Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Mike Hammock Concert and Dance

Award-winning performing artist and deejay Mike Hammock is coming to Nacogdoches this Friday. Vineyard Community Center is hosting this family-friendly, alcohol-free event at 7pm on August 1.

Enjoy an evening with friends and dance to Mike Hammock (performing) plus the recorded hits of dance music from country to pop to rock to standards and all steps in between!

Vineyard Community Center is located at 4140 FM 1878 in Nacogdoches. The door cover charge is $3 per person, $5 per couple, and $2 pre-teens.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Fun-Filled First Friday in Downtown Nacogdoches

This Friday's calendar is packed with fun-filled events in Downtown Nacogdoches for the First Friday Night event.

First stop-- the Convention and Visitor's Bureau Website Launch Party at 4:30 p.m. in the CVB at 200 E. Main Street. Enjoy refreshments and snacks and a whole lot of fun as they kick off their newly revamped and user-friendly website.

At 5:30, a ribbon cutting ceremony will be held for the Nacogdoches Downtown Historic District at the Plaza Principal stage behind the CVB. The downtown district was recently named to the National Registrar of Historic Places and the town will be celebrating.

The First Friday night program continues this Friday from 5-8 p.m. Select local businesses will stay open later for your shopping pleasure. You can find a list of participating businesses at the CVB.

At 7:30 p.m. the Ed & Gwen Cole Art Center, 321 E. Main Street will be hosting a film viewing.

Be sure to join us for a warm summer evening downtown of shopping, celebrations, and fun at First Friday Night!

For more information on First Friday Nights, contact the Nacogdoches Main Street office at 936-559-2573.

Lumberjack parents visit downtown by the busload for Meet and Greet

While future Lumberjacks learned all about SFA at New Student Orientation, parents and families learned more about Nacogdoches businesses at Meet and Greet events downtown this summer. Chamber members handed out freebies such as t-shirts from the Grove, and goody bags from Belk, and information about their businesses to parents.

The 2008 Meet and Greet events were successful in getting Chamber members' names, products and services out to the new parents and showing them the good things Nacogdoches has to offer.

Thanks goes to all the businesses that participated in showing our visitors a great time. Chamber members that attended some or all of the five events include: Belk Department Store, Brooks Cypress House B&B, Harlon's Barbeque at the Link, Complete Restorations, Etech, Inc., Family Crisis Center, The Grove, Durango's Canyon, Kelly Services, Papa John's Pizza, Pine Creek Country Inn, Polk Oil Co., Regions Bank, Sam's Club, SHelley's Bakery Cafe, Suddenlink Communications, Walgreens, Jack Backers College Bookstore, Starbucks, and Coldwell Banker Choice Realtors.

Below are some pictures of the events. Click here to see more!
Photos by Kelly Daniel.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Farmer's Market on Wednesday!

Get ready for another mid-week Farmer's Market! From 8 to noon this Wednesday, you can shop for produce as well as an assortment of handmade items. Here is a list of vendors for that day:

Eddie Sturgis will be selling watermelons (chubby greats, yellow meat, & 7/10's) tomatoes, okra and canteloupes.

Oneta McDaniel will have pecan and sweet potato pies, tea cakes, jalapenos, pickled peppers & beets, peach jelly and chow-chow.

Brenda Morgan will be selling copies of her new book. ('Offerings') The many benefits that come from a simpler life-style. The consequences of specific cultural obsessions(information, clutter, youth and beauty, automobiles, technology) and suggestions on how to create a spiritually responsible and sustainable life by living with less.

La Verna Pirkle has a small organic farm in Alto. She will be selling carrots, Bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage, new potatoes, onions, okra, squash, baked goods, and pinto beans (fresh shelled and dry). She will also have canned goods (grape jelly, strawberry preserves, peaches, pickled peppers, bread and butter pickles, sweet red bell peppers and Kosher spears), frozen ready-to-cook vegetables (frozen okra, lima beans, blackeyed peas and bell peppers), heirloom seeds (giant black oil and regular sunflower, corn, baby Limas, pinto beans and orka) and iris flowers.

Mamie will be selling her handmade jewelry (costume, gold & silver), custom made handbags (tapestry), crocheted kitchen items (decorative), crocheted Afghans (large and small), baby blankets, crocheted Christmas tree decorations and caps (crocheted adult & child). She will also be selling homemade candles, aprons, peach jam, strawberry jam, small (fried) pies and pralines.

