Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Don't miss these events!

July 2007 Chamber Events

Ribbon Cuttings

July 9 at 11:30 a.m.
SFA Student Government Association at the fountain in front of Steen Library
Student Body President: Kent Willis

July 11 at 11:30 a.m.
Diamond Trophy & Engraving
at 3500 North Street
Owners: Kathy and Ron Springfield

July 12 at 11:30 a.m.
MERMAX Vacation & Discount Club
at Chamber office, 2516 North St.
President: Gabe Meruelo

July 17 at 4:30 p.m.
Nacogdoches Treatment Center
at 119 Hughes St.
Executive Director: Kathy Strong

July 25 at 4:30 p.m.
Dairy Queen at 3226 South Street
Store Manager: Crystal Shaw

Alive After Five
will host July's Alive After Five event July 19 at 4608 North Street. Join General
Manager Mitch Davis and Staples friendly staff and visit the new Print and Copy Center. See all the new self-service equipment now available and hear about their in-house services. From 5:30 - 7:00 p.m. enjoy good food and drink and don't forget to register for some great door prizes! All Chamber members are entered in the $800 cash drawing, but you must be present to win.

Colorful teaching in Leadership class project

Leadership Nacogdoches class of 2006-07 is now in the history books. In fact, their class project is a book – a coloring book to be exact.

Designed by class member Angie Brewer, the book will be offered free to emergency rooms and other locations where children may find it to be of comfort. Illustrations depict scenes of the areas that the Leadership class focused on such as public safety, history, education and medical. Activity pages will stretch the minds of little ones and also teach interesting facts about the county and state.

“Many thanks go to those in our community that gave from their hearts and their pocketbooks to bring our concept and design to reality. We sincerely appreciate their support,” recent Leadership graduate Robert Rasberry said.

Leadership Nacogdoches is a Chamber Community Development Division program. Paul Smith and Linda Foshee co-chair this important exercise in development for our county’s future leaders. Applications for the 08-09 class will be available in the summer of 2008, and the nine-month session will begin in September 2008. For information, contact Kelly Daniel at the Chamber of Commerce, 936-560-5533.

Photo by Julie Akers.
Leadership Nacogdoches 06-07 graduate Robert Rasberry, left, receives a $500 donation presented by Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital Administrator Tim Hayward, center, in support of the Leadership Nacogdoches coloring book class project. Also pictured at right, is Jim Elder, chamber chairman of the board.

Photo by Bruce Partain.
From left, Chamber of Commerce Community Development Division Vice Chair Beverly Rice and Chairman of the Board Jim Elder accept a $500 donation check from Nacogdoches Medical Center C.O.O. Jeb Jones for the 2006-2007 Leadership Nacogdoches class project.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Lawmakers, SFA official explain the local impact of new legislation

Friday, June 22, 2007

SFA photo by Hardy Meredith
Deborah S. Baisden, SFA vice president for finance and administration, state Rep. Wayne Christian, R-Center, and state Sen. Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, present a legislative wrap-up at the Fourth Friday Luncheon at The Fredonia.
There was some good, bad and ugly emerged from this past legislative session, State Rep. Wayne Christian, R-Center said during the chamber of commerce's Fourth Friday luncheon.
Speaking alongside state Sen. Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville and Deborah S. Baisden, SFA vice president for finance and administration, Christian helped explain some of the new legislation that could affect local residents.

Deborah S. Baisden, SFA vice president for finance and administration, state Rep. Wayne Christian, R-Center, and state Sen. Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, present a legislative wrap-up at the Fourth Friday Luncheon at The Fredonia.

Among the good things to come out of the 80th Legislature was the passage of a bill that will enable SFA to issue $13 million in tuition revenue bonds to fund construction of a campus nursing facility.

Christian and the other two speakers made a point to comment on their amazement of the bill's passage, since prior to the session, lawmakers asserted that tuition revenue bonds would not be issued during the 80th session.

"I filed in the senate and it was immediately buried," Nichols said of SB 1782. "Then Wayne used his expertise to wiggle it through, and when it came back over I knew I couldn't screw it up."

Baisden said the university was grateful for both Nichols' and Christian's efforts.

