Chamber Focus | May 2024

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Small Business Makes Our Community

Temple Chamber of Commerce Staff

MAY 2024


Thursday, May 9, 2024

12:00 - 1:00 pm

Sponsored by: Young's Daugthers Funeral Home & Bereavement Center


Tuesday, May 21, 2024

11:30 am - 1:00 pm


Thursday, May 23, 2024 5:00 - 7:00 pm

Sponsored by:

Ludwick, Montgomery & Stapp, P.C. & Wings Pizza 'N Things

National Small Business Week comes to an end tomorrow on May 4. The Temple Chamber of Commerce was excited to join the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in honoring and celebrating our local small businesses alongside the nation’s 33 million small businesses!

Small business owners and entrepreneurs form the backbone of our economy. According to the Texas Small Business Profile published by the SBA, in Texas alone, small businesses (those employing 100 or fewer) make up over 99% of all businesses in the state.

We invite you to join us in celebrating and recognizing the positive and invaluable contributions of Temple area small businesses and entrepreneurs, not just this week but throughout the year.

Their impact is monumental. From job creation to enhancing city revenues and championing civic causes and initiatives, they enrich our community’s vitality. Research from the National Philanthropic Trust and Charities Aid Foundation indicates that small businesses donate 250% more than larger businesses to nonprofits and community causes per employee.

Small businesses make our community a vibrant place to

live and work. The small businesses and entrepreneurs of Central Texas are one of the driving factors that our region is a prime business destination in Texas.

We were fortunate to collaborate with regional Chambers of Commerce ­ Belton, Salado, Killeen, Jarrell, Lampasas, Copperas Cove, Round Rock, Waco, and Georgetown – as well as the SCORE Austin Chapter to have a Small Business Seminar on Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Bell County on Wednesday, May 1, during National Small Business Week.

The seminar provided a unique platform for small business owners, budding entrepreneurs, and members to learn more about the transformative potential of Generative AI in enhancing business operations. Jessica Scanlon with Round Rock­based Hot Dog Marketing led the discussion. She introduced the concept of Generative AI, shared versatile uses of AI in small businesses, and demonstrated tactical ways to use a Generative AI tool, ChatGPT.

The Temple Chamber extends gratitude and admiration to our vibrant small business community that enriches Central Texas and is here to support and empower them as they thrive in Central Texas.


April Renewing Chamber Members

1st Place Awards and Embroidery

Almost Home Pet Resort

Bell County Comic Con

Bobcat of Temple

Canyon Creek Memory Care

Capstone Mechanical

Cargill Inc.

Carothers Executive Homes

Children's Advocacy Center of Central Texas

Clearvista Financial

Congressman John R. Carter ­ Texas 31


DuBois Furniture, Inc.

Equipment Depot, Ltd.

Gentiva Hospice

Grand Avenue Theater

Great Clips ­ West Adams

Heart of Texas Electric Cooperative

House of Floors

Immanuel Baptist Church

Johnson Roofing, Inc.

Kenny Paysse Insurance Agency

Belfair Development, Inc.