Carol Stobart will be selling artisan breads (French Baguettes, Roasted Pepper, Peasant Loaf, Sun-dried Basil and Tomato, Onion, Garlic, Oatmeal, Wheat, Rye, Chocolate & Challa), Pecan Sticky Rolls, Dinner Rolls and Cheddar Rolls.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Chamber member wins $50

Liz Reece, Willowbrook marketing and admissions coordinator, wins the $50 cash prize drawing at the Nacogdoches County Chamber’s Fourth Friday Luncheon held July 25. Pictured is Corey Ashley with First Bank & Trust East Texas presenting the prize to Reece. Everyone who attends the luncheon is eligible to win the $50 drawing, and all Chamber members are entered in a $250 drawing. First Bank & Trust East Texas sponsors both drawings.

The Fourth Friday Luncheon program "Lean Transformation: Key to Competitiveness" was presented by Cooper Power Systems Plant Manager George Nelson.

Click here to read article at

Click here to view photos from the event.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

SFA Spirit Flag subscriptions available

A sea of purple SFA flags along North Street and University Drive on 12 "Spirit Days" is the goal of the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce and the SFA-Chamber Connection Committee. To achieve that goal, members of the Delta Sigma Fraternity will be visiting with business owners along these two thoroughfares during early August, offering subscriptions to SFA Spirit Crew Flags.

Each $50 subscription includes one 3 foot by 5 foot flag that the fraternity members will display in front of the business on 12 days in which many out-of-town visitors will attend SFA events. These days include SFA's three commencements, seven home football games, one Showcase Saturday and one summer orientation session. Additional flags for the same location can be purchased for $25 each.

"This program is a great way for businesses to show support for SFA," said David Madrid, sponsor of the Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity. "And what our current subscribers like is they don't have to remember when to fly the flags or hassle with putting them out. Our guys, commonly known as the Sawyers, install the necessary hardware for posting the flags, display them on the designated days, and pick them up that evening."

The fraternity has already sold subscriptions for 50 flags for the 2008-2009 school year, which is in keeping with previous years' sales at this time.

"Our total number of subscriptions has been around 100 during each of the past few years," Madrid said. "But this year, we're hoping to surpass that benchmark and really fill in the gaps between business subscribers."

The Sawyers hope to have as many subscribers as possible by Saturday, Aug. 9, so that North Street and University Drive are blanketed with purple in honor of SFA's summer commencement.

"We are prepared to add flags even on that day," Madrid said. "We’ll be making the rounds again on the ninth and will be able to post a flag immediately for any new subscriber."

For more information about the Spirit Flag program, contact the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce.

Railroad Commisioner talks energy at Rotary Club Luncheon

Chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission Michael Williams was the special guest speaker Wednesday, July 23rd at the Nacogdoches Rotary Club luncheon at the Hotel Fredonia. Williams discussed the importance of natural resources in Texas as well as the future in the energy industry. His "Breathe Easy" initiative focuses on cleaner sources of energy as well as cleaner, domestically produced natural gas. Pictured below are Bruce Partain, Chamber CEO/President and Commissioner Michael Williams.

Photo by Kelly Daniel

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Get competitive this Friday

George Nelson, Plant Manager of Cooper Power Systems, will present “Lean Transformation: The Key to Competitiveness” at the Nacogdoches County Chamber Fourth Friday Luncheon at noon, July 25 at The Fredonia.

“Lean Transformation is all about serving our customers better by eliminating waste in our business and production processes,” says Nelson. “Lean principles can be applied universally to increase performance in service and manufacturing industries.”

"In these times of rising costs, companies of every size and form can benefit from these proven business methods," said Bruce Partain, Chamber president/CEO.

Since coming to the Nacogdoches plant, Nelson has implemented the “Six Sigma” method of continuous improvement, which is a data driven approach for eliminating defects in any process. He joined Cooper Industries in March 2006 and has been practicing and teaching Lean Manufacturing for 6 years.

Luncheon attendee reservations are required. Please call 936-560-5533 or visit for a registration form. Lunch is $15 at the door. Save two dollars by paying at the Nacogdoches County Chamber, 2516 North Street, by Thursday, July 24.

And the winner is...

Photo by Linda T. Bond

Chuck Blische, left, chairman of the Texas Festival and Events Association (TFEA), presents the Nacogdoches County Chamber with a special award. Representing the Chamber are Vice Chair of Special Projects Michelle Smith and President/CEO Bruce R. Partain.

