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Latest Galveston Regional Chamber News

My Galveston – College Town Galveston

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 21, 2017
Contact: M.J. Naschke, (409) 771-4373

My Galveston – College Town Galveston

GALVESTON, TX – The Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce recently launched College Town Galveston, a campaign spun from the C-Crewes successful My Galveston program.

My Galveston, a program developed by C-Crewe to encourage residency on Galveston Island, was begun in 2015. A Chamber committee for members 40 years and under, C-Crewe has been acting as ambassadors for the island by connecting with young professionals and promoting the island lifestyle and Galveston Island as a great place to work and live.

Taking the campaign to the next level, collaboration was formed between the Chamber and institutions of higher learning, and as a result a grassroots program has been born and aptly named College Town Galveston. The mission of College Town Galveston is to promote and support the efforts of UTMB. Texas A&M Galveston and Galveston College by providing resources to prospective students and their families.

Galveston’s student population is growing steadily. UTMB is one of the largest and fastest growing academic health centers in the United States with more than 3,500 students. Texas A&M Galveston, with more than 2500 students, is anticipating a large student body increase, and Galveston College, ranked number one among community colleges in Texas, had more than 2000 students enrolled in 2016. Our three outstanding learning institutions on Galveston Island are growing at breakneck speed. The Galveston Chamber’s College Town Galveston initiative is here at the right time.

The website www.collegetowngalveston, now in development, will feature housing options, entertainment venues, cultural opportunities, grocery stores, retail shopping, outdoor activities, volunteer opportunities, sports, parks, and worship communities.

Galveston Chamber President and CEO, Gina Spagnola, stated, “We are so fortunate to have UTMB, Galveston College and Texas A&M Galveston here. Galveston’s student population is growing and we want to offer students the opportunity to be a part of our community by informing them of what resources are available to them. We know they will find the Island accommodating, easy to navigate, and friendly. We are proud that College Town Galveston was born from our C-Crewe’s My Galveston initiative to promote Galveston as a great place to live. We welcome and encourage new residents and hope that by making their student experience a positive one, they will remain here.”

The website, currently under construction, may be previewed at www.galvestonchamber.com. The community is invited to provide information regarding resources for college students for the website.

The Chamber is encouraging locals to observe ‘College Town Fridays’ by wearing the colors of UTMB, Galveston College and Texas A & M and flying their school banners each week. Companies who are interested in providing their resource information for the website are asked to contact the Chamber at ltouchy@galvestonchamber.com or call (409) 763-5326.

U.S. Chamber Awards Local Chamber with Accreditation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, March 7, 2017 – 10:30am
Contact: M.J. Naschke, (409) 762-3930

U.S. Chamber Awards Local Chamber with Accreditation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, at its board meeting today, awarded accreditation to the Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce for their sound policies, effective organizational procedures, and positive impact on their communities.

“Accreditation validates a chamber as having programs that benefit its local economy and positively influence its community,” said Raymond P. Towle, IOM, CAE, U.S. Chamber vice president of Federation Relations and Institute for Organization Management. “We applaud these organizations for advancing the principles of free enterprise.”

The only program of its kind in the country, U.S. Chamber accreditation recognizes excellence in chamber planning and performance. To achieve accreditation, a chamber must demonstrate quality programs, clear organizational procedures, and effective communications by meeting minimum operation and program standards in the areas of governance, program development, government affairs, and technology.

Local and regional chambers are rated “Accredited,” “Accredited with 3 Stars,” “Accredited with 4 Stars,” or “Accredited with 5 Stars.” State chambers are rated “Accredited State Chamber,” or “Accredited State Chamber with Distinction.” The final determination is made by the accrediting board, a committee of U.S. Chamber board members, and chamber CEOs from across the country.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

Galveston County Legislature Day at the Texas Capitol

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, March 3, 2017
By Lora-Marie Bernard with photos by Ruth Ann Ruiz

Galveston County Legislature Day at the Texas Capitol

About 200 chamber of commerce and government representatives participated Wednesday in the first Galveston County Legislature Day at the Texas Capitol. The collaborative event featured a day of photo opportunities and meetings with Texas legislators about projects that need state support to implement, such as coastal protection and port improvements. County government officials and chamber members from Galveston, Texas City-La Marque, Santa Fe and League City-Bay Area were among those who traveled to Austin for the day.

One of only twelve people documented with Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory, Marilu was the subject of a three-part special on 60 Minutes, 60 Minutes Australia, numerous news programs and international news articles, and served as the consultant for the CBS series Unforgettable.

