces the 2011 book selection, The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore. The book is the true story of two boys with the same name, who started out poor in similar circumstances, and ended up in drastically different places. The author, a Rhodes Scholar and Army combat veteran, explores the issues of poverty, education, community and personal responsibility and how they work together, or don’t, to influence the lives of those in poverty.

    Through a series of free public events this fall, citizens of Greater Waco can discuss these ideas and how they impact our community, including a community book discussion on Oct. 25 and a visit to Waco by author Wes Moore on Nov. 17.

    More than 800 McLennan County High School students have received copies of the book through the generosity of One Book One Waco sponsors. These students will participate in the 2011 essay contest after reading the book.

    The companion children's selection is Mahalia Mouse Goes To College by John Lithgow. This book exposes children to the collegiate experience. One Book One Waco is partnering with area school districts to get copies of the book in elementary libraries. Books are available for Adopt-a-School partners and reading mentors by contacting the One Book One Waco program.

    One Book One Waco is a community-wide reading program that promotes reading and thoughtful discussion, with activities and events focused on encouraging community participation, seeking to bring together the diverse peoples of Greater Waco in open dialogue.

    For more details, visit OneBookOneWaco.org.


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    You're invited - Membership Media Luncheon Oct. 19
    Please join us as we welcome Evan Smith, editor-in-chief of TexasTribune.org and former editor of Texas Monthly. Smith's insights into the Texas politcal scene span nearly two decades. He has won numerous prestigious awards as a journalist and hosted the Lone Star Emmy Award-winning weekly interview progream, Texas Monthly Talks, that aired on PBS statewide for eight years. He currently hosts a new show, Overheard with Evan Smith, that airs on PBS stations nationally. A New York native, Smith has a bachelor's degree in public policy from Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., and a master's degree in journalism from the Medill School at Northwestern University.
    2011-10-12

    This event is open to all Chamber members and is not just limited to the media. Out of respect for our speaker's schedule this event will start promptly. Please arrive at 11:30 when serving will begin for the fajita lunch.

    Please join us as we welcome Evan Smith, editor-in-chief of TexasTribune.org and former editor of Texas Monthly. Smith's insights into the Texas politcal scene span nearly two decades. He has won numerous prestigious awards as a journalist and hosted the Lone Star Emmy Award-winning weekly interview progream, Texas Monthly Talks, that aired on PBS statewide for eight years. He currently hosts a new show, Overheard with Evan Smith, that airs on PBS stations nationally. A New York native, Smith has a bachelor's degree in public policy from Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., and a master's degree in journalism from the Medill School at Northwestern University.


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    Waco Breaks Ground on Central Texas’ First Hawaiian Falls
    Total waterpark value to exceed $10 milion. New park to open Spring 2012.
    2011-10-13


    Heralding a new era of economic revitalization and a new approach to tourism and family entertainment, business and community leaders joined Hawaiian Falls president David Busch, Waco Mayor Jim Bush and city officials today to celebrate the ground breaking for the new Hawaiian Falls waterpark.

    Located at 900 Lake Shore Drive, on the site of the former Waco City Water Park, Hawaiian Falls Waco will employ more than 150 seasonal workers and is expected to draw more than 70,000 tourists to the area each year.  The park is projected to have a total annual attendance of 150,000 guests. Hawaiian Falls Waco will be three times larger than the existing aquatic facility. The new park is scheduled to open Memorial Day weekend 2012.

    “We’re honored to bring Hawaiian Falls’ brand of family entertainment to Waco and Central Texas,” said David Busch, president of Hawaiian Falls. “Because of its central location and the receptive nature of city officials, we selected Waco to be home to our fifth Hawaiian Falls Waterpark. We look forward to being a part of the growth and prosperity in Waco and the Central Texas area.”

    In a public/private partnership between Hawaiian Falls and the City of Waco, the two entities will immediately invest $6.2 million in converting the former aquatic center into a family waterpark. The city will retain ownership of the park with Hawaiian Falls operating it under a renewable 40-year lease.

    "We welcome this project to our community and appreciate the contributions and expertise of our new partner,” stated Waco Mayor Jim Bush.  “They’ve shown in other markets that they give back a great deal to the community in which they operate. Hawaiian Falls will provide family fun and recreation for all of the residents in our community."

    Hawaiian Falls Waco will be one of the largest and most elaborately themed and landscaped of the Hawaiian Falls waterparks, featuring two, six-story slide complexes with a six-lane racer slide, several tube slides, speed slides and a raft ride; plus a football field-sized wavepool; an 800-foot lazy river winding through tall trees; a floating obstacle course and an enhanced children’s area.
     
    “Hawaiian Falls Waco will have the longest lead time for construction of any of the two-dozen parks we have built or refurbished,” added Busch.  “We’re looking forward to the extra time to enhance the landscaping and theming.”
     
    Hawaiian Falls Waco will have special programs for mothers of preschoolers and present “Dive-In” movies during the season. They will also offer private cabanas for daily rental, corporate picnic and group areas, birthday packages and several food and beverage options.

    Season passes for 2012 are on sale starting today at www.hfalls.com. Waco residents may obtain season passes at a special rate of $59.99 (plus tax), a savings of $20 per season pass on the regular rate of $79.99. Non-Waco residents will be able to purchase season passes for as little as $64.99 (plus tax) each for a limited time. Season passes are valid for daily admission to all five Texas Hawaiian Falls at no additional charge.  
     
    Daily admission prices are expected to be $23.99 for adults; $16.99 seniors (60 years and older) and children under 48 inches tall. Children two and under will be admitted free with a parent or guardian. Hawaiian Falls Waco will be open daily 10:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday noon – 7 p.m. from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.

    Hawaiian Falls employs nearly 1,000 people at waterparks in Garland, Mansfield, The Colony and Roanoke, Texas. The parks will re-open Memorial Day weekend 2012. Season passes and more information is available at http://www.hfalls.com.


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    Community leaders to discuss The Other Wes Moore
    One Book One Waco and the Greater Waco Chamber invite the citizens of Greater Waco to attend a panel discussion of The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore. Panelists represent diverse leadership in our community. Their wide array of backgrounds and experiences will influence the discussion and what this community can learn from the book regarding poverty and education.
    2011-10-20

    Wes MooreOne Book One Waco and the Greater Waco Chamber invite the citizens of Greater Waco to attend a panel discussion of The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore. Panelists represent diverse leadership in our community.

    Their wide array of backgrounds and experiences will influence the discussion and what this community can learn from the book regarding poverty and education. Panelists are Toni Herbert, Waco City Council; Sherman Ayres, S.R. Ayres & Associates; Ernesto Fraga, El Tiempo, Terry Gambill, Midway High School Football coach; and Earind Jackson, Uniquely Targeted Program Manager, Girl Scouts of Central Texas.

    The panel will be moderated by Brenda Atchison, Platinum Career Coaching. The discussion will begin at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 25 at Kayser Auditorium in the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University.

    Following the panel’s discussion, the public will have the opportunity to discuss their thoughts on The Other Wes Moore with the panel.For more details, visit www.OneBookOneWaco.org.


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    Smith receives 2011 Frank Fallon Sportsmanship Award
    Steve Smith, senior vice president of sports and special events for the Greater Waco Chamber, received the Frank Fallon Sportsmanship Award Oct. 26 at the 2011 First National Bank Central Texas Tip Off Sports Luncheon.
    2011-10-27

    Steve Smith receives 2011 Frank Fallon Sportsmanship Award.Steve Smith, senior vice president of sports and special events for the Greater Waco Chamber, received the Frank Fallon Sportsmanship Award Oct. 26 at the 2011 First National Bank Central Texas Tip Off Sports Luncheon.

    Smith was selected by the committee for dedication to promoting sports in Central Texas.

    Smith joined the Greater Waco Chamber in 1995 and since that time has developed successful programs by integrating volunteers and the business community into an impressive task force for Baylor University and Big12 sporting events, Chamber sports luncheons and the Starburst Junior Golf Tournament, which has evolved into the largest junior tournament of its kind in the entire country.

    Most recently, Smith helped to create TriWaco, which has already grown and been highly successful since its inception in 2009.

    Steve Fallon, son of the award’s namesake, presented the award and congratulated Smith on the recognition.

    “Our recipient has used his wit, wisdom and charm to further sports awareness in Central Texas like no other,” said Fallon.


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    Greater Waco Chamber selects 2012 board
    The Greater Waco Chamber board of directors has elected officers for 2012. The are: Stewart Kelly, president/CEO, Kelly, Realtors, chair; Ed Page, regional operations director, H-E-B, chair-elect; Scott Felton, president-retired, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., and Michael J. Reitmeier, president, Jaynes Reitmeier, Boyd & Therrell, P.C, vice chairs; Don Moes, president, Turner Manufacturing Co., immediate past chair; and James G. Vaughan Jr. president/CEO.
    2011-10-28

    The Greater Waco Chamber board of directors has elected officers for 2012. The are: Stewart Kelly, president/CEO, Kelly, Realtors, chair; Ed Page, regional operations director, H-E-B, chair-elect; Scott Felton, president-retired, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., and Michael J. Reitmeier, president, Jaynes Reitmeier, Boyd & Therrell, P.C, vice chairs; Don Moes, president, Turner Manufacturing Co., immediate past chair; and James G. Vaughan Jr. president/CEO.

    The board also confirmed 10 business leaders to serve a three-year term, 2012-2014, beginning in January and 10 additional directors appointed by Kelly to serve a one-year term in 2012.

    Elected directors serving the 2012-2014 term are Elizabeth Davis, executive vice president and provost, Baylor University; Lauren Dreyer, director of business development, SpaceX; James Lafayette, president/CEO, Tricon Legacy Hospitality Group; Neil Ling, president, GENCO Federal Credit Union; Carlos Lopez, market manager, Wal-Mart Stores; Parker Pieri, director of finance, The Dwyer Group; James Recks, president, AMC  Financial Holdings; Mark Reynolds, regional president, Extraco Banks; John Vizner, plant manager, Caterpillar Work Tools; and Gary Vogel, president, Vogel Financial Group.

    Appointed directors serving the 2012 term are Ashley Allison, executive director, Waco Foundation; Herb Cross Jr., president, CWA Construction, Inc.; Nancy Grayson, superintendent, Rapoport Academy; Priscilla Gutierrez, consumer market executive, Bank of America; Brad J. Harrell, CCIM, KW Commercial; David Hicks, president/CEO, American Bank; James Nelson, vice president and branch manager, Community Bank & Trust; Glenn A. Robinson, CEO, Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center; Loren Schwartz, financial advisor, Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith; and Troy Totten, plant manager, Mars Chocolate North America.

    Members continuing on the Board through 2012 are Wes Allison, president/CEO, Extraco Events Center; Wesley Carter, complex general manager, Cargill Value-Added Meats; George Chase, president, Insurors of Texas; Jay Hamme, general manager, Coca-Cola Refreshments; Jennifer Manning, partner, accounting and business, Pattillo, Brown & Hill; Valerie Robinson, co-owner, Waco Tribune-Herald; Brad Toben, dean, Baylor Law School; Rick Tullis, president, Capstone Mechanical; Greg Vanek, CEO/president, National Lloyds Insurance Company; and Jennifer Vera, owner, Action Rental Center.

    Members continuing on the Board through 2013 are Donnis Baggett, publisher, Waco Tribune-Herald; Randy Cox, secretary/treasurer, WRS Group, Ltd./ QTI Promotions & Apparel; Freddy Duron, co-owner, Freddy’s Auto Glass & Mirror; Ernesto Frago, publisher, El Tiempo, Gordon Harriman III, president/CEO, Crawford-Austin Properties, Debbie Keel, regional director, AT&T, Chris Klesse, general manager, Associated Hygienic Products, LLC; Mike Simon, managing director, Higginbotham & Associates; Ted Teague, general manager, Allen Samuels Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram; and Mark Zorn, financial advisor, Jim Morrison Financial Services.


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    Central Texas Economic Forecast Luncheon
    2011-11-08

    Economic Forecasst Luncheon



    Nov. 14 • 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Texas Sports Hall of Fame

    Sponsors:Baylor University, Hankamer School of Business & Greater Waco Chamber

    To register, click here, or call Susan Armstrong at (254) 710-6177

    AGENDA

    Welcome: Terry Maness, Dean, Hankamer School of Business, Baylor University

    Introduction of Panel: Stewart Kelly, Chair Elect, Executive Committee, Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce

    National & Texas Forecast: M. Ray Perryman, President, The Perryman Group

    Central Texas Forecast: Thomas M. Kelly, Director, Center for Business & Economic Research, Baylor University

    Outlook for Financial Markets: James Shelton, Chief Investment Officer, Kanaly Trust

    Discussion and Announcement of 2011 Forecast Award

     


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    One Book One Waco hosts Wes Moore
    2011-11-15

    One Book One Waco hosts Wes Moore


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    SpaceX hosts rocket test, signs economic development agreement
    SpaceX included its neighbors in a picnic and rocket test Nov. 19 while also marking the occasion by signing a long-term economic development agreement with the City of McGregor.
    2011-11-21

    SpaceX tests rocketSpaceX included its neighbors in a picnic and rocket test Nov. 19 while also marking the occasion by signing a long-term economic development agreement with the City of McGregor.

    The agreement, which was partially facilitated by the Greater Waco Chamber, provides incentives to encourage SpaceX to add and maintain high quality jobs and make large infrastructure investments in SpaceX’s 630-acre Rocket Development Facility in McGregor.

    The agreement could result in more than $60 million being invested in the facility and hundreds of jobs paying 30% more than the average weekly wage in McLennan County.  

    SpaceX has a $1.6 billion contract with NASA to haul supplies to the International Space Station,

    SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk flew in from California to attend the event.

    “We have had  support from the community from the beginning,” said Musk. “I like the spirit of Texas, probably more than any other state in the country it believes in freedom and free enterprise. Texas likes doing things that are big and exciting. There is a sense of optimism and a feeling that great things can be accomplished.”

    Lauren Dreyer, director of business affairs at SpaceX echoes that sentiment.

    “McGregor has been a great place for SpaceX to do business. SpaceX will use these incentives to further our investment in jobs and infrastructure in McGregor," she said.

    SpaceX's rocket facility is located four miles west of McGregor High School on Bluebonnet Parkway.


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    Baylor vs UT this Saturday!
    We as a community have a unique opportunity to witness a special event at 2:30 p.m. this Saturday at Floyd Casey Stadium. The 17th ranked (BCS poll) Baylor Bears host the University of Texas Longhorns in a game that has many ramifications, and your support is needed. I know most of you have tickets and will attend, but you can be a big player in recruiting fans to purchase tickets and come see one of the most exciting Baylor football teams in quite some time.
    2011-12-01


    We as a community have a unique opportunity to witness a special event  at 2:30 p.m. this Saturday at Floyd Casey Stadium. The 17th ranked (BCS poll) Baylor Bears host the University of Texas Longhorns in a game that has many ramifications, and your support is needed. I know most of you have tickets and will attend, but you can be a big player in recruiting fans to purchase tickets and come see one of the most exciting Baylor football teams in quite some time. Fans will be a part of:
    • The nationally televised game on ABC. We will not share this time slot with any other game on ABC. This give us the chance to help change perceptions about the support locally of Baylor football and to improve our position with bowl executives as they make their decisions regarding Baylor and their fan support.
    • The first sold-out game since 2006.
    • Watching Robert Griffin III (RG3), one of the top three Heisman candidates for 2011, according to most national publications. He is considered by many to be the best athlete in college football.
    • Watching Kendall Wright, one of Baylor’s most prolific receivers; Terrance Ganaway, last week’s Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week; and a host of other seniors play their last game at Floyd Casey Stadium. These seniors have helped build a new tradition with back-to-back bowl appearances for the first time since 1991.
    • Helping push the Bears to 9 wins with a chance at 10 with a bowl-game victory. A win Saturday will also give the Bears a 7-0 home record for 2011. The last time Baylor was undefeated at home was 1985, when they were 5-0.
    • Maintain the excitement and momentum for the new Baylor football stadium on the Brazos River. This stadium will be a catalyst for significant development along the Brazos River and the Greater Downtown area. We have an opportunity as a community to help develop one of the most beautiful and unique college stadiums in the country. 
    • Last but not least, we have an opportunity to defeat Texas for the second year in a row. . . . Do you know how long that’s been? (Here’s a hint: Grant Teaff was still coaching.)


    Don’t delay because tickets are selling very well. Wear your Baylor Gold and be Baylor Proud!

                    Sic ’Em!