The Texas Blueberry Festival recently won a First Place Zenith Marketing Award at the TFEA Annual Conference in Houston on July 19. The award was for the best T-shirt design in its budget category. The concept was by Angie Brewer of Point A Media, with final design and production by James Crow of Tattoo Productions.

More than 330 entries were received in several categories for the Zenith Awards.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Big Blue Thank You!

June's Blueberry Festival was a hit thanks to the many people who volunteered, and they all got together on July 18th.

Courtesy of Charlie's Catering, guests enjoyed delicious fajitas. And what else for dessert than blueberry cobbler topped with ice cream, made by Chamber Board member Angela Wiederhold.

Photos by Bruce Partain

History in the making

This was no ordinary ribbon cutting. It was the reopening of the Eiffel Tower of Nacogdoches. On Friday, July 18, The Fredonia reopened its doors with a bang.

New owner Susan Reents made sure this was a ribbon cutting to remember. The event began with guests socializing and enjoying refreshments and live entertainment.

Special guests included Susan McKinney, the original ribbon cutter; J.D. Harkrider, a 96-year-old hotel resident; and Elvis.

The cutting of the ribbon did not mark the end of the party. Champaign and wine was served inside while food continued to be
passed around.

All photos by Bruce Partain

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Historic hotel celebrates new beginnings

Hotel groundbreaking in 1954

Come celebrate the ribbon cutting for Hotel Fredonia and Convention Center at 4:30, Friday, July 18. Owner Susan Reents invites everyone to join the celebration during the grand opening event. The Nacogdoches High class of 1955 will be returning to the hotel, too, for a reunion of the year the hotel opened. Light refreshments will be served.

During its lifetime, the hotel has gone through high times, name changes, a series of owners, debt, and four years of inactivity. In more recent years, the Fredonia has raised funds and undergone renovations, and it is now on its way back up. For over half a century it has been a symbol of the community.

For more information about the Fredonia, visit

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Stallings Court to host a "Carnival Day" for a great '08!

Its been an exciting year since the Grand Opening of Stallings Court Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and they want to celebrate! What better way to do so than with a Carnival full of food and fun for the entire family!

(Above: Stallings Court staff cut the red ribbon for the new building in Nacogdoches in 2007.)

The Carnival Day will be hosted on July 25th from 11-2pm at Stallings Court to celebrate their One Year Anniversary.

Come take part in the fun festivities including a Kid's Bounce & Boxing Gym, Horseshoes, Washers, 42, Face-Painting and more. Also enjoy Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, Nachos, Cotton Candy, or cool down with a Snow-Cone.

To RSVP please contact Lorei Choate at 569-5600. RSVP by July 23rd.

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Chamber Board Retreat challenges directors to Make a Difference

Donna Finley, chair-elect of the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce, points to her "R U MAD?" button and asks, "Are you mad?" Finley said that she was, and she wanted everyone else in the room to be "MAD" too. "R U MAD" will be Finley's slogan during her service as Chairman of the Board for 2008-2009, and the phrase stands for "Are You Making A Difference?"

The Chamber directors and staff met for a day of discussing current Chamber programs and planning for the new Chamber year. Dr. Miles McCall served as facilitator and challenged directors to "make the most of the time they have."

Business excellence award winners for 2008 were officially announced: Large Business of the Year is Elliott Electric Supply, Inc.; Medium Business of the Year is Cotton Patch Cafe; and Small Business of the Year is Shannon's Pools. The 2008 Citizen of the Year is Francis E. "Ab" Abernethy. All award recipients will be honored at the Chamber Annual Banquet on Tuesday, Sept. 30 at the Hotel Fredonia & Conference Center.

Click here to view more pictures from the day's activities.
Photos: Bruce R. Partain.

Chamber Directors from left, Corey Ashley, Kim Luna Snyder and Randy Robinson participate in one of the activities led by Dr. McCall, far right.

Farmer’s Market Expanding on a limited basis to Wednesdays….

Diann Averitt sells a variety of produce at the Market.
Photo by Bruce R. Partain.

The Nacogdoches Farmers’ Market continues to expand with new vendors, new products and now, in response to many requests, an additional day. At least one farmer-vendor, Louis Duffield, will set up on Wednesday morning, July 16 as well as this Saturday, July 12. Louis will be selling watermelons, peaches, blackberries, purple hull peas, and jams and jellies from 8am until noon on Wednesday. If the mid-week market is a success, it could become a regular event with more vendors participating.

