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2014 Strategic Business Plan Leading Longview. People. Place. Prosperity.


Leading Longview Peo ple . Pl ace . Prospe r it y.

Our initiative is to achieve a stronger, more sustainable and prosperous local economy and improved quality of life in Longview.


Longview. People. Place. Prosperity. is the Chamber’s 2014 – 2016 strategic plan – to support existing businesses while creating

jobs and the high quality opportunities Longview has to offer. By leveraging our many strengths, we believe we can improve the local economy and further enhance quality of life for Longview residents. Leading Longview gives our business leaders the framework for achieving these vital goals.” – Brad Tidwell, CEO, Citizens National Bank.

We are proud to call Longview our home. A great community in which we live, work, and play. With its small town feel and proximity to larger metropolitan areas, Longview truly encompasses the best of both worlds. We have made great strides in recent years to improve the business climate and promote the community to attract visitors, new residents and new employers. Our community is blessed with a group of dedicated leaders committed to improving Longview’s future. There is still much to be done, however. We find ourselves today in an increasingly challenging global economy where competition is intensifying for talent and other resources. Communities around the country are working strategically to reinvent themselves. As Longview’s business leaders, we believe now is the time to aggressively leverage our assets and capabilities and become further united in our pursuit of a more prosperous community. With this in mind, we are excited to announce Leading Longview. People. Place. Prosperity. to position our economy for business growth, attract and retain talent, and increase community opportunities. The goals, strategies, and objectives contained within this plan are achievable. Working together, we can move Longview aggressively forward. Please join us in supporting this exciting and important Longview Chamber strategic plan. With your leadership and commitment, the Longview area will be stronger and more prosperous for generations to come.

Brad Tidwell, Chairman of the Board

Kelly Hall, President/CEO


2014 Longview Chamber of Commerce

Officers, Directors & Appointed Directors Brad Tidwell

Brett Lindig

Jill Bayless

John Ray

Citizens National Bank

SYSCO Food Services of East Texas, LLC

Longview Regional Medical Center

Lively Cadillac GMC

Ken Cunningham

Keith Honey

Kara Bolster

Tim Vaughn

AEP Southwestern Electric Power Company


Good Shepherd Health System

TVaughn Builders LLC

Dr. Dale Lunsford

Kelly Hall

Pat Britton

Darwin Winfield

Longview Chamber of Commerce

Eastman Chemical Company

Atmos Energy

Roy Eon

Jim Barron

David Hayes

Joe Bob Joyce

Texas Bank and Trust


Hayes RV Center



Chairman Elect of the Board

Immediate Past Chairman & Vice Chairman

Vice Chairman

Vice Chairman








LeTourneau University

Chairman of Finance




Appointed Director

Our Strengths & Opportunities The Longview area has several strengths to capitalize on and opportunities to pursue over the next few years. Leveraging our strengths and preparing for these opportunities will create business growth and prosperity for all who call Longview “home.”



• Listed by the Milken Institute as one of the Top 10 Best-Performing Small Cities (2012); rated in 6th place among U.S. cities.

• Attract and retain skilled workers and degreed individuals in the

• Diversified economy with comparable share of employment in education, health services, government, manufacturing, and retail.

• Job growth in construction, while relatively flat the last couple of

• Wage increases have been accelerating over the last few years.

in new housing development and growth in the area.

• The area’s economic base is diversified with manufacturing, professional services, oil & gas, construction, healthcare, education, and retail. • Jobs in mining and supporting industries have expanded in Longview. • Proximity to Dallas and Shreveport.

area to meet the workforce needs of businesses. years, should be primed for a resurgence, which creates an up-tick

• Leverage existing high-tech companies to create an incubator or offer technical skills training through partnerships and expertise from the local college and university.

• Growth in the area will expand the tax base which could create more government services for Longview area residents.

• Collaborations on redevelopment/revitalization initiatives to revamp the downtown district will bring new businesses to Longview and increased activity by residents.

