CHAMBER LUNCHEON “Annual Meeting and Awards Presentation” by wuyunyi


									A monthly publication of the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce.                               February 2010     Volume 12, No. 2

                                                                  CHAMBER LUNCHEON
Feb. 3       _____    7:30 a.m.
Chamber Board Meeting at
Dallas Telco Credit Union.                                            “Annual Meeting and
Feb. 4         5:30—7:00 p.m.                                         Awards Presentation”
NetConnect After 5 (NCA5)
“A Premier Networking Event”                                                   Thursday, Feb 11, 2010
Host: Evergreen Buffett                                                         11:30 a.m.—1:00 p.m.
3200 W. Pleasant Run #300
                                                                        Lancaster Recreation Center Grand Hall
Feb. 11            11:30 a.m.
Chamber Luncheon “Annual                                        LUNCHEON
Awards” at Lancaster Recrea-
tion Center—Grand Hall.

Feb. 15             11:30 a.m.      The Annual Awards Luncheon and Annual Chamber Meeting of the Lancaster Chamber of
Education Committee Meeting         Commerce will take place on Thursday, February 11, 2010, at 11:30 a.m. in Grand Hall of the
at Bienvenidos Restaurant           Lancaster Recreation Center. Companies and volunteers will be recognized for their meritori-
                                    ous service in 2009. Awards to be presented are Small Business of the Year, Large Business
Feb. 16              4:00 p.m.      of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, and Rocky Strickland Community Service Award. The
Tourism Committee meeting           Golden Gaither Award, named after long-time area electric company leader and volunteer Jack
at Bienvenidos Restaurant.          Gaither, is picked by the previous recipients. The first recipient, Margie Waldrop will intro-
                                    duce other past recipients and share the criteria for the award.
Feb. 17               7:30 a.m..
Texas Scholars Presentation to      This will also be the Chamber’s Annual Meeting, where the leaders for 2010 Divisions and
8th graders at Lancaster Middle     committees report on their Business Plan or Program of Work. Chairman A. Z. Drones will
School. Prepared presentation.
                                                                                       share his vision for our Chamber for
Will be through by 10:00 a.m.
                                                   2009 NOMINEES                       2010 and introduce his Vice Chairmen,
                                                                                       who will introduce their committee
Feb. 18                  7-9 a.m.
                                       Large Business: Bienvenidos Restaurant,         chairs and teams.
Rise and Shine Breakfast
                                                          AMREP, LISD, Knight Waste
Tyler Street Christian Academy                                                         This exciting luncheon will be catered
in Oak Cliff                           Small Business: ABG Marketing, Roma’s           by Outback Steakhouse who will bring
                                                            Italian Restaurant         its outstanding steaks, potatoes and
                                                                                       salad for our enjoyment.
Feb. 26                7:30 a.m.       Volunteer: Mike Ratcliff, Vivian Chastain
Better Business Breakfast at
Bienvenidos Restaurant.
“Introducing Microsoft 7”                                                                 WINNERS FROM 2008
                                    The luncheon runs from 11:30 a.m. to
March 10           11:30 a.m.       1 p.m., with tickets set for $18, and Sponsor   Large Business: DART Transit Co.
 Best Southwest Luncheon            Tables of 8 at $160.
                                                                                    Small Business: Access Self Storage
   with Dr. Ron Anderson,
      Parkland Hospital             Please call 972-227-2579 for reservations.          Volunteer: Lynnette Taff
      Hilton Garden Inn
February 2010                                               I NFO R ME R                                                     PAGE 2

      CHAIRMAN’S CORNER                                                … Continued from previous box.

                   What will be our chamber’s                          ward, stay active, and continue to build on
                   course of action for February                       their momentum will be the winners in 2010.
                   and the remainder of 2010? …
                   Complete some of our current                        I hope you will be a part of that winning team.
                   projects, start new initiatives,                    By fully utilizing your Chamber Membership,
                   or just to maintain the momen-                      participating at every level, and meeting chal-
                   tum gathered in 2009? It is                         lenges head-on, our businesses will put them-
   imperative we continue to meet these chal-                          selves in the best position for growing, thriv-
   lenges with optimism, enthusiasm, and a posi-                       ing and prospering in 2010.
   tive attitude. Moving forward will keeps us
   strong.                                                             As I look forward to this year, I also look for-
                                                                       ward to making the best of my Chamber
   Companies will be forced to look at their busi-                     Membership and I hope you will too! If we do,
   ness models a little different in 2010. The is-                     I know we can count on 2010 being a Great
   sues related to the struggling economy and the                      Year! “
   unknown effects of the changes in our health-
   care system, will certainly affect all of us. Some                                    A. Z. Drones, Board Chairman
   owners and operators will see a need to cut                                         Lancaster Chamber of Commerce
   back or scale down. However, I believe that
   the businesses and communities that push for-

                                   Continued in next box ...

