Friday, July 18, 2008
In the July Board of Directors meeting, the Board voted unanimously to send the following Resolution to the property owners of Starbucks and to the Starbucks ownership in Seattle:
R E S O L U T I O N
WHERE AS, the Starbucks of Rockport is located on a major thoroughfare in the city across from one of the most scenic areas in the county, and
WHERE AS, the Rockport-Fulton area is a tourist destination where people from across the state, nation and world visit for extended vacations as well as getaway weekends, and
WHERE AS, a tourist’s perception of the area is tarnished by the existence of vacated commercial buildings, especially on key thoroughfares, and
WHERE AS, the Rockport-Fulton Area Chamber of Commerce is the voice of Aransas County’s business community, as well as the promoter of the local tourist trade,
BE IT RESOLVED the Rockport-Fulton Area Chamber of Commerce requests the management of Starbucks reconsider its decision to close the Rockport store. If the decision to close this store is not reversed, we request Starbucks’ management and/or owners of the building actively seek a replacement tenant.
Members are encouraged to please take a minute and call 1-800-235-2883 and voice your displeasure with this closing.
We'll keep you posted!
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
As the Board of Directors of the Rockport-Fulton Area Chamber of Commerce begin to set the stage for the coming year, a planning session "retreat" is held. This year's retreat was July 7 and 8. Monday evening began with a "get to know you" wine tasting followed by opening remarks from the 2008-09 Chairman of the Board Richard Bianchi. He reflected on three main areas of importance to him in the coming year. The areas discussed were: the economy of the Rockport-Fulton area, membership dues, services and benefits and funding aspects of the new building. The group then spent one and a half hours of discussion group exercises. The retreat was faciliated by Board Member Don Sheets.
Economy Discussion Session
This discussion really focused on everyone needing to stay positive about our local economy. Sales taxes are up. Occupancy taxes are up. Retail business is good and in some cases showing record numbers. Refineries around us are booming. Bank deposits are up. Having the right attitude is the key to getting through a tough time. Business seems to be slowing down with businesses selling high dollar items due to the uncertainty of the economy. More discussion followed on the tourism, marketing and the promotion aspect of our community.
Membership Dues, Services and Benefits
This discussion focused on what "value" the member is getting from the Chamber. What are areas of the Chamber that can encourage more member involvement. How can we create more networking experiences within our existing events. The importance of the individual member was discussed. What retention programs are in place to keep members a part of the Chamber. Discussion followed on ways every aspect of the Chamber can benefit the member. Lots of discussin followed on ways to get members focused on buying from other Chamber members.
The next and last discussion focused on the new building project for a visitor center and chamber office. The questions discussed were "What will a new building do for our community and our members? Is the Venue Tax a possible funding meganism for the visitor center? The visitor center should be an attraction within itself. (i.e. history, birding center, fishing, etc.) The group discussion also focused on available property and if a donor of land was available. It was suggested that a survey of the membership be done to get input from the membership and the public.
The next day began with a welcome and strategic direction from our Chairman. He talked about strength in numbers, narrowing down our focus, not limiting our ideas, open our thoughts and minds, think about how business benefits, learn about how our retirees can contribute, instead of saying "heads in beds" say "taxes in the coffers", communicate through and through our organization and lastly, be mindful of the economy in every action that we do, get involved in the membership event and help us get this new building or never mention it again!
Diane Probst, President/CEO then asked for adjustments to the mission statement. The mission statement was changed to "The mission of the Rockport-Fulton Area Chamber of Commerce is to work in partnership with businesses, individuals and governmental entities to promote commerce and tourism while maintaining and enhancing the environment. She reflected on five accomplishments for the year: growing reserve fund, technologically advancing, internally strengthening, and recognition on the state level. The next two hours were spent with 15 committee chairs presenting their action plan for the year.
Don Sheets then reviewed how everyone needs to meet on a quarterly basis to stay on point. He stressed the importance of "unity" and "communication" in our organization.
Chairman Richard Bianchi closed the retreat by thanking everyone for their participation. A Strategic Goals and Program of Work "Action Plan" will be presented for approval in the August 19 Board of Directors meeting.