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    Waco Proud
    2011-12-09

    RG3


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    Best Wishes for Holidays
    2011-12-20

    Christmas Card


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    Putting the "MOCK" in Democracy!
    2012-01-03

    Chamber BanquetJoin us for the 2012 Annual Membership Banquet featuring the Capitol Steps, a favorite on the Washington social circuit. This political satire performance by Senate staffers finds humor on both sides of the aisle. They have recorded more than 30 albums, including their latest, Desperate Housemembers. Featured on NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS and NPR, the Capitol Steps puts the "MOCK" in Democracy!


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    Equipment Depot Mid-Tex Farm & Ranch Show Feb. 7-8
    The Greater Waco Chamber will host the 41st annual Equipment Depot Mid-Tex Farm & Ranch Show Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 7-8, at the Extraco Events Center, Home of the Heart O’ Texas Fair & Rodeo, in the Coliseum and General Exhibits Building. New show hours will be from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7 and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8.
    2012-01-05

    Mid-Tex BoxThe Greater Waco Chamber will host the 41st annual Equipment Depot Mid-Tex Farm & Ranch Show Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 7-8, at the Extraco Events Center, Home of the Heart O’ Texas Fair & Rodeo, in the Coliseum and General Exhibits Building.

    New show hours will be from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7 and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8. 

    The Mid-Tex Show offers exhibitors a first-rate forum to present their products and services to an expected attendance of more than 3,000 Central Texas farmers and ranchers.

    New this year in partnership with the Deer Breeders Corporation the show will provide deer breeders, hunters and wildlife enthusiasts the opportunity to learn and see the latest in breeding and hunting.

    Visitors to the Equipment Depot Mid-Tex Farm & Ranch Show will have the opportunity to view top exhibits of the newest farm and ranch equipment, seed, chemicals and ag-related services and technologies.  

    The 50th Annual Blackland Income Growth Conference (B.I.G.) will be held in conjunction with the Mid-Tex Show and will offer commodity sessions, special meetings and forums. Topics of discussion will include beef, horticulture and grain; health and fitness with a busy schedule; cotton, forage and wildlife; and other training and recertification sessions.   

    Tuesday selected McLennan County high school students will be awarded scholarships for outstanding FFA, FHA and 4-H members at the Allen Samuels Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram Scholarship Luncheon. These unique and exceptional students also plan to major in an agricultural and home economics related field.

    Scholarships are sponsored by Associated Concrete Contractors and John McClaren Chevrolet. Other Sponsors include: Allen Samuels Chevrolet, Alliance Distributing, Dealers Electrical Supply Co., Educators Credit Union, First National Bank of Central Texas, Greg May Chevrolet Business Central, KXXV News Channel 25, Pioneer Steel & Pipe Company, Texas Animal Medical Center, Time Warner Cable, Tractor Supply, Wells Fargo Bank Texas N.A.,  Greater Waco Chamber and Texas AgriLife Extension Service  

    For more information about the Equipment Depot Mid-Tex Farm & Ranch show, call Blake Harris at (254) 757-5605, or visit WacoChamber.com.


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    First National Bank Central Texas First Pitch Luncheon Feb. 1
    The First Pitch Luncheon presented by First National Bank of Central Texas will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 1 at the Ferrell Center at Baylor University.
    2012-01-05

     First Pitch BoxThe First Pitch Luncheon presented by First National Bank of Central Texas will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 1 at the Ferrell Center at Baylor University.  

    Guest speakers will be Steve Busby former Major League Baseball pitcher and Texas Rangers’ Broadcaster and former Midway High School graduate, Major League Baseball pitcher and current Texas Rangers bullpen coach Andy Hawkins.

    Dave Barnett will talk about the Rangers and then introduce Hawkins and host a question-and-answer session with him.  Also speaking at the luncheon will be Baylor Baseball’s Head Coach Steve Smith and Lady Bear’s Softball Head Coach Glenn Moore who will discuss their programs.

    McLennan Community College Baseball’s Head Coach Pete Mejia and Highlassie’s Softball Head Coach Manuel Ordones also will speak. 

    The First National Bank of Central Texas First Pitch Luncheon also is sponsored by the AT&T, Baylor Athletics, Baylor University, Baylor IMG College, American Guaranty Title, Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center, KWTX News 10, Nell and Jim Hawkins, Northern & Nye, Staas Plumbing Company and Time Warner Cable Sports. Tables are $375 for a table of 10.

    Make checks payable to the Greater Waco Chamber and mail check to: Greater Waco Chamber • P.O. Box 1220 • Waco TX 76703-1220

    For more information, call Blake Harris at (254) 757-5605.


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    Waco metro employment growth ranks in top 10% of nation
    Employment growth in Waco is among the best in the nation, according to the Garner Economics LLC Metro Jobs Report.
    2012-01-24

    Employment growth in Waco is among the best in the nation, according to the Garner Economics LLC Metro Jobs Report.  Waco is one of only 34 of the the 372 metros in the U.S. to have exceeded its pre-recession employment, according to Garner’s analysis of November 2011 Bureau of Labor Statistics employment numbers.   As of November 2011, Waco’s one-year job growth of 1.7 percent more than doubled the national average of 0.7 percent.    


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    Vaughan announces retirement
    2012-02-08

    Jim VaughanJames G. Vaughan Jr., President and CEO of the Greater Waco Chamber, announced today his plans to retire on June 30, 2012 or as soon thereafter as his successor is named.

    Vaughan, 68, told the Chamber’s Board of Directors that May 1 will mark eight years as president and CEO of the Greater Waco Chamber and 42 years as a chamber professional and consultant to local chambers.

    “The approaching reality of these milestones has led my wife, Patty, and me to reflect on my career and our future and we have decided that it is time to retire from active Chamber work,” Vaughan said.

    Board Chair Stewart Kelly said that Vaughan’s work with the Chamber has been marked with an energy that has set in motion progressive goals for both the organization and the community.

    “Jim has had a tremendous impact on our Chamber as well as the Greater Waco community. In what most people would consider a short amount of time, Jim was able to bring all of his prior chamber experiences and share them with the Waco Chamber,” said Kelly. “In doing so, he assembled a tremendous staff. Together, under Jim's leadership, the Chamber staff and a broad base of Chamber volunteers have grown the Chamber into an exciting and vibrant organization that sets the foundation for future growth.”

    Kelly said the Chamber has formed a search committee to begin a nationwide search for a new president and CEO of the Chamber.

    Chamber Chair-Elect Ed Page echoes Kelly’s sentiments.

    “Jim has been a visionary leader that helped us work together to accomplish what we all wanted to do, which is to make Waco a better community,” said Page. “Jim has done this by helping us reshape what others thought about Waco and he did that first by getting all of us who live here to start thinking differently about ourselves.”

    Scott Felton, the Chamber’s vice chair and treasurer, said Vaughan has been a good fit for the Greater Waco Chamber and has enhanced the organization’s role in spurring development.

    "Chambers don't necessarily make communities better, and chamber presidents don't necessarily make a chamber better, but ours does,” said Felton. “Through Jim Vaughan's leadership, the Chamber has provided outstanding support and leadership to the economic and community development in McLennan County."

    The Chamber has worked closely with the City of Waco and other economic development partners to produce results.

    Waco City Manager Larry Groth said, "I appreciate what Jim has brought to the city these last eight years. He has energized the Chamber and has challenged us as a community to do more."

    Immediate Past Chair Don Moes said the accomplishments during Vaughan’s tenure are outstanding and will leave a lasting footprint on the future of the community.

    "Jim has done as much or more for Waco than anyone I know,” said Moes.

    Vaughan said constructing Waco’s “first green chamber building in America” has been one of the most visible accomplishments of his time at the Chamber, but he listed many other successes by the Chamber, its volunteer leadership, staff and public and private sector partners, including:

    • Attracting 20 new companies and 40 expansions by existing firms; 5,314 new jobs, 3,190 jobs retained and $740 million capital invested in projects assisted by the Chamber’s economic development staff;

    • Developing and implementing a master plan for the Waco Industrial Foundation business parks including $6.8 million invested in new infrastructure and $6 million to acquire additional property to accommodate development.

    • Making urban development a Chamber and community priority; projecting a billion dollar decade downtown; defining Greater Downtown and making the case for a 40-year plan and 100,000 people living and working downtown; and advocating for smart growth and sustainable development.

    • Advocating for official standing in the permitting process for coal-fired electric generating plants in Greater Waco that contributed to TXU’s decision not to build the plants.

    • Establishing the Community Development division to engage members and staff in education, workforce and a range of quality of life initiatives.

    • Matching 40 business mentors with 115 Waco Independent School District students during five years, and all of the seniors in this program have graduated and gone to college.

    • Reviving the One Book One Waco community-wide reading program and supporting a variety of efforts to reduce poverty and hunger here.

    • Growing the sports luncheon series to average 1,100 in attendance at each event; starting the TriWaco triathlon which attracted more than 900 runners in 2011; and increasing participation in the Starburst Junior Golf Classic to 1000 boys and girls annually on nine courses.

    • Starting a quarterly magazine, weekly electronic newsletter, monthly television program and eight websites to promote Chamber programs and to help change perceptions about Greater Waco.

    • Increasing the Chamber’s annual budget from $1.5 million in 2004 to $3.3 million in 2012; enlarging the organization’s professional staff from 13 to 21; and raising $5.9 million for annual operations in seven all-volunteer Total Resource Campaigns.

    The Chamber building was the first in Waco designed and constructed to meet the standards of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program of the U.S. Green Building Council. In addition to LEED-Gold certification, the Chamber has received 12 national and state awards and designations for the building.

    “The Chamber building became a reality because of Campaign Chair Tom Salome and Building Committee Chair Bob Davis,” Vaughan said. “Together we raised $7.4 million to construct the building and to implement the Chamber’s first five-year strategic plan for economic and community development.”

    Looking forward, Vaughan said the decision by Chamber leaders to create and fund implementation of two five-year strategic plans for economic and community development may have been the biggest and most important change for the Chamber since 2004.

    Nine business executives served as chief volunteer officer of the Chamber during Vaughan’s years as CEO— Jim Haller, Kent Keahey, Bob Davis, David Lacy, Rick Brophy, Roland Goertz, Terry Stevens, Don Moes and Stewart Kelly.

    “I am indebted to each of these outstanding leaders and to the other members of the 2012 Executive Committee—Ed Page, Scott Felton and Mike Reitmeier—and to the board of directors, committees, task forces and the Chamber’s membership for their support of me as president,” Vaughan said.

    “I appreciate the good relationship we have enjoyed with our economic development partners: the Waco Industrial Foundation led during my tenure by presidents Louie Englander, Monte Hulse, Tom Salome, Stanley Strum and Bob Davis; and the Waco McLennan County Economic Development Corporation led by County Judge Jim Lewis, City Manager Larry Groth and private sector representative Bill Clifton.”

    “I am also grateful for the dedication, energy and can-do spirit of our professional staff—both past and present—and especially Executive Vice President Linda Beasley and Senior Vice Presidents Sarah Roberts and Ken Hampton,” Vaughan said. “Our staff is as dedicated and talented as any I have worked with in all my years in the chamber business.”

    “Working together—volunteers and staff and with our many public and private sector partners—we have moved Greater Waco forward with new and bigger goals and higher expectations for the future, which I have always believed was the primary purpose of the local chamber of commerce,” Vaughan said.

    “From my predecessor, Jack Stewart, I inherited a good and financially sound Chamber,” Vaughan said. “On that foundation we have built an even stronger and better-funded organization that is recognized throughout the region for getting results.” He concluded, “It is my hope and expectation that my successor will take our Chamber to even greater levels of success.”

    In retirement, Vaughan said he plans to work as a consultant part time in the areas of his greatest interest—strategic planning, sustainable development and fund-raising.


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    March 2012 Employment Figures:
    The number of people unemployed in Waco MSA dropped by 752 between March 2011 and March 2012 and unemployment rate is down to 6.7%. Both C.L.F (1.2%) and employment (1.4%) reflected an increase over February.
    2012-05-04

    Results below are related to "Establishment" data, specifically the Current Employment Statistics survey of businesses, which pertain to jobs (persons on payrolls) and where those jobs are located.

     

    Waco MSA

    January 2012

    February 2012

    March 2012

    v  Labor Force:

    113,786

    113,739

    115,053

    v  Employment:

    105,455

    105,877

    107,319

    v  Unemployment:

    8,331

    7,862

    7,734

    v  Unemployment Rate:

    7.3%

    6.9%

    6.7%

    Texas

     


    v  Labor Force:

    12,462,387

    12,464,812

    12,532,596

    v  Employment:

    11,515,624

    11,570,544

    11,655,731

    v  Unemployment:

    946,763

    894,268

    876,384

    v  Unemployment Rate:

    7.6%

    7.2%

    7.0%

    United States

     


    v  Labor Force:

    153,485,000

    154,114,000

    154,316,000

    v  Employment:

    139,944,000

    140,684,000

    141,412,000

    v  Unemployment:

    13,541,000

    13,430,000

    12,904,000

    v  Unemployment Rate:

    8.8%

    8.7%

    8.4%

    The number of people unemployed in Waco MSA dropped by 752 between March 2011 and March 2012 and unemployment rate is down to 6.7%. Both C.L.F (1.2%) and employment (1.4%) reflected an increase over February.

    Employment growth included: Increases in Nonagricultural Employment for Waco MSA including two of the regional target industries: Manufacturing – 300

    Professional and Business Services – 200
    Leisure and Hospitality - 100

    April employment rates will be released on May 18.


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    Roberts Awarded IAMC Fellow Designation
    The Industrial Asset Management Council (IAMC) awarded Sarah Roberts, Senior Vice President Economic Development, Greater Waco Chamber, the designation IAMC Fellow.
    2012-05-04

     Sarah RobertsThe Industrial Asset Management Council (IAMC) awarded Sarah Roberts, Senior Vice President Economic Development, Greater Waco Chamber, the designation IAMC Fellow. IAMC Fellows have completed the Leadership Development Program, participating in five leadership seminars in four learning categories: individual, team, emotional intelligence and general leadership.

    The Leadership Development Program provides high-quality training that enhances personal and professional leadership skills.

    IAMC Fellows are leaders not only in IAMC, but also in the industry at large,” said Ron Starner, executive director of IAMC. “Sarah is a great asset to IAMC. We are very pleased to welcome her to this prestigious group of IAMC Fellows.” Roberts leads the Chamber’s economic development initiatives that include business retention and attraction, regional partnerships, urban development and marketing Greater Waco to target industries.

    Roberts also serves alongside corporate real estate leaders as a Director on the IAMC board - one of two economic developers nationwide.  "It is an honor to be recognized by an outstanding organization like IAMC that is on the forefront of corporate real estate and helps connect Waco to a network of leaders,” said Roberts.

    About the IAMC Leadership Development ProgramThe Leadership Development Program provides high-quality training across four broad learning categories: individual, team, emotional intelligence and general leadership. Candidates who complete the program are awarded the IAMC Fellow designation.  Since 2006, 90 candidates have earned the IAMC Fellow designation.
     
    For more information, visit http://www.iamc.org/events/leadership.cfm. About the Industrial Asset Management Council (IAMC)
    Founded in June 2002, the Industrial Asset Management Council (IAMC) is the leading association of industrial asset management and corporate real estate executives, their suppliers, service providers and economic developers. IAMC is a member-focused association providing strategic insights, highest quality educational resources and exclusive networking opportunities for the leaders of the manufacturing and industrial asset management industry. 

    As of March 2012, the membership of IAMC totaled 565.  For more information, call (770) 325-3461 or visit http://www.iamc.org/.


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    Greater Waco Chamber accepting applications for Leadership Waco
    The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce is now accepting applications for Leadership Waco Class XXIX. Download the application, which is due May 31.
    2012-05-04

    Leadership WacoThe Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce is now accepting applications for Leadership Waco Class XXIX. Download the application, which is due May 31.  Leadership Waco, sponsored by Pattillo, Brown & Hill, L.L.P., is a program of the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce designed to identify and develop potential community leaders. 

    The program is open to applicants who are at least 25 years old and have either lived or worked within the city of Waco, its extraterritorial jurisdiction or any city or community within that jurisdiction for the past 12 months. Applicants must be able to commit one day each month for nine months to the program. 

    Participants experience a unique opportunity to become more aware of the dynamics of the social and economic factors affecting our community, while preparing for leadership roles in the future. A limited number of partial scholarships are available to help cover costs of the program, including materials, meals and other expenses. To be considered for a scholarship, please complete the scholarship form that is attached to the general Leadership Waco application. For more information, contact Christy Sanders at (254) 757-5611.