 Feb., 2010 – February is the month featuring Valentine’s Day,       ramped up their 2010 meetings, including Ambassadors Fun-
Love, Black History Month, and the Lancaster Chamber’s               Group, Education Committee, NCA5 Networking Team,
Annual Awards Luncheon! … This year we will be presenting            Shop Members First Committee, and Auction-Gala Commit-
several awards to deserving businesses and individuals, such as      tee. … We had 21 attend the first Better Business Breakfast
Large Business of the Year, Small Business of the Year, Vol-         of the year on January 22nd, with Jeff Wallace/Express Tax
unteer of the Year, the Rocky Strickland Community Ser-              bringing a program on “Tax Tips for Small Businesses”, hosted
vice Award, and perhaps The Golden Gaither Award. … The              by Bienvenidos Restaurant.
Chamber’s Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon will
be held in Grand Hall of the Recreation Center on Feb-
ruary 11, 2010. Outback Steakhouse is our caterer and                             “If you do what you’ve always
will bring us those delicious steaks, potatoes and salad!
                                                                                  done, You’ll get what you’ve
                                                                                        always gotten.”
       “If you don’t know where you                                                                  -- TONY ROBBINS
         are going, you might wind
             up someplace else.”
                             - YOGI BERRA                            In February we’ll resume our Business Retention and Expan-
                                                                     sion Program (BREP) with a visit with a large, local manufac-
                                                                     turing, commercial or retail entity in Lancaster. … The BREP
The Mayor’s “State of the City” address on January 14, 2010          team consists of the mayor, city manager, economic develop-
got our Lancaster Chamber Luncheons off to a great start as 120      ment director and chamber president, who meet with the head of
listened to Mayor Marcus Knight and ate Dallas Ave Diner’s           the large business being visited. … Our Manufacturing and
food. … The Mayor said he was not sure if the people came to
hear him speak, or for the food. … Our Chamber committees                                        (See AROUND … Continued on page 3)
February 2010                                                I NFO R ME R                                                            PAGE 3

      Mayor’s Comments – Lancaster Connection
                      It’s February and Love is in the air. Happy Valentine’s                         2010 Board of
                      Day to everyone! The Love I’m referring to however is                             Directors
                      Love for Lancaster. I’d like to recap some of the issues I                             * A. Z. Drones
                      discuss at last month’s “State of the City” address. Our                                Atmos Energy
                      community will benefit from improved information tech-
                      nology as a result of our new IT manager. This staff person                           * Karen McClary
                                                                                                         Edward Jones Investments
                      is already hard at work on projects to improve services city                             Chair Elect
                      wide, and particularly at our Library. Lancaster continues                           * Vivian Chastain
                      to move forward on major road projects, to include plans to                         Bienvenidos Restaurant
                                                                                                                Past Chair
                      repave ALL of Houston School Rd from north to south.
  Mayor Marcus Knight Additionally, our Hike and Bike trail is near completion,                             * Melody Stillings
                                                                                                              Regions Bank
                      and this trail will connect several neighborhoods, schools,                               Treasurer
 and parks. Lancaster will also benefit from a new amphitheater, extended walk-                               * Joe Johnson
 ing trails and outdoor exercise equipment at Community Park this summer.                                        President
 Work on the Downtown Beautification project will commence this year, and our
 newly renovated Visitors Center will be open for business any day! I’m just                                  Frank Bentley
                                                                                                              ABG Marketing
 scratching the surface, but there are a myriad of great things happening in Lan-
 caster. Don’t you Love it!                                                                                  Kenneth Govan
                                                                                                              Oncor Energy
                                                            Marcus Knight, Mayor
                                                                                                              Doug Hunt
                                                                 City of Lancaster                          Access Self Storage