Lisa's Dance Connection

Longhorn Charter Bus Austin

LVR Management

LYVR Music

April New Chamber Members

All of Texas Moving

Joshua Rios | (254) 773-6969

1604 S. 31st Street

Temple, TX 76504

Moving Services

Cardinal Roofing and Exteriors, LLC

Angie Clampitt | (512) 394-5064 Temple, TX

Roofing Contractors

Milena & Mark Hammontree Temple, TX


Isbell Rentals

Becky Isbell | (254) 432-7030

1200 E. Stan Schlueter Loop #100A Killeen, TX 76542

Property Management

Pegasus Flight School

Mac Haik Dodge­Chrysler­Jeep

McDonald's Restaurant

McDonald's Restaurant

McLane Intelligent Solutions

Nazareth House­Magnificat Center

Our Lady of the Angels Maternity Home

Pack 'N' Mail

Prater & Ridley, Attorneys

Pro Mix Ready Mix

Prolift Garage Doors of Killeen

R.T. Schneider Construction Co., Ltd

Raising Cane's

RE/MAX Temple­Belton Realtors

Redeemer Presbyterian Church

Republic Engineering and Development Services

Ronald McDonald House Charities ­ Temple, TX

State Representative Hugh D. Shine District Office

SWBC Mortgage Corporation

Temple & Central Texas Railway

Temple Community Clinic

Temple Machine Shop

The Salvation Army of Bell County

United Fitness Partners

United Way of Central Texas

Wheels Family Skating Center


Wilsonart LLC

Michael Ruiz | (254) 540-6854

7720­F Airport Road Temple, TX 76502 templelocation Aviation

Pine Gate Renewables

Brian Munger | (855) 959-3380

130 Roberts Street

Asheville, NC 28801

Energy Services

Unite Private Networks

Ace Wigley | (254) 803-7070

401 S. Third Street

Waco, TX 76706

Internet Service Provider

Woodland Cottages (254) 613-6449

475 River Fair Blvd. Belton, TX 76513

Retirement Communities


Leadership Temple Class of 2025: Accepting Applications

Temple Chamber of Commerce Staff

The Temple Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors is excited to announce that the Leadership Temple program is now accepting applications for the Class of 2025.

Leadership Temple is a professional development and education program that surveys the inner workings of Temple and Central Texas helping both current and emerging leaders understand the dynamics of the community and the role leadership plays in its long­term success. The 9­month program has class sessions once a month, and topics covered include City, County, and State

Government; Fort Cavazos; Economic Development; and Social Services. The program facilitates opportunities for dialogue among participants and current community, business, and non­profit leaders. It also encourages participants to engage in activities that contribute to the growth and betterment of the community.

Further details about the program, including the application, are available at The application deadline is Friday, June 14, 2024.

Save the Date for May Business After Hours

Join us for our May Business After Hours sponsored by the Ludwick, Montgomery & Stapp, P.C. and Wings Pizza ‘N Things. The event is Thursday, May 23, 2024, from 5:00 ­ 7:00 p.m. at Wings Pizza ‘N Things in Temple.

Business After Hours is an opportunity for Temple Chamber Members to develop new business relationships in a relaxed, social environment by joining other busy professionals after hours. This event will be full of fun, food, and networking!

Registration is not required for this event. For questions, call (254) 773­2105.

•SALES •SERV ICE •I NSTALLATION 3206 AIRPORT ROAD (254) 770 - 0932 Best-Way Carpets


Susan Marie's on Main Grand Opening

Susan Marie's, is a distinguished boutique hailing from Salado, that proudly opened their second location, aptly named 'Susan Marie's On Main,' in the heart of Downtown Temple. Susan Marie’s On Main is a woman's boutique offering an old­school customer service experience with modern designs. They are open to serve you at both of their locations, Monday to Friday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Saturdays from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, and Sundays from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

My Sheep - Elizabeth Farm Tiny Home

A truly heart­warming celebration occurred on April 13th at Elizabeth Farm, powered by Feed My Sheep and many community partners and volunteers. Leadership Temple, Class of 2024 was honored to participate in the placement of the tiny home, which was gifted to an individual experiencing homelessness. The tiny, but elegant home was hand­built, and crafted by students in the Temple Independent School District’s CTE program, led by Mr. Stephen Bishop.

Darla Reeder

15 S. Main Street Temple, TX 76501

(254) 947-5239

Jeffrey Stegall Temple, TX (254) 239-9863

Rucks On Main: Honoring Veterans and Building Community

Temple Chamber of Commerce Staff

Rucks On Main, a nonprofit organization based in Temple, TX, was founded in 2020 by Wes Albanese. The mission behind Rucks On Main is advocating, mentoring, and educating the community on the reintegration process for Veterans and their families. This mission extends beyond just providing support; it is about fostering a sense of belonging and solidarity among those who have served and sacrificed for their country.

