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A Strong Community Takes Strong Leaders

Strong Leaders

OUR FOUNDATION

Its humble beginnings in 1946 were the result of an idea conceived at a barbecue attended by many of the businessmen who would become the first officers of the Chamber. These individuals realized the necessity of preparing their small community for future growth and had the objective of promoting civic, commercial, industrial and agricultural interests of the city.

In its first year of existence, the Board of Directors adopted a long-range program of work. By the end of the year the new organization had a number of major accomplishments to boast about. For example, the Chamber’s Industrial Committee recruited four new factories for the area, while the Civic Improvement Committee sponsored a fire prevention campaign and a street and house numbering campaign. The Transportation Committee promoted a better road program and passed a resolution to make the interurban trains come to a full stop before crossing Mechanic Street (now 15th Street), which eliminated a danger Plano citizens had contended with for years.

As the little town grew, so did the business community. By 1950, Plano had become the second-ranking town in the county with a population increase of 33 percent since 1940, and in 1955, the Chamber met with the city council and suggested a master plan for Plano.

In the mid-1980s, the Chamber hosted weekly coffees to let the business members gather for fellowship and discussion.

The Chamber organized the Industrial Council in 1971, which was comprised of the presidents of local industries in Plano. Their purpose was to create improved communications between industry, the Chamber, the city and school administrators.

As the 1980s approached, Plano began its evolution from an agricultural community to a suburban destination. With a population of 41,000 and Chamber membership increasing, their new slogan became “You do business with me and I’ll do business with you.” To keep membership growing, the Chamber created a menu of benefits for members – offering more choices and networking opportunities than ever before.

By 1990, the Chamber added computers to their offices and began to identify non-dues sources of revenue. The board helped to solidify partnerships between the Chamber, the city and the school district, much like it had done in the ‘70s. At the turn of the century, and with the help of generous donations from Chamber members, the computer systems were upgraded, the offices were remodeled and the financials were sound. In 2011, a new membership database and website were launched to provide better service to the membership.

The future looks bright indeed for this once small and humble agricultural community. Businesses small and large continue to thrive in our community, and citizens remain as optimistic and excited as ever. Welcome to the Plano Chamber of Commerce.

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