"...Which is why it made perfect sense for the Greater Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce to hold their annual awards banquet last Friday, filling the Zilker Ballroom at the riverside Hyatt with all manner of business types and community boosters and various movers-and-shakers of Asian/Pacific heritage. Not to mention a posh phalanx of other-heritaged associates and political allies – and a few grizzled journos in the thick of it all, taking notes and knocking back the Chardonnay...."
"...And it also firmly contradicts city official and chamber of commerce presumptions that any kind of economic development is by definition good if we lose jobs, money, and neighborhoods by the transaction, Austinites will effectively be subsidizing Lincoln Property Co. and Wal-Mart for the benefit of the corporations and their stockholders..."
"...Twice in the past week I've heard hotshot economists tell business leaders (well, a lot of them were business followers, but we can pretend) that ACL Fest is a harbinger of Austin's future. Both in the Opportunity Austin deal thrown by the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce and at the East Austin Economic Summit sponsored by the Austin Community Development Corp., tourism and hospitality were pegged as essential growth industries that will lead the recovery that's still just around the corner...."
"...Marketing efforts to entice minority conventioneers to Austin will now be coordinated by the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau, rather than by the city's several minority chambers of commerce. In the past, the city has paid a couple of hundred thousand a year each to the Hispanic, African American (Capital City), and Asian chambers of commerce to support marketing programs aimed at minority business travelers..."
"...In combing over the fine print, however, a loophole still exists. During the three-hour debate, opponents, including spokespeople for contractors' associations and the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, fretted that the new requirements might inhibit some companies looking for incentives..."
"..."Business people aren't accustomed to reaching into their pockets to contribute $100 to a campaign," said Glenn West, president and CEO of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, Saturday night at Palmer Auditorium. "They're accustomed to contributing through their company."..."
"...This time, the assemblage of 26 ambassadors visiting Texas came from established powers like Germany and Ireland, rising nations like the Philippines and Ukraine, and smaller, often more troubled countries like Kazakhstan and the Kingdom of Lesotho. Theirs was a two-day whirlwind tour of the Hill Country on May 13-14, taking in the LBJ Presidential Library with Luci Baines Johnson, a trip to the Chestnut Community Redevelopment Project and the Texas Advanced Computing Center, and finally a lunch, hosted by the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce at the Driskill Hotel...."
"...A panel of designated local experts briefly addressed the state of the regional economy and their projects to improve it. Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce President Mike Rollins spoke primarily about Opportunity Austin, the chamber's ongoing effort at job creation, emphasizing that the program is aimed at creating employment opportunities "all along the ladder," from high school on up..."
"...The big problem for the district is that while the state makes them go to the ballot every time they want to increase taxes to cover costs, it also prevents them from explaining why they need the cash in the ballot language. That's why Forgione thanked three seemingly unlikely allies – Austin ISD Board of Trustees, Education Austin, and the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce – for getting the message about what the extra cash buys: an extra $1,300 per teacher in their wages (3% of the median teacher's wage), retro-active and to be paid in the December 18 paycheck, then the actual 3% pay raise in January...."
"...The current campaign-finance ordinance, sponsored by Austinites for a Little Less Corruption and passed in 1997, originally imposed its $100 contribution limits not only on candidates but also on issue-oriented political action committees. When the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce challenged this in court, the city's lawyers told the judge, basically, that they agreed with the plaintiffs, and out the law went..."
"...One education regular has thrown some cash their way: Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce education guru Drew Scheberle gave the PAC $500...."
"...Even Mahoney’s allies say he’s hard to work with – so that even when he’s right, he’s often ineffective. Williams, on the other hand, was rightly criticized for giving the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce too much say over AISD matters, and letting former Superintendent Meria Carstarphen run roughshod over public engagement..."
"...The first name came from Barksdale herself, when she said she'll endorse Kazique Jelani Prince, CEO of Jelani Consulting, to replace her. However, he already faces a competitive race: Kendall Pace, a management consultant with Smart Flour Foods, currently serves as a member of the District Advisory Council, and will probably have the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce in her corner, since she serves on its Education and Talent Development Council...."
"...Of course, this is probably all sitting very nicely with the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, whose representatives have been visibly irritated by what little oversight the board has mustered on this deal. Their ideal situation would be that Carstarphen would have been able to handle the IDEA contract all by herself..."
"... Randi later earned an MBA from Harvard Business School. Randi has always been an active community volunteer and has served on the boards of the Association of Women in Technology – Austin, Austin Clean Energy Initiative, Austin Entrepreneurs Foundation, Central Texas Better Business Bureau, Foundation for Women’s Resources Committee of the Board, Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Austin, OneStar Foundation, PeopleFund, Sigma Delta Tau Sorority’s Texas Education Foundation, TexChange, Texas Hillel Foundation, UT Commission on 125, and the Volunteer Center (now Hands on Central Texas)..."