Other local products available at the market this Saturday include:
Produce: tomatoes (many varieties), onions, okra, bell peppers, carrots, squash, cucumbers, eggplant, potatoes, shelled and unshelled purple hull peas and cream peas, pinto beans (fresh shelled & dry), watermelons (red, yellow & seedless), cantaloupes, figs, peaches, blackberries, fresh herbs.
Canned goods: jams (peach, blueberry, blackberry, strawberry & more), jellies, preserves, relishes, raw honey, salsas, pickled okra, bread-and-butter pickles, chow-chow.
Free range eggs: Wayne Hyatt and Larry & Patti McDowell will have eggs this week, but come (very) early for these—they always sell out quickly.
Fresh-baked items: bread (whole wheat, poppy seed, rye, sourdough, bagels, challah and more), rolls, cinnamon rolls, pound cakes (several flavors), pecan and sweet potato pies, empanada hand-pies (sweet and savory). Several of our bakers take orders too.
Plants: herbs, ornamentals (flowers, shrubs and trees), including some unusual varieties
Cut flowers: zinnias, lisianthus, and more, in bunches or bouquets.
Handcrafted items: jewelry, crocheted afghans and other items, and custom-made handbags. We also welcome new vendor Patti Hand, who is offering homemade candles, perfumes, soaps, scrubs, shampoos and other items.

Brenda Morgan returns this week with copies of her new book, Offerings, which explores the benefits of a simpler lifestyle. Our musician this Saturday will be local singer/songwriter Cindy Grayson, who will also have some of her CDs for sale.

The Nacogdoches Farmers’ Market, located at the “hitch lot” at the corner of West Main and Pearl Streets, is open from 8 a.m. until noon or later every Saturday. If the market parking lot is full, additional parking is available in the Nacogdoches County Courthouse Annex parking lot. For more information about the market or becoming a vendor, contact Sarah O’Brien, Main Street Manager, at 559-2573 or

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Do you have a desire to help people quit smoking?

With the recent smoke ban, many smokers are looking for ways to get by. Why not help them?
FreshStart is American Cancer Society’s group-based tobacco cessation counseling program. On July 17, 2008, you could learn to help people quit through this program. The FreshStart facilitator training will be conducted online from 9am to noon. It is conducted through a self study program and is offered at no charge to the Nacogdoches community.

This training will enable you to offer and conduct tobacco cessation programs at your worksite or other organization.

If you are interested, please RSVP as soon as possible! You can contact Kinnie Parker at 569-4691 or

Beautiful day, Union Cafe, SFA

The SFA Friends of Theatre's upcoming fund-raiser, "The Whole Nine Yards," may sound like a football event for men, but it's actually a beauty, dinner and theatre package designed for women. The fund-raiser, which will benefit a scholarship fund for theatre majors at Stephen F. Austin State University, will be conducted on Friday, July 11.

"The luxurious treat will consist of a makeover from a Belk's beauty specialist, champagne, hors d'oeuvres, music and free cosmetics, as well as a dinner for two at Union Café and two tickets to any production included in the SFA School of Theatre's Summer Repertory season," said Phillip Anderson, manager of the Belk Department Store of Nacogdoches, one of the event's sponsors.

"We will also have on hand a representative from the Aesthetic Laser Center & Medspa of Nacogdoches, and we'll be providing free hand and chair massages," Anderson continued.

The beauty portion of "The Whole Nine Yards" will take place from 12:30 to 5 p.m. at The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House, located at 329 E. Main St. in downtown Nacogdoches. As women purchase the packages, they will sign up for a specific time for their appointment. The dinner for two at Union Café that same evening will be from a special menu created for the event. Beverages are not included in the package.

Participants will receive a voucher for two tickets to any production of the SFA summer theatre season. Beth Henley's "Crimes of the Heart" will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 11 and Saturday, July 12.

"We are grateful to Belk, Union Café and Aesthetic Laser Center & Medspa of Nacogdoches for their generosity in making this fund-raiser possible," said Scott Shattuck, director of the SFA School of Theatre. "The proceeds will help establish an endowed scholarship that will be given annually to an SFA theatre major in need of financial assistance."

Tickets for "The Whole Nine Yards" are $100 each and must be purchased in advance. Please call (936) 715-9390, ext. 266, 267 or 269 for tickets or more information.