Front Row (left to right): Lisa Null, Chelle Brown, Diana Northcutt, Carrie Fisher, Missy Saunders, Leska Parker, Elaine Reynolds, Paul Anderson Back Row: Mary Whitton, Kayla Cantey, Kelly Hall, Margie Harris


2014 Longview Chamber of Commerce

Your Chamber Staff

Kelly Hall, CCE IOM

Carrie Fisher

Director of First Impressions

Leska Parker, CMP





Paul Anderson

Margie Harris

Elaine Reynolds

Senior Vice President, Director of Communications 903-237-4041


Vice President, Special Event Operations 903-237-4040

Chelle Brown

Diana Northcutt

Melissa Saunders




Kayla Cantey

Lisa Null

Mary Whitton




Director of Entrepreneurship & Advocacy

Convention Meetings and Main Street Manager


Tourism Services Manager

Director of Development

Retail Development Coordinator

Membership Services Coordinator

Business Development & Special Events Director

Community Development Director

Overview After analyzing Longview’s economic environment, strengths and weaknesses, and the needs of the business community, we are proud to present our Strategic Plan for Leading Longview. People. Place. Prosperity. Longview needs to ensure the next wave of economic progress. We recognize that our local economy will need to rely on attracting new employers and enticing existing businesses to fuel growth. Businesses of all sizes will need to be bold and entrepreneurial to seize growth opportunities. The Longview Chamber is committed to being a driving force and reaching out to other partners in our region and state to develop an

There are also a number of strategic concerns that we, as a resource for community prosperity, must address to ensure accomplishment of our stated mission. These strategic concerns include: • Developing Quality of Place (zero-in on actionable things). • Promoting leaders that represent the community. • Expanding leadership programs (nurture young leaders).

environment that cultivates business growth and increased economic opportunities.

• Strengthening public/private partnerships.

Leading Longview. People. Place. Prosperity. The strategic plan for the Chamber was

• Diversifying membership – importance of diverse points of view.

developed through the efforts of the Board of Directors as they embarked upon a new two “Big Questions” that they believe must be addressed in defining the roles and

• Determining the Chamber’s primary roles (non-duplicative, key areas).

responsibilities of the Chamber.

• Effectively executing ongoing advocacy.

Our “Big Questions”

• Sharing best practices between members.

3-year strategic plan. During the initial planning discussions, board members identified

1. Why does the Chamber exist? 2. What is the Chamber’s role in shaping Longview’s future?

Other questions worth considering also included, “How can the Chamber’s leadership initiatives assist in achieving the community’s goals?” and “What is the Chamber’s role in attracting, supporting, and retaining young families in Longview (professional and skills-trade)?” Implementing this plan will require a long-term commitment, as building a strong entrepreneurial community will take time and patience. Success will not be easy to gauge or achieve. The plan is designed to provide a clear strategic direction for the organization. It is not meant to be static. Instead, it is made to be flexible, responding to lessons learned and emerging issues. Each year, the Chamber staff will develop a business plan with tactics to advance the strategies.



Mission Statement To engage in and promote projects that have a positive economic impact on the Longview Trade Area.

Leading Longview. People. Place. Prosperity. is a three-year initiative to promote our assets, strengthen our existing businesses and business opportunities, and

Vision Statement

significantly improve the economic future for all who call the Longview Area home.

To be recognized as an effective resource, providing relevant, innovative, and impactful programming that ensures a healthy business climate and an enhanced quality of life for Longview and Gregg County.

Represent the interests of the business community at the local, state,

CORE IDEOLOGY AND VALUES CORE IDEOLOGY • We believe that together we can have a stronger voice and influence positive outcomes. • We believe Longview is a great place live and work. • We believe that together we can develop leaders to shape Longview’s future.

CORE VALUES Strengthen the local economy by researching and providing available resources to grow our local businesses.

Promote the community by marketing Longview as a destination for new businesses, tourists, active older adults, and potential employees.

Provide networking opportunities by organizing and hosting a myriad of seminars, events, etc. for our Chamber members. Represent the interests of business with government by building relationships with governmental agencies and effectively voicing the needs of area businesses.

Build community-wide leadership by encouraging and developing a shared vision for the future of Longview and collectively influencing stakeholders to make it happen.


Where We’re Going ADVOCACY

and federal levels by advocating for issues of importance to economic and business development.

BUSINESS ATTRACTION AND RETENTION Continue to target to fill retail and commercial gaps. Work with existing businesses to ensure they continue to thrive in the Longview area and provide employment opportunities for the county’s citizens.

IMPROVE PERCEPTIONS Collaborate with other organizations to attract and retain a skilled workforce by leveraging Longview’s assets.

