Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Bossier Chamber Annual Meeting 2023: Barkley takes a look back at the accomplishments of the past year

by BIZ Magazine

2022 was an exciting year for the Bossier Chamber! I was honored to serve in the role as Chairman of the Board in a year when we were able to accomplish so much. And, this was an extra special year as we celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Chamber and threw a rousing 40s birthday party at Bossier High School to commemorate the event.

As I take a look back on the year, one of the things I am most proud to say we accomplished was collaborating with our city and parish officials on both sides of the river to push for a new, four-lane bridge across the Red River connecting south Shreveport and South Bossier. We hosted the Lt. Governor to get his support of adding the existing Jimmie Davis Bridge into the state park system as a linear park.

We hosted two new events this year: Salute to Community Heroes and State of the Community Report, which combined events from years past to give us events with a larger impact. At the Salute to Community Heroes we combined our Military Recognition Breakfast with our Patriot Awards events to have one mega event to recognize all of our heroes within the community, from our military and law enforcement to everyday heroes who give their all for our community but who aren’t celebrated as heroes nearly enough – like teachers and healthcare workers!  The State of Community Report highlighted the four largest assets within our community – Transportation, Healthcare, Defense and Energy – and presented a report to “rally the troops” to give all of us key areas to advocate for to help our area succeed.

One of my favorite Chamber events is Ribbon Cuttings. We held 63 ribbon cuttings and four groundbreakings this year. There’s nothing like celebrating a new business, a business anniversary, or a business expansion. That means business is doing well!

Closing out, our Chamber staff has always been top-notch in steering the board on the pulse of what we need to focus on each year. This year in particular, especially as we have been able to grow our staff back to full-strength after the pandemic years, our staff outdid themselves as the Bossier Chamber was named the 2022 Louisiana state Chamber of the Year in the medium size category! This was a great accomplishment, and to do it in our 75th year makes it even better. 

Did you hear about something you didn’t know the Chamber has been doing in 2022? Get involved in our committee work in 2023 to help us continue to grow our parish and region.

Eric Barkley, of Centerpoint Energy, is the outgoing chair of the Bossier Chamber of Commerce.

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