                                                                                                              Marcus Knight
                                                                                                           Knight Waste Services
 AROUND … Continued from page 2
                                                                                                               Ronnie Lowe
                                                                                                         Lancaster Outreach Center
 Logistics Roundtable quarterly meetings will resume on Friday, February 26, 2010, hosted by                  Katina Potts
 ONCOR’s SOSF plant on Hwy 342 in Lancaster. Mike Rourke, plant manager at Brenntag                           Maid 2 Serve U
 Southwest will be coordinating these meetings for 2010. … This is a great opportunity for all
                                                                                                             Kevin Smith
 the plant managers, owners, or presidents to meet together to discuss their own agendas. …               DART Transit Company
 Thanks to Chuck Luke, AMREP, for coordinating this program in 2008-09 and to Cassandra
 Mitchell at LEDC for bringing sandwiches.                                                                 Margie Waldrop
                                                                                                     Profile Commercial Properties

                                                                                                            * Dr. Bill Wells
                                                                                                           Cedar Valley College
                              Auction-Gala Time
 Doug Hunt (Access Self Storage) and Vivian Chastain (Bienvenidos Restaurant) are chairing                 Ex-Officio Members
 this year’s Auction-Gala on April 24, 2010, which promises to be a fantastic event! … If you
                                                                                                    Rickey Childers, City Manager
 want to be a part of something big, give Doug or Vivian a call. …                                         City of Lancaster

 From the “Where are they now department”, I ran into Paul Sermas at Chubby’s Restau-                       Dr. Dana Marable
                                                                                                              Lancaster ISD
 rant in Duncanville the other day – standing behind that podium just as he had done for years at
 Paul’s Porterhouse on Composite Dr. in the old restaurant row off I-35E. … Seems as though                  John Polewski
 he is teaching a class in culinary arts at a Dallas County Community College, and his class team           Polewski & Assocs.
 was working that Chubby’s for a certain number of weeks. … Then he moves to the new Bobby
 Knight Pavilion in D’ville to open an eatery. … Steve Martin, D’ville’s chamber president,
 obviously has been going to Paul’s Porterhouse longer than I have been, ‘cause Steve is rounder
 and older than me. … That’s all for now folks! … And we’ll see you                                        Denotes Members of
                                                                                                            Executive Committee

                                                            …   Around and About!
February 2010                                                   I NFO R ME R                                                PAGE 4

                             CHAMBER LUNCHEON
                                                  January 14, 2010

                                                 ONCOR was our luncheon sponsor this
                                                 month. Kenneth Govan talked about the job
                                                 that ONCOR does to “keep your lights on”.

                                                 Kenneth introduced Mayor Marcus Knight
                                                 who expounded on the great things Lancaster
                                                 has accomplished in the past year.
                                                                                                     Marcus Knight,
                Kenneth Govan, ONCOR                                                                Mayor of Lancaster

                Vivian Chastain, 2009 Board Chair, passes                          New member Stacey Copeland of Camp
                the gavel to A. Z. Drones, 2010 Board Chair,                       BowWow was on hand to accept her mem-
                while A.Z. presents Vivian with a token of                         bership plaque from A. Z. Drones. Camp
                our appreciation for her hard work last year.                      BowWow is located at 519 E. Hwy. 67 in

                                                       Ricardo Pearson with
                                                       Telmark I.T. is a new
                                                       member. He is located in
                                                       DeSoto and can be
                                                       reached at 469-286-9243

                                                      Another new member is
                                                      Gary Rugoff with Promo-
                                                      He is located at 13510 TI
                                                      Blvd in Dallas. He can be
                                                      reached at 972-889-0303.
February 2010                                         I NFO R ME R                                               PAGE 5

                                         NEW MEMBERS
                            Carter Blood Care                   Promotional
                                Joyce Keist                             Gary Rugoff
                              2205 Hwy. 121                            13510 TI Blvd.
                            Bedford, TX 76021                        Dallas, TX 75243
                               817-412-5357                            972-889-0303
                               Organization                        Advertising Specialties

