The Baytown Chamber Today – Tracey S. Wheeler, President & CEO
You have probably heard that question asked at one time or another and you may have wondered about it yourself. It is a legitimate question and many people – including those to whom the Chamber is very important – have no real concept of exactly what our Chamber of Commerce is, how it works or what it is for.
There are, in fact, a lot of misconceptions about the Chamber. For example, there are those who believe the Chamber gathers statistics, prints nice brochures, visits new businesses, answers inquiries, sells maps, provides phone books and advertises what a great place Baytown is to live, work and visit.
They are right about this up to a point. We do all those things. All of those jobs are important, and we are proud to do them. But they aren’t why the Chamber is here. They are fringe benefits for the community, the things we do as a matter of routine because they need doing and we are good at them.
The primary functions of the Chamber go far deeper than those niceties. The Chamber of Commerce is a catalyst – a common vehicle through which business and professional people work together for the common good of the community.
A better community means better business conditions, and we work for a better community for everyone. That is why we do what we do. This brings us back to the original question: What do we do? There is one reason for the Chamber to exist…to do whatever is necessary to keep Baytown’s economic condition at a level where business will risk their resources here in hope of making a profit. Everything else is “icing on the cake”.
In any community, it is from the profitable operations of business that all other benefits are derived. Only by succeeding in this fundamental goal can we provide the jobs and produce the wealth to finance all the governmental, civic, educational, cultural and charitable needs that our community is faced with daily.
That leaves one final question: Who is this “we” that does all this? The answer is Chamber members – all of your business and professional friends who are Chamber members. These individuals provide the ideas, the drive, the goals, the funds and the voluntary services to keep the Chamber doing what it does. Remember that Chamber membership is voluntary – not mandatory. These business and professional people choose to invest their dollars and their time for the benefit of our community.
We need the confidence that it can be done in our community. We need to be available to do it, and if we can, and if we do, we will be accountable to the coming generations who will be the true judges of what we do today.
We welcome all who wish to assist the Baytown Chamber in its efforts to enhance the quality of life and economic conditions of our community to join the Chamber. Come join us and become a part of Baytown’s future.