The driving force behind Rucks On Main is a personal one. “My why to start the organization was to keep the memories and legacy of our military community alive,” said Wes Albanese, founder of Rucks On Main. “Everybody has probably lost a family member in the military or has known somebody who has passed away in the military. It is very important to honor them, and remember them for the sacrifices they made to keep this country free.”

The key initiative of Rucks On Main is their biannual military­themed ruck marches, one on Memorial Day which honors fallen military members, and the other on Veterans Day which supports the military community.

The Memorial Day 10K Ruck March is scheduled for Saturday, May 25, 2024, in Downtown Temple. The march begins at the Santa Fe Plaza, with a route traversing through downtown north through the historic district and looping back to conclude at the Santa Fe Plaza.

For the Memorial Day event, event organizers ask that participants carry pictures of fallen Military Service Members or First Responders on their rucksacks/backpacks. This symbolic act not only pays homage to the brave

souls who have been lost but also serves as a powerful reminder of their service and sacrifice.

Participants carry up to 40 pounds of non­perishable food items in their rucksacks/backpacks that are donated to Operation Feeding Temple.

Over the years, Rucks On Main has achieved remarkable milestones. “To date, we have collected over 40,000 pounds of food that our participants have donated after the ruck marches,” continued Albanese. “We have also donated proceeds of over $5,000 to local nonprofits.”

As Rucks On Main continues to grow and evolve, their commitment to honoring Veterans, supporting their reintegration journey, and fostering community connections remains strong. Through their biannual ruck marches, donations, and volunteer efforts they make positive impacts on the lives of Veterans and their families, ensuring that their contributions are never forgotten.

Reflecting on the impact the organization and its initiatives have had since its founding in 2020, Albanese said, “Not only do we have incredible support and participation locally and regionally, but we also have participants that come from all over the United States for this event. We are truly thankful for the community’s involvement!”

Those interested in participating in the Memorial Day 10K Ruck March should visit


Chamber Ambassador Spotlight: Tiffany Marek

Tiffany Marek is not just a well­known figure in the Temple­Belton area; she's a positive force of energy for the Temple Chamber of Commerce, radiating warmth, humor, and support for local businesses. With a knack for marketing and advertising sales, coupled with her genuine love for her community, Tiffany embodies the spirit of service and camaraderie.

Tiffany's roots run deep in the heart of Central Texas, as a Tem­Bel native and a 2002 Belton High graduate. Currently serving as an Account Executive at Lamar Advertising, Tiffany's expertise in the realm of billboards has positioned her as a go­to resource for businesses seeking effective marketing solutions.

Prior to her role at Lamar, Tiffany worked as a stainless buyer and supplier, catering to customers across the United States. Outside of her professional commitments, you can find Tiffany teaching ashtanga, hot and trapeze yoga throughout Central Texas, shopping with her daughter, watching the middle child play baseball, playing dinosaurs with the baby or at a Texas Rangers baseball game with her husband.

Since 2016, she has been an active Ambassador for the Temple Chamber of Commerce, where her infectious humor and welcoming demeanor have endeared her to both new and steadfast members alike.

Whether she's cracking jokes or asking a friend how she can pray for them, Tiffany's presence adds a special charm to Chamber events and gatherings.

Reflecting on her involvement with the Chamber of Commerce, Tiffany speaks with conviction and gratitude. “The Chamber of Commerce is unequivocally dedicated to supporting and encouraging community growth and sustainability for small businesses within the community with honor and integrity."

She continued, "It is both an honor and a privilege to aid in facilitating the growth and development for businesses and organizations in our community. I get to assist new members in navigating through their first year as a Chamber member and present to them the many resources offered with their membership. The Chamber gets my time both working, attending, and promoting events, services, and memberships and in turn I get to build, grow, manage, maintain, and nurture the relationships that I might not have had without the opportunity to be an Ambassador.”