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    Greater Waco Chamber announces enhanced site selection website
    Businesses considering a Greater Waco location now have a Web 2.0 tool enabling them to access important site selection information faster than ever before. The Greater Waco Chamber announced today that its WacoProspector.com tool, created by GIS Planning, has been transformed using new Software as a Service technology
    2012-05-04

    Waco Prospector BoxBusinesses considering a Greater Waco location now have a Web 2.0 tool enabling them to access important site selection information faster than ever before. The Greater Waco Chamber announced today that its WacoProspector.com tool, created by GIS Planning, has been transformed using new Software as a Service technology. 

    Waco’s Geographic Information System (GIS)-powered website offers state-of-the-art site selection analysis and mapping capabilities using ZoomProspector and Google Maps technology. This one-stop system provides website users with free and instant commercial real estate data, demographic breakdowns, community details, lists of buildings available for sale or lease, and information on the local workforce, including education and skills.

    “As the web continues to evolve, we are continuing to provide business executives and site selectors with the most up-to-date resource for making business expansion decisions here in Waco,” said Jim Vaughan, CEO of the Greater Waco Chamber. WacoProspector.com has been an incredibly valuable recruitment and expansion tool for us, and we expect it will continue to drive businesses and jobs to our community.” 

    Specifically, the enhanced WacoProspector.com website allows visitors to:

    • Search for available buildings and sites using very specific criteria, and display properties on an interactive map that can also show specific points of interest, demographic information and more
    • Explore existing businesses in Waco by general and specific industry classifications, and by size and performance
    • Find locations in Waco that match specific demographic, labor force, transportation and geographic profiles
    • Easily save property, demographic, community and business reports
    • Use smart phones to connect from printed flyers to WacoProspector.com using Quick Response codes

    WacoProspector.com is integrated with GIS Planning's national site selection search engine, http://www.ZoomProspector.com, which allows visitors to conduct national searches of cities and commercial properties that match their unique criteria. 

    About the Greater Waco Chamber
    The Greater Waco Chamber has a history of successfully supporting projects, from the earliest stages of site selection through incentive negotiations, to project announcement. Once located here, Greater Waco and McLennan County have demonstrated a commitment to provide ongoing, aggressive support for the expansion of existing businesses. In fact, since 2006, the Greater Waco Chamber team is proud to announce that having supported more than 21 new attraction projects and 41 expansion projects, creating more than 5,370 jobs and $742 million in capital investment in the Greater Waco community.

    WacoProspect.com is sponsored by American Guaranty Title, Walker Partners, Community Bank & Trust and Coldwell Banker Jim Stewart Realtors.

    About GIS Planning, Inc.  GIS Planning (http://www.gisplanning.com) is the world leader in online economic development solutions. More than 13,000 U.S. cities in 42 states are served by GIS Planning’s Geographic Information System (GIS) Software, which provides real estate, demographic and industry data to help site selection professionals. GIS Planning invented ZoomProspector.com, a free website that enables companies identify the best locations to start-up, expand or relocate. 

    GIS Planning media contact:  April Nichols • (646) 554-4295 or april@violetcommunications.com
    Greater Waco Chamber media contact: Lesly Rascoe, Vice President Communications • (254) 757-5603 • lrascoe@wacochamber.com


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    2012 Starburst Junior Golf Classic June 11-13
    The 14th annual Starburst Junior Golf Tournament will be June 11-13 at eight area golf courses. Junior golfers from Mexico and nine states will compete for 11 divisional championships for ages 7-18.
    2012-05-18

    Starburst BoxThe 14th annual Starburst Junior Golf Tournament will be June 11-13 at eight area golf courses. Junior golfers from Mexico and nine states will compete for 11 divisional championships for ages 7-18.   

    Time Warner Cable Ball DropTournament events include the Titleist Demo Night on Monday, June 11 at the tournament home course, Cottonwood Creek.  This also will be the site for the annual Time Warner Cable Sports Helicopter Ball Drop at 8 p.m. Tuesday.  One lucky winner will win $2,500 with the winning ball dropped from the helicopter. The special guest to drop the balls is Glenn Moore, the Baylor Lady Bear softball coach.

    Area Courses
    Starburst golfers will be seen on courses throughout the area.
    • Twin Rivers Golf Club
    • Ridgewood Country Club
    • Wildflower Country Club
    • Stonetree Golf Club
    • White Bluff Golf Club
    • Cottonwood Creek Golf Course
    • Mill Creek Golf Club
    • Marlin Country Club
    • Squaw Valley Golf Course

    Complete tournament information can be found at StarburstGolf.com or contact Harris at (254) 757-5605.


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    April unemployment figures reflect employment growth
    Greater Waco's target industries including Aerospace and Defense, Health Care, Advanced Manufacturing, Professional and Financial Services, and Supply Chain Management all experienced growth either monthly and/or annually in the last year. The unemployment rate has dropped to 6.1 % for Greater Waco, which is still ahead of the state rate at 6.5% and the United States rate at 7.7%.
    2012-05-18

    Greater Waco's target industries including Aerospace and Defense, Health Care, Advanced Manufacturing, Professional and Financial Services, and Supply Chain Management all experienced growth either monthly and/or annually in the last year. The unemployment rate has dropped to 6.1 % for Greater Waco, which is still ahead of the state rate at 6.5% and the United States rate at 7.7%.

    Results below are related to "Establishment" data, specifically the Current Employment Statistics survey of businesses, which pertain to jobs (persons on payrolls) and where those jobs are located.

    Waco MSA

    January 2012February 2012March 2012April 2012
    v  Labor Force:113,786113,739115,053116,120
    v  Employment:105,455105,877107,319109,013
    v  Unemployment:8,3317,8627,7347,107
    v  Unemployment Rate:7.3%6.9%6.7%6.1%
    Texas    
    v  Labor Force:12,462,38712,464,81212,532,59612,547,852
    v  Employment:11,515,62411,570,54411,655,73111,733,325
    v  Unemployment:946,763894,268876,384814,527
    v  Unemployment Rate:7.6%7.2%7.0%6.5%
    United States    
    v  Labor Force:153,485,000154,114,000154,316,000153,905,000
    v  Employment:139,944,000140,684,000141,412,000141,995,000
    v  Unemployment:13,541,00013,430,00012,904,00011,910,000
    v  Unemployment Rate:8.8%8.7%8.4%7.7%
    The number of people unemployed in Waco MSA dropped by 970 between April 2011 and April 2012 and unemployment rate is down to 6.1%. Both C.L.F (1.0% - 1,043) and Employment (0.1%) reflected an increase from April 2011 to April 2012. Employment growth included:

    Increases in Nonagricultural Employment for Waco MSA including one of the regional target industries: Manufacturing – 200

    May employment rates will be released on June 15.


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    Greater Waco Chamber to host Mid-year Membership Luncheon July 27
    The Greater Waco Chamber will host its 2012 Mid-year Membership Luncheon, presented by C&M Outdoor Power Equipment, at 11:30 a.m. July 27 at the Lee Lockwood Library.
    2012-06-22

    The Greater Waco Chamber will host its 2012 Mid-year Membership Luncheon, presented by C&M Outdoor Power Equipment, at 11:30 a.m. July 27 at the Lee Lockwood Library.

    Featured guest speaker Dr. Reagan Ramsower, Baylor Vice President for Finance and Administration, will give a presentation on the new Baylor Stadium.

    Chamber Chair Stewart Kelly will give a mid-year update on Chamber activities.

    The Mid-year Luncheon is sponsored by Extraco Banks and Oak Farms Dairy at the gold level. Silver sponsors include:  Action Rental, Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center, Kelly, Realtors, Bush’s Chicken, Waco Scottish Rite Bodies, American Classifieds, Waco Housing Authority, HOT SHRM and Greenlife Interiors.

    For more information, contact Christy Sanders at (254) 757-5611.


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    Greater Waco Chamber will be drop off point for USO Fort Hood water collection
    The Greater Waco Chamber will serve as the bottled water collection point for USO Fort Hood’s Operation Hydration from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 26. Collection day also will include a program at 10 a.m. with speakers Sen. Brian Birdwell and Rep. Ralph Sheffield.
    2012-07-01


    The Greater Waco Chamber will serve as the bottled water collection point for USO Fort Hood’s Operation Hydration from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 26. Collection day also will include a program at 10 a.m. with speakers Sen. Brian Birdwell and Rep. Ralph Sheffield.

    Operation Hydration is an effort to collect bottles of water for troops and their family members stationed at Fort Hood. Water will be served to soldiers in USO centers, outbound flight support, welcome home ceremonies and USO programs.

    Fort Hood is home to 46,000 service members with 89,000 family members and has 22,000 to 30,000 National Guard and Reserve Troops on the North Containment each year.

    Partnering with the USO in this hydration effort are the Greater Waco Chamber, Oak Farms Dairy, Waco Coca Cola, HEB and KCEN-TV.

    For more information, contact Ken Hampton at (254) 757-5613.


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    Chamber announces Meadors as new president
    Matthew T. Meadors of Evansville, Ind. is named president and CEO of the Greater Waco Chamber.
    2012-08-06

    Matthew MeadorsMatthew T. Meadors of Evansville, Ind., is named president and CEO of the Greater Waco Chamber.

    Meadors is a career chamber executive who has been CEO of the Southwest Indiana Chamber since 2001.

    The Southwest Indiana Chamber serves a metro population of 350,000 and a tri-state population of 820,000. It was named 2007 Chamber of the Year by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce Executives Association.

    Meadors will succeed James G. Vaughan Jr., who has led the Greater Waco Chamber since 2004.  Vaughan will retire Aug. 31.

    Meadors was selected following a national search led by Waverly Partners, LLC, an executive search consulting firm. He will assume the leadership at the Greater Waco Chamber in mid-September.

    “We are delighted to welcome Matt Meadors as our new Chamber president,” said Chair Stewart R. Kelly. “Our search committee chaired by Terry Stevens and comprised of Chamber and community leaders has worked tirelessly for several months to ensure we identified the individual who could take our Chamber to the next level. We believe that Matt will lead us into the regional arena where we can look forward to advancing our economic development efforts.”

    Among Meadors’ accomplishments at the Chamber of Commerce of Southwest Indiana are facilitating a focus on a vibrant urban core that has resulted in a downtown and riverfront renaissance, framing the importance of regionalism by forming a regional chamber coalition and securing public and legislative support for interstate transportation infrastructure.

    "I am deeply honored to be selected as the new president and CEO of the Greater Waco Chamber,” said Meadors. “Waco is a wonderful community, and the region has tremendous potential. The Chamber is a respected, capable organization with an impressive track record, and I am looking forward with great anticipation to joining the community and Chamber team. Together, we are going to do great things.”

    Meadors’ previous experience also includes the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce in Traverse City, Mich., where he served as manager of Small Business Programs for two years and vice president for 11 years, and the Kokomo-Howard County Chamber of Commerce in Kokomo, Ind., where he was the community development manager for three years.

    He holds a bachelor’s degree in public administration from Indiana University and is a graduate of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Organization Management.

    Meadors and his wife, Kim, have two daughters. Meagan earned a bachelor’s in business administration from the University of Evansville, and Lindsay is a senior at the University of Southern Indiana studying marketing and communications.


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    Greater Waco Chamber to host Schmooza Palooza Sept. 6
    Schmooza Palooza Party and Business Expo, presented by Allen Samuels, will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Sept. 6 in the Extraco Events Center Exhibit Hall.
    2012-06-22

    Schmooza Palooza Party and Business Expo, presented by Allen Samuels, will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Sept. 6 in the Extraco Events Center Exhibit Hall.

    This free business expo and mega Business After Hours event gives guests the chance to schmooze with Waco’s best. Chamber member businesses will showcase their products and services to prospective clients in a casual environment while guests enjoy food, drink and door prizes.

    Businesses can reserve booths for $350 each. Exhibitors can give away products, services, discounts, samples and advice.

    For more information, contact Christy Sanders at (254) 757-5611.


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    Chamber seeks support to retain economic development funding
    McLennan County Commissioners are currently finalizing the FY2013 budget that includes a modest tax rate increase to maintain the current level of services provided. Unfortunately, proposals are in place to cut several important programs including $1.25 million used for economic development incentives for new companies recruited by our Greater Waco Chamber and for expansions by existing firms in our target sectors.
    2012-08-17

    To:  Chamber Members
    From: Jim Vaughan, President
    Subject: Call to Action

    McLennan County Commissioners are currently finalizing the FY2013 budget that includes a modest tax rate increase to maintain the current level of services provided. 

    Unfortunately, proposals are in place to cut several important programs including $1.25 million used for economic development incentives for new companies recruited by our Greater Waco Chamber and for expansions by existing firms in our target sectors.

    The Chamber and our economic development partners are seeking expressions of support for a County budget that maintains the current investment level for economic development.

    Please express your support right away in an email to County Judge Jim Lewis and each McLennan County Commissioner.

    Ask that the County’s 2013 Budget continue to include $1.25 million for the Waco-McLennan County Economic Development Corporation, which is also known as WMCEDC.

    · Judge Jim Lewis
    c/o Lynne Lockwood

    · Commissioner Kelly Snell 

    · Commissioner Lester Gibson

    · Commissioner Joe Mashek

    · Commissioner Ben Perry

    WMCEDC is a partnership between the City of Waco and McLennan County that was established in 1997. The program invests in projects to diversify McLennan County’s economic base, supports the creation new, primary jobs, which are necessary to bring new money into the area, helps raise the income of residents and attracts private investment into the community.   

    The County and City of Waco both equally fund the program through an annual contribution of $1.25 million each. The current balance of the fund is $6.3 million, but with the pipeline of projects of new attraction and expansion projects underway through our economic development efforts, the balance could quickly fall below $4 million or even lower.

    Although a $4 million fund balance seems like a great deal of money (and it is), here are three key points as to why it is essential for McLennan County to maintain its current level of funding:

    1. The Economic Development Fund should be viewed as a revenue item since taxes and benefits derived from the new businesses attracted and expansion projects typically exceed the WMCEDC grants in less than five years.

    2. The best way to prevent future tax rate increases is to grow the tax base (which we have successfully done).

    3. Any reduction in WMCEDC funding directly reduces our ability to compete with other Texas communities, other states and countries for projects.

    In the 15 years that this partnership has been in existence, WMCEDC has:

    · Supported 43 projects (both new companies and existing business expansions)

    · Awarded $29 million in grants

    · Leveraged $504.4 million in new, private capital investment

    · Created 4,353 new jobs

    · Retained more than 5,400 existing jobs

    Please help us continue the momentum we have gained in our economic development efforts to grow a Greater Waco and McLennan County. If you believe in creating jobs and growing the McLennan County’s economy through a strong, vibrant, diversified business base, please support our efforts to maintain McLennan County’s funding of WMCEDC.

    We encourage you to reach out to your commissioner and all of the members of the McLennan County Commissioners’ Court and voice your support for economic development.

    Thank you for your support of our request.


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    Bowlsby to speak at 24th Annual Tip Off Luncheon
    Big 12 Conference Commissioner Bob Bowlsby will be the guest speaker at the First National Bank of Central Texas Tip Off Sports Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 24 at the Baylor University Ferrell Center.
    2012-09-07

    Big 12 Conference Commissioner Bob Bowlsby will be the guest speaker at the First National Bank of Central Texas Tip Off Sports Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 24 at the Baylor University Ferrell Center.

    Bowlsby is one of the most respected athletic administrators in the nation. He has previously served as president of the NCAA Division I-A Athletic Directors’ Association, chair of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee and chair of the NCAA Management Council. In 2001-02, the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics named Bowlsby as Central Region Athletic Director of the Year.

    Prior to Bowlsby’s current role at the Big 12, he spent six years directing the Stanford University athletics department. In 2007, he was appointed to the United States Olympic Committee Board of Directors and will complete that term at the 2014 Winter Olympiad in Sochi, Russia. He is a native of Waterloo, Iowa, and earned his bachelor’s degree from Moorhead State University (Minnesota) and master’s degree from the University of Iowa.

    The Tip Off Luncheon will also include a preview of Baylor’s upcoming college basketball season from Lady Bears’ head coach Kim Mulkey and Baylor Bears’ head coach Scott Drew. McLennan Community College women’s head coach Ricky Rhodes and men’s head coach Kevin Gill will also speak.

    For questions regarding tickets, contact Ashley Futris at afutris@wacochamber.com.


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    Meadors begins role as Chamber president
    2012-09-17

    Matt Meadors begins his role Sept. 17 at president and CEO of the Greater Waco Chamber. Join us for a reception welcoming him to the community.


