On Feb.25, the Irving Chamber’s Executive Committee met and began work to create a search committee tasked with the role of finding a new president/CEO for the Irving-Las Colinas Chamber with the goal of having the position filled by the middle of August. The committee will be made up of board members, past chairmen and partnering organizations. The Chamber is expected to name an interim president/CEO in the coming weeks.
Wallace has led the Chamber for 10 years. During his leadership, the Chamber became the first national Five-Star Accredited Chamber in Texas and was awarded the inaugural Texas Outstanding Chamber of the Year Award.
Wallace will begin his role as the president of the Texas Association of Business (TAB) May 15 in Austin. In collaboration with CEO Bill Hammond and the TAB Board, Wallace will oversee all operations and administration of TAB, the leading and most influential employer organization in Texas.
“It’s been an exciting and rewarding 10 years at the Irving Chamber,” Wallace said. “I am proud of the work the Chamber’s Board and my team have been able to accomplish during my tenure. Our work will have a significant impact on the business community and quality of life for Irving residents for years to come.”
Wallace has helped build the Irving Economic Development Partnership and attracted the global headquarters of Celanese and Fluor, two of Irving’s five Fortune 500 global headquarters. CHRISTUS, Neovia (Caterpillar) Logistics Services, Blackberry, TXU Energy, Consolidated Electrical Distributors and Health Management Systems also established their headquarters in Irving under Wallace’s leadership. He also is responsible for ensuring more staff resources and focus were allocated to assist small and middle market businesses.
The relocation and expansion of existing businesses in the city has resulted in more jobs for Irving, which has 5.2 percent unemployment rate and is lower than the state average of 5.8 percent and national average of 7 percent.
Wallace is known and credited within the industry with redesigning the traditional model and expectations of a chamber of commerce.
“Chris has pioneered the modernization and reform of the chamber’s role in a city and in the business community,” said Michael Gonzalez, chairman of the Irving-Las Colinas Chamber. “He has expanded on the foundation and mindset of what the Chamber’s role is in our community by directing an aggressive economic development model and creating legislative advocacy and international trade initiatives as an arm of the Chamber, whose staff act as consultants to progress businesses. And, that will be his lasting legacy.”
Wallace’s significant impact on the business community of Irving has led to legislative wins on local and statewide levels, including a more relaxed alcoholic beverage ordinance for Irving businesses and passage of Proposition 3, which provides tools to increase aerospace businesses in Irving and throughout the state.
Wallace is responsible for the construction and completion of an award-winning marketing center, which showcases state-of-the-art technology, as well as the development of an international trade center in partnership with the United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce. Both are instrumental in promoting Irving as an international community that is home to more than 9,000 businesses, including the global headquarters of five Fortune 500 companies and the presence of 48 others.
“It has been an honor to serve the Irving business community for 10 years and I know that Irving is on a path to continue growth and success” Wallace said. “I’m looking forward to utilizing what I’ve learned, from my time and team of experts at the Irving Chamber, on a statewide level to continue to make Texas the strongest and most attractive economy in the nation.”
The Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber is the third largest chamber of commerce in North Texas.