Representative Wayne Faircloth said the day showcased the Galveston County and its communities. “It allows the elected officials here in the Capitol to be able to see the rich resources and the incredible people that inhabit Galveston County and our importance to the state economy and our importance to education and jobs and the industry,” he said. “For me, it’s wanting to shine the spotlight on our county and how important we are and allow the other members of the legislature to experience the people, the seafood and the different things that we have to offer.” Listen (0:43)

During meetings with representatives and senators, chamber representatives presented the legislators with a coffee table book about the history of Hotel Galvez and a journal embossed with the county seal. Santa Fe City Manager Joe Dickson said his team discussed coastal protection, funding for the medical center and the tax caps with half a dozen representatives and senators.

“They have a lot of issues they have to deal with so we will see how it all comes out in the wash,” he said. Listen (1:12)

Galveston Island resident Rusty Carnes, expressed concern about immediate coastal issues including a brewing battle about the cleaning process of a superfund site on the San Jacinto River that threatens Galveston Bay. He said he wanted state legislators to learn the dangers of dredging the site, which is a process the federal government proposes.
“The safest thing to do is to cap them because once they start stirring them up that stuff will be distributed all over the bay,” he said. Listen (0:57)

County Commissioner Ken Clark said the commissioners’ court had conversations for many years about conducting a countywide legislative day but the effort always languished. He described the milestone as an “Open House at the Capitol” because it created ambassadors who raised awareness among legislators who knew little about the Galveston area.

“It allows us to focus on issues that are specific to our county and gives us the ability to work together to achieve the ability to reach out to the representatives and the legislators and have a common message,” he said. “It builds camaraderie and unity in the county when we do that.”

The issue that all members of the delegation discussed with their representatives was the urgency for funding of the “Ike Dike” to protect the Upper Texas Gulf Coast from the devastation by future storm surge.
Following the visits, the chambers hosted a reception with a live band and fresh seafood from Galveston businesses. Among approximately 400 guests attending the party were veteran legislator Babe Schwartz and his wife Marilyn.

Actress Marilu Henner Keynote Speaker at 10th Annual Women’s Conference

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 29, 2016
CONTACT: M.J. Naschke (409) 771-4373

Actress Marilu Henner Keynote Speaker at 10th Annual Women’s Conference

GALVESTON, TX – The Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce has confirmed that Marilu Henner, actress and author, will be the keynote speaker at the 10th Annual Conference Celebrating Women: Mind, Body, Spirit, Thursday, April 6, 2017, at Moody Gardens Convention Center.

Star of two classic sitcoms, Taxi and Shade, Marilu Henner has starred in more than thirty films, six Broadway shows, been nominated for five Golden Globe awards, and is a New York Times bestselling author of over ten books on health, parenting, memory and lifestyle improvement. In addition to hosting her own nationally syndicated radio show, she has executive produced two talk shows and guest-starred on every major talk show, earning the her the title of “Talk Show Guest of the Year”, and was a two time competitor on Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice and Celebrity Apprentice All-Stars. In 2016 she competed on the 23rd season of Dancing with the Stars on ABC reaching the quarter finals with her partner Derek Hough.

One of only twelve people documented with Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory, Marilu was the subject of a three-part special on 60 Minutes, 60 Minutes Australia, numerous news programs and international news articles, and served as the consultant for the CBS series Unforgettable.

Married with two sons, she practices a life of health and fitness. Her latest book, Changing Normal: How I cured my Husband’s Cancer, became the number one book on Amazon the first day on the market. She will share her experience in lifestyle improvement, parenting, memory and health with attendees at the Women’s Conference.

The Women’s Conference is designed to be inspirational, inspiring, empowering, educational and fun. Highlights include highly informative presentations by UTMB physicians, special guest speaker Connie Watt, Women’s Expo, Fitness Demonstrations, Luxury Lounge, and, new this year, Book Nook featuring local authors. An event planned and coordinated by women, for women, it is an engaging and fulfilling experience. Tickets and tables are now available at www.galvestonchamber.com or call (409) 763-5326.

George & Cynthia Mitchell Memorial Causeway Dedication

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 20, 2016
CONTACT: M.J. Naschke (409) 771-4373

George & Cynthia Mitchell Memorial Causeway Dedication

GALVESTON, TX – The I-45 Causeway linking Galveston Island to the mainland will officially be named the George and Cynthia Mitchell Memorial Causeway on Tuesday, October 25.

State Senator Larry Taylor, State Representative Wayne Faircloth, former Senator A.R. “Babe” Schwartz and the Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce will preside at the dedication honoring the Mitchells.

George P. Mitchell, and his wife, Cynthia Woods Mitchell, were pacesetters in the restoration movement on Galveston Island, and in the tourism industry launching Galveston into the national spotlight. In addition to restoring landmark properties including the Hotel Galvez, numerous downtown historic buildings, and the development of the west end, Pirate’s Beach and Pirates Cove, the couple revived Mardi Gras! Galveston, that continues to draw thousands of visitors to the Island. A wildcatter by trade, George Mitchell was a visionary in all respects, and Cynthia Mitchell dedicated her life and talents to accomplish extraordinary feats in restoration and preservation.

The Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce, led by Gina Spagnola, was instrumental in making the causeway dedication a reality. Supporters rallied to the cause and raised the necessary support for this deserving cause. Born on the Island, George Mitchell had a deep love for Galveston and a lifetime commitment to its progress. It is with deep appreciation and admiration, that the State of Texas has named the entrance to Galveston the George and Cynthia Mitchell Memorial Causeway.

SUMMARY

WHAT: Dedication and unveiling of the George and Cynthia Mitchell Memorial Causeway
WHEN: Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Media: 4 pm – Tremont House, Davidson Ballroom
WHO: State Senator Larry Taylor
State Representative Wayne Faircloth
A.R. ‘Babe’ Schwartz
Gina Spagnola, President & CEO, Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce
City Officials
Mitchell Family

WHERE: Official sign location – I 45 Causeway
Dedication: Tremont House Davidson Ballroom
2300 Mechanic St. , Galveston

WHY: In honor of George and Cynthia Mitchell for their extraordinary contributions to the City of Galveston.

Governor’s Office Of Small Business Assistance Awards Funding To 10 Small Business Service Providers

Governor Greg Abbot

For Immediate Distribution | August 18, 2016 | (512) 463-1826

Governor’s Office Of Small Business Assistance Awards Funding To 10 Small Business Service Providers

AUSTIN — The Governor’s Office of Small Business Assistance (OSBA) announced today that it has awarded approximately $100,000 in grant funding to ten nonprofit organizations from across the state for projects promoting the development and success of small businesses in underserved markets.

Through the Office of the Governor’s joint small business initiative with the Texas Workforce Commission, the Governor’s Small Business Service Provider Grant Program offers these grants to Texas-based small business service providers to further enhance and diversify projects and activities benefiting the State’s small and historically underutilized businesses (HUBs).

Each of the selected recipients will receive a $10,000 grant to help implement new training programs, create opportunities for small businesses to obtain funding, and develop, publish and distribute useful small business-specific information. This funding will also enable small business service providers a greater degree of flexibility and creativity in their portfolio of offerings to small businesses across all communities.

The recipients of the 2016 OSBA Service Provider Grant Program include:

  • County of Webb will use the grant towards funding its Webb County Small Business Service Assistance Program, which provides educational workshops to local small businesses and entrepreneurs.
  • East Montgomery County Improvement District will apply the funds towards the Growth of East Montgomery County project, a series of educational seminars covering a wide range of small business related topics.
  • Galveston Chamber of Commerce will utilize the funds toward its Spanish Language Business Development Workshops for bilingual, Spanish-speaking business owners within the regional chamber’s area.
  • Katy Area Economic Development Council will strengthen its Katy Area Manufacturing Industry Training & Services Project for manufacturers and supply chain firms in the region.
  • PeopleFund dedicates the grant to its Underserved Small Business Education and Training Program, which targets Spanish-speaking owners of family-operated businesses in the Rio Grande Valley.
  • Plan Empower Grow will utilize grant funds towards conducting the North Central Texas Small Business Conference, which will provide resources and services to the minority, veteran and disabled community.
  • Prairie View A&M University will use the grant to strengthen its Businesses in Development (BID) Academy Workshops which provides continuing education to small and historically underutilized businesses (HUBs).
  • San Antonio for Growth on the Eastside plans to use funds for the development of the Promise Zone to Entrepreneurship Conference targeting current and prospective business owners.
  • Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s grant will be used to help accelerate their expansion of existing programs and services that assist small businesses and startups through 11 counties in the Coastal Bend area.
  • Weslaco Area Chamber of Commerce will develop a City-wide Customer Service Training for Businesses program, providing free services to representatives from any business in the Weslaco area.

To learn more about the Governor’s Office of Small Business Assistance and the Service Provider Grant Program, visit https://texaswideopenforbusiness.com/small-business/division-services.

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Please DO NOT REPLY to this message. It comes from an un-monitored mailbox. If you have any questions regarding this announcement, please contact the Governor’s Press Office at (512) 463-1826.