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    One Book One Waco to host panel discussion, author visit
    One Book One Waco will host a panel discussion at 7 p.m. Sept. 25 at the Texas Sports Hall of Fame for its 2012 book selection, Where Dreams Die Hard: A Small American Town and its Six-man Football Team by Carlton Stowers.
    2012-09-20

    One Book Panel Discussion

    One Book One Waco will host a panel discussion at 7 p.m. Sept. 25 at the Texas Sports Hall of Fame for its 2012 book selection, Where Dreams Die Hard: A Small American Town and its Six-man Football Team by Carlton Stowers. The book tells the story of the small town of Penelope, Texas, population 211. Where Dreams Die Hard is not just a book about Texas high school football, but a poignant story of small town life with observations on what it means to come together as a community.

     Community leaders will reflect on the book, and the panel will be moderated by David Smoak of ESPN Central Texas, and include Dr. Elton Stuckly, Texas State Technical College Waco President and Penelope native; Lori Fogleman, Baylor Director of Media Communications; Brice Cherry, Waco Tribune-Herald sports writer; and Penelope ISD Athletic Director Coach Corey McAdams

    Author Carlton Stowers will visit Waco at 7 p.m., Oct. 23 at University High School. The community is invited to attend his speech.

    One Book One Waco is a community-wide reading program that promotes reading and thoughtful discussion, with activities and events focused on encouraging community participation, seeking to bring together the diverse peoples of Greater Waco in open dialogue. For more details, including readers’ guides, visit OneBookOneWaco.org.


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    Greater Waco Aviation Alliance to host 2012 Freedom Ball
    The Greater Waco Aviation Alliance will host the 2012 Freedom Ball from 6:30 p.m. to midnight Sept. 29 in the Col. James T. Connally Aerospace Center at Texas State Technical College Airport. The event benefits scholarships for aviation careers and recognizes past and present military personnel
    2012-09-20

    Freedom BallThe Greater Waco Aviation Alliance will host the 2012 Freedom Ball from 6:30 p.m. to midnight Sept. 29 in the Col. James T. Connally Aerospace Center at Texas State Technical College Airport.The event benefits scholarships for aviation careers and recognizes past and present military personnel

    The gala will benefit aviation scholarships and salute the men and women of the armed forces. “Forever grateful, never forgotten” is the theme.

    Dinner, drinks and dancing are included in the tickets, which are $75 per person and $50 for veterans and active duty military. Tables of eight are $600 each. To purchase tickets, visit FreedomBallWaco.com.

    Proceeds will be used for Greater Waco students pursuing careers in aviation, with special consideration given to those who are dependents of active‐duty military personnel.

    Le Freak, “The Best Disco Band in the World,” will provide the evening’s musical entertainment.

    Event attire is “after 5” with current and former military personnel encouraged to wear their uniforms (mess dress).

    The Greater Waco Aviation Alliance is a committee of the Greater Waco Chamber. It advocates for the more than 30 area aviation and related companies that attract companies and individuals to Waco from around the world by offering diverse products and services ranging from the installation of sophisticated communications systems in military aircraft to aircraft repair, performance upgrades, engineering, systems design and maintenance facilities.

    For more information, contact Kris Collins at (254) 757-5635.


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    Mayo-Parker to speak at Chamber Membership Media Luncheon
    Sharon Mayo-Parker, communications manager at Six Flags Over Texas & Hurricane Harbor, will be the guest speaker at the Chamber’s annual Membership Media Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 17 at Galloway Suite at Floyd Casey Stadium.
    2012-10-01

    Membership Media Luncheon

    Sharon Mayo-Parker, communications manager at Six Flags Over Texas & Hurricane Harbor,will be the guest speaker at the Chamber’s annual Membership Media Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 17 at Galloway Suite at Floyd Casey Stadium.

    The event is open to anyone interested in learning more about ramping up exposure for their business and how to network more effectively.

    This year’s luncheon is presented by Waco Publications/American Classifieds and Time Warner Cable and sponsored at the silver level by Fairfield Inn Hampton North and Bush’s Chicken.

    Mayo-Parker will share her perspective of someone with experience on both the news and public relations sides of media exposure. Prior to beginning her public relations career, she spent almost 10 years on air for KWTX-TV, the CBS affiliate in Waco and worked her way up from reporter to main female evening anchor. Before coming to Six Flags, she was the spokesperson for the Fort Worth Independent School District.

    She is a native of Fort Worth and graduate of the University of North Texas, where she majored in Radio/Television/Film and minored in Political Science. She now lives in Grand Prairie with her husband, Jason, and their son, Trenton.

    Tickets are $20 and can be purchased in advance by contacting Christy Sanders at csanders@wacochamber.com or (254) 757-5611.


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    Lark United Manufacturing opens facility in McGregor
    Lark United Manufacturing of Texas, LLC has opened a manufacturing facility in McGregor for the assembly of enclosed cargo trailers in various sizes, including single, tandem and triple axel gooseneck.
    2012-11-06

    Lark United Manufacturing of Texas, LLC has opened a manufacturing facility in McGregor for the assembly of enclosed cargo trailers in various sizes, including single, tandem and triple axel gooseneck.

     

    Lark United’s first plant opened in 2005 in Douglas, Ga. The company expects a 9% increase in production in 2012 compared to 2011 with the opening of the McGregor location. Lark United is the No. 8 company in the nation for enclosed cargo trailer manufacturing and anticipates the McGregor site to secure a top-five leading producer position.

     

    Lark United’s McGregor plant employs seven and will increase to 60 to 80 skilled workers with an annual payroll of $1.5 to $2 million. Projected sales for the site are $12 million to $14 million annually.

     

    Allen Powell, general manager of Lark United, said Greater Waco has been supportive in the company’s expansion to McGregor.

     

    “We would like to thank the Greater Waco Economic Development team, the City of McGregor and all involved for the valuable help with getting this endeavor underway,” said Powell.

     

    Thomas Morgan has been named plant manager of the McGregor location. 

     

    The 80,000-square-foot Texas facility is located in the 9,500-acre McGregor Industrial Park.  Other park tenants include SpaceX, Ferguson Enterprises, C3 and Heart of Texas Electric Co-Operative.  

     

    Applications are being accepted at the facility at 2290 McGuffey Road, McGregor. For more information, call (254) 840-2321.

     

    About Greater Waco:

    Greater Waco is located in McLennan County, Texas along the Interstate 35 corridor and is home to more than 14,000 companies, 234,906 people, and a regional workforce of approximately 320,000. Greater Waco is strategically positioned with centralized access to Dallas and Austin (90 miles) and Houston and San Antonio (185 miles).

     

    McGregor, a community of 5,000 residents, is located in western McLennan County and within a 20-minute drive to Waco.

     

    Since 2005, Greater Waco has seen more than $500 million in new industrial investments, making it an attractive place to live, work and play. Greater Waco is landscaped with top-rated higher educational institutions, including Baylor University, McLennan Community College and Texas State Technical College Waco.

     

    Greater Waco target industries include Advanced Manufacturing, Aerospace and Defense, Health Care, Professional and Financial Services, and Supply Chain Management.


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    Gov. Perry to speak at State of the State Luncheon Nov. 27
    The Greater Waco Chamber will host a State of the State Luncheon featuring Gov. Rick Perry at noon Nov. 27 in the Brazos Room of the Waco Convention Center.
    2012-11-06

    State of the State LuncheonThe Greater Waco Chamber will host a State of the State Luncheon featuring Gov. Rick Perry at noon Nov. 27 in the Brazos Room of the Waco Convention Center.

     

    Ken Hampton, senior vice president of Community Development, said the event is organized by the Chamber’s Legislative and Governmental Affairs Committee.

     

    “We make it a priority to connect our members with our elected officials at the local, state and national levels,” said Hampton. “By inviting the governor to speak here in Waco, we strive to keep the issues that are important to our state at the forefront. The governor will provide an overview of what is on the agenda for the coming Legislative Session.”


    The Legislative and Governmental Affairs Committee, chaired by Debbie Keel, represents local business interests and works to advance community goals with local, state and federal governmental officials.

    The committee also helps to organize Waco Day in Austin, which is celebrated every two years when the Texas Legislature convenes.

     

    The State of the State Luncheon is presented by Texas First State Bank. Gold sponsors are SpaceX and AT&T.

     

    Tables of eight are $200. Reservations can be made online at WacoChamber.com.


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    TriWaco named regional qualifier for national championship
    The 2013 TriWaco Olympic distance race on July 28 in Waco will be the special regional qualifier for the USA Triathlon Intermediate National Championship.
    2012-11-08

    The 2013 TriWaco Olympic distance race on July 28 in Waco will be the special regional qualifier for the USA Triathlon Intermediate National Championship.

     

    Blake Harris, vice president of sports and special events for the Greater Waco Chamber and director of the event, said this designation is a major milestone for the event that will be in its fifth year in 2013.

    “This designation will help increase our participation, improve the quality of competition and expand our brand name to people all over the country,” said Harris. “This is a great way to showcase our wonderful city and what is happening downtown on the river to people from all over the United States.”

    TriWaco offers Olympic and sprint distance races with an open-water swim in the Brazos River, a bike ride on country roads and run along the river ending at the oldest suspension bridge in the country. The event has event has grown to more than 900 participating athletes in its last two years.

     

    For more information about TriWaco, visit TriWaco.org. For more information on USA Triathlon-sanctioned events, visit USATriathlon.org.


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    Waco-Temple-Bryan ranked No. 3 for standout credit scores
    Waco-Temple-Bryan is ranked No. 3 on MSN Money’s list of 10 standout cities for credit scores. The analysis is derived from Experian’s 2012 State of Credit report and the cities were ranked by credit score change since 2007.
    2012-11-15

    Waco-Temple-Bryan is ranked No. 3 on MSN Money’s list of 10 standout cities for credit scores. The analysis is derived from Experian’s 2012 State of Credit report and the cities were ranked by credit score change since 2007.  More


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    One Book One Waco announces 2012 essay contest winners
    One Book One Waco congratulates the eight winning essays written in response to the fall 2012 book selection, “Where Dreams Die Hard: A Small American Town and its Six-man Football Team” by Carlton Stowers.
    2012-11-16

    One Book One WacoOne Book One Waco congratulates the eight winning essays written in response to the fall 2012 book selection, “Where Dreams Die Hard:  A Small American Town and its Six-man Football Team” by Carlton Stowers.

    Students in grades seventh through 12th submitted essays to the One Book One Waco steering committee for judging. The committee chose four winners for each of the two essay prompts:

     

    Denise Anderson 12th grade, La Vega High

    Bailey Ashcraft 10th grade, Robinson High

    Christopher Johnson Eighth grade, Bosqueville Middle

    Hailey Lee 12th grade, Waco High

    Aubrey Robbins Eighth grade, Penelope Middle

    Sarah Sepanski 10th grade, Midway High

    Elaine Sury 10th grade, Midway High

    Matt Urban 12th grade, West High

     

    Winners had the opportunity to dine with Stowers prior to the author’s lecture Oct. 23 at University High School Auditorium.

     

    Essay submissions explored themes of winning vs. trying, mentors, small-town challenge and opportunities, community and teams.

     

    Participating schools included Bruceville-Eddy High, La Vega High, Live Oak High, Lorena High, Midway High, McGregor High, Moody High, Robinson High, University High, Vanguard High, Waco High, West High, Bosqueville Middle, Atlas Middle and Penelope Middle.

     

    One Book One Waco is a communitywide program that promotes reading and thoughtful discussion, with activities and events focused on encouraging community participation, seeking to bring together the diverse peoples of Greater Waco in open dialogue.

    For more details, visit OneBookOneWaco.org.


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    InterviewStream is acquired by Brazos Higher Education Service Corporation
    InterviewStream has been acquired by Brazos Higher Education Service Corporation, a firm started in 1975 providing educational funding to students, with more $10 billion in managed assets. InterviewStream is a nine-year-old video interview provider that serves more than 500 global clients and will remain independent as a wholly owned subsidiary of BEHSC and relocated its headquarters from the Philadelphia metropolitan area to Waco.
    2012-12-05

    InterviewStreamInterviewStream, the company that invented video interviewing, has begun a new era of expansion and product development with its acquisition by Brazos Higher Education Service Corporation, a firm started in 1975 providing educational funding to students, with more than $10 billion in managed assets.

    The nine-year old video interview provider that serves more than 500 global clients in the enterprise, staffing, executive search, career transition and higher education markets will remain independent as a wholly-owned subsidiary of BHESC and relocate its headquarters to Waco, Texas. Tim Condon, a veteran executive with decades of experience in the HR enterprise solutions and government employment markets, has been named Chief Executive Officer. Randy Bitting, who co-founded the company in 2003, has been named Chief Innovation Officer.

    The major financial investment reflects InterviewStream’s unmatched expertise and the white-hot growth of the video interview space among corporations. Since InterviewStream’s founding in 2003, more than 500,000 of its pre-recorded and live video interviews have been conducted in over 120 countries in eight languages by customers that range from leading firms such as IBM, Sodexo, Viacom, AT&T, Cigna, Enterprise Rent-a-Car and Right Management to hundreds of university campuses worldwide and 21 of the top 25 MBA programs.

    “We’re investing in the power of the interview,” said Condon, who most recently was president of LDJ Holdings and who also spent 12 years as Vice President of Sales and Senior Vice President of Government Solutions at privately held Profiles International. “The HR technology space has been transformed by seismic changes during the past 10 years, but one fundamental hiring tool has endured – the face to face interview. Thanks to video, organizations are no longer bound by traditional methods of hiring the ideal employee. The sharp rise in adoption of pre-recorded and mobile interviews utilizing InterviewStream’s technology in the corporate market offers us an exciting future.”

    InterviewStream will move its headquarters to Waco but will retain an operation in the Philadelphia metropolitan area, where the current InterviewStream team will work.

    “We’re excited to expand our award-winning team with key additions to our management, sales, support, and research and development teams in Waco,” stated Condon. “As we expand our services across six markets, we are committed to the company’s original vision in 2003 to create a world-class video interview platform while continuing to provide outstanding customer service."

    “When I started InterviewStream in the summer of 2003, I was 22 years old and it was born from necessity,” explained Bitting. “I spent almost 10 years creating an entire market for web-based video interview technology used by corporations, universities, staffing, executive search and career transition firms. As the original company in this emerging space, InterviewStream has a proven technology platform and the largest, most diverse client base in the corporate, government and education markets. The company is in incredibly good hands with Brazos Higher Education Service Corporation and with our new CEO Tim Condon, whom I have known for six years through the HR solutions marketplace.”

    Capital funding will initially focus on international growth, innovative enhancements to InterviewStream’s award-winning platform and service support for customers’ video interview initiatives. The new company headquarters are located at 7901 Woodway Drive, Waco, TX, 76712.

    About InterviewStream
    Founded in 2003, InterviewStream
    is the pioneer of pre-recorded and live video interviewing solutions. Over 500 clients, including corporations, executive search firms, staffing firms, global career transition firms and universities, have completed more than 500,000 interviews using InterviewStream's proven technology. With award-winning design, usability and 24/7 customer support, InterviewStream is the only solution that enables users to personalize and record video interview questions on its enterprise platform.

    Media Contacts:

    Steve Throneberry, Chief Revenue Officer

    (877) 773-3164

    (832) 338-7774 direct

    sthroneberry (at) interviewstream.com

    Elrond Lawrence

    EL Media for InterviewStream

    (831) 632-2183

    elrondlawrence (at) att.net


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    Schmooza Palooza Sept. 6
    Admission is free to the Schmooza Palooza Party and Business Expo, presented by Allen Samuels Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram Fiat, from 4 to 7 p.m. Sept. 6 in the Extraco Events Center Exhibit Hall.
    2012-08-29

    Schmooza Palooza

    Schmooza Palooza Party and Business Expo, presented by Allen Samuels, will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Sept. 6 in the Extraco Events Center Exhibit Hall.

    This free business expo and mega Business After Hours event gives guests the chance to schmooze with Waco’s best. Chamber member businesses will showcase their products and services to prospective clients in a casual environment while guests enjoy food, drink and door prizes.

    Businesses can reserve booths for $350 each. Exhibitors can give away products, services, discounts, samples and advice.

    For more information, contact Christy Sanders at (254) 757-5611.

     


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    Behlen Mfg. Co. expands to Texas
    Behlen Mfg. Co., with global headquarters in Columbus, Neb., announces the long-term lease (subject to final approval of local incentives) of the former Smead Manufacturing plant in McGregor, Texas, part of the greater Waco region. This 180,000-square-foot building will be used to manufacture farm and ranch equipment for its Behlen Country® business unit. Employment is expected to exceed 50 jobs by the end of 2013. The plant will serve Texas and the surrounding area which represents a significant and growing percentage of our business.
    2012-12-19

    Behlen Mfg. Co., with global headquarters in Columbus, Neb., announces the long-term lease (subject to final approval of local incentives) of the former Smead Manufacturing plant in McGregor, Texas, part of the greater Waco region. This 180,000-square-foot building will be used to manufacture farm and ranch equipment for its Behlen Country® business unit. Employment is expected to exceed 50 jobs by the end of 2013. The plant will serve Texas and the surrounding area which represents a significant and growing percentage of our business.

