Elected officials meet one-on-one with local businesses

When Lake Houston Area Chamber members traveled to Washington D.C. in early 2016, it wasn’t just a vacation.

The 16 Lake Houston Chamber members had a purpose: to represent the interests of Lake Houston businesses to federal officials.

And the U.S. Chamber of Commerce officials were so impressed with the preparation – the questions and concerns – that the Lake Houston members showed at their meetings with government officials that the U.S. Chamber asked the Lake Houston Chamber to serve as a model for other chambers that will visit federal officials in the future.

“We prepared for our federal visit,” Terry Vaughn said at the Elected Officials Reception on Dec. 13 at the Golf Club of Houston. Vaughn of Walgreens, also the Lake Houston Chamber’s public affairs chair, listed the committee’s 2016 accomplishments and described their intense effort to represent Lake Houston’s small businesses.

“We joined with other chambers across Texas in challenging intrusive federal regulations and we held seminars to prepare our local small businesses,” Vaughn said, “and we met with our federal representatives, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, to discuss our local businesses’ concerns.”

The Public Affairs Committee also hosted three luncheons featuring speakers of interest to local businesses: Joe Straus, speaker of the Texas House; Congressman Kevin Brady, chair of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee; and County Judge Ed Emmett, chief executive officer for Harris County.

“We’re already working on our 2017 list of priorities,” Vaughn told the group. “We have one goal: to serve and represent you.”

More than 20 elected officials or their representatives were introduced at the annual reception, including Kim Brode, representing Congressman Ted Poe; Matthew Conner, representing U.S. Senator John Cornyn; Booker Morris, representing Congressman Sheila Jackson Lee; Casey Christman, representing State Representative Dan Huberty; Ron Servis, representing Judge Ed Emmett; Precinct 2 Commissioner Jack Morman; Precinct 4 Commissioner Jack Cagle; Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman; Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace Laryssa Korduba; State District Judge Maria T. Jackson; County School Trustee Dr. Diane Trautman; Houston City Council Member Dave Martin; Humble City Mayor Merle Aaron; Humble City Council Member Norman Funderburk; and Humble ISD Trustees Robert Sitton, Nancy Morrison, Heath Rushing and Charles Cunningham.

The Chamber will celebrate 92 years of growth at the Annual Awards Extravaganza, Jan. 20, 11:30 a.m. at The Overlook in Atascocita. Board Chair Jerry Martin and the 2017 board of directors will be installed and Scott Brady, 2016 Dr. Haden McKay Citizen of the Year Award winner, will be honored.

The Chamber’s Spirit of the Chamber and Rising Star awards will be announced. For more information or to register, visit lakehouston.org or call 281-446-2128.

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