Johnson: 70th anniversary is only the start

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It’s been 70 years since the inception of the Bossier Chamber of Commerce. When those 19 local businessmen joined together to start this organization, they began a legacy of commitment, continuity, leadership and partnership for not only Bossier Parish but our region as well.

The Chamber has been located in Bossier City from its beginning, with a strong mission to advance the civic, commercial, industrial and agricultural interests of all of Bossier Parish as well as promoting the general welfare and prosperity of this great parish.

The Chamber has grown to more than 900 members, representing seven states and 37 cities within the United States.

And while the city and parish look much different today than they did in 1947, the Chamber’s commitment to its mission is the same.

There are many businesses in our region that have also shown that long-term commitment. Nine of the original charter members of the Chamber continue to be members today: AEP SWEPCO; Builders Supply Co., Inc.; Centerpoint Energy; Coca-Cola United Bottling Company; Maddox & Hughes Insurance Agency; Montgomery Agency, Inc.; Pulley-White Insurance Agency, Inc.; Red River Motor Company; and The (Shreveport) Times.

Throughout the past 70 years, the Chamber has helped, throughout its own initiatives or partnerships in the region, to start Keep Bossier Beautiful and the Military Affairs Council as well as to bring the first emergency room to Bossier Parish. In recent years, The Bossier Chamber championed the position of Military Student Transition Consultant with partners Barksdale Forward, the Cyber Innovation Center, the Greater Bossier Economic Development Foundation, and the Military Affairs Council.

The Bossier Chamber has emerged as a leader in military relations for Northwest Louisiana, earning the moniker of a Top 20 Military Friendly Chamber across America by Vetrepreneur Magazine. Now, the Chamber has taken on a new leadership role in the arena of public policy, making advocating for your business at the local, state and national level a top priority.

And, growing and sustaining Bossier Parish is a top priority, pushing the Chamber to partner with the City of Bossier City and the Bossier Parish Police Jury to begin a branding campaign to tout Bossier – #BeBossier.

Through the years, no matter what the arena, the Bossier Chamber has put its members – our local businesses – first, with a motto of connecting business to business. We know you look to us for opportunities, like networking, education,  and advocacy. And, we are up for the task.

Join us as we celebrate our first 70 years with 700 of our closest friends – YOU our members – at our Annual Gala on January 30! We are partnering with BIZ Magazine to bring you a special edition complete with bios on all of our nominees for this year’s Business of the Year and Business Person of the Year.

Lisa Johnson is president/CEO of the Bossier Chamber of Commerce.