Letter from the 2021 President

The month was May, Friday the 26th, the year, 1995…the location, Katy, TX—Gulf Coast Chamber Executives (GCCE) was being hosted that month by the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce. Six months after I began my career as president of the Greater Tomball Area Chamber of Commerce I attended my very first GCCE meeting. If only I had listened to my predecessor, Diane Holland, who had encouraged me to make GCCE priority #1 from day 1!

Let me tell you, on May 26, 1995, I met the nicest, most genuine people in the world—chamber execs and their staffs—and each knew exactly how I felt—most days as if no one understood me and the work I do—because in most all situations, there is only one chamber of commerce per city or community and no one else for miles and miles around understands chamber business and can relate to its challenges, frustrations and celebrations all mixed into one job quite like a colleague,a fellow chamber executive. When I left Katy that day and headed back to Tomball, I had absolute jubilation within myself, like I had been to a pep rally! Automatically, I discovered new friends and confidants, a source for creative ideas, and wisdom as to how to best operate a chamber, and so, so much more – all at that very first GCCE meeting in Katy!! I have never forgotten my first experience with GCCE and I promise you I never will!

26 years later, I make GCCE a priority, every fourth Friday of the month. You can find a 2021 meeting calendar on this site. Believe me, I meet new chamber professionals at every GCCE meeting and take pages of notes when it comes to hearing valuable reports from the US Chamber of Commerce, the Texas Association of Business (TAB), Texas Chamber of Commerce Executives (TCCE) while all the more learning from veteran execs and staffs as to what’s hot and what’s not PLUS do’s and don’ts and happenings at chambers of commerce in our Gulf Coast Region.

Life is all about relationships. GCCE develops and stimulates relationships and has since 1959! I am a much, much better chamber professional today because of GCCE!

So, don’t wait…take this as my inviation, as your 2021 GCCE president, to make GCCE a priority in your monthly chamber life and consider GCCE as professional development- AND a pep rally –because it will absolutely benefit you in your role at your chamber—and your board of directors and member partners will believe you are a genius!

I look forward to seeing you soon and often!

Bruce Hillegeist, IOM
President, Greater Tomball Area Chamber of Commerce
BruceH@TomballChamber.org
281-782-1408 mobile

President – Bruce Hillegeist
Tomball Area Chamber (281/351-7222)
bruceh@tomballchamber.org

Vice President – Matthew Ferraro
Katy Chamber of Commerce (281/391-5289)
matthew@katychamber.com

Secretary – Shannan Reid
Montgomery Area Chamber (936/597-5004)
admin@montgomeryareachamber.com

Treasurer – Dwan Clayborn
League City Chamber (281/338-7339)
dewan@leaguecitychamber.com

Managing Consultant – Tracey Wheeler
Baytown Chamber (281/422-8359)
tracey@baytownchamber.com