ENHANCE VALUE FOR SMALL BUSINESS AND ENTREPRENEURS Promote innovative practices, new business formation, and opportunities for business growth.

MEMBER SERVICES Provide membership benefits and services that give our members an operational and financial competitive advantage.

SKILLED WORKFORCE Lead, coordinate, and support activities that produce a globally competitive, educated, and skilled labor force and that provide quality employment opportunities.

How We’re Going to Get There Our Priority Areas

Advocacy/Legislative Affairs • Community Development • Economic DevelopmenT

Tourism Development • Organizational Sustainability 7

PRIORITY 1: Advocacy

Henry & Peters, P.C. Certified Public Accountants

“Advocating the business perspective on key issues is a basic and vital function of the Longview Chamber of Commerce. The voice of business is much louder when amplified through the combined voice of over 1,100 members and 45,000 employees. With the new LBPAC in place, we are moving to an even higher and more focused and concentrated level of advocacy on behalf of our members.”

Overall Goal: Member since: 1998 Number of EmployeeS: 97 total employees with offices in Longview and Tyler Highlight of 2013: Henry & Peters, P.C. received national recognition from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants as one of the 500 largest firms in the United States, out of 44,000 in the nation. Our firm has experienced significant growth over the last few years, which includes expansion of our Longview staff and facility. Our Longview office will finish 2013 with more than double the staff and space that we had at the beginning of the year. This expansion will allow us to provide additional services to our clients in the Longview area while still allowing us to provide the quality service, accessibility, and the personal touch that we value as a local firm. Why we are a member OF THE LONGVIEW CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: Our firm was established in Tyler in 1929 and expanded into Longview in 1997. We have a long history of involvement in both communities. We joined the Longview Chamber of Commerce to ensure that we had our fingers on the pulse of the business community and the related needs of the Longview economy in order to properly plug our people into areas of involvement and service that can help make a difference in this great community. We live here and work here, and we want Longview to be the very best that it can be. — Rodney Overman and the Longview Management Team


Promote and protect the interests of our Longview area businesses.

Keith Honey External Affairs Manager AEP-Southwestern Electric Company

Strategy 1: Influence public policy on specific local issues through the LBPAC. 2014 Objectives • Create an understanding of the purpose of the LBPAC. • Define key issues to be advocated by the LBPAC. • Create and execute on the deliverables of the LBPAC. • Create a sustainable funding mechanism for the LBPAC. Strategy 2: Influence public policy at all levels of government. 2014 Objectives • Stay abreast of rules, regulations and ordinances that impact business. • Collect input from members on issues that impact them. • Educate and inform members to create and act on well-considered public policy. • Foster partnerships with other entities (Government, LEDCO, SBDC, etc.) to protect interests of business. • Serve as the voice of business with local, state and federal policymakers. • Develop and implement a legislative scorecard.

PRIORITY 2: community development “Longview is a community of hospitable people located in the most beautiful region of Texas, the nation’s center of economic opportunity. What a solid foundation on which to build a unique quality of life! The business community through the Chamber can lead the way in crafting a vision for the future of Longview.”

Overall Goal: Develop leaders that help to enhance the quality of life in our community.

Dr. Dale Lunsford President

The Made-Rite Company

LeTourneau University

Strategy 1: Provide leadership development opportunities and training for both business and civic involvement. 2014 Objectives • Continue Leadership Longview. • Continue support for Leadership Longview alumni. • Execute Young Entrepreneurs Academy. • Continue to provide opportunities to build strong local networks. Strategy 2: Lead the revitalization, development and promotion of downtown Longview. 2014 Objectives • Execute on the Urban Main Street Contract. • Create and implement a comprehensive plan to transition downtown Longview into a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly urban village offering products, services, arts and entertainment that better reflects our community’s rich and diverse heritage. • Continue to promote signature events in the downtown area to attract visitorship. Strategy 3: Continue to practice economic inclusion by encouraging participation from Longview’s diverse business community. 2014 Objectives • Continue to benchmark best practices from other communities. • Plan for the Chamber’s 100th birthday celebration in 2016. • Continue to organize and promote participation in annual InterCity Visits.