"If it were not for (the passage of the bill), our nursing program would struggle to meet the demands of our nursing students," she said.

In addition, Baisden said the $100 million appropriation bill that was passed for the higher education coordinating board could be an asset to SFA.

"It (the funding) will be distributed based on higher education incentives in the next fiscal year 2009," she said. "It's an incentive to increase performance (at the college level)."

Meanwhile, Nichols and Christian agreed the biomass bill not making it out of the Senate was the most disappointing part of the past session.

"It passed two times in the house and went through two committees," Christian said, referring to the bill. "That says something."

The bill, which would have benefitted a proposed $300 million biomass power plant in Nacogdoches County, may not have made it through the Senate, but Nichols said he was proud to support it while it was there, and believes it would have been a beneficial part of the community.

Nacogdoches Economic Development Corporation President Judy McDonald, who was among the more than 100 residents present at the event, thanked both officials for their role in the project, and said their efforts would be well worth it.

"We're not through with it," she said of the biomass project. "We will get that power plant."

The state budget also had some adjustments that will affect county jails, Christian said.

"It (the budget) will be fully funding mental health in our county jails and in the state," he said.
He said, in addition, the budget will enable the state to spend at a slower pace and in the long run, set aside more money for the future.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

New name and expansion for PEP

Established in 1960, the Pineywoods Economic Partnership, PEP, is one of the state's oldest regional economic development groups dedicated to promoting the natural and human resources of central East Texas. The PEP Board of Directors recently announced some exciting changes in the organization.

First is a new name. The organization is now known as Texas Forest Country Partnership, TFCP.

“As evidenced by the dozens of chambers of commerce, local government officials, businesses, media outlets and individuals who are using the Texas Forest Country moniker, we are excited about this opportunity and what this means for our ability to stimulate regional economic growth,” Trent Ashby, TFCP President/CEO said.

Also, the TFCP is growing and expanding the organization’s regional boundary. After months of dialogue and proving to meet the criteria for TFCP membership, Panola County is welcomed as the 13th county in the regional economic development organization.

The Nacogdoches County Chamber continues to work closely with TFCP, notably with promoting the county as a Certified Retirement Community.

The 80th Legislature: Reflections on the session

Tomorrow’s Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce Fourth Friday Luncheon will feature updates from two Texas legislators and the Stephen F. Austin State University vice president for finance and administration.

Sen. Robert Nichols of Jacksonville, Rep. Wayne Christian of Center and Deborah Baisden with SFA will speak at the noon luncheon at the Fredonia Hotel.

Nichols, pictured left, who was elected state senator from District 3 in 2006, has built four successful manufacturing facilities, earned 32 U.S. patents, and created more than 900 jobs for East Texas families.

Nichols began serving on the Texas Transportation Commission in 1997 and was reappointed to a second term in 2003. He served as mayor of Jacksonville and as chairman of the Jacksonville Economic Development Corporation. Nichols earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Lamar University in 1968.

Christian, pictured left, is serving in his fifth session with the Texas House of Representatives for District 9, which includes Jasper, Nacogdoches, Sabine, San Augustine, and Shelby counties. During his first legislative session, the Republican caucus named Christian "Outstanding Freshman of the Year."

A graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University with a bachelor’s degree in business, Christian is an investment adviser representative for SunAmerica Securities and is a member of the group’s President’s Club, the top 1 percent of 6,700 offices nationwide.

Deborah Baisden, SFA vice president for finance and administration, pictured left, will discuss how Texas higher education fared in the recent legislative session. Baisden holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from St. Edward’s University and is completing a Ph.D. in higher education administration at the University of Texas at Austin.

Baisden, who joined the SFA administration in 2006 after serving for 10 years with the Higher Education Coordinating Board, will discuss legislative measures that will affect SFA’s funding and future growth.

Tickets are $15, and reservations are required. Please call (936) 560-5533 for more information.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A healthy Alive After Five event

Nacogdoches Medical Center hosted an entertaining Alive After Five event on June 14.

Above: A ribbon cutting ceremony for The Loma Laird Cancer Center was a bright spot during the evening activities.

