Paul Chargois is in the home stretch of his term as Chairman of the Board.
When Paul Chargois entered office as Chairman of the Board for the Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce he asked the directors to pledge their support in accomplishing the following goals and programs for 2015.
Tell Port Arthur’s Story
Paul, using his expertise in radio and communication, took the reins for this project by creating a radio program about Port Arthur. Each week he interviews area leaders on the topic of “Doing Business in Port Arthur.” To date his guests have included the college president, school superintendent, city manager, coast guard, seafarer’s center, port, local newspaper, chamber president, chamber committee chairpersons, plant managers, chairpersons and elected officials of all levels. Although each one had a different story Paul’s goal was to direct them to explain how it affected business in Port Arthur. There is no doubt the discussions were slanted towards the positive side but some of the stories addressed correcting problems of crime, city infrastructure, leadership, job training, education opportunities and national security. The chamber understands that Port Arthur has some areas that need work but there are a lot of cities in the same shape as we are. It is easy for cities around us to wag their fingers at us. They are the same cities that exist because Port Arthur is here. That is the story Paul and the directors wanted to tell and through November they have succeeded.
Paul also pledged to move forward with Mitch Osborne’s goal of creating a strong Education Foundation dedicated to funding scholarships, special programs and teacher grants. Shortly after Paul took over he asked Mitch to chair the new Education Foundation and work towards getting it recognized as a 501c3 foundation. As of October the Foundation has been recognized by the IRS as a 501c3 and is moving ahead with plans to distribute the first Teacher Grants under the new name of Port Arthur Education Foundation. The foundation has money to distribute thanks to Dr. Monroe, Bob West and the Port Arthur News hosting a roast for Jamal Charles at the Carl Parker Center. Thanks to the hard work of this group and their committee the Foundation received a check for $21,000.00. The next step is to enroll local individuals, businesses and industry in funding this foundation to a level that allows it to meet the increasing challenges for our two Port Arthur public school Districts, PAISD and SPISD. The Foundation gives the chamber one more tool necessary to make a difference in this community.
Become recognized by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as an Accredited Chamber of Commerce
Another major goal was to become an Accredited Chamber. The Accreditation Program is a U.S.Chamber program designed to benchmark chambers of commerce. The program provides a working guideline that forces the chamber volunteers to examine all areas of the chamber including finances, staff, publishing, government, facilities and technology. Once through the process the final documents are sent to the U.S. Chamber for review. If the U.S. Chamber deems a chamber ready they can apply for further review. The results, regardless if we are accreditated is a group of volunteers that know the chamber inside and out. It will provide a guideline that the chamber to use to get stronger and more effective. One of the results of the process is the completion of a strategic plan for the chamber. This document will be our focus for the next 5 years guiding us to help our chamber and community improve.
These were the large goals of the chamber. By leading the chamber directors and chamber staff to accomplish these goals he made the chamber stronger. The purpose of the chamber is economic development. The businesses that choose to support the chamber make these successes possible. In return they not only receive the satisfaction that they were part of an organization that is making a difference in their community but they are become more visible as supporters of the community. They find a common ground to meet other community leaders resulting in good will and added clients for their own business. That is how a chamber works, through teamwork and partnerships.
If you wish to become part of this team call 409-963-1107.