MEMBER SINCE: 1955 NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 115 HIGHLIGHT OF 2013: The highlight of 2013 for The Made-Rite Company is the introduction of the Doc’s brand honoring our Great Grandfather and Made-Rite’s founder Nathaniel Currier “Doc” Mathewson. We are currently expanding a test of Doc’s Chill Shoppe Frozen Carbonated beverages from 4 to 15 East Texas stores. Coming soon will be Doc’s Soda Shoppe Fountain beverages. Both lines of Doc’s will feature old fashion beverages sweetened with cane sugar that are reminiscent of what you would have been served at my grandfather’s pharmacy that open over 100 years ago on the square in Marshall, Texas. We are also very proud of last year’s opening of the Jack M. Mann Splash Pad at Lear Park. It has been a great success for and addition to the community. We ask everyone to join us in its continued development. WHY WE ARE A MEMBER OF THE LONGVIEW CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: The Made-Rite Company’s and my family’s roots in East Texas are deep. As fourth generation business owners, we take the long view and look at the big picture. For over 100 years we have prospered as East Texas has prospered. The Longview Chamber of Commerce is also focused on the long-term development and success of Longview and the region. While the Chamber can offer members many short-term benefits like networking opportunities and training classes, it is the Chamber’s excellent work on long-term growth that keeps us a member. — Jack Mann, Jr., Rick Matte, and Nat Mann


PRIORITY 3: economic Development


Member since: 2006 Number of employees: 8 + Staff highlight of 2013: We feel that our growth and success in 2013 was from the direct result of hard working and dedicated employees that we have at East Texas Shredding. In 2012, we added a marketing and social media rep to our staff. This has played an important part in the enhancement of our growth in the marketing and education of the documentation destruction industry. “East Texas Shredding looks forward to the different opportunities such as the Annual Business Expo and Business After Hours provided by the Chamber to network with other East Texas Businesses. Being proactive by taking advantage of these opportunities contributes to the success of our business, helping to take us to the next level.” — Donna Smith and Sandy Miers

“The Longview Chamber of Commerce understands that a community is only as strong as its ability to support the well-being of its residents. We believe the most critical part of our mission is to help facilitate and support the growth of our local and regional economy. With economic growth comes more jobs, a growing and diverse tax base, commercial and retail development and an improving education system and quality of life for our residents.”

Overall Goal: Create a stronger, more sustainable and prosperous local economy.

Brad Tidwell CEO Citizens National Bank

Strategy 1: Remain the lead organization for entrepreneurial activity. 2014 Objectives • Continue to provide signature events to celebrate Longview entrepreneurs. • Continue to provide education and support for existing enterprises. Strategy 2: Grow retail/commercial development in Longview. 2014 Objectives • Increase the Longview/Gregg County tax base. • Enhance and expand “I Shop Longview.” • Design, develop, and implement a year-round marketing and advertising initiative to enhance the visibility of Longview businesses. • Foster relationships with realtors, property owners, and economic development partners. Strategy 3: Market Longview as a destination to live, work and play. 2014 Objectives • Continue to identify cutting-edge opportunities to support workforce development initiatives. • Continue to engage the workforce in two-way conversations on key community issues. • Continue to provide in-house and online workforce development training. • Continue to collaborate with LEDCO.


PRIORITY 4: TOUriSM Development “Tourism brings vitality and dynamism to cities and is a key economic driver to many. Numerous cities have shown it can play an important role in terms of employment, income and maintenance of urban infrastructure and public services. Longview, situated in beautiful East Texas, has a lot to offer and the Chamber’s focus on tourism development is an important ongoing initiative.”

Overall Goal: Establish the Longview area as the desired destination for visitors.


Roy Eon Texas Bank and Trust

Strategy 1: Market Longview as a destination. 2014 Objectives • Execute on the Convention and Visitors Bureau contract. • Continue to participate in state and regional CVB meetings. • Foster relationships with other tourism groups/agencies. • Create a marketing plan to promote the Longview area and attract visitors. • Develop and distribute marketing materials. • Attend travel shows to promote Longview. • Manage the community calendar. • Fulfill visitors’ requests about Longview attractions and activities. • Bring in SMERF group meetings. • Service conventions. Strategy 2: Demonstrate the value of marketing initiatives. 2014 Objectives • Conduct economic impact studies/reports. • Collect feedback from tourism groups, agencies, and SMERF coordinators.