3rd Annual DOOLIN MARITIME CAREERS CAMP

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 31 – August 6, 2016 CONTACT: Gina Spagnola; gspagnola@galvestonchamber.com or (409) 763-5326 3rd Annual DOOLIN MARITIME CAREERS CAMP GALVESTON, TX The Doolin Maritime Careers Camp, a weeklong residential camp, July 31 thru August 6, 2016, is now accepting applications for students that are rising 8th to 10th grades. The camp is free ofContinue Reading

Galveston Regional Chamber to Honor Young Entrepreneurs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 24, 2016 CONTACT: M.J. Naschke (409) 762-3930 Galveston Regional Chamber to Honor Young Entrepreneurs GALVESTON, TX – The Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce will honor the recipients of the First Annual George P. Mitchell Regional Entrepreneurs of the Year at an awards celebration, Friday, June 10, 7 – 10 pm, atContinue Reading

UTMB President Speaks to C-Crewe

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 22, 2016 CONTACT: M.J. Naschke (409) 762-3930 UTMB President Speaks to C-Crewe GALVESTON, TX – Dr. David Callender, President, UTMB Health, was the invited speaker at the quarterly informative luncheon hosted by C-Crewe, a membership division of the Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce. The C-Crewe invites regional business professionals to participateContinue Reading

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Promoting & Advocating for Business and Community Development Since 1845

Contact Us

Address

2228 Mechanic, Suite 101

Galveston Island, Texas 77550

Phone

409.763.5326

Advocacy. The Business Advocacy Committee shall be charged with the primary responsibility to promote a positive and pro-active business environment in the Galveston area through the following activities:

  1. Developing and supporting local governmental action which promotes a strong business climate and job growth opportunities.
  2. Opposing local governmental action which inhibits a strong business climate and diminishes job growth opportunities.
  3. Establishing productive relationships between business interests and public officials.
  4. Providing forums to inform public officials and candidates for public office on issues impacting the business community.
  5. Providing forums to educate the membership on issues impacting the business community.
  6. Communicating official Chamber positions to the appropriate public officials prior to their action on the issue.
  7. Identifying and supporting individuals to serve on public Commissions and Boards.
  8. Endeavoring to hold public officials accountable for their actions and the resulting impact on the business community. This may be accomplished by the circulation of public official voting records to the Chamber membership on any issue on which the Chamber has communicated an official position.

Advocacy Committee meets the 2nd Tuesday of every month, in conjunction with Legislative Affairs, 8:00 am, in the Chamber Board Room.

Comite de Negocios (Spanish Businesses Committee). This committee's mission is to advocate and act as a liaison for the hispanic owned business community within the region.

The Comite de Negocios meets the 2nd Monday of every month, 8:00 am, in the Chamber Board Room.

C-Crewe. The C-Crewe’s objective is to engage professionals under forty in the Galveston business community, as well as the Chamber of Commerce.

C-Crewe meets the 2nd Friday of every month, 10:00 am, at various locations.

Doolin Maritime Career Pathways. As a committee of the Galveston Chamber of Commerce, the Doolin Maritime Pathways Crew is a coalition of educators, organizations, and businesses that promote local workforce development for the maritime industry.

The Doolin Maritime Career Pathways Committee meets the 3rd Friday of every month, 7:30 am, in the Chamber Board Room.

Education. The mission of this committee is to enhance the quality, accessibility, choice, and usefulness of education for all students, and to support the economic, social, and political viability of Galveston Island.

Education Committee meets the 1st Friday of every month, 7:30am, various locations.

Executive Committee. This committee meets the 2nd Friday of every month, 8:00 am, Chamber offices.

Golf Tournament. The Golf Tournament is a fundraiser for the Chamber.

This committee meets monthly beginning in May, with the exact scheduled to be determined at that time.

Legislative Affairs. The mission for this committee is to advocate through the Legislature for member businesses, providing a voice to not only the State, but at a National level as well.

This committee meets the 2nd Tuesday of every month, 8:00 am, in the Chamber Board Room.

Lemonade Day. Lemonade Day Galveston County, which is an initiative of the Galveston Regional Chamber’s Education Committee, empowers today’s youth to become tomorrow’s entrepreneurs. Youth of all ages – from pre-K through high school, across Galveston County can register.

Lemonade Day Committee meets the 1st Friday of every month, 10:00 am, Chamber Board Room.

Membership Development. This committee is tasked with growing and retaining the membership base, through continual review of membership levels and benefits, and listening to the members, their requests, and requirements.

This committee meets the 1st Thursday of every month, 2:00 pm, Chamber offices.

Pelican Island and Galveston Channel Advocacy. This committees mission is promoting and advocating for existing and future land owners and businesses on Pelican Island and the Port of Galveston and its tenants.

This committee meets the 2nd Monday of every month, 11:30 am, at various member locations.

Women’s Conference. The mission of this committee is to give women in the region an opportunity to come together, share and learn from each other.

Women’s Conference Committee meets the 1st Thursday of every month, 3:00 pm in the Chamber Board Room.

Work Force Development. The mission of this committee is to identify skill sets that match employment opportunities in the Galveston Region.

Work Force Development Committee meets the 3rd Wednesday of every month, 9:00 am in the Chamber Board Room.