"...The Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce has remained neutral on the proposed salary increase. Vice President of Education and Workforce Development Drew Scheberle said, "I've told [Malfaro] we're not opposed to a pay raise, but it needs to be within the long-term goals that the district is trying to accomplish." So far he has yet to see any "holistic place" where a pay raise would fit into the strategic plan while helping reach the core goal of improving graduation rates..."
"...Much could be gleaned from a Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce task force report released last week on the governance of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization Transportation Policy Board, not the least of which was what went wrong when it came time to debate the region's toll-road plan...."
"...While Casar had a full house, Zimmerman's event was a decidedly forlorn affair with only the four speakers and the press in attendance. In addition to Zimmerman, Pamela Bratton from Meador Staffing Services, and Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce President Mark Rollins spoke..."
"...There have been early complaints – from road supporters and rail supporters – that this "bundling" is inherently unfair, although virtually every bond package on the ballot exhibits some version of bundling, to broaden the potential appeal. And as we reported last week, bundling road improvements into the rail proposal appears to have earned the support of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce's board of directors..."
"...* Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce..."
"...Hispanic Chamber of Commerce..."
"...The original deal obligated future councils to make the payments, which a court found unconstitutional. The rewritten deal reinstated a get-out clause for the city, though the Austin Chamber of Commerce argues against using it..."
"...illustration by Doug Potter Does anyone remember the last time they heard any bad news about Austin's economy? The Texas Workforce Commission recently announced that regional job growth turned out to be higher than expected for 1997 - about 4.5% - for the Austin-San Marcos metro area. The Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce is predicting continued robust growth for 1998, and everyone agrees that the area unemployment rate is around 3.1%, roughly 40% below the national average..."
"...Place 5: When it comes to establishment credentials, Thomas Miranda is arguably the lead candidate in this three-way race. Former chair of the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and therefore honorary ex officio member of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, the president and CEO of tech consulting firm Sparkovation Advisors approaches from the employer-need side of the training equation – a large part of ACC's remit..."
"...23, Louis Malfaro addressed the Austin Independent School District board of trustees for the last time as president of teachers' union Education Austin. Four days earlier Drew Scheberle, senior vice president of education and work force development for the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, joked to the same board that he'd grown a goatee as a farewell tribute to Malfaro's distinctive facial hair...."
"...A lot of factors played a role in the Daryl Slusher, Kirk Watson, Bill Spelman push to shift more of the bond package funding into public works and transportation. But the major outside factor was an attempt by the Slusher/Spelman/Watson trio to lobby for the endorsement of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce..."
"...One issue was the genesis of the proposal – transparently a simplified version of the "Affordability Agenda" currently being promoted by the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce. Troxclair's Council message-board postings cited the support of the GACC and other groups (RECA, Downtown Austin Alliance, contractors and builders associations) that also includes surprising bedfellows the NAACP, Goodwill, and One Voice Central Texas (the broad coalition of social service organizations)..."
"...In public education, doubly so. Not the case here: An alliance between multiple Austin-area school districts and the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce means almost half of local students got their federal financial aid applications in early this year...."
"...At the city level, candidate forums are beginning to kick off, and the first big mayoral forum occurred Monday at the Four Seasons, sponsored by the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce* and the Real Estate Council of Austin. Five candidates took part – Steve Adler, Cole, Council Member Mike Martinez, Todd Phelps, and Randall Stephens – and though it was mostly a congenial affair, there were a few sharp exchanges..."
"...All of which is good reason for the combined pro-bond campaign to get busy, which they are now starting to do. As with the May bonds, the November package has support from both business and progressive interest groups: The Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce and the S.O.S..."
"...If it's spring – a bit early even for Austin, but the redbuds say yes – it's survey time, and the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce has followed the City of Austin's "Community Survey" with its own production, an annual "Voter Survey" performed Dec. 12-14..."
"...With no reforms to the state's recapture system – known as Robin Hood – many districts will still be sending more out than the state will be adding in. In a May 26 letter to the Travis County delegation, Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce Vice President for Education Development Drew Scheberle spelled out what that means for the Austin Independent School District: In the 2016 financial year, the district will send $264 million to state coffers, breaking over $500 million in the 2017-18 biennium..."
"...That means the comp plan will drive spending decisions for hundreds of millions in city projects over the next five years – a "follow the money" impact that ought to wake up the whole town. Yet to date, major employers and business groups, like the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce and the Real Estate Council of Austin, haven't shown much interest in the comprehensive plan..."