For Tiffany, being an Ambassador isn't just about attending events or promoting memberships; it's about forging meaningful connections and nurturing relationships that enrich the fabric of Temple's business community. Through her dedication and passion, Tiffany Marek continues to leave an undeniable mark on Temple, embodying the values of service and community spirit.


Leadership Temple Education Day

Rachel Clemons, United Way of Central Texas; Chase Kern, Paramount Wastewater Solutions; Rob Schilling, Walmart DC #6083 - LT Class of 2024


April 2nd, 2024 was Leadership Temple Class of 2024’s education day which started with a short walk across Santa Fe Plaza from the Temple Chamber of Commerce office to the Temple ISD Administration Building.

The class was greeted at the door of the Temple ISD administration building by Christine Parks (Chief of Communications & Community Relations). Ms. Parks described the layout and features of the building that the school district has called home since 2018. The second floor of the administration building houses a display that contains “little pieces” of history from each of the campuses that are currently being utilized by Temple ISD. In the display cases were yearbooks, pictures, sports uniforms, cheerleading equipment, textbooks, and much more.

In the TISD boardroom, the class was introduced to Dr. Bobby Ott (Superintendent), Donna Ward (Assistant Superintendent), Vance Willis (Chief Technology Officer), Lisa Adams (Deputy Superintendent of Academics & School Leadership), Eric Haugeberg (Assistant Superintendent of School Services), and Kent Boyd (Assistant Superintendent of Facilities & Operations.) It was easy to tell how excited this group was about the new elementary campus that is currently being built in East Temple. Opening this August, “Sampson­Howard Elementary will be a Fine Arts Academy and is named for Cornelius Carl Sampson and Durward and Jean Howard.”

After meeting with Temple ISD administrators, the class made their way to Temple High School. The first stop was the Fine Arts wing of the school run by Catrina Lotspeich (Fine Arts Director). The hallways of the Fine Arts wing were filled with life. From the sound of the choir students singing to the recently refurbished Steinway & Sons Grand Piano to the colorful artwork hanging in the hallways, the Fine Arts wing was an inspirational portion of the education day for the Leadership Temple Class. Ms. Lotspeich expressed how appreciative she was to live in a community that prioritized the preservation of the arts; based on the approval of a 2015 bond vote that made these recent additions possible.

Students who attend Temple High School can obtain hands­on, career­oriented education through the CTE Program (Career and Technical Education). Led by the Director of CTE, Sara Bartlett, students can choose from over a dozen career paths and even receive certifications by the time they graduate. Some of the fields of study featured in the CTE program are veterinary services, culinary arts, automotive, machine shop/welding, construction science, forensic science, CNA/CMA, cosmetology, pharmacy technicians, and much more. The Leadership Temple class visited multiple classrooms in the CTE wing of Temple

High School that were filled with students actively engaged and receiving instruction from their teachers.

After the tour of Temple High School, Superintendent Dr. Bobby Ott gave a presentation to the Leadership Temple Class of 2024. Dr. Ott went into detail about the different things that make Temple ISD unique including the over 1,300 staff members, 620 teachers, 1.6 million square feet of building space, 1.4 million meals served, and the 600,000 miles traveled by the Temple ISD transportation fleet. “We try to support people beyond school. We are here to support Texas families” stated Dr. Ott during the presentation.

Temple College

The group spent the latter half of the day at Temple College and had the privilege to hear from some of the college’s senior leadership, including DeDe Griffith, Vice President of Resource Development, and Dr. Christy Ponce, President of Temple College.