    Manufacturing will begin in January 2013. The full line of Behlen Country products will be produced which include stock tanks, dog kennels, and gates. Welding will be a primary part of the manufacturing operation. The plant will ship between 25 to 30 percent of Behlen Country shipments.

    Jobs will be filled through both transfers of Behlen Partners in Progress (employees) from other locations including Columbus and Omaha, Nebraska; Baker City, Oregon; and Huntingdon, Tennessee. Simultaneously, Behlen will be accepting applications from candidates in the McGregor area. Key skills needed at the plant include: welding, operating machines, loading, maintenance and general manufacturing.

    Phil Raimondo, CEO and President of Behlen said, "We are very excited to sign a long-term lease with a local owner and see this as a huge win-win for Behlen and the community." Raimondo added, "We are very appreciative of the support we have received from city of McGregor, the McGregor Economic Development Corporation, Waco-McLennan County Economic Development Corporation, and the Greater Waco Chamber. We look forward to growing this relationship."

    Behlen plans to make a significant investment in the facility to meet manufacturing requirements. Machinery and equipment will be moved from our Huntingdon, Tennessee location which transitioned to a distribution center in October. Behlen intends to begin making customer deliveries from the plant in January 2013.

    The Behlen Leadership Team and all Partners in Progress look forward to partnering with the McGregor community. We are very excited about the opportunities this new facility brings for serving customers and creating jobs in a key market.

    Behlen Mfg. Co. is a global steel fabricator with three diverse business units including Behlen Country® - a leading manufacturer of farm and ranch equipment delivering products nationwide through more than 4,000 farm stores, co-ops, and home centers as well as distributors. The product line consists of gates, stock tanks, a complete line of cattle management and horse equipment, and dog kennels. By purchasing the assets of HawkLine in 2010, a complete line of 3-point implements were added to the product offering.

    Behlen Building Systems Behlen Country BMC Transportation International & Diversified Products Distefano Technology & Manufacturing

    Behlen Building Systems are used in a wide variety of applications including agricultural, churches, schools, offices, shopping centers, factories, warehouses, sports facilities, and government buildings. International and Diversified Products (IDP) is comprised of commercial grain systems, metal stitching presses, and custom fabrication. The IDP business unit has exported to more than 85 countries. Behlen is a locally owned company, established in 1936, and headquartered in Columbus, Nebraska. Behlen also has regional plants and sales and engineering offices in various parts of the United States employing more than 850 Partners in Progress (employees).

    Contact: Jon Heibel – Corporate Communications Manager

    (402) 563-7220

     


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    Equipment Depot Mid-Tex Farm & Ranch Show Feb. 5-6
    The Greater Waco Chamber will host the 42nd annual Equipment Depot Mid-Tex Farm & Ranch Show Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 5-6, , in the Coliseum and General Exhibits Building at the Extraco Events Center, home of the Heart O’ Texas Fair & Rodeo. Show hours will be from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Feb. 5 and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 6.
    2013-01-22

    MidTexThe Greater Waco Chamber will host the 42nd annual Equipment Depot Mid-Tex Farm & Ranch Show Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 5-6, , in the Coliseum and General Exhibits Building at the Extraco Events Center, home of the Heart O’ Texas Fair & Rodeo. Show hours will be from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Feb. 5 and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 6.

     

    The Mid-Tex Show offers exhibitors a first-rate forum to present their products and services to an expected attendance of more than 3,000 Central Texas farmers and ranchers. Visitors to the Equipment Depot Mid-Tex Farm & Ranch Show will have the opportunity to view top exhibits of the newest farm and ranch equipment, seed, chemicals and ag-related services and technologies.

     

    “We have moved all the exhibits into the coliseum this year to generate more traffic for our exhibitors as well as making it more convenient for our attendees,” said Ashley Futris, sports and special events coordinator at the Greater Waco Chamber.

     

    New this year will be a Wildlife Seminar with wildlife biologist Gene Naquin. He will speak at 7 p.m. Feb. 5 in the General Exhibits Building about the deer, pheasant and quail industries.

     

    The 51st Annual Blackland Income Growth Conference (B.I.G.) will be in conjunction with the Mid-Tex Show and will offer commodity sessions, special meetings and forums. Topics of discussion will include beef, horticulture and grain; health and fitness with a busy schedule; cotton, forage and wildlife; and other training and recertification sessions. 

     

    Selected McLennan county high school students will be awarded scholarships for outstanding FFA, FHA and 4-H members at the Allen Samuels Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram Fiat Scholarship Luncheon. These exceptional students plan to major in an agricultural or home economics related field. Scholarships are sponsored by Associated Concrete Contractors, Brazos Valley Equipment and John McClaren Chevrolet.

     

    Other sponsors include: Allen Samuels Chevrolet, Allen Samuels Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram Fiat, Alliance Distributing, Associated Contractors Inc, Brazos Valley Equipment Co, Buzbee Feed & Seed Inc, Dealers Electrical Supply Co, Educators Credit Union, First National Bank of Central Texas, Greg May Chevrolet, John McClaren Chevrolet, KXXV News Channel 25, Pioneer Steel & Pipe Company, Sykora Family Ford, Texas Animal Medical Center, Texas Cooperative Extension, Time Warner Cable, Tractor Supply, Wells Fargo Bank Texas N.A.

     

    For more information about the Equipment Depot Mid-Tex Farm & Ranch show, call Ashley Futris at (254) 757-5604, or visit WacoChamber.com.


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    Greater Waco Chamber will host legislators for Waco Day in Waco
    The Greater Waco Chamber will host the district’s state legislators at 8:30 a.m. Feb. 1 to discuss items important to the 83rd Biennial Session. This will be an opportunity to meet and gain insight from elected officials on issues important to the community. The event will begin with breakfast, followed by presentations from Rep. Charles “Doc” Anderson, Rep. Kyle Kacal and Sen. Brian Birdwell.
    2013-01-22

    The Greater Waco Chamber will host the district’s state legislators at 8:30 a.m. Feb. 1 to discuss items important to the 83rd Biennial Session.

     

    This will be an opportunity to meet and gain insight from elected officials on issues important to the community. The event will begin with breakfast, followed by presentations from Rep. Charles “Doc” Anderson, Rep. Kyle Kacal and Sen. Brian Birdwell.

     

    The Chamber’s Legislative and Governmental Affairs Committee has created the 2013 Legislative Focus book to identify key legislative issues and updated positions.

    Updated legislative positions adopted by the Chamber’s Board of Directors strengthen the Chamber’s long-standing commitment to education, health care, economic development, environmental protection and transportation.

     

    Waco Day in Waco will also focus on general community priorities and the Chamber’s commitment to developing a cultural core through investments in the arts and cultural capital.

    The Legislative Committee represents local business interests and works to advance community goals with local, state and federal governmental officials.

    For more information, visit WacoChamber.com and download the 2013 Legislative Focus book.

    Make reservations with Ken Hampton at 757-5631.


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    Roberts earns ‘40 Under 40’ award in economic development
    Sarah Roberts, senior vice president of economic development for the Greater Waco Chamber, has been selected as a winner in the economic development profession’s “40 Under 40”awards, the first-ever awards program recognizing young talent in the economic development profession.
    2013-01-28

    Roberts receives 40 Under 40 recognitionSarah Roberts, senior vice president of economic development for the Greater Waco Chamber,  has been selected as a winner in the economic development profession’s “40 Under 40”awards, the first-ever awards program recognizing young talent in the economic development profession.

     

    A five-member selection committee chose the winners from a pool of more than 150 candidates based on their exceptional contributions to the economic development industry. The award’s program was managed by Development Counsellors International (DCI), a New York-based firm that specializes in economic development marketing.  


    Matthew T. Meadors, president and CEO of the Greater Waco Chamber, applauded Roberts on the recognition.

     

    “We are certainly pleased to have Sarah on our team and realize that she is deserving of this recognition in her peer group. Her professionalism and scope of economic development expertise is a valued asset in Greater Waco,” said Meadors.

     

    Roberts is a graduate of Baylor University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in entrepreneurship. She joined the Chamber team in 2003 and leads the organization’s regional economic development efforts. In addition to growing Greater Waco’s diverse economic sectors, she also builds strategic real estate assets in the Waco Industrial Foundation’s 5,000-acre portfolio.

     

    DCI’s “40 Under 40” award was designed to discover the economic development profession’s rising stars. 

     

    “The people chosen by the selection committee represent a bright future for the economic development world,” said Andy Levine, president of DCI. “They are a new breed of results-driven place makers. We’re very pleased to see Roberts among the winners.”

     

    DCI officially announced the winners last night at an awards reception during the International Economic Development Council Leadership Summit in Orlando and will feature an in-depth profile of each on its website during 2013.

     

    For more information on DCI’s “40 Under 40” winners, visit AboutDCI.com/40under40.

     

     

    About Greater Waco Chamber

    The Greater Waco Chamber is a business leadership organization that advances a progressive and visionary agenda for economic growth and quality of life. The Chamber prepares and markets Greater Waco for the businesses and jobs of the future and enhances the quality of life of the community by promoting strategic development. For more information, visit Waco Chamber.com.

     

    About DCI

    Considered the leader in marketing places, Development Counsellors International (DCI) specializes in economic development and tourism marketing.  The agency has worked for more than 400 cities, regions, states and countries since it was established in New York City in 1960. For more information, visit AboutDCI.com


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    Registration is open for 15th annual Starburst Junior Golf Classic
    2013-02-18

    Starburst Junior Golf ClassicOnline registration is open for the 15th annual Starburst Junior Golf Tournament at StarburstGolf.com. More than 1,000 junior golfers will be accepted into the 2013 tournament.

    The 14th annual Starburst Junior Golf Classic will be June 10-12 at nine area golf courses. The three-day tournament is open to all boy and girl junior golfers ages 7 to 18.

                The cost is $215 for players ages 7-10 and $230 per player for players ages 11-18.  Registration includes all green fees, range balls, tournament gifts and dinner for the players’ entourage Monday and Tuesday night.

                Caddies are welcome at the Starburst tournament. Girls and boys 7-10 will play nine holes Monday through Wednesday. The older golfers will play 18 holes Monday through Wednesday. Registration will not be accepted via phone.

    Complete tournament information can be found at Starburstgolf.com or contact Blake Harris at (254) 757-5605.


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    Greater Waco to become creative start-up capital of Texas
    The Greater Waco Chamber is partnering with Baylor University to launch thInc Space, an incubator for creative start‐ups. thIncSpace is located on the first floor of 801 Washington Ave. in Greater Downtown Waco. A combined incubator, community gathering place and professional support network for creative start‐ups, thIncSpace also will be new headquarters for the Baylor Accelerated Ventures program and its related businesses. Baylor starts eight new high growth, scalable businesses each year through its Accelerated Ventures program, which will provide free office space, professional support, networking and mentoring for a year for graduating businesses.
    2013-02-22

    thIncSpaceThe Greater Waco Chamber is partnering with Baylor University to launch thInc Space, an incubator for creative startups. thIncSpace is located on the first floor of 801 Washington Ave. in Greater Downtown Waco.

    A combined incubator, community gathering place and professional support network for creative startups, thIncSpace also will be new headquarters for the Baylor Accelerated Ventures program and its related businesses.

    Baylor starts eight new high growth, scalable businesses each year through its Accelerated Ventures program, which will provide free office space, professional support, networking and mentoring for a year for graduating businesses.

    “This agreement is a shining example of partnership between Baylor University and the Greater Waco Chamber,” said Terry Maness, D.B.A., dean of the Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business. “It will help our young student entrepreneurs during and after their coursework and help to ensure success of their businesses.”

    Additionally, the Chamber and its partners are actively looking for creative startup businesses in this region and beyond to grow and prosper here from idea to reality.

    thInc Space compliments other organizations throughout Greater Waco that are working to support small business and startup activity. These include the Center for Business Excellence and the recently launched SCORE chapter at the Cen-Tex African American Chamber of Commerce, the Innovative Business Accelerator at the Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative and the Small Business Development Center at McLennan Community College.

    The Chamber recognizes that small enterprises are the single largest job creation engine in the economy and is committed to supporting small business development in Greater Waco. Baylor University was recently identified as home to the No. 2 entrepreneurship program in the United States.

    Couple that with the other tremendous institutional assets working to produce talent in Waco and a community that provides relatively low operating costs and barriers for small business startups, and it all adds up to a tremendous opportunity.

    “The Chamber believes that Waco should be the creative startup capital of Texas. Substantial capacity and resources are available that should be leveraged to attract talent and accelerate economic development activity in the region,” said Chris McGowan, Director of Urban Development for the Chamber.

    More than 50 degree programs or areas of study that produce a creative industries-ready workforce are offered through Baylor, McLennan Community College and Texas State Technical College Waco. From the Interactive Media Design and Culinary Arts programs at TSTC Waco to the Visual and Performing Arts programs at MCC and the entrepreneurship program at Baylor as well as many others, this community is producing a significant amount of talent that should provide an unparalleled small business engine for Waco.

    Only 1.83% of total employment in McLennan County is a part of the “creative workforce,” 20% below the national average.

    “The pieces of the puzzle are already in place; thInc space will pull them together. To achieve this vision a focused, collaborative effort on the part of many is underway,” said McGowan. “thInc Space is the first step toward the development of the Chamber’s next level entrepreneurship, talent recruitment and retention and placemaking strategies that will create opportunity and support for creative businesses and entrepreneurs in Greater Waco.”

     


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    Roberts announces resignation from Greater Waco Chamber
    Sarah A. Roberts, who leads the Greater Waco Chamber’s regional economic development program as senior vice president, has announced plans to resign to pursue other business opportunities effective May 2013.
    2013-04-03

    Sarah RobertsSarah A. Roberts, who leads the Greater Waco Chamber’s regional economic development program as senior vice president, has announced plans to resign to pursue other business opportunities effective May 2013.

    Roberts
    joined the Greater Waco Chamber as director of marketing for the economic development team in 2003 and since 2008 has led the program focused on  prospect development, attraction, retention, urban development, high-impact entrepreneurship, marketing, market intelligence and product development.

    During her tenure, the Chamber strengthened the region’s economic development program.  Working with its longstanding economic development partners in the Waco Industrial Foundation, City of Waco, McLennan County, Baylor University, more than 170 investors and recently the Waco Downtown Development Corporation, the Chamber launched an award-winning public-private partnership implementing aggressive strategies for community and economic development. These efforts include the Challenge Greater Waco and The Next Level Strategy that focus on the future of economic development – innovation, talent and place making.

    “As I begin the next season of my development career, it feels only fitting that I will be putting to use my entrepreneurship training from Baylor in the Greater Waco economy that I know to be so vibrant,” said Roberts.  “It is an exciting time for my family.  And, I trust that exciting times remain ahead as the Chamber builds upon the Next Level Strategy and challenges our community to dream of even more.” 

     

    The Chamber is forming a search committee to begin a nationwide search to secure leadership that will continue the Chamber’s reputation as a nationally respected economic development program. 

    “Sarah Roberts has done a remarkable job working with our many partners to strengthen and grow greater Waco’s economy,” said Matt Meadors, president and CEO of the Greater Waco Chamber.  “While we are saddened to learn of Sarah’s decision to leave the Greater Waco Chamber, we are very pleased to know that she plans to remain in Waco as an entrepreneur and active member of the community.” 

    As the economic development executive at the Chamber, Roberts also staffed the Waco Industrial Foundation that has experienced record levels of development to attract economic development to the region. She also served the Waco McLennan County Economic Development that supported 36 projects, awarding $20.9 million in grants to leverage $439 million in private capital investment, 3,770 new jobs and 4,550 retained jobs, including significant investments in research and development.

    “Sarah has taken economic development in Greater Waco to the highest degree of professionalism,” said Bob Davis, president of the Waco Industrial Foundation.  

    “Sarah brought a lot to the table working to benefit the community,” said McLennan County Judge Scott Felton. “I very much enjoyed working with her. She will be sorely missed.”

    Roberts said that working in economic development with the tremendous partners in Greater Waco, she has been blessed to participate in initiatives that will change our skyline and economy for years to come and that she will be proud to show her two young boys that she was a part of:

     

    ·         Directing more than 1,000 economic development leads and generating 330 on-site visitations to secure 103 recruitment and expansion projects announcing more than 8,100 new jobs and $1.0 billion in capital investment and 7.1 million square feet in new construction and absorption; including new locations and expansions by Allergan, Associated Hygienic Products, Blackhawk Modifications, Caterpillar, Interview Stream, The Dwyer Group, L3 Platform Integration, Space X and more.