                             Ace Image Wear                              Telmark I.T.
                              Jerry Heathman                           Ricardo Pearson
                          9416 S. Central Expy.                      620 Gardenia Street
                            Dallas, TX 75241                         DeSoto, TX 75115
                               972-225-7136                             469-286-7243
                         Uniforms & Linen Supply                     Telecommunications

                                     MEMBER RENEWALS
36 Years                                515 N. Cedar Ridge, Ste. 9                Investment Councselors
Hargrove Real Estate                    Duncanville, TX 75116
Mr. Clyde Hargrove                      972-296-2856                              4 Years
P. O. Box 907                           Real Estate—Commercial                    Freese-Nichols
Lancaster, TX 75146                                                               Mr. Mike Wayts
972-227-4718                            8 Years                                   1701 N. Market St., Ste. 500
Real Estate Developer                   American Trophy & Awards                  Dallas, TX 75202
                                        Mrs. Cherry Gray                          214-217-2200
11 Years                                221 N. Hampton                            Engineers
Red Bird Travel Plus                    DeSoto, TX 75115
Ms. Donna Johnson                       72-223-4490                               4 Years
320 Cooper Street                       Trophies & Plaques                        I.B.O.C.
Cedar Hill, TX 75104                                                              Mr. Rickie Rush
972-291-9990                            5 Years                                   7710 S. Westmoreland
Travel Agency                           Aurora Health & Chiropractic              Dallas, TX 75237
                                        Dr. Scott Moulton                         972-572-4262
10 Years                                3250 W. Pleasant Run, #130                Church
Polewski & Associates                   Lancaster, TX 75146
Mr. John Polewski                       972-223-2233                              2 Years
1229 E. Pleasant Run, Ste. 120          Chiropractor & Rehab                      George-McKenna Electric Contractors
DeSoto, TX 75115                                                                  David Hawkins
972-228-1716                            4 Years                                   2319 East Grauwyler
Attorney                                DC Logistics                              Irving, TX 75061
                                        Mr. Douglas Chaney                        972-721-1950
10 Years                                1709 I-45 South                           Electricians
Berne Academy                           Hutchins, TX 75141
Mr. Dennis Bolding                      927-225-8882                              1 Year
1311 Johns Ave.                         Distributors                              Holiday Inn Express
Lancaster, TX 75134                                                               Ms. LaVida Davis
972-218-7373                            4 Years                                   1310 E. Wintergreen Rd.
Schools                                 Edward Jones & Co.                        DeSoto, TX 75115
                                        Karen McClary                             972-224-3100
8 Years                                 211 W. Pleasant Run #107                  Hotel/Motel
Mote & Associates                       Lancaster, TX 75146
Mr. Bill Mote                           972-227-7467
February 2010                                                   I NFO R ME R                                                        PAGE 6

                  MEMBER                                                                         Tom Crain, Branch Manager
                                                                                                 Brenntag Southwest
                                                                                                 704 E. Wintergreen
                                                                                                 Lancaster, TX 75134

 Hello Lancaster. First off let me introduce myself. My name is Tom Crain and I am the Branch Manager for our facility located at
 704 E. Wintergreen. Many of you may have driven past our facility and wondered just what does Brenntag do? In very simple
 terms Brenntag is the world’s largest chemical distributor. We buy a multitude of chemicals in tank trucks, railcars, and intermodal
 vessels and then repack those products into smaller containers that we then distribute to our end use customers. We are a full line
 chemical distributors which means we cover every industry. Some of the industries we serve include oil and gas, paint and coatings,
 cosmetics, food, water treatment, electronics, and many more. Our job is to ensure that we deliver the right product in the right
 package with the right paperwork and to do it safely every time.

 Safety is the single most important thing here at Brenntag. We believe we have a responsibility to operate safely at all times, not
 only for our employees but also for the communities in which we operate. If we can’t do something safely then we will not do it,
 plain and simple.

 We are proud to be located in the city of Lancaster and appreciate the strong relationships we have with the Chamber of Commerce,
 Police and Fire Departments, many of the local businesses, as well as the citizens of this strong community.
 Should any of you ever have a need for our services I welcome you to contact us for more information. We can be reached at 972-
 218-3500, on the web at, or at

 Lastly I would like to say thank you to the City of Lancaster and to the Chamber for the opportunity to share a little bit about
 Brenntag with you.

                                                                          Census Bureau Opens
                                                                          Office in Duncanville.

