Rambler Newspapers

Serving Irving, Coppell and Grand Prairie

Irving-Las Colinas Chamber Meeting Celebrates Successful Year

Irving — Business leaders and influencers gathered to celebrate business development gains made over the past year. The Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce held its annual meeting in the Westin Convention Center on Thursday, Oct. 24.

“As we wrap up our fiscal year, I’m pleased to say it’s been another very productive and successful year,” Beth Bowman, president and CEO of the chamber, said. “The chamber is wrapping up its first year of its five-year strategic plan, Powering Progress–For you. Through you. With you.

“The Irving Economic Development Partnership, which is a strategic collaboration of the city of Irving, the Irving Convention and Visitors Bureau, along with private business industry, exists to fuel business growth, promote new capital investment, create high-quality jobs and improve overall quality of life.”

Some of the statistics Bowman highlighted in her initial remarks included $465,136,564 in capital investment, and 4,783,082 square feet of office space that was leased, purchased or constructed in fiscal year 2018-2019.

In addition to statistics, Bowman spoke about programs the chamber started.

“We kicked off the workforce initiative, bridging the talent gap that will bring our businesses and education resources together to build a high quality workforce,” she said.

The chamber also reported success during the 86th Texas Legislative session. Specifically, the chamber advocated for school finance reform in House Bill 3 and renewal of the Local Provider Participation Fund (LPPF) which was passed in House Bill 2326 and allows ‘Dallas County to maximize federal matching fund for Medicaid.’

The chamber has been nationally recognized as a five star chamber of commerce.

“There are 7,000 chambers in the United States, but only 214 are officially accredited by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce,” David Pfaff, incoming board chairman, said. “Accreditation is a prestigious honor earned through an organization’s sound business practices, expertise and strong leadership.

“Of these 214 chambers, only 125 are ranked five star. To achieve a five star chamber, we must stay in step with industry changes, use the business leadership to support the principles of every free enterprise and promote pro-growth public policies at the federal, state and local levels. Five star organizations are also recognized for their outstanding contributions to the community.

“This year, I’m asking you, the business leaders, to encourage your company to do more, your employees to do more, not just in Dallas but right here in Irving-Las Colinas,” Pfaff said. “Everyone has a role to play regardless of the size your organization. What kind of personality can we bring to Irving? Let’s make it better everyday.”

R. Scott Rowe, president and CEO of Flowserve, spoke about the changes he brought to Flowserve when he first joined in 2017. It quickly became one of his missions to change the culture of Flowserve.

“We tried to open up the lines of communication,” Rowe said. “We do a lot better job of cascading information. I think our employees generally feel that they’re more informed to make better decisions, and that wasn’t the culture before.

“We always make sure we’re thinking about the impact of [policies] on the employees. It sounds incredibly basic, and I sound silly for saying that, but it wasn’t happening before.

“The third one, which is still a weakness [for us], is really understanding roles and responsibilities and documenting it. My belief is 99.9 percent of people have positive intent. They want to do the right thing, and so when things go bad, it’s usually because they don’t understand what we’re trying to accomplish. We put a lot of effort in [defining] roles and responsibilities and mapping business processes. We’re probably 60 percent of the way through that journey.”