    ·         Managing construction of the $4 million, 14,000-square-foot Chamber headquarters recognized as the first LEED-certified Chamber building in the United States and the first new construction development in downtown Waco in its generation. 

    ·         Representing the Chamber in important public policy initiatives, such as the mayor’s Veterans Administration Task Force and the Texas Clean Air Coalition to win standing. 

    ·         Supporting Baylor University and its partners in the redevelopment of the former General Tire manufacturing site into Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative to catalyze innovation-based economic development in the region.

    ·         Building credibility for Greater Waco as a state and national leader in economic development by serving as one of two economic developers on the national Industrial Asset Managers Council board (2010-2012) and securing board (2007-2011) and executive committee appointments (2010-2011) to the Texas Economic Development Council;and being recognized as part of the inaugural class of Development Counsellors International’s 40 Under 40 Rising Stars in Economic Developmentin 2013. 

    ·         Leading the economic development team in an award-winning transformation that garnered recognition from the International Economic Development Council for the Challenge Greater Waco Program in 2009; finalist for the CoreNet Global Innovator’s Award in 2010; and winner of the Community Economic Development Award by the Texas Economic Development Council in 2003 and 2010.

    ·         Initiating conversations with regional partners at the Temple Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Corporation and Greater Killeen Chamber to build a regional economy to attract major new investments, enhance opportunities for economic anchors and create an expanded metro.

    “What an honor it has been to work with the Chamber team past and present and our many partners to encourage a robust economy in what has truly become home,” said Roberts. “I am sincerely thankful to the Greater Waco leaders who have invested in our economy -- and in me.” 

    Roberts and her family intend to remain active in the Waco business community and she plans to work as an advisor to companies in asset transitions and real estate developments. 


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    Central Texas Young Professionals Summit
    2013-04-22

    YP Summit


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    General Dynamics Information Technology opens call center in Lacy Lakeview
    General Dynamics Information Technology, a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), is locating a 68,312-square-foot Customer Support Center at 1205 N. Loop 340 in Lacy Lakeview (former Blue Cross Blue Shield building).
    2013-05-31

    General Dynamics Information Technology, a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), is locating a 68,312-square-foot Customer Support Center at 1205 N. Loop 340 in Lacy Lakeview (former Blue Cross Blue Shield building). 

    The center, to be operated by subsidiary Vangent, will support General Dynamics’ contracts with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), including the 1-800-MEDICARE program, by providing responses to inquiries from CMS customers, beneficiaries and new Federally Facilitated Exchange consumers. 

    Lacy Lakeview City Manager Keith Bond said, “We are very excited about attracting another major employer in the city. We look forward to working with General Dynamics IT and want to extend a warm welcome.”

    Waco City Manager Larry Groth agrees.

    “Our City Council is very pleased to be able to assist with creating new jobs for our citizens, particularly those with great benefits. We look forward to a successful relationship,” said Groth.

    McLennan County is also an economic development partner with the Greater Waco Chamber.

    "We consider the news that General Dynamics IT has chosen a location in the community of Lacy Lakeview for their Texas home as positive for McLennan County,” Judge Scott Felton. “The surrounding areas of this community offer a large number of potential employees that would qualify for the types of jobs introduced by General Dynamics IT. Many of these potential employees are either just entering the job market or looking for a better opportunity. So, given the opportunity to work for a company that pays you while you are being trained for the job as well as providing benefits is a huge plus."

    General Dynamics IT employs approximately 21,000 globally, delivering IT enterprise solutions, managing large-scale, mission-critical IT programs and providing mission support services.

    Employment, at the Lacy Lakeview location, is expected to reach more than 440 employees. General Dynamics will staff the new call center with customer service representatives this summer. Candidates for jobs are encouraged to apply online at www.gdit.com/careers. In addition, a job fair is planned for Friday, June 14 and Saturday, June 15 at the McLennan County Workforce Solutions Center, 1416 S. New Road, Waco TX 76711.  Additional job fairs will be planned and announced in the coming months. 

    About General Dynamics

    General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, Va., employs approximately 95,000 people worldwide. The company is a market leader in business aviation; land and expeditionary combat systems, armaments and munitions; shipbuilding and marine systems; and information systems and technologies. More information about General Dynamics is available online at GeneralDynamics.com

    Vangent was acquired by General Dynamics Information Technology in 2011.

    About Greater Waco:

    Greater Waco is located in McLennan County, Texas along the Interstate 35 corridor and is home to more than 14,000 companies, 234,906 people, and a regional workforce of approximately 320,000. Greater Waco is strategically positioned with centralized access to Dallas and Austin (90 miles) and Houston and San Antonio (185 miles).

    Lacy Lakeview, a community of 6,700 residents, is located in northern McLennan County and within a 15-minute drive to Waco.

    Since 2006, Greater Waco has seen more than $758 million in new capital investments and $530 million in riverfront and downtown development, making it an attractive place to live, work and play. Greater Waco is landscaped with top-rated higher educational institutions, including Baylor University, McLennan Community College and Texas State Technical College Waco.

    Greater Waco target industries include: Advanced Manufacturing, Aerospace and Defense, Health Care, Professional and Financial Services and Supply Chain Management.


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    Waco Industrial Foundation Purchases Property in Robinson
    The Waco Industrial Foundation (WIF) has purchased 634.694 acres in Robinson, Texas from Dove Hill Partners, LP continuing its efforts to grow the economy through the attraction and expansion of business in the Greater Waco area.
    2013-06-21

    The Waco Industrial Foundation (WIF) has purchased 634.694 acres in Robinson, Texas from Dove Hill Partners, LP continuing its efforts to grow the economy through the attraction and expansion of business in the Greater Waco area. The property is located at the southeastern corner of Interstate 35 and South Loop 340/State Highway 6.  The property has 2,300 feet of Interstate frontage and 1,400 feet of frontage on Loop 340.

    The sale of the property was brokered by H. Bland Cromwell, CCIM, SIOR of Coldwell Banker Commercial, Jim Stewart, Realtors, and was supported by Jason Cooper, Cooper Real Estate Advisors, LLC of Dallas.

    “The acquisition of this land is a huge event, allowing the Waco Industrial Foundation the ability to provide quality industrial sites for prospective industries to locate or expand in McLennan County. The location is ideal for high profile tenants that desire visibility within the I-35 corridor. It will undoubtedly serve as a cornerstone for continued quality growth within the city of Robinson,” said Bob Davis, president of the Waco Industrial Foundation.

    WIF actively manages a $37.5 million real estate portfolio with more than 1,200 acres available for sale in its industrial parks. Texas Central Park, located in southern McLennan County, has more than 70 corporate tenants including Mars Chocolate, Coca-Cola Refreshments, and both Caterpillar Work Tools and Logistics.  Waco Aviation Industrial Park, near the Texas State Technical College Airport, is home to Sanderson Farms and Dr Pepper Bottling. The additional 635 acres in Robinson is a strategic acquisition for continued industrial and economic growth that will nearly double the land WIF has available in the southern part of Greater Waco for industrial development.

    “From a planning perspective, this property has everything you need to develop: visibility, a poised entrance into the Robinson/Waco area, Interstate Highway frontage, and available water and wastewater. We, at the City of Robinson, look forward to working with the Waco Industrial Foundation and the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce on putting together the best plan for development for the property,” said Robert Cervenka, City Manager of Robinson, Texas. “The purchase will change the face of Robinson for years to come.”

    Davis added that this transaction would not have been possible without the Bowden family and their “desire to see the land developed in a manner that would have a positive impact on the future growth of this area and their agreeing to a discounted sale of the land. This acquisition is the culmination of months of work, planning, and discussion between the Waco Industrial Foundation, city of Robinson and Jeff Bowden.”

    According to Cromwell, the purchase between Jeff Bowden, with Dove Hill Partners, is a rare transaction that benefits all parties. The Bowden family always wanted to sell the property to an organization that was in the business of attracting jobs and industries. They felt that WIF could handle a large prominent site.

    “My dad started buying land at that intersection over 20 years ago,” said Bowden. “In January, Bland [Cromwell] and I started talking in earnest about who'd be the best developer for the Robinson tract. The whole process of dealing with [WIF] has been a joy. At closing, I gave Bob Davis a bucket of dirt from the Robinson tract. I wrote on the bucket, 'It's an honor to pass our land to you.' I'll tell you something else, in the past few years I've gotten to know Robinson's city manager, Bob Cervenka. He and his city council are gonna do great things for Robinson."

    WIF has an inventory of fully developed sites with proximity to Interstate 35, the mainline rail system, Texas State Technical College Waco Industrial Airport and commercial air service at Waco Regional Airport. Since 1958, WIF has developed more than 5,000 acres of business parks that have helped attract more than 110 companies representing more than 16,000 jobs and 17 million square feet of development in Greater Waco.

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    About Greater Waco:
    Greater Waco is located in McLennan County, Texas along the Interstate 35 corridor and is home to more than 14,000 companies, 234,906 people, and a regional workforce of approximately 320,000. Greater Waco is strategically positioned with centralized access to Dallas and Austin (90 miles) and Houston and San Antonio (185 miles). 

    Robinson, a community of 10,850 residents, is located in southern McLennan County and within a 15-minute drive to Waco. It is one of the fastest growing communities in the Greater Waco area, having seen 34% population growth since 2000.

    Since 2006, there has been more than $806 million in new capital investments and $530 million in riverfront and downtown development, making Greater Waco an attractive place to live, work and play. The community is landscaped with top-rated higher educational institutions, including Baylor University, McLennan Community College and Texas State Technical College-Waco.

    Greater Waco target industries include: Advanced Manufacturing, Aerospace and Defense, Health Care, Professional and Financial Services, and Supply Chain Management.


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    TriWaco Gearing Up for Fifth Year
    TriWaco will begin at 7 a.m. on Sunday, July 28 in Indian Spring Park. Up to 1000 participants are expected for this event.
    2013-07-08

     

    TriWaco, a USA Triathlon (USAT) sanctioned Olympic and sprint distance event in the Heart of Texas, will begin at 7 a.m. on Sunday, July 28in Indian Spring Park. Up to 1000 participants are expected for this event. It has been deemed a Regional Intermediate Triathlon Championship for this year by USAT.

    The Olympic triathlon starts with a 1500-meter open water swim in the Brazos River (no wetsuits) followed by a mostly flat and fast 25-mile bike ride on country roads north and west of Waco. Finishing out the race is a hilly 10-kilometer run along the Brazos River that leads to the oldest suspension bridge in the United States.

    The sprint distance event includes a 400-meter open water swim in the Brazos River, a 12-mile bike ride along the same country roads and a 5-kilometer run finishing on the suspension bridge.

    “Triathlon’s test a person’s endurance and strength on land and in the water, which is why we are so excited to be able to support triathletes in the Central Texas area,” said Ashley Futris, director of sports and special events with the Greater Waco Chamber. “We have the perfect landscape to build camaraderie between athletes of all ages and skill levels, so it’s not surprising that we have more than 300 volunteers that have come together to help create this amazing event.”

    Registration is $90 for the Olympic distance triathlons. Each participant will receive a dri-fit T-shirt, towel, water bottle and custom finisher medal. Online registration is available at TriWaco.org and on-site registration will be available on Saturday, July 27 from 7 a.m. to noon. All participants need to check in, along with on-site registrants, in the Three Rivers ballroom at the Waco Hilton Hotel at 113 S. University Parks Dr.

    All participants are encouraged to arrive no later than 5 a.m. on race day to park, unload equipment, ready their transition area and review the course.

    The title sponsor is Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center & Scott & White Healthcare. Gold Sponsors are Coke and Top Dollar Pawn Superstores. Silver Sponsors are Capstone Mechanical, Southwest Sports Medicine and Orthopaedics, Outdoor Waco and Greg May Honda. Bronze Sponsors are Barsh General Contractors, HEB, Independent Bank, Scanes, Routh & James, Insurors of Texas, B&B Athletics and Hilton Waco. Host Sponsors are the City of Waco and the Greater Waco Chamber.

    For more information, visit TriWaco.org or call Jack Weiss, Ironhead Productions, at 817-707-0500 or Futris at 254-757-5605.

     

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    25th Annual Kickoff Luncheon to Salute Floyd Casey Stadium
    The First National Bank Central Texas Kickoff Sports Luncheon will be at 11:30 a.m. August 21 at the Baylor University Ferrell Center and feature six Baylor University football alumni players.
    2013-08-05

    The First National Bank Central Texas Kickoff Sports Luncheon will be at 11:30 a.m. August 21 at the Baylor University Ferrell Center and feature six Baylor University football alumni players as a salute to Floyd Casey Stadium as Baylor Football begins its last season at the stadium.

    The Baylor University alumni players include: Gale Galloway (1949-51); Don Trull (1961-63); Ricky Thompson (1973-74); Walter Abercrombie (1978-81); Santana Dotson (1988-91) and Nick Florence (2009-12).

    “We are excited to have so many great alumni players present for this special tribute to Floyd Casey Stadium,” said Ashley Futris, director of sports and special events with the Greater Waco Chamber. “While we are looking forward to the new Baylor stadium, Floyd Casey Stadium will always hold special memories to the community. What better way to acknowledge the stadium then with the alumni that have played in the stadium in front of countless fans.”

    The Kickoff Luncheon will include a preview of Baylor’s upcoming college football season from Head Football Coach Art Briles and a viewing of the KWTX News 10 High School Football Season preview. 

    The Kickoff Luncheon will also be presenting the Dave Campbell award to a recipient that recognizes their commitment and contribution to the betterment of football in the Central Texas area.

    Reserved tables of 10 are available for $375. Tickets may be purchased for $30. For questions regarding tickets, contact Ashley Futris at afrutris@wacochamber.com.


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    Greater Waco Chamber Mid-year Membership Luncheon July 31
    Greater Waco Chamber Mid-year Membership Luncheon July 31 to feature Matt Meadors.
    2013-07-26

    The Greater Waco Chamber will host its 2013 Mid-year Membership Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. July 31 at the Lee Lockwood Library.

    The featured guest speaker is Matt Meadors, president and CEO of the Greater Waco Chamber, to give an update on Chamber activities.

    The Mid-year Luncheon is sponsored by Oak Farms Dairy at the gold level. Silver sponsors include: American Classifieds, Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center, Action Rental Center, Waco Scottish Rite Bodies, Waco Housing Authority, Kelly Realtors, Green Life Interiors and Allstate – David Wilson.

    For more information, contact Christy Sanders at (254) 757-5611.

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    Waco Chamber Announces New Senior Vice President for Economic Development
    The Greater Waco Chamber is pleased to announce that Kristina Collins has been named the organization’s new senior vice president for economic development.
    2013-08-06

    The Greater Waco Chamber is pleased to announce that Kristina Collins has been named the organization’s new senior vice president for economic development. Collins has been with the Greater Waco Chamber since 2005, most recently serving as the organization’s director of business retention and expansion services. She succeeds Sarah Roberts, who left the Chamber in May to join the private sector.

    “I have had the pleasure of working with Kris Collins since I joined the Chamber nearly one year ago,” said Matt Meadors, president and CEO of the Greater Waco Chamber. “She is an energetic, knowledgeable and innovative economic development professional, and we are confident she will prove to be an outstanding leader of our economic development program.”

    Glenn Robinson, president and CEO of Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center and a member of the Greater Waco Chamber Executive Committee, led an advisory committee established by the Chamber to assist in the search for its next economic development leader. According to Robinson, the advisory committee advertised the position nationally.

    “We received more than 40 resumes from candidates across the country expressing interest in the position, including economic development professionals as well as individuals from the private sector,” said Robinson. “In the end, we felt we had the best candidate in Kris Collins. She is a capable, proven performer and we are confident she is going to emerge as one of the finest economic development leaders in the state of Texas, and beyond.”

    “I am very excited to lead the Greater Waco Chamber’s Economic Development team,” said Collins. “Our organization has a legacy of high performing economic development leaders, and I am honored to carry forward along an already blazoned trail. Greater Waco is in a transformative period with terrific opportunities on the horizon, and I am very optimistic about what the future holds for this community and look forward to working with our partners throughout the region to realize and exceed our potential.”

    Collins is a certified Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) Project Coordinator through Business Retention & Expansion International (BREI), a member of the International and Texas Economic Development Councils (IEDC & TEDC) and several other professional and trade associations related to her work at the Chamber. Currently, she is pursing professional certification through the International Economic Development Council to become a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD). She is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. in Government.