                                                                      Claude Watson (Census 2010) presents Joe
                                                                      Johnson (Lancaster Chamber) with Certifi-
                                                                      cate of Appreciation for participating in the
                                                                      Grand Opening of Dallas South office of
                                                                      Census 2010. This office is located at 306 E.
                                                                      Camp Wisdom in Duncanville.
February 2010                                           I NFO R ME R                                                 PAGE 7

                               SHOP MEMBERS
                                                             “Shopper Card”
 The objective of this promotion is to bring shoppers to the chamber member businesses in the Lancaster area.

 Below is the information on the Shopper’s Card promotion:
     1. Promotion will run from February 1 to December 31, 2010.
     2. Cost to participating chamber members is $50.
     3. Shopper card will be the same size as a normal credit card. It will be identified as a “Lancaster Chamber of
          Commerce Shop Member’s First ‘Shopper Card’”. Each card will have its own serial number for tracking the
          promotion and a Signature Panel.
     4. Members will decide what discount/offering they can offer to the public when the card is presented at their
         business. A Shopper Card can be used over and over, so members must present a discount(s)/offering(s)
         they can absorb for the eleven month promotion. These discounts/offerings can be changed on a monthly
         basis, if necessary. However, if a customer comes in asking for a previous discount offering, it should be hon-
         ored with a same or equal value.
     5. Members will receive the following for participating:
          A supply of Shopper cards to sell to the public. Cards will sell for $10 each with the member and Chamber
            each receiving $5 from the sale. This will allow participants to recover some of their cost of participating,
            and perhaps even make money.
          Their name and address on a flyer that will be circulated to the participating members. A plastic holder will
            be placed in a location where customers may take a copy.
          A listing on the Chamber’s website with the discount/offering. Again, this dis-
            count/offering may be changed monthly. Members may purchase additional advertising on this website at a
            discounted price. The public will be urged to check the website for current discounts.
          A business listing (name of company only) in a full age ad announcing the promotion in The Best Southwest
            Connection, February, 2010 issue. This direct mail marketing magazine will be mailed nad distributed to
            over 35,000 households and businesses in the Southern Dallas Area.

        6. Please contact the Chamber or Frank Bentley for more information. Frank can be reached at
  or 972-283-0150. Fax form to: 972-28-30226.

            Name of Company/Contact ________________________________________________________________

            Address: _______________________________________________________________________________

            Telephone: _______________________________          E-Mail: _____________________________________

            Website: _________________________________          Offering: ____________________________________

February 2010                                        I NFO R ME R                                             PAGE 8

                Chamber Regularly
                Scheduled Meetings                                  BETTER BUSINESS
 1st Wednesday: Board of Directors (7:30 a.m.)
 1st Thursday: NCA5 Networking event (5:30 p.m.)                    Fourth Friday of Every Month
                                                                                7:30—9:00 a.m.
 2nd Thursday: Chamber Member Luncheon at Lancas-
 ter Recreation Center (except March, June, Sept, Dec.                     Presentation on Windows 7
 when we meet with the Best Southwest cities).
                                                                          Host & Sponsor: Microsoft
 3rd Monday: Education Committee meeting at Bien-
 venidos Restaurant (11:30 a.m.)                                           Friday, February 26, 2010

 3rd Tuesday: Chamber Tourism Committee at Bien-                            Bienvenidos Restaurant
 venidos Restaurant (4:00 p.m.)                                                   920 N. I-35E

 3rd Friday: Ambassadors committee meeting at Roma’s                Offered by the Chamber’s Small Business
 Restaurant (11:30 a.m.)                                                           Committee.

 4th Friday: Better Business Breakfast (7:30 a.m.)                  Breakfast is served at no cost—but RSVP

