By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News
The Four Points Chamber of Commerce is hitting a milestone and celebrates its fifth anniversary. What started as a volunteer-run organization in 2010 with some 20 members now has three part-time staffers and 130 members.
“Over the past five years, we’ve provided an invaluable amount of education to our members, community and businesses. We’ve covered topics from training to traffic, from social media to safety and socializing. We’ve provided businesses with dozens of ideas, hundreds of contacts, and thousands of leads,” said Ray Freer, FPCC chairman, founder of RF Insurance Masters and Steiner Ranch resident.
Some 16 of the charter members remain active members of the Four Points Chamber today including: the Bartlett Real Estate Group, Bearing Financial Advisors LLC, Concordia University Texas, Ameriprise Financial, Field Photography, American Senior Benefits, Four Points News, Leander Independent School District, Regions Bank, RF Insurance Masters, River Place Country Club, School in the Hills, WCID 17, Boy Scouts of America, American Relocation and Storage Systems, Four Points Orthodontics and Hill Country Education Foundation.
“I was fortunate to join FPCC at the time of its formation. I’m many friendships richer for doing so. And I’ve gained some very dependable business partnerships with several Chamber members. FPCC is the perfect vehicle for living with, working for and serving the Four Points community,” said Scott Bussy, chief investment officer at Bearing Financial Advisors, LLC.
Prior to the formation of the Four Points Chamber of Commerce, a local referral and networking group had formed under the name of Four Points Business Association with Chase Burris and Bryan Clegg. With rapid residential and business growth in the area, these entrepreneurial-spirited business leaders recognized a need to connect the seemingly fragmented area businesses and organizations within the quickly expanding, evolving and affluent Four Points community.
In February of 2010, 21 members in attendance of the Four Points Business Association meeting decided the fate of the organization. They voted to modify the current group into a local chamber of commerce to help further the interests of area businesses and leaders. The Four Points Chamber would work with and advocate on behalf of the business community in the flourishing Four Points area.
The group took small and purposeful steps to build a strong foundation for the organization. They identified the group mission, which still stands today: “to advocate opportunities for collective collaboration, camaraderie, growth and inspiration of our members while supporting the community where we live, work, and play.”
The group decided that they would meet on the third Thursday of every month at River Place Country Club for networking and education on business and local events.
In May of 2013, the Bartlett Real Estate Group provided an agreement to provide a small shared office space and Visitor Center for the Four Points Chamber. The office is near the intersection of RM 620 and RM 2222—an area that Freer lovingly refers to as “Downtown Four Points.”
“Five years into this, I truly believe that we’ve made the Four Points business community an even better place by being here. I’m truly excited to see what the next five years bring,” Freer said.
Four Points Chamber is hosting a membership drive and has 130 members at this point with a goal of 150 by the end of April.
One of new FPCC member is Ed Mena, owner Allstate- Ed Mena Agency, Inc.
“The Four Points chamber has been fantastic. I have only been a member for about 4 months, but have been able to meet a lot of great people and acquire contacts for my business. The Chamber makes you feel like a person and not a number and allows you to make meaningful relationships both personally and professionally,” Mena said.
Membership packages range from $200 to $600 annually and provide different member benefits dependent on the rates.
Each month, the chamber features a speaker at its monthly luncheon to provide information about relevant business, community and educational topics. The chamber also hosts monthly happy hour events at member businesses as well as various after hour, ribbon cutting and networking events.
“For any business looking to be known or heard in the Four Points area, I can’t think of a better return on investment than a membership in the Four Points Chamber,” said Morgan Briscoe, FPCC marketing director. “I always say that you’ll get out of a chamber membership what you put it—but that the sky is really the limit with your membership. We’re open to new ideas, new suggestions and are always welcoming and benefitting from new members.”
In addition to the Four Points Chamber’s wide range of marketing and promotional opportunities it offers members, the FPCC is also working to line up structured volunteer projects for member businesses.
While currently smaller than neighboring chambers of commerce, many members of the Four Points Chamber list this as a benefit, noting an approachable membership and targeted community base.
“I really love the friendly feel of the Four Points Chamber,” said FPCC member Linda Stoddard of Bank of Texas Mortgage. “It’s easy to meet people and network without feeling lost in the shuffle. There are also some great opportunities to get involved in leadership roles.”
Looking ahead, the goal will be to maintain the approachable and comfortable sense of community within the chamber while maximizing the number of active members.
“I’d love to keep the small feel within our group while getting up to three or four hundred members in the not-so-far-future,” says FPCC Board member Tracy Coffman. “With that level of membership, we can sustain a dedicated, full time office staff and continue to increase support and opportunities to our members and an overall presence within the community.”
Anniversary week events April 20-25
The Chamber is celebrating its 5th anniversary with a week’s worth of community, business and family-focused events from April 20-25.
The events are intended to gain additional awareness of and exposure for the Four Points Chamber, provide professional networking opportunities for current and potential members and to have fun within the community.
Events throughout the week include a community networking breakfast, community happy hour and ribbon cutting. FPCC member businesses are helping to support to the week’s activities through financial and in-kind donations.