As the president and chief executive officer of the Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce, I feel fortunate to have nearly 10 years of experience at the Irving Chamber as chief development officer because there’s simply no time for a soft start in Irving.

My first day as the president and CEO of the five-star Irving Chamber of Commerce was Aug. 15.

That day, we hit the ground running with our partners at the Irving Independent School District and the business community to welcome more than 450 teachers to a new school year at our 59th annual Back to School Luncheon, and we celebrated a much anticipated inaugural ride of the DART Orange Line rail from Irving to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport that was made possible by our many local, regional and national partners.

The Irving Chamber is not your typical chamber, and we’re proud of it. We’re all about collaboration with our partners.

Today, the economic development team, in partnership with the city of Irving, is working on about 70 deals that have the potential to drive an estimated 19,359 new and retained jobs into Irving with a potential capital investment of $621.6 million, resulting in 14.6 million square feet of real estate.

We’re all about working with our partners at the city of Irving and the Irving Convention and Visitors Bureau to create and maintain a city brand that makes Irving the nation’s premiere destination for domestic and international corporate relocations, such as 7-Eleven, which recently selected to relocate to Cypress Waters in Irving, and Xochitl, an international snack manufacturer that recently expanded in Irving.

In addition to our strong partnership with Irving ISD, we also have strong relationships with our education partners at the Coppell Independent School District and Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District. Educating a diverse workforce and retaining our talent is essential to Irving’s thriving business community, and the Irving Chamber is all about providing education and support services to our members.

As your president and CEO, I would like to share my 30-60-90 day priorities for the chamber:

  • Support our staff in a way that gives them the resources, skills and training to be assets to you and our community.
  • Work with Mayor Beth Van Duyne, the City Council and City Manager Chris Hillman to create, advance and promote economic development for our members and community.
  • Hire the best economic development professional for our chamber and city — someone with a proven track record to take us to the next level.
  • Maintain and strengthen our relationship with the city and local school districts to insure collaboration and positive working relationships.
  • Make the Irving Chamber a one-stop shop for businesses. We will continue to be the conduit for business-to-business development and workforce solutions, and we will be the catalyst for bringing industries, elected officials and entrepreneurs together.
  • Diversify our revenue streams and increase private sector support while increasing the return on investment by our member investors and strategic partners.
  • Ensure financial stewardship and accountability. That’s one of the reasons why we were accredited with five stars by the United States Chamber of Commerce, and why we’re going to be reaccredited with five stars this fall.

Our time is now. We’ve got the right talent, leadership, resources, ideas and opportunities to make Irving the city of choice for the remainder of this decade and beyond, and our collaboration with the city is vital to making that happen.

This is such an exciting time to be in Irving. I deeply appreciate this opportunity to serve our vibrant business community and this city. I look forward to driving results for your business, seeing you at future signature programs and continuing to build upon existing relationships and creating future relationships.

Print Friendly