 The Lancaster ISD has asked us for volunteers
 for the following:
                                                                         NetConnect After 5
 Science Fair Judges: Saturday, Feb. 6, 2020,
 8:00 am.—11:00 a.m. at 422 S. Centre Street.                       “A Premier Networking Event”
 Texas Scholars Presenters: Wednesday, Feb. 17,                           Thursday, Feb. 4, 2010
 2010, at the Lancaster Middle School, 7:30—                                5:30—7:00 p.m.
 9:45 a.m. This is given to 8th graders to impress                             Hosted by:
 upon them the importance of continuing their                               Evergreen Buffet
 education and taking the right courses in High                     3200 W. Pleasant Run Rd. Ste. 300
 School to prepare them for a better future. You                            Lancaster, Texas
 will be assisted by a staff member and given a
 prepared presentation. An instructor will go over                   Bring your business cards and a door
 this with you that morning.                                        prize. Everyone will get a chance to tell
                                                                            us about their business.
 To volunteer, please call Anita McPartland at                      If you are interested in hosting or spon-
 972-218-1414.                                                       soring an NCA5 event this year, please
                                                                             let the Chamber know.
February 2010                                                                      I NFO R ME R                                                                                                                        Page 9

                                           NETWORKING … come let others know
                                                               about your business ...

                                                     First Thursday of Each Month
                                                            5:30 to 7:00 p.m.
                                                                                                                                                    Profile Commercial Properties, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                      Commercial Real Estate Services
                                                                                                                                                                         “Serving The Metroplex”

                                                                                                                                                                Sales * Leasing * Tenant/Buyer Representation
                                                                                                                                                                          Real Estate Management

                                                                                                                                          Margie Waldrop                                                   972-227-3333
                                                                                                                                          President/Broker                                            fax 972-227-7177
                                                                                                                                          110 E. First Street                                         cell 469-644-2513
                                                                                                                                          Lancaster, TX 75146                                 e-mail:

                                                              January’s NCA5 was at Bienvenidos
  108 N. Dallas Avenue                                        Restaurant.   We had several new
  Lancaster, TX 75146                                         guests who enjoyed hearing what the                                                                                   1425 N. Dallas Avenue
  Office: (972) 227-7010        Fax: (972) 227-6468           Chamber has to offer our members.                                                                                     P. O. Box 368 75146-0368
                                                                                                                                                                                    Lancaster, Texas 75134
              Email:                                                                                                                                            (972) 227-2131
                                                                                                                                                                                    Fax: (972) 227-3704
     Historic Homes, Horse Property, Country Life

                     Red Bird Travel Plus                                                                                                                    PATRICIA HAVARD, P.C.
                                                                                                                                                             CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT
                   DONNA M. JOHNSON
                                                                                                                                                                     PATTY HAVARD, CPA
        320 Cooper St.      Cedar Hill, Texas 75104
    (972) 291-9990 ext. 307     (972) 291-0354 (fax)
                                                                                                                              211 W. Pleasant Run, #115                                           (972) 227-6900
                                                                                              Lancaster, TX 75146                                             Fax (972) 227-6945

  (972) 227-3342                      Fax: (972) 227-6350
                                                                                                                              Like it never even happened.

                                                                                                                                                             Fire & Water—Cleanup & Restoration
                     Joe McKay                                Shaun Laurence                       2319 East Grauwyler
                       Attorney At Law                                                                                                                                        SERVPRO of Southeast Dallas County
                                                              Customer Service                     Irving, Texas 75061
                                                                                                                                                                                                1846 Idlewild Lane
                                                          972.721.1950 Ext. 218                                                                         Lancaster, TX 75134
  Mail Address:                       211 W. Pleasant Run                                          FAX 972.721.1966                                                                                   972-227-0800
  P. O. Box 985                                 Suite 111                                                                                                          Fax: 972-228-8240
                                                              TECL #17875, B 1545                 CELL 214.493.6614                                                                            Nextel 142*21*2823
  Lancaster, TX 75146-0985                 Lancaster, TX                                                                                                     Independently Owned and Operated

                                                             972-227-9600 Club              Sharon Giddings-Davis
                                                             469-323-5313 Cell             Chief of Fun, Fast, Fitness

                                                                   30 minutes + 3 days/week = an amazing you!