Above: After the ribbon cutting, members and guests toured The Loma Laird Cancer Center featuring new imaging and radiation equipment.

Above from left: Director of Community and Guest Relations Sue Kennedy, C.O.O. Jeb Jones and Physicians' Liaison Debbie Stevens enjoyed greeting Chamber members and guests.

Above: Gary Lee Ashcraft wins a door prize ... and he's excited about it!

Alive After Five is an enjoyable, relaxing, after-work event that gives every Chamber member a chance to meet and greet others in business. This could be the ideal event to hold at your business. Please call the Chamber office, 936-560-5533, if you would like to know more about becoming a future Alive After Five host.

Photos by Whitney Casey, Chamber of Commerce Intern

Friday, June 15, 2007

Chamber staff and community welcome new business to Nacogdoches

The Daily Sentinel recently attended a Nacogdoches County Chamber ribbon cutting for Stallings Court Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, 4616 NE Stallings Drive, (936) 652-7977.

Administrator Julie Harbison welcomed Chamber members and guests and invited them to tour the new facility.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Simply blueberry beautiful

Saturday, June 9, thousands of folks immersed themselves in blueberry fun. The downtown streets of Nacogdoches and Festival Plaza swarmed with activity. Live entertainment on three stages, competitions, children's activities and more vendors than you could shake a stick at all contributed to a perfectly delicious day.

Below are photos from just a sample of activities from the 18th Annual Texas Blueberry Festival.

The Texas Blueberry Marketing Association sold approximately 1050 flats of fresh blueberries at the festival.

The Kiwanis served their lip-smacking blueberry pancakes to more than 2,000 hungry visitors.

Brookshire Brothers had a heck of a task of choosing the winners of their Pie Contest from all of the impressive entries.

Junior Picassos expressed their talents and enjoyed painting the six Big Blue Murals.

One of the cutest little blueberry cupcakes you'll ever see.
All aboard Elsie's Little Red Express Train.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Whimsical ribbon cutting and fun at Lyric's

The Daily Sentinel recently attended a Nacogdoches County Chamber ribbon cutting for Lyric’s Décor and Gifts, 116 N. Church St., (936) 560-1488.

Owner Lyric Muckelroy welcomed Chamber members and guests to her shop that features fine antique furniture, gifts and Coyote Falls Farm and Sundries tasty treats.

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Red Thread
(936) 564-9409
The Daily Sentinel recently attended a Nacogdoches County Chamber ribbon cutting for The Red Thread at its new location – 3560 North Street. Owner Ilona Toth and her husband Sandor Szabo welcomed Chamber ambassadors and guests to their custom sewing service and tailoring shop. The Red Thread was originally located in New Orleans, but moved to Nacogdoches in 2005 following Hurricane Katrina.


Austin Hills
(936) 554-9261
The Daily Sentinel recently attended a Nacogdoches County Chamber ribbon cutting for Austin Hills Retirement Community, a planned development of individual homes on West Austin Street. Developers Varron and Vernon McLemore welcomed Chamber ambassadors and guests. Regions Bank and Stacy’s Deli provided lunch.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Chamber recognizes major festival sponsors

Major sponsors of the Texas Blueberry Festival were recognized by this past week by the Nacogdoches County Chamber with presentation of framed festival posters and blueberry goody baskets.

Brookshire Brothers store managers Vincent Smith, left, and Shawn Mason present a giant Blue Sapphire sponsor check to Dunn and to festival logistics chair Teresa Darby. Smith oversees the University Avenue store and Mason manages the South Street store.

Wal-Mart associate Rebecca Littleton greets honorary festival chair Bob Dunn. Wal-Mart is a Blue Topaz sponsor of the Texas Blueberry Festival.

"We also recognize H-E-B as a Blue Sapphire sponsor," said Dunn. "Even with their store's closing they honored their commitment this year to the festival." A complete schedule of events and listing of all sponsors is available at http://www.texasblueberryfestival.com/. This information was also printed in the Sunday, June 3 Daily Sentinel. The festival takes place 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 9, in downtown Nacogdoches.

(Photos: Bruce R. Partain)