    About the Greater Waco Chamber:
    The Greater Waco Chamber is a well-respected, high-impact economic and community development organization advancing a progressive and visionary agenda for economic growth and quality of life. Greater Waco is located in McLennan County, Texas along the Interstate 35 corridor and is home to more than 14,000 companies, 234,906 people and a regional workforce of approximately 320,000. To prepare and market the Greater Waco region for the businesses and jobs of the future, Greater Waco is strategically positioned with centralized access to Dallas and Austin (90 miles) and Houston and San Antonio (185 miles).

    Since 2006, Greater Waco has seen more than $758 million in new capital investments and $530 million in riverfront and downtown development, making it an attractive place to live, work and play. Greater Waco is landscaped with top-rated higher educational institutions, including Baylor University, McLennan Community College and Texas State Technical College Waco.

    The Greater Waco Chamber targets five key industries for economic development, which include: Advanced Manufacturing, Aerospace and Defense, Health Care, Professional and Financial Services and Supply Chain Management. For more information, visit WacoChamber.com.


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    One Book One Waco Announces 2013 Selection
    One Book One Waco announces the 2013 book selection, Paddlefish by Austin author Christine Warren. The book tells the first complete narrative ever published on the Texas Water Safari.
    2013-08-13

    One Book One Waco announces the 2013 book selection, Paddlefish by Austin author Christine Warren. The book tells the first complete narrative ever published on the Texas Water Safari, a 260-mile paddle race from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast.

    “Paddlefish illustrates the journey that Christine Warren had to navigate, not just fallen trees, mosquitoes, paddling day and night, and disagreements with her paddling partner or hypothermia, but it’s an inspirational story about rivers, water sports and personal goals,” said J.D. Windham, Jr., director of community development at the Greater Waco Chamber and One Book One Waco. “In addition to the story being an inspiration to the community, our selection committee felt that it was a great fit for Waco. Waco was born on the river, and there is a great deal of excitement about the future of the Waco riverfront.”

    The Brazos River near downtown Waco hosts numerous sporting events annually, such as TriWaco and boat races. The Texas Water Safari is one extreme for recreational river use.

    Waco readers are encouraged to share their experiences at One Book One Waco events, and the community is invited to attend an author’s lecture featuring Christine Warren in Waco at 7:30 p.m., October 8 at Region 12.

    Paddlefish is available for purchase at the Baylor Bookstore (1201 S. Fifth Street), the Waco McLennan County Library and the Hewitt Library.

    Led by the Greater Waco Chamber, One Book One Waco is a community-wide reading program that promotes reading and thoughtful discussion, with activities and events focused on encouraging community participation, seeking to bring together the diverse peoples of Greater Waco in open dialogue. For more details, including readers’ guides, visit OneBookOneWaco.org.

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    MaxFlight Relocating Headquarters to Waco
    Max Flight Advantages, LLC has announced the relocation of its headquarters and major maintenance facilities from Dayton, Ohio to the Waco area.
    2013-08-19

    Jamie Thomas, chairman, CEO and president of Max Flight Advantages, LLC (MaxFlight) announced the relocation of its headquarters and major maintenance facilities from Dayton, Ohio to the Waco area. MaxFlight provides multiple aviation services to selected clients.

    Concentrating principally on turbine aircraft, MaxFlight aviation services include:

    ·         Private, secure, safe, confidential, efficient and cost-effective air travel

    ·         Aircraft acquisition and sales

    ·         Fleet management

    ·         Airframe, engine, and avionics maintenance

    ·         Parts sales and distribution

    ·         Aviation asset acquisition and development

    MaxFlight, founded in 2006, has a successful history of providing its clients with concierge type services, personalized aircraft scheduling, utmost safe operations using fully qualified and certified flight crews, secure and confidential transactions, hassle-free private air transportation, and effective and high yield asset management.

    “We are extremely excited to bring our corporate headquarters to Waco, Texas and contribute to the local community,” said Thomas. “MaxFlight believes it will be able to bring multiple aviation service products and an investment package that meets investor’s criteria. Our focus is to make aviation safer and more affordable while working to get on the same side of the table with our clients.”

    MaxFlight employs personnel with exceptional aviation credentials, expertise and experience, excellent customer skills, integrity and impeccable ethics. Employment is currently 40 with expansion to reach 80 employees over the next three years. MaxFlight develops long-term relationships with all of its clients and has a distinguished history of supporting local community endeavors and economic development activities.

    MaxFlight will conduct its operations at TSTC Airport with a 25,000-square-foot facility absorption and at McGregor Executive Airport with the construction of two 25,000-square-foot facilities to begin within the next year and future expansion plans.

    Regional partners include: Texas State Technical College – Waco, City of Waco, McLennan County, Greater Waco Chamber, City of McGregor, McGregor Economic Development Corporation and McGregor Chamber.

     

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    About Greater Waco Chamber:
    Greater Waco is located in McLennan County, Texas along the Interstate 35 corridor and is home to more than 14,000 companies, 234,906 people and a regional workforce of approximately 320,000. To prepare and market the Greater Waco region for the businesses and jobs of the future, Greater Waco is strategically positioned with centralized access to Dallas and Austin (90 miles) and Houston and San Antonio (185 miles).

    Since 2006, Greater Waco has seen more than $813 million in new capital investments and $530 million in riverfront and downtown development, making it an attractive place to live, work and play. Greater Waco is landscaped with top-rated higher educational institutions, including Baylor University, McLennan Community College and Texas State Technical College Waco.

    The Greater Waco Chamber targets five key industries for economic development, which include: Advanced Manufacturing, Aerospace and Defense, Health Care, Professional and Financial Services and Supply Chain Management. For more information, visit WacoChamber.com.


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    Vossloh to Open United States Rail Fastener Production Facility in Waco
    Vossloh AG announces a United States production facility for Vossloh rail fastening system in McLennan County, Texas, and will absorb a 100,000-square-foot facility adjacent to the TRANE facility along Highway 84.
    2013-08-28

    Vossloh AG announces a United States production facility for Vossloh rail fastening system in McLennan County, Texas. Vossloh operates worldwide in selected rail infrastructure and rail technology markets, focusing on heavy-haul, transit and high-speed rail.

    “Vossloh has chosen to set up operations in Waco, Texas. The decision was based mainly on the proximity to regions with current clients, as well as, a unique tax situation at this specific site,” said Frank Sbielut, manager business development.

    Vossloh will absorb a 100,000-square-foot facility adjacent to the TRANE facility along Highway 84. Construction within the facility will begin in the third quarter of 2013, with plant production scheduled to begin after mid-2014. Employment is expected to reach 28 employees.

    “With the announcement of Vossloh entering the McLennan County business community, shows the diversity of businesses that Central Texas attracts,” said Judge Scott Felton, McLennan County. “Thanks to the Greater Waco Chamber, McGregor economic development staff and regional partners for matching up a great location in the facility adjacent to TRANE located near McGregor with a dynamic international business that is well established world-wide with the financial wherewithal to provide growth in the future.”

    Hiring is currently under way with 90 percent expected to be in place by the end of 2014. The company is currently working with Workforce Solutions in the Heart of Texas for personnel recruiting.

    With its two divisions, transportation and rail infrastructure, Vossloh AG for a number of years has been successfully operating in the North American market as the third-largest supplier of switches, turnouts and components. Vossloh’s Transportation division supplies rail vehicle components, in addition to, having completed an extensive array of complex bus and light-rail refurbishment projects.

    T
    he Vossloh Group, headquartered in Werdohl, Germany, comprises over 30 companies in 100 countries. More than 5,000 employees generated group sales of around $1.6 billion in 2012, including just under 80 percent outside of Germany and mainly in other European countries. Non-European sales make up 36 percent.

    The real estate transaction was brokered by H. Bland Cromwell, CCIM, SIOR of Coldwell Banker Commercial Jim Stewart Realtors.

     

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    About Vossloh:
    Today’s Vossloh is a global player in the rail technology markets. The Group focuses on its core businesses of rail infrastructure, rail vehicles, and electric buses. Reflecting this focus, Vossloh’s two divisions, Rail Infrastructure and Transportation, operate under the roof of Vossloh AG. In fiscal 2012, around 5,100 employees generated sales of $1.6 billion USD and an EBIT of $129.7 million USD.

    About Greater Waco Chamber:
    Greater Waco is located in McLennan County, Texas along the Interstate 35 corridor and is home to more than 14,000 companies, 234,906 people and a regional workforce of approximately 320,000. To prepare and market the Greater Waco region for the businesses and jobs of the future, Greater Waco is strategically positioned with centralized access to Dallas and Austin (90 miles) and Houston and San Antonio (185 miles).

    McGregor, a community of 5,143 residents, is located in western McLennan County and within a 15-minute drive to Waco. The community is home to multiple globally renowned companies, such as SpaceX, Ferguson Enterprises, Foster Wheeler and most recently, Behlen Manufacturing. 

    Since 2006, Greater Waco has seen more than $813 million in new capital investments and $530 million in riverfront and downtown development, making it an attractive place to live, work and play. Greater Waco is landscaped with top-rated higher educational institutions, including Baylor University, McLennan Community College and Texas State Technical College Waco.

    The Greater Waco Chamber targets five key industries for economic development, which include: Advanced Manufacturing, Aerospace and Defense, Health Care, Professional and Financial Services and Supply Chain Management. For more information, visit WacoChamber.com.


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    2nd Annual State of the City and County Set for September 19
    The Greater Waco Chamber will host the 2nd Annual State of the City and County address featuring McLennan County Judge Scott Felton and Waco City Manager Larry Groth.
    2013-09-05

    The Greater Waco Chamber will host the 2nd Annual State of the City and County address featuring McLennan County Judge Scott Felton and Waco City Manager Larry Groth at 3 p.m. September 19 at the Hilton Waco Three Rivers Ballroom.

    Ken Hampton, senior vice president of community development with the Greater Waco Chamber, said the event will address challenges in the county, as well as downtown and urban development plans.

    “This event is an opportunity for the public to engage our elected officials,” said Hampton. “We strive to keep the issues that are important to our city and county at the forefront, so this event will allow County Judge Scott Felton and Waco City Manager Larry Groth to discuss some of their strategies and goals while enabling the public to address any concerns or questions with them directly.”

    The event is free to the public, but space is limited so registration is required online at WacoChamber.com.

    The State of the City and County is presented by Wells Fargo. The silver sponsor is Baylor University and bronze sponsors are Atmos Energy and Tekell & Atkins, LLP. 

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    About Greater Waco:
    The Greater Waco Chamber is a business leadership organization that advances a progressive and visionary agenda for economic growth and quality of life. The Chamber prepares and markets Greater Waco for the businesses and jobs of the future and enhances the quality of life of the community by promoting strategic development. For more information, visit WacoChamber.com.


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    Greater Waco Aviation Alliance to Host 2013 Freedom Ball on Sept. 14
    The Greater Waco Aviation Alliance will host the 2013 Freedom Ball from 6 p.m. to midnight September 14 at its new location in the Downtown 301 Event Center.
    2013-09-12

    The Greater Waco Aviation Alliance will host the 2013 Freedom Ball from 6 p.m. to midnight September 14 at its new location in the Downtown 301 Event Center. The event benefits scholarships for aviation careers and recognizes past and present military personnel.

    Presented by SpaceX and Allergan, the gala will benefit aviation scholarships and salute the men and women of the armed forces. “Forever grateful, never forgotten” is the theme.

    Tickets are available in advance, which include dinner, drinks and dancing. Ticket prices are $75 per person and $50 for veterans and active duty military. Tables of eight are $600 each. Complementary valet parking is available. To purchase tickets, visit FreedomBallWaco.com.

    Proceeds will be used for Greater Waco students pursuing careers in aviation, with special consideration given to those who are dependents of active‐duty military personnel.

    Lisa Swayze, a multi-engine, instrument and commercially rated pilot, will be the guest speaker. Cuvee will provide the evening’s musical entertainment.

    Event attire is “after 5” with current and former military personnel encouraged to wear their uniforms (mess dress).

    The Greater Waco Aviation Alliance is a committee of the Greater Waco Chamber. It advocates for the more than 30 area aviation and related companies that attract companies and individuals to Waco from around the world by offering diverse products and services ranging from the installation of sophisticated communications systems in military aircraft to aircraft repair, performance upgrades, engineering, systems design and maintenance facilities.

    For more information, contact Kris Collins at (254) 757-5635.

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    About Greater Waco:
    The Greater Waco Chamber is a business leadership organization that advances a progressive and visionary agenda for economic growth and quality of life. The Chamber prepares and markets Greater Waco for the businesses and jobs of the future and enhances the quality of life of the community by promoting strategic development. For more information, visit WacoChamber.com.

     


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    Greater Waco Chamber to Host Schmooza Palooza Sept. 12
    Schmooza Palooza Party and Business Expo will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. September 12 in the Extraco Events Center Exhibit Hall.
    2013-09-06

    Schmooza Palooza Party and Business Expo, presented by Allen Samuels, will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. September 12 in the Extraco Events Center Exhibit Hall.

    This free business expo and mega Business After Hours event gives guests the chance to schmooze with Waco’s best. Chamber member businesses will showcase their products and services to prospective clients in a casual environment while guests enjoy food, drink and door prizes.

    Businesses can reserve booths for $350 each. Exhibitors can give away products, services, discounts, samples and advice.

    Schmooza Palooza is presented by Allen Samuels Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram Fiat. Sponsors include: Extraco Events Center, M & M Broadcasters, Ben E. Keith Beverages, News Channel 25, Coca-Cola Refreshments and Action Rental Center.

    For more information, contact Linda Beasley at (254) 757-5601.


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    Homer Drew to Speak at 25th Annual Tip Off Luncheon
    Valparaiso Coach Homer Drew will be the guest speaker at the Tip Off Sports Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. on October 24 at the Baylor University Ferrell Center.
    2013-09-23

     Valparaiso Coach Homer Drew will be the guest speaker at the First National Bank of Central Texas Tip Off Sports Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. on October 24 at the Baylor University Ferrell Center.

    Drew is a former American college basketball coach, most recently for Valparaiso University Crusaders men's basketball team. His elder son, Scott Drew, is the head coach of Baylor University's men's basketball team after having served nine years assisting under Homer Drew and one year as head coach of Valparaiso. Homer Drew is best known for leading Valparaiso's improbable run in the 1998 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament.

    Drew had become one of only 19 active Division I coaches to earn his 500th career victory and mounted a 26-season career record of 505–306, a winning percentage of 62.3. This made him the winningest coach in Valpo history, with a 236–184 record. Drew is nominated to become one of Valparaiso University's 150 Most Influential Persons in the university's history.

    The Tip Off Luncheon will also include a preview of Baylor’s upcoming college basketball season from Lady Bears’ head coach Kim Mulkey and Baylor Bears’ head coach Scott Drew. McLennan Community College women’s head coach Ricky Rhodes and men’s head coach Kevin Gill will also speak.

    For questions regarding tickets, contact Chris Davis at cdavis@wacochamber.com or 757-5604.

     


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    Con-way Freight Announces Major Expansion in Central Texas
    New $3.7 Million Freight Operations Center in Robinson to Increase Local Capacity, Add Jobs
    2013-09-25

    Con-way Freight, a less-than-truckload (LTL) trucking company and subsidiary of Con-way Inc. (NYSE: CNW), has announced a major expansion for Central Texas and surrounding communities with plans to build a new, state-of-the-art, 48-door, 18,870-square-foot freight service center in the city of Robinson.

    The new $3.7 million facility will serve as a the local hub from which the company will provide daily freight pickup and delivery services, connecting Central Texas and the Greater Waco metropolitan area with one-, two- and three-day service points in Con-way Freight’s nationwide network, as well as Mexico and Canada.

    The company has selected a 12-acre property in Robinson Industrial Park for the new facility. According to Con-way Freight’s director of operations, Steve Micketti, the site is well-suited for the company’s needs. A major factor for its selection was the convenient access to the Sun Valley exit off Interstate 35.

    The new 48-door, 18,870-square-foot freight facility in Robinson will replace an existing 22-door service center at 7300 Bagby Avenue in neighboring Waco, where the company has been for more than 20 years. Once completed, the expanded facility is expected to provide additional capacity, operating efficiencies and flexibility. The company expects to hire an additional 15 works in jobs such as driver sales representatives, operations support, sales, customer service and administration. Con-way Freight currently employs 52 at its existing Waco location.

    “The Central Texas market and its surrounding communities have experienced significant business growth over the past several years,” said Greg Lehmkuhl, president of Con-way Freight. “This new facility will allow us to better manage current business levels, and positions us with capacity to grow and deliver to our customers the velocity, dependability and consistent on-time service that provides competitive advantage.”

    “We’ve had excellent support from the city of Robinson and the Waco business community,” Lehmkuhl continued, “and with our development partners, we’re excited to launch this important expansion for the community, and for our national network.”