MEMBER SINCE: September 2006 NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 30 HIGHLIGHT OF 2013: 2013 was a year of significant expansion and accomplishment for Network Communications. In addition to adding miles of new fiber optic network infrastructure in Longview and the surrounding areas, we have successfully delivered Gigabit ultra high-speed services to areas within Longview that were previously underserved or unserved. Those enterprises we serve, until now, have had to run business on a lower-class of telecommunications and Internet service, putting them at a competitive disadvantage. They are now on a level-playing field with other businesses, even businesses in larger cities like Houston and the DFW metroplex. WHY WE ARE A MEMBER OF THE LONGVIEW CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: Network Communications’ mission is to provide excellent telecommunications and Internet service to businesses within our local communities in and surrounding Longview. Our chamber membership helps us connect with those business owners and provides learning opportunities which help us better understand their needs now and in the future. — Ron Hutchison


PRIORITY 5: ORGANIZATIONAL SUSTAINABILITY Overall Goal: Position the organization and the staff for long-term success.

AAON Coil Products, inc. MEMBER SINCE: 1986 NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 300 HIGHLIGHT OF 2013: AAON received the Bronze Award for Product of the Year, given by Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine, for the SB Series self-contained units. This is a prestigious industry award and recognizes the emphasis AAON puts on innovation and expertise in its offerings for the HVAC market. WHY WE ARE A MEMBER OF THE LONGVIEW CHAMBER OF COMMERCE:

• • • • • • • •

Increase our visibility in and advocacy of the community. The chamber provides ways for AAON to sponsor events and give back to our community. Gain a voice in government. The local chamber takes on the tough issues and opposes new regulations, taxes, fees, assessments and costs directed at small businesses. It also helps protect the principles of free enterprise and aids businesses like AAON. Make business contacts. The chamber’s most fundamental mission is to generate more business activity for the community. The chamber initiates more business-to-business commerce and more opportunities for networking and connecting local professionals than is available through most other local organizations. Ongoing training and education. By bringing in local, regional or nationally known experts on different topics, the Longview Chamber of Commerce delivers timely programs at an affordable price. By spreading costs among fellow members through registration fees and sponsorships, members can stay updated, informed and educated at a bargain price.

— Sam Neale


Strategy 1: Strive for Operational Excellence. 2014 Objectives • Provide cutting-edge technology to achieve increased productivity, efficiency and effectiveness. • Protect and improve the Chamber facilities to create a safe and efficient work environment and to provide a warm and welcoming environment for visitors. • Attract and retain executive level Chamber professionals and support team members. • Continue to invest in professional development opportunities to enhance staff skills. Strategy 2: Remain the lead in convening key stakeholders to drive Longview’s future. 2014 Objectives • Maintain the Board’s role and effectiveness in developing a strong vision for the Chamber’s long-term sustainability. • Elevate our Board’s leadership role in representing members through civic discussions and community engagement. • Grow the organization’s effectiveness, influence and sustainability through collaboration and partnerships. Strategy 3: Remain the number one choice as THE SOLUTION LEADER for access and resources for Longview area businesses. 2014 Objectives • Determine best practices in Chamber membership investment levels and benefits. • Continue to engage a new generation of business leaders. • Continue to strengthen relationships with key stakeholder organizations.

The Chamber Twitters and Other Social Networking

Summary To be successful, we need leadership as well as involvement from a broad base of community leaders. The Longview Chamber of Commerce will provide

The Chamber of Commerce continues to embrace technology to remain relevant to Chamber members, community leaders, and volunteers. In addition to regularly updating the website, the Chamber is also engaged in the social media networking sites Facebook, Word Press, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.

Staying Connected

the staffing and overall management of this plan, but the execution of these priority goals and the opportunity to succeed rests with leaders who will be the ambassadors of Longview.

LinkedIn The Longview Chamber of Commerce 100 Acres of Heritage Main Street

This plan is distinguished by its aggressiveness, transparency and commitment to evaluating its progress by established benchmarks. This plan will be achieved through strong leadership, dedication, and broad collaboration. We will know which goals we are achieving and which need more attention, but we need your

Facebook Fan Pages Longview Chamber of Commerce Main Street Convention & Visitors Bureau

leadership to make it happen. Leading Longview. People. Place. Prosperity.

Join our efforts to Lead Longview.




410 N. Center St. • Longview, TX 75601 • 903.237.4000 • Fax 903.237.4049

LCOC 2014 Strategic Business Plan  

Our initiative is to achieve a stronger, more sustainable and prosperous local economy and improved quality of life in Longview, Texas.

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