As Griffith showed the group around the Workforce and Continuing Education facility, they had the chance to get a first­hand glimpse at how the education programs at TC provide a wide variety of learning opportunities that directly reflect the diversity of professions that are in high demand in the Central Texas area. For example, students at TC can earn degrees and/or certifications in construction, logistics, agricultural mechanics, radiology, and robotics, as well as many other unique fields. Dr. Ponce explained that the goal of the Workforce Development program is to create a “talent pipeline in Central Texas” through which students who graduate from TC are inspired to stay in the area because of the relationships they have already formed with local industries and businesses.

The Leadership Temple class also had the privilege of receiving a virtual tour of the building updates that are happening at Temple College, including the Welcome Center, the Visual Arts and Workforce building, and the new Health Sciences building. Dr. Ponce described how these new spaces will allow them to continue to adapt to the needs of students and the ever­changing landscape of higher education.

Finally, the group traveled over to the current Health Sciences to get a tour of the facilities. Neil Coker, Director of Simulation Teaching, Assessment, and Research (STAR) Programs, directed the tour and was able to provide an indepth overview of the history of the facility as well as a demonstration of how the simulation technology is used to train students in the health sciences programs.


Leadership Temple to Celebrate Alumni & Graduates at 2024 Banquet

Temple Chamber of Commerce Staff

The Leadership Temple Alumni & Graduation Banquet is on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, at the Hilton Garden Inn.

The banquet is a product of a Class of 2018 Action Team project to enhance the program’s Alumni Association and future impact. In addition to acknowledging a Distinguished Alumni of the program, it is an opportunity to network, learn about the current class project, and celebrate the new graduates of the program.

The luncheon includes honoring a Distinguished Alumni of the program. The 2024 honoree is David Nix, a graduate of the Leadership Temple Class of 1989.

“We’re excited to celebrate the achievements of alumni and the new graduates,” said Whitney Theriot, President of the Temple Chamber of Commerce. “This banquet not only honors a dedicated community leader like David Nix but also serves as an opportunity for all alumni of the program to connect, learn about the work in service of the current class, and support and celebrate the new graduates ­ our next generation of community leaders.”

The banquet proceeds contribute to the Leadership Temple Tuition Assistance Scholarship, designed to promote inclusivity and diversity within the program. This initiative is a resource for small businesses and nonprofits to participate in Leadership Temple, fostering a more representative community leadership landscape.

Reflecting on the 2023 Leadership Temple Alumni & Graduation Banquet that commemorated the accomplishments of the Class of 2023. Led by Camryn Bintz, KPA Engineers, and David Shine, Shine Richardson Investment Group of Wells Fargo Advisors, the graduates presented their Action Team project and were recognized for their dedication to community leadership and personal growth.

education through career exploration through reading. Inspired by the Workforce Solutions of Central Texas Student Occupational Awareness and Recognition Program (SOAR), which aims to expose, educate, and engage students in career development and decision­making for middle and high school students, the 2023 Class saw an opportunity to engage elementary­aged students to think about the world of work sooner.

They worked with Temple ISD to identify a STEM book series called The Questioneers. Then they not only read to every second­grade class at the district, but through a grant purchased The Questioneers book sets for every elementary campus library.

“The Temple Chamber leadership is immensely proud of our Leadership Temple program graduates from the Class of 2023,” added Theriot. “Their commitment to professional development and community service embodies the spirit of Leadership Temple.”

The event also honored Gary Schmidt as the 2023 Leadership Temple Distinguished Alumni, recognizing his significant contributions to Temple’s economic and civic development.

The Temple Chamber encourages individuals interested in community leadership and professional development to attend the banquet, offering a glimpse into the program’s impact and opportunities for involvement.

The 2024 Leadership Temple Alumni & Graduation Banquet is sponsored by: the City of Temple, McLane Group, Extraco Banks, Garcia Architects, Johnson Brothers Ford Lincoln, and First United Bank & Trust.

For more information about the Leadership Temple Alumni & Graduation Banquet and registration, visit

The 2023 Class Project focused on connecting the world of work to K­12

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