Hall elected President of Liberty Hill Chamber
By WAYLON CUNNINGHAM
Rick Hall became the new president of the Liberty Hill Chamber of Commerce earlier this month.
Hall comes into the position at a time of rapid expansion for the Chamber. As typical in most cities, the Chamber affiliates local businesses in a common association, and as the town grows, so does the Chamber.
In 2015, the organization had 86 business members. By the start of 2017, that number has increased to 201 businesses.
“I want to make sure we’re matching Liberty Hill’s growth every step of the way, we need to keep all our bases covered,” Hall said.
Already the number of members on the Chamber’s board—which orchestrates its various programs, events, and services— has seen changes in the past year reflecting the sudden influx of entrepreneurs to the area.
“Up until this year, we’ve only run the Board with six board members, and some of those members co-shared committee jobs. Now, we have nine full board members. We’ve added additional committee members and subcommittee heads to give relief to the board members. So we have more people working in the Chamber to help build up businesses.”
Members of the Executive Board were elected by board members Jan. 6. In addition to Hall, Debi Johnston from the Dahlia Cafe continues as the Treasurer, and The Liberty Hill Independent’s Shelly Wilkison was elected Vice President.
Pastor Stephen Apt of Peace Lutheran Church continues in his role as the Ambassadors Committee chair, and Sabrina Jordan from Mary Kay Cosmetics as the Women in Business Committee chair. Elliott Scott serves as Media Committee chair and Wilkison serves as Events Committee chair. David Bednarek of Classic Bank now serves as chair of the Programs Committee, which Hall headed until June 2016.
Hall replaces Steve Tatro as Chamber President.
Hall says another change members can expect in the coming year is more “after hour events,” meaning dinner events held after traditional closing time for most businesses.
“Last year was the first time we tried doing an event after hours, and it was a huge success. We had amazing turnout,” he said.
The evening “Membership Drive Kick-Off” held last Nov. 3rd offered attendants wine, cheese, and other small appetizers. Those who brought prospective members were entered into a raffle with the chance to win $200.
Hall said he wants to do three or four this year, beginning first with the “Chamboree” on Feb. 11th.
“For the past eight or nine years, we’ve wanted to do this, but we’ve never had the resources or income to do it. Now it’s different. And we’d like to give back to some members that have made this possible. We’ll be doing awards, appreciation, and enjoying a great dinner.”
Hall said that the Chamber will continue to grow as necessary to keep up with the growth in accordance with their mission, which is, as their website reads, “to promote the prosperity of local businesses by enhancing the quality of life in Liberty Hill and encouraging community leadership and involvement.”
In practice, that mission takes the shape of initiatives aimed at promoting the member businesses to the local public, and facilitating stronger ties between the business owners.
Depending on the level of membership, the Chamber can give businesses a listing in their online business directory, advertising discounts with Liberty Hill Living community magazine, permission to use Chamber branding, member-to-member discounts, networking opportunities, website advertising, additional ways to promote job openings, and more.
Hall says one of the Chamber’s most popular initiatives is the “Lunch & Learn,” an event typically held on the fourth Thursday of every month that invites members to congregate to eat lunch and hear from speakers.
“The Chamber looks for people who might be able to help our members increase their businesses. That might mean help with social media, help with advertising, or just help with getting the word out to the public when they have specials going on.”
The speaker for the upcoming Lunch & Learn, which will be held at the Fellowship Church Annex on Jan. 26th, features Steve Reilly.
Reilly is the owner and co-founder of ReillyCo Advertising, which the Chamber website says, “specializes in Promotional Products, Corporate Apparel, Trade Show Materials and Awards and Recognition items.”
Registration for the event is $10 for members and $15 for non-members.
To learn more about the Liberty Hill Chamber of Commerce, visit www.libertyhillchamber.org. Visitors may purchase tickets online for the Liberty Hill Chamboree and other events hosted by the organization.