"...Local business boosters hail the company's commitment to Austin. "HelioVolt puts Austin on the solar map," said Jose Beceiro, clean energy director for the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce..."
"...These strange bedfellows – joined by the Austin Regional Manufacturers Association, Austin Energy Low Income Customers, Building Owners and Managers Association, Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, NXP Semiconductors, etc., etc. – are among the 22 signatories to an agreement with Austin Energy that will reduce utility rates for all AE's customers for the next five years..."
"...Texas Disposal's Bob Gregory has gotten a lot of mileage out of attorney-lobbyist David Armbrust, who's no friend of Todd's but can count Councilmember Ronney Reynolds as an ally. BFI has signed on with public relations czarina Kerry Tate who, as chair of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, likes to think everyone is her friend..."
"...As the number and importance of the tests increases, the amount of time on test-prep increases; the depth of children's knowledge and learning skills suffers. Yet on the end-of-year reports churned out by the Texas Education Agency and the federal Department of Education, everything looks great, and pro-testing groups like the Texas Small Business Association and the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce applaud the results..."
"...For Drew Scheberle, Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce's Senior Vice President of Education and Talent Development, there's a simple truth: Struggling schools in East Austin can make the grade. Take Reagan High..."
"...It's frankly a stretch to call Prop. 1 controversial – more than 30 local organizations of varying size and perspectives (from ADAPT to the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce) have already endorsed it..."
"...Those who favor the package include a coalition of civic and business groups called Yes! Travis County Bonds Committee (i.e., Austin Area Research Organization, the Real Estate Council of Austin, Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, Capital Area Transportation Coalition, Austin 2010). They say the bonds will improve safety, increase mobility, and help maintain our quality of life..."
"...Many people in Austin seem to agree with Bethune. The Sunday morning following the February 24 expulsion saw the church packed like an Easter morning service, with luminaries such as Mayor Kirk Watson and Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce President Gary Valdez turning out to show their support..."
"...And apart from the speakers on the dais, yet another front in the PR ground war over the plant opened: the emergence of We Want Water, a pro-WTP4 campaign headed by the Austin Chamber of Commerce...."
"...When first asked to consider the top job at the Capital City African-American Chamber of Commerce, Natalie Cofield wasn't interested. "I didn't want to move to Texas," recalls Cofield, who has now been president of the chamber – today called the Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce – for three and a half years..."
"...3, just a month into the school year. The overheated Johnston cafeteria was crowded with people focused on the success of the school – from members of the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to key officials in the Austin Independent School District to a table full of Texas Education Agency staffers who would deal directly with the Johnston "intervention." Student leaders were also on hand, among them senior class President Gabby Camarillo, ready to take the microphone to urge classmates not to give up..."
"...The address was apparently well-received by the assembled members and friends of the Austin Chamber of Commerce – which we should not forget is a historical euphemism for the Club of Bosses and Major Property Owners and whose direct personal interest in the soundness of investment banking is rather greater than that of the rest of us. Although the formal occasion was the annual Austin Economic Forecast, Bernanke only passingly acknowledged the "strong and diversified" Texas economy before plunging into the "economic and financial challenges" facing the entire nation...."
"...But how bad is the boom? How bad can success, wealth, and abundance be? "My sense is that the majority of our local businesses are a band of happy campers. The services sector is especially showing strong gains," says Kerry Tate, president of the TateAustin PR firm and former chair of the Chamber of Commerce..."
"...Patrick (along with the rest of the GOP) has a deep political stake in fear-mongering and immigrant-bashing, but crying, "The terrorists are at the door!" on environmental issues is transparent demagoguery. Much more common was the chamber-of-commerce-style response that trying to clear the air of excess carbon dioxide will "cost too much" and "do too little." Patrick also pounded that drum, and that was the gist of Attorney General Ken Paxton's similar press release, accompanied by his inevitable declaration that "Texas will fight ....."
"..."Even though this is a global problem, each of us has an individual responsibility to help address the problem," stressed Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, in Austin recently for a Seattle Chamber of Commerce group visit. He noted that the U.S..."
"...The mayor is victorious. A week after a presentation by Mayor Bruce Todd before the Chamber of Commerce members urging them to support a governor's veto of House Bill 3193, which would excise Chamber member Gary Bradley's Circle C subdivision from Austin's extra-territorial jurisdiction, the Chamber of Commerce Executive Board voted Tuesday, June 13, to do just that..."
"...That strength helped Villaseñor stay on track in growing the family business, Mission Funeral Home, which she and her husband started from scratch to serve East Austin's Hispanic community after moving here from Houston. More than 44 years later, the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will honor Villaseñor as the Businesswoman of the Year at the organization's annual awards dinner Saturday night at the Downtown Hilton..."