    “We are extremely pleased that Con-way Freight has selected Robinson for this expanded freight operations center,” said Bryan Ferguson, mayor of the city of Robinson. “The additional jobs, as well as the important transportation and logistics support services that accompany the Con-way facility, are important for the increased vitality of our local, regional and state economies. We’re proud to welcome them as a neighbor.”

    Scheduled to open in April 2014, the project represents extensive collaboration between Con-way Freight and the developer, SCRG, Ltd., the Gummelt family, broker Jon Spelman, Pearson Construction and the city of Robinson. The team of Bill Thomas Designs, J&S Structural, Bob Curry Engineering and The Wallace Group leads the architectural, engineering and construction planning efforts for the new facility, for which Con-way Freight has signed a long-term lease.

    Today, Con-way Freight operates a fleet of 24 commercial truck-tractors and 80 freight trailers from its current facility in Waco, and expects to expand its local fleet once the facility is open. Con-way Freight in Waco/Central Texas currently services more than 800 businesses in the greater metropolitan area and surrounding communities. Nationwide, the company operates a fleet of 9,600 truck-tractors and 25,000 freight trailers.

    Con-way Freight provides some of the fastest service over the longest market lanes of any trucking company in the state. From Central Texas, next-day delivery is provided for most of Louisiana, north to the Kansas border, west to Midland, Texas, south to the Mexico border and east to the Alabama border.

    A grand opening ceremony is scheduled for April 2014 when the public and local officials can visit the service center and tour the 3,600 square feet of the office space and 48-door, 15,270-square-foot dock.

    About Con-way Freight:
    Con-way Freight is the industry’s leading less-than-truckload (LTL) freight transportation company, providing guaranteed, day-definite regional and transcontinental service with exception-free delivery, on-time service performance and faster transit times through a single, unified network of 425 service centers in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Con-way Freight offers LTL freight transportation across North America and through Global LTL delivery in the United Sates from around the world. Global solutions include international less-than-container load (LCL) ocean shipments from Asia throughout its OceanGuaranteed service; direct service to more than 30 Bahamian and Caribbean ports through TropicalDirect; and domestic offshore transportation to Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Based in Ann Arbor, Mich., Con-way Freight is a certified FAST highway carrier and is C-TPAT/PIP-, ACE- and CSA-certified.

    Con-way Freight is a subsidiary of Con-way Inc. (NYSE: CNW), a $5.6 billion diversified freight transportation and logistics services company. For more information, visit Con-Way.com/en/Freight.


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    S2G Job Fair on October 7
    Support Services Group (S2G), a Waco based outsource solutions provider, is hiring 65 positions to support a new multi-year client.
    2013-10-04

     

    What:                  Support Services Group (S2G), a Waco based outsource solutions provider, is hiring in Waco, Texas to support a new multi-year client. To support hiring efforts, Texas Workforce will be holding a job fair to fill 65 open positions for customer service representatives (CSRs) and supervisors. Candidates are not required to have call center experience, but one-year minimum experience is requested. Candidates are also encouraged to apply online at the S2G website at S2G.net, where they will find opportunities under the Career tab. The new positions will start working on or before Oct. 21, 2013.

     

    Where:               McLennan County Workforce Solutions for the Heart of Texas

    1416 S. New Road

    Waco, TX 76711        

    When:                 Monday, Oct. 7, 2013
                                
    10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

    Who:                   S2G has been in Waco since 1998, supports 10 clients and currently has 80 employees. The company initially supported programs for only technology clients, but has expanded across business and consumer technology, consumer services and consumer product support programs. 

     

                                 S2G is a boutique outsource provider of high touch multi-channel interactions for the brands of yesterday, today and tomorrow. S2G builds customer response and support solutions for customer ecosystems in the verticals of technology, digital entertainment, software, consumer electronics, consumer products and consumer services. Front office and back office solutions center around their ability to deliver high touch and high skill experiences via their US based resources and people.


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    Waco Chamber Recognizes First Annual Business Innovator Award Winner
    The Greater Waco Chamber recognized Waco Transit System as their First Annual Business Innovator Award winner at a luncheon on Tuesday, November 19.
    2013-11-19

    BIA WinnersWACO, Texas– The Greater Waco Chamber recognized Waco Transit System as their First Annual Business Innovator Award winner at a luncheon on Tuesday, November 19.

    Waco Transit System, operator of the Baylor University Shuttle, developed a free app for smart phones that tracks all their campus shuttle buses. Both riders and the corporate office are able to see where buses are along their routes and have an accurate, estimated arrival time for various stops.

    "We had so many great innovations submitted for this new award, but the GPS tracking system that Waco Transit System developed will be a true game changer for public transportation to downtown Waco and surrounding areas," said Linda Beasley, executive vice president at the Greater Waco Chamber. "This new tracking system has eliminated questions and insecurity from students about whether or not a bus had arrived and departed from a specific stop, while aiding the corporate office in ensuring their buses stay on-course."

    The Business Innovator Award is designed to recognize the creative spirit and hard work of the person or organization responsible for helping make Central Texas a hub for creative excellence.

    "Innovation of products and services is key to creating an economically and culturally thriving area," said Beasley. "However, innovative ideas are seldom the result of hard work, but a systematic process that identifies a customer's needs and then finding a creative way to meet those needs. The Greater Waco community has a strong creative presence, so we are excited to have the opportunity to recognize those efforts through this new award."

    Greater Waco Chamber members in an organization of any size, for-profit and non-profit, high-tech or low-tech, were encouraged to nominate their products or services.

    The four finalists announced during the Business Innovator Award luncheon were Outdoor Waco, Wardlaw Claims Service/RoofLook, Moment by Moment Growth and Learning, and the Waco Transit System.

    The Gold Sponsor for this event was Providence Healthcare Network. The Bronze Sponsors were Allen Samuels Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram Fiat, BBVA Compass, Capstone Mechanical, Coca-Cola, Ratliff Ready Mix, Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center, Courtyard by Marriott, Profiles International and InterviewStream.

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    About Greater Waco Chamber:
    The Greater Waco Chamber is a business leadership organization that advances a progressive and visionary agenda for economic growth and quality of life. The Chamber prepares and markets Greater Waco for the businesses and jobs of the future and enhances the quality of life of the community by promoting strategic development. For more information, visit Waco Chamber.com.


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    First National Bank Central Texas First Pitch Luncheon Tickets Available Now
    The First Pitch Luncheon presented by First National Bank of Central Texas will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 24, 2014 at the Ferrell Center at Baylor University.
    2013-12-05

    WACO, Texas – The First Pitch Luncheon presented by First National Bank of Central Texas will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 24, 2014 at the Ferrell Center at Baylor University.

    The guest speaker will be Jason Jennings, former Baylor All American and retired MLB player. Jennings was the 1999 College Baseball National Player of the Year and 2002 National League Rookie of the Year. He pitched in Major League Baseball with the Colorado Rockies (2001-2006), Houston Astros (2007) and Texas Rangers (2008-2009) before officially retiring in 2012. In his major league debut, Jennings hit a home run and tossed a complete game shutout, becoming the first major leaguer to accomplish that feat.

    Speaking at the luncheon will be Baylor Baseball’s Head Coach Steve Smith and Lady Bear’s Softball Head Coach Glenn Moore who will discuss their programs. McLennan Community College Baseball’s Head Coach Mitch Thompson and Highlassie’s Softball Head Coach Manuel Ordones also will speak.

    Also being presented at the luncheon is the first Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce Sport Luncheon Scholarship presented by the First National Bank of Central Texas; awarding scholarships to two outstanding students in McLennan County. The annual Texas Sports Hall of Fame Award will also be presented.

    The First National Bank of Central Texas First Pitch Luncheon is also sponsored by Baylor Athletics, Baylor University, Baylor IMG College, American Guaranty Title, Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center, KWTX News 10, Nell and Jim Hawkins, Northern & Nye, T&G Chemical Supply and Time Warner Cable Business Class.

    Tables are $375 for a table of ten. Please make checks payable to the Greater Waco Chamber and mail check to: Greater Waco Chamber • P.O. Box 1220 • Waco TX 76703-1220. For more information, call Chris Davis at (254) 757-5604.


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    Register Today for the 2014 Annual Membership Banquet
    The Greater Waco Chamber Annual Membership Banquet is February 13, 2014 at the Waco Convention Center.
    2014-01-27

    The Greater Waco Chamber Annual Membership Banquet is February 13, 2014 at the Waco Convention Center.

    The 2014 Annual Banquet will also feature entertainment by The Texas Tenors. Since their whirlwind debut four years ago on NBC's America's Got Talent, The Texas Tenors have enjoyed a hit PBS special now airing across the U.S. and a Billboard Top 10 album. They have sold out the Galveston Opera House several times, as well as Oklahoma City and venues with both the Austin Symphony and Kansas City Symphony. You won't want to miss this performance!

    To reserve a seat at this popular member event,
    RSVP by Feb. 5, 2014. The cost is $75 per person for Greater Waco Chamber members, but is $150 per person for non-Greater Waco Chamber members.


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    Allergan Expands Facility/Product Line, Hits Major Milestone inGreater Waco, Texas
    Allergan LLC Waco announces another expansion of its North American manufacturing facility located in Waco, Texas.
    2014-01-31

    Waco, Texas –Allergan LLC Waco announces another expansion of its North American manufacturing facility located in Waco, Texas. The $10.6 million expansion project will include new manufacturing technology and increased production capacity to support a new product line. State-of-the-art automation and control systems were developed by Allergan’s engineering team to support is ophthalmic pharmaceuticals production facility.

    2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the start of operations at the Waco facility, located within the 3,000 acre, master planned Texas Central Park. Since beginning operations in 1989, the site has seen significant growth and expansion, including the announcement of a multi-year expansion and projected $89.5 million capital investment in 2011.

    The 22,000-square-foot expansion recently broke ground and is expected to complete in approximately one year. Following completion of construction, equipment commissioning and validation will commence prior to commercial operation. Allergan currently employs approximately 640 and expects the expansion to create 20 to 30 new jobs.

    -30-

    About Allergan:

    Allergan is a multi-specialty health care company established more than 60 years ago with a commitment to uncover the best of science and develop and deliver innovative and meaningful treatments to help people reach their life's potential. Today, we have approximately 11,400 highly dedicated and talented employees, global marketing and sales capabilities with a presence in more than 100 countries, a rich and ever-evolving portfolio of pharmaceuticals, biologics, medical devices and over-the-counter consumer products, and state-of-the-art resources in R&D, manufacturing and safety surveillance that help millions of patients see more clearly, move more freely and express themselves more fully. From our beginnings as an eye care company to our focus today on several medical specialties, including eye care, neurosciences, medical aesthetics, medical dermatology, breast aesthetics, and urologics, Allergan is proud to celebrate more than 60 years of medical advances and proud to support the patients and customers who rely on our products and the employees and communities in which we live and work. For more information regarding Allergan, go to: www.allergan.com. 

    About Greater Waco Chamber:

    Greater Waco is located in McLennan County, Texas along the Interstate 35 corridor and is home to more than 14,000 companies, 234,906 people and a regional workforce of approximately 322,000. To prepare and market the Greater Waco region for the businesses and jobs of the future, Greater Waco is strategically positioned with centralized access to Dallas and Austin (90 miles) and Houston and San Antonio (185 miles).

    Waco, a community of 128,998 residents, is located centrally within McLennan County.The community is home to multiple globally renowned companies, such as Coca Cola, Caterpillar, Mars Chocolate, The Dwyer Group, and many others. 

    Since 2006, Greater Waco has seen more than $859 million in new capital investments and $530 million in riverfront and downtown development, making it an attractive place to live, work and play. Greater Waco is landscaped with top-rated higher educational institutions, including Baylor University, McLennan Community College and Texas State Technical College Waco.

    The Greater Waco Chamber targets five key industries for economic dAevelopment, which include: Advanced Manufacturing, Aerospace and Defense, Health Care, Professional and Financial Services and Supply Chain Management. For more information, visit WacoChamber.com.


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    Area Chambers Form McLennan County Chamber Alliance
    Ten Chambers of Commerce formed the McLennan County Chamber Alliance by way of a formal Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony conducted on Tuesday, February 18 at the Cen-Tex Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
    2014-02-19

    Ten Chambers of Commerce formed the McLennan County Chamber Alliance by way of a formal Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony conducted on Tuesday, February 18 at the Cen-Tex Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

    Representatives of the participating Chambers of Commerce will strengthen lines of communication between the chambers and facilitate stronger regional collaboration on matters of common interest and concern, including public policy, economic development, education and workforce development. McLennan County Chamber Alliance partners will also explore cooperative use of their existing communications tools to build awareness and support of the Alliance, its initiatives and impacts.

    Discussions between the chambers began one year ago. Representatives of the partnering chambers became determined to work in a collaborative manner to strengthen the quality of life and economic vitality of their shared economic region. The signing ceremony is the formalized agreement of the group’s growing working relationships and their efforts to improve McLennan County’s economic competitive position.

    The partnering chambers include: Hewitt Chamber of Commerce, The Greater Robinson Chamber of Commerce, Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce, McGregor Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture, Bellmead Chamber of Commerce, Cen-Tex Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, West Chamber of Commerce, The Greater Lorena Chamber of Commerce, Cen-Tex African American Chamber of Commerce and Lacy Lakeview Chamber of Commerce.


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    Baylor Alumnus Rob Engstrom to Speak at State of the Nation Luncheon March 20
    The Greater Waco Chamber will host a State of the Nation Luncheon featuring Rob Engstrom, senior vice president of the Political Affairs and Federation Relations Division and national political director at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, at 11:30 a.m. on March 20 in the Waco Convention Center.
    2014-03-14

    The Greater Waco Chamber will host a State of the Nation Luncheon featuring Rob Engstrom, senior vice president of the Political Affairs and Federation Relations Division and national political director at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, at 11:30 a.m. on March 20 in the Waco Convention Center.

    Engstrom will be providing a brief on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on federal policies and national affairs affecting Greater Waco and the business community on issues such as healthcare, physical infrastructure, education and economic development.

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business organization, representing more than 3 million businesses, which enables them to focus on developing and implementing policy on major issues affecting businesses.

    “In 2014, the U.S. Chamber will work to protect and expand the pro-business majority in the House and advance our position in the Senate,” said Engstrom.

    The State of the Nation luncheon will give attendees the opportunity to hear about the U.S. Chamber’s work to protect and improve the nation’s business climate and economy.

    Additionally, Congressman Bill Flores will be in attendance and provide a congressional update on legislation affecting businesses in Greater Waco and the 17th Congressional District of Texas.

    “The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce has been very active in developing and assisting its members to promote economic growth and good jobs in Waco and McLennan County,” said Congressman Bill Flores. “It is important that Congress listen to ‘Main Street,’ including local chambers on federal policies to help create growth, opportunity, jobs and better paychecks for hardworking American families. I am looking forward to the State of the Nation Luncheon and listening to Rob Engstrom’s keynote address.”

    The Greater Waco Chamber is focused on policies conducive to the economic growth and development of the Central Texas region. Engaging elected officials at all levels through its public policy committee, issuance of policy position statements and hosting legislative programming, such as the State of the Nation luncheon, are part of recent efforts to positively impact economic development, education, healthcare, physical infrastructure and natural resources.

    The State of the Nation Luncheon is presented by Texas First State Bank. The gold sponsor is BBVA Compass and silver sponsors are Baylor University and Courtyard by Marriott.

    Individual tickets are available for $25 and tables of eight are $200. Reservations can be made online at WacoChamber.com.


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    Leadership Waco Accepting Applications
    Leadership Waco, a program conducted by the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce to identify potential community leaders and provide these individuals with information about various facets of the Greater Waco community, is accepting applications now through May 31, 2014.
    2014-04-09

    Leadership Waco, a program conducted by the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce to identify potential community leaders and provide these individuals with information about various facets of the Greater Waco community, is accepting applications now through May 31, 2014.

    Leadership Waco offers structured learning opportunities in an atmosphere that stimulates creative thinking and encourages participants to work together to utilize both new and proven tools to meet the challenges of today and to prepare for tomorrow.

    “Only 20 participants are selected for each Leadership Waco Class,” said Rachel Martinez, director of community development, leadership and education at the Greater Waco Chamber. “Our class participants find real value and experiences that they can take with them upon graduating the program, and are able to make lasting connections with fellow community leaders.”

    Upon the successful completion of the Leadership Waco program, graduates enter a resource pool available to various civic, cultural and service organizations throughout the Greater Waco area.

    To qualify for the program, applicants must be at least 25 years of age and have lived or worked within the Greater Waco area for at least 12 months.

    For more information or to apply for Leadership Waco Class XXXI, visit WacoChamber.com.


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