                                                                                 Strengthening Women
                   Mike and Linda Ratcliff                                  Bluegrove Shopping Center
                              Managers                                       (near Minyard Grocery Store)
                                       Phone: 972-224-4545
         1040 Cedar Valley Drive         Fax: 972-224-4546
         Lancaster, TX 75134          Penske: 972-224-4547   1450 W. Pleasant Run—148
                    Lancaster, TX 75146     
February 2010                                                 I NFO R ME R                                                                  Page 10

Guest column: The 2010 Agenda: Business
By Bill Hammond
January 12, 2010

                                                                       Implement an honest accountability system.
                                                                       The current academic accountability system is reminiscent of
                                                                       Enron in many ways. For example, the system rewards schools
                                                                       for the academic performance that they expect to happen but
                                                                       that has not yet actually occurred. This backwards process has
                                                                       caused a false-positive spike in the number of schools rated
                                                                       “Exemplary” or “Recognized,” now at 61%. This same system
                                                                       also gives schools ratings such as “Academically Acceptable”
                                                                       where 49% of the students can fail sections of the ‘Texas As-
                                                                       sessment of Knowledge and Skills’. As if those statistics are
                                                                       not outrageous enough, the Texas Education Agency, which
                                                                       implements the education standards set by the Legislature, has
                                                                       the audacity to claim that the Texas dropout rate is only 12%.
                                                                       Everybody knows the number to be much greater. The current
                                                                       education system will not allow Texas to remain globally com-
                                                                       petitive If Texans were unflinchingly honest about how our
                                                                       students are truly performing, we would be able to fully address
Unemployment trends are reversing and, thankfully, more of             the scope of the issue. The ball is in the court of the Texas
our state’s employers are opening their doors to new employ-           Education Agency to account for the real numbers.
ees. However, in order to restore jobs lost during the recession
and to prepare for those ready to enter the job market, Texas          Foster a college-going culture. Our students must be en-
must create more than two million jobs in the next decade, ac-         grained with the expectation that they will attain post-secondary
cording to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. That won’t be                 education while at the same time providing them with the infor-
easy, but the good news is that we are starting to make pro-           mation and tools necessary to do so. The Texas Higher Educa-
gress. A key factor in Texas achieving this job growth target is       tion Coordinating Board is already taking important steps in
having educated employees available to fill positions as they          educating Texans about the financial options available for stu-
become available.                                                      dents and their families who worry about how they will pay for
                                                                       academic options.
A recent article in The Economist noted that while Texas enjoys
the best business climate in America, future problems related to       Create a results-based higher education finance system.
education could erode that status dramatically. The Texas As-          Texas must alter the funding formulas it uses for higher educa-
sociation of Business believes Texas must establish a long-            tion and base them on the successful completion of courses, not
term goal of raising the education attainment of its workforce to      simply classroom attendance. Adult basic education and reme-
a globally competitive level of 55 percent of the working age          dial education must be funded along similar lines in order to
population (age 25-64) holding an associate degree or above by         ensure that the money is being used in the production of results,
the year 2030. The business community pays for two-thirds of           not just to support education bureaucracy. The biggest threat to
the cost of educating our children and will be the ultimate con-       our business climate is a future workforce that is ill-prepared to
sumers of their knowledge when companies seek to fill jobs.            meet the demands of an increasingly sophisticated job market.
As such, the Texas business community must step up to the              If our students fall short of employer expectations, industries
plate as a critical friend of education by demanding first-class       will simply leave Texas and go to a state that has a steady sup-
education and first-class results. Beyond the obvious economic         ply of educated young adults prepared to fill their expectations.
imperative, a moral imperative exists that challenges the Texas        Stakeholders must fight to heighten our education standards,
education system to produce stronger results.                          otherwise Texas, and its students, will be left behind. Address-
                                                                       ing our education system must be priority number one in 2010.
In order to meet the target of restoring and creating more good-
paying jobs, the business community must engage at both the            Bill Hammond is President and CEO of the Texas Association of Business, a
state and local level. To that end, we should all support three        broad-based, bipartisan organization representing more than 3,000 small and
                                                                       large businesses and 200 local chambers of commerce.
changes to our education system.
JFebruary 2010                           I NFO R ME R                                   Page 11

                  CHAMBER PARTNERS

                                GOLD PARTNERS

                 Levine’s Dept. Store                      Hardscrabble Antiques
                  Access Self Storage                   Profile Commercial Properties
                 DART Transportation                         Town Square Realty
                 MCM Grandé Hotel                               Atmos Energy
                 Brenntag Southwest                             UNT—Dallas
                   Stinson Plumbing                          Bentwood Company
                                                                Regions Bank
                  ServPro NW & SE
                 Allied Waste Services
                                                                Frank Bentley
                   The Allen Group

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