Article written by Sylvia Bierschenk and retrieved from the SFA website

Monday, July 07, 2008

Good information is easy to find - with the Official Guide and Chamber Directory

Looking for information about Nacogdoches County? Find it all - or find out where to find all - in the Nacogdoches County 2008 Official Guide & Chamber Directory.

Stop by the Nacogdoches County Chamber office, 2516 North St., and pick up a copy or two and share with a friend. You'll have interesting and useful facts about Nacogdoches right at your fingertips!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

"Nacogdoches, Yes, Yes, Yes"

The Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce has lived up to the song with a successful year at the Texas Chamber of Commerce Executives conference. This year's conference took place in New Braunfels in June.

Yes. The Chamber’s “Live It Up, Retire In Nacogdoches” retirement brochure won a first place award in the TCCE 2008 Media Contest.

Yes. The 2008 Official City & County Street Map won a second place award in that same contest

Yes. Nacogdoches also came back with the ultimate prize – the conference itself. The 2010 TCCE conference will take place in the Oldest Town in Texas.

Both the brochure and map are produced by Point A Media, and are part of the Chamber's 2008 publicity campaign. Other materials such as the web site, Chamber directory, and Blueberry Festival graphics all have this design that reflects the spirit of Nacogdoches.

TCCE Chair Diane Probst presents Chamber President/CEO Bruce Partain
with media awards. Both are now displayed in the Chamber lobby.
(Photo by Linda T. Bond)

After 3 years of bidding, the Chamber was finally able to bring the conference to Nacogdoches. This happened with the help of many people, including Melissa Sanford and Sherri Skeeters of the CVB and Mary Roan and Rebecca Frazier of the Hotel Fredonia and Conference Center.

Leadership Nacogdoches pays off

After nearly two decades, the Leadership Nacogdoches alumni will have a new leader. Vickie McMurtray, a member of the 2004-2005 class, has recently accepted the position of Leadership Nacogdoches Alumni Chair. She is replacing Ron Collins, a member of the 1984-85 class, who has continued to be a strong supporter of the program. McMurtray will immediately step into her role by preparing for the Leadership Nacogdoches Alumni Reception and New Class Welcome. Below is a photo of Ron Collins passing the class records to his successor.

Photo by Kelly Daniel

Leadership Nacogdoches has been developing new leaders in the community since 1982. It is designed to provide information about municipal, county and state government, and the responsibilities of leadership positions in an effort to create a pool of potential community leaders. Applications for the 2008-2009 class are out, and can be turned into the Chamber through July 15. For a copy of the application or more information on the program, you can visit

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

No more butts about it

Beginning July 1st, all establishments in the City of Nacogdoches will be smoke-free in compliance with the Smoking Pollution Control Ordinance No 1489-4-05.

The smoking ban requires all smokers to be at least 20 feet away from the entrance of any building while smoking.

To report violations of the new law, contact 936-559-2551.

Tell us your thoughts about the new regulations!

John Cornyn visits Nacogdoches

A special presentation was made by Senator John Cornyn in Nacogdoches on Monday June 30 at the Hotel Fredonia. The presentation was held for the 57th annual East Texas Peace Officers Association Training Conference.

The Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce honored Senator Cornyn with the "Spirit of Enterprise" award for promoting growth and helping to expand economic development in East Texas. Pictured below is Chamber Chairman of the Board Kim Luna Snyder, Senator John Cornyn, and John Gonzales with the U.S. Chamber, presenting the award.

ETPOA will hold it's annual awards banquet Tuesday at the Fredonia Hotel. Dr. Miles McCall will be the keynote speaker. Visit for complete story.
Below, Charity Parkey, Chamber intern greets Senator Cornyn.

Photos by Bruce Partain.

Membership keeps growing and growing...

Welcome to the following new members who joined the Chamber between Feb. 28 and June 25. We are excited about these new memberships and look forward to big things from these businesses, services and individuals.

Aesthetic Concepts
Mary McKinnon
The NanoTechnology Group, Inc.
Charlie's Catering
PHI, Inc.
Community Collision Center
Physicians Mutual Insurance Company
Durango's Canyon
Pineywoods Detachment 1189
PineCrest Retirement
East Texas Video
SFA Driving Jacks
Sam B. Hayter Trust- Mill Creek Farm
Soundhaus Entertainment
Impact Cowboy Church of Nacogdoches
Texas Agri-Life Extension
J.T. Hammond Ministries
VIP Cleaners, LLC
Jack Backers
College Bookstores Vital Fitness
Martinez Tree Service