Tyler Chamber Adds 560 New Members This Week
By TIM MONZINGO
The Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce membership drive wrapped up Thursday, falling short of the anticipated record, but making the chamber happy nonetheless.
The drive ended just before 3:30 p.m. Thursday and more than 300 volunteers pulled in 560 new businesses to add to the chamber. The chamber had hoped to bring in 700 new members and set a new record to beat the national record set by Tyler in 2009 with 647 members.
The amount of members brought in during the membership drive means Tyler secured the No. 2 spot nationwide in membership drives organized by Your Chamber Connections, which helps build chamber membership around the country and in Canada.
The numbers didn't discourage chamber officials, though, who still had high praise for the event and volunteers who made it possible.
"This year's membership drive went great," Tyler area chamber Chief Operating Officer Henry Bell said.
"We had more than 300 volunteers over three days making calls and bringing in new mem-bers.," Bell said. "Thank you so much to all of these volunteers and to all of our new chamber members. There is no way we could have had this successful of a drive without the support of our wonderful community."
The volunteers got their moment in the spotlight during an appreciation event Thursday at Rick's on the Square, where awards were dished out for the best volunteer teams.
Rosemary Jones was team leader for the Red Team, made up of volunteers from the Ramey Flock law firm.
The team brought in the highest number of new memberships by adding 100 businesses to the chamber.
"We believe in Tyler and what the chamber membership has to offer the businesses in Tyler," she said. "It's for the opportunities to advance business for the Tyler area. It helps everybody."
That attitude, Bell said, is an important part in how Tyler got to the top of the list twice.
"Having a supportive community and volunteers willing to give of their time is why Tyler remains the fourth largest chamber of commerce in the state," Bell said. "A chamber of commerce with a healthy membership equals a powerful voice and unlimited possibilities for growth in the community."
According to officials with Your Chamber Connections, since it became involved in Tyler, organizing the membership drive, the chamber has brought in 2,163 new members and $479,313 in revenue.
That money goes to support the chamber's mission and programs for the community, said Kim Morris, assistant vice president of marketing and communications for the Tyler Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Business Editor Casey Murphy contributed to this story.