The Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce highlighted the past year and kicked off 2019 by unveiling its new branding at their Annual Banquet Tuesday night.
“2018 was a banner year,” said Dr. Tim Magner, president of the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce. “Your chamber represents more than 1,400 businesses. It is the largest business organization in our region.”
The chamber capped off its meeting with a surprise unveiling of its new marketing and branding during the event held at Sam’s Town Hotel and Casino. The shape of the Greater Shreveport Chamber’s new mark is comprised of five arrow points focusing inward to form a star. The star is constructed in this way to demonstrate that Shreveport is a destination, a hub at the confluence of air, river, rail, major interstates and scenic state highways. Each is represented by a different colored arrow or the varied white spaces between the arrows. The star also represents how diverse parts can work together to make something great! The range of investors and community partners who work with the Chamber, represent a breadth of people and interests.
“Our Chamber has been around for more than 100 years and is an institution with a historic past and an impressive list of accomplishments,” said Dr. Magner. “But while we honor the past, it is also our responsibility to look forward, to pursue our mission with vigor and to serve as a catalyst for our community’s future. As we work to create that future, we recognized that it was time for a new look. One that reflects our renewed focus, communicates the energy we possess, highlights the goals we seek and moves us into the next decade.”
Several awards were also presented at the banquet, including Business Leader of the Year which was awarded to John Beaird, of Beaird Properties.
“Some of the things you need to be a successful business leader are great family support…support of a team of experts, who are the professionals you surround yourself with…Being a good client. I want to listen to them and heed their advice,” said Beaird. “The largest challenge facing our community — and until we surmount this challenge, we will never be what we could be — is exemplified by the fact that for our size and ethnicity, Shreveport and northwest Louisiana has the widest gap of incomes between whites and blacks of any community in the country. When we can meet that challenge by not bringing the top half down, but by bringing the other half up…Then we’ll be on a trajectory where you can’t stop us.”
The North Louisiana Ready2Work Champion Award went to the Hilton Shreveport management team for their efforts to integrate ACT WorkKeys into their hiring process.
“ACT WorkKeys are skills that are critically important. Many students are already taking these tests,” said Dr. Magner. “Many employers have responded by adopting WorkKeys into their hiring and promotion process.”
The event showcased the past year’s wins in the fields of promoting the economy, advocating for local businesses, and celebrating member achievements.
These included the Procurement Technical Assistance Center helping 823 businesses get more than $112M in government contracts, hosting the Facebook Small Business Seminar, joining partners to spearhead the ACT WorkKeys Initiative, holding two MPC town halls and three mayoral forums, and advocating in Baton Rouge for a new entrance to Barksdale and expansion of local casinos’ capabilities among other feats.
The chamber welcomed its new chairman with the passing of the gavel from Steve Roop to Patrick Harrison.
“As a business owner myself, I have always trusted the chamber to fight in Baton Rouge and Washington DC on behalf of businesses,” said Harrison. “As our priority, we resolve to move forward the last section of I-49 as it is vital to the growth of our city. We will work with new city leaders and stay engaged with city and parish leaders to help them accomplish their goals. We will continue to have open dialogue with Caddo Parish School System, provide support to local medical providers and help LSU Health create a robust environment. We will work with Barksdale Air Force Base as they face their challenges. We will work with local state economic development foundations to help bring businesses to northwest Louisiana.”
As he handed off the gavel, Roop said he feels like the chamber is getting better and better every year.
“I want to tell you as investors, we decided we weren’t going to sit around and have someone pronounce us as relevant, we were going to roll up our sleeves. I would challenge you as businesses to look at the investment you’re making. We’re not sitting back, we have stepped into the fray,” Roop said.
He also received the Barksdale Air Force Base Appreciation Award at the banquet.
“We appreciate Barksdale. Shreveport is very proud of having created Barksdale Field. You’re so important to our community and economy. It’s a privilege to represent Barksdale,” Roop said.
Company milestones were celebrated at the event including Highland Clinic marking its 75th anniversary, Ardaman & Associates reaching 50 years in business, and a slew of local businesses celebrating their 25th anniversary. These included:
- Bayou State Oil Corp.
- Bradley Murchison Kelly & Shea
- Clutch & Drive Shaft
- Distribution Center
- Gerard Associates
- Horsehoe Casino & Hotel
- Jason’s Deli
- John Harvey Toyota/Lexus
- Jones Environmental
- Loksafe Door hardware & Services
- LSUHSC Rehabilitation Faculty Clinic
- Magee Resource Group
- On Hold Marketing Services
- Pilot Travel Centers
- Roach Plumbing & Heating
- Youngblood & Hodges CPAs