Julina Macy - Waco Chamber

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TFTS2016-GWCCWACO, Texas – The Texas Food Truck Showdown, hosted by the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce, will present its third annual event in the heart of downtown Waco on April 1. This year’s event will feature 40 food trucks from around Texas, a grand prize of $5,000, live entertainment and more.
 
Eight of the competing food trucks are from the Greater Waco area.
 
Celebrity judging will kick off the full day of activities from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Food trucks will sell their signature dish from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., where the public will determine the People’s Choice award winner. Trucks will only take Tasty Tickets during this time to speed up food lines and focus on serving their signature dish.
 
Presale Tasty Tickets are now available at theTexasFoodTruckShowdown.com/tickets. Tickets can also be purchased during the event until 3 p.m. One Tasty Ticket is $5 for a 4 oz signature dish.
 
Food trucks will reopen at 5 p.m. with their full menus until 8 p.m., and Tasty Tickets will no longer be accepted at that time.
 
“We are really excited about all the food trucks that will be joining us for this new signature event in downtown Waco,” said Amanda Haygood, director of sports and special events at the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce. “This year’s showdown will have trucks coming from Austin, Dallas and Fort Worth, Abilene, Aransas Pass and throughout Central Texas, among other areas. But this event has more than just food trucks – it will have live entertainment, mobile boutiques, a KidsZone and more.”
 
Food trucks from across Texas will be featuring a variety of food from fish tacos and steak sliders to gourmet dounuts and pizza. The pet-friendly showdown will include live entertainment throughout the day on the main stage and a Guns 4 Roses Tribute band at 6 p.m.; a KidsZone, presented by Raising Cane’s, featuring Twiggy, the water-skiing squirrel, and a petting zoo; Artists Market; Live Broadcasts from iHeartMedia; and Beer and Wine Gardens.
 
Celebrity judges include Lilian Halabi, owner of Lily’s Cakes in Harker Heights and Food Network Cake Wars winner; Mai Lyn Ngo, a Dallas food blogger; Doug Renfro, president of Renfro Foods; Mitch Siegert, owner of Truman Chocolates; and Erica Waksmunski, owner of Red Star Southern food truck in east Austin.
 
The presenting sponsor of The Texas Food Truck Showdown is National Lloyds Corporation. Follow The Texas Food Truck Showdown at Facebook.com/TheTexasFoodTruckShowdown or Twitter.com/thetfts to receive up-to-date information on the event.
 
For more information about the event, competing food trucks or tickets, visit TheTexasFoodTruckShowdown.com or call Amanda Haygood at (254) 757-5611.
 
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About the Greater Waco Chamber:
The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce is a business leadership organization that advances a progressive and visionary agenda for economic growth and quality of life. The Chamber prepares and markets Greater Waco for the businesses and jobs of the future and enhances the quality of life of the community by promoting strategic development. For more information, visit WacoChamber.com.
 

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Central Texas Area, Texas – The Grand Central Texas (GCT) economic development partnership releases marketing video to attract and retain companies in the Central Texas area–a region that encompasses a population of 724,673. The marketing video showcases assets and information from the Bell, Coryell, Falls, Lampasas, McLennan and Milam counties.
 
The GCT partnership formed in 2014 and works collaboratively to market the region, both nationally and internationally. The partnership invites you to utilize this video to promote your company and community in your initiatives.
 
To watch the video, please visit GrandCentralTexas.com.
 
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About Grand Central Texas:
Grand Central Texas is an economic development partnership that promotes business development and provides services to businesses interested in locating to the six county region. By working closely with our local, regional and state partners, the partnership can assist with locating a site or building, gathering detailed business cost and economic data and securing a competitive incentive package. With a convenient location, low cost of doing business, diverse workforce and abundant resources, the region is becoming a sought-after area for business development and company relocation. The Grand Central Texas partners are recognized regionally and nationally as one of the country’s most professional and progressive economic development organizations.
 
To learn more about the Grand Central Texas economic development partnership, please visit www.grandcentraltexas.com or contact the communities at www.grandcentraltexas.com/contact/.
 

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Greater Waco Chamber Looks to Engage Volunteers throughout January


WACO, Texas
– January is National Mentoring Month, and this year the Greater Waco Chamber is celebrating 10 years of the mentoring movement and expanding quality mentoring opportunities to connect more of our community’s young people with adults through its Leadership, Education & Development (LEAD) program.
 
“Mentoring is a critical part of developing positive, long-lasting relationships within the Greater Waco community,” said Rachel Martinez, director of leadership development at the Greater Waco Chamber. “Mentoring is proven to have a positive effect on academic, social and economic outcomes for young people. However, while we have many students looking for mentors, we do need more caring adults to get engaged and become mentors.”
 
According to Mentoring.org, one in three young people are growing up without a mentor. When a mentor is able to connect with a young person, at-risk youth are 52 percent less likely than their peers to skip a day of school, 55 percent more likely to enroll in college and 46 percent less likely than their peers to start using drugs.
 
National Mentoring Month, each January, allows for unique engagement from community members interested in becoming a mentor. This year, with the support of the mentoring community, we are encouraging the public to go beyond just digital engagement – and become involved in making a real life impact. Mentoring relationships are at their best when connections are made between a caring adult and a young person who knows that someone is there to help guide them through those real life decisions.
 
In our community, the Greater Waco Chamber’s LEAD program is connecting local high school students with business mentors.
 
“The LEAD program is a business and education partnership that pairs high school students with business leaders in the Greater Waco area,” said Joe Nesbitt, LEAD founder, mentor and program sponsor. “By improving the students’ knowledge and awareness of potential career paths, we hope they will be motivated to graduate high school and pursue some form of higher education, which in turn ensures greater employability and quality of life.”
 
LEAD pairs Waco High School, Rapoport Academy, Harmony Science Academy, University, La Vega and Midway high school students with business leaders to foster mentoring relationships that educate and expose students to various business fields.
 
Since launching 10 years ago, the program has achieved a 100 percent graduation rate with all students having gone onto higher education. The LEAD program began with one mentor and five students. Currently, the program has grown to include 84 mentors and 175 students.
 
Several January dates are highlighted as part of National Mentoring Month in an effort to create opportunities for engagement and promote the mentoring movement.

  • Jan. 12, 2017: I Am A Mentor Day. A day for volunteer mentors to celebrate their role and reflect on the ways mentees have enhanced their world. #LEADMentors
  • Jan. 17, 2017: International Mentoring Day. A day of international conversations on social media where photos, video and powerful mentoring stories messages are shared.
  • Jan. 19, 2017: #ThankYourMentor Day. A day for all who have real life mentoring experiences to thank those who helped them on their path to adulthood and beyond.

National Mentoring Month is led by MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, with support from the Highland Street Foundation. Each year since its launch in 2002, National Mentoring Month has enjoyed the strong support of the President and the United States Congress.
 
If you are interested in learning more about becoming a LEAD mentor, contact Rachel Martinez at rmartinez@wacochamber.com or 254-757-5633.
 
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About the Greater Waco Chamber:
The Greater Waco Chamber is a business leadership organization that advances a progressive and visionary agenda for economic growth and quality of life. The Chamber prepares and markets Greater Waco for the businesses and jobs of the future and enhances the quality of life of the community by promoting strategic development. For more information, visit WacoChamber.com.
 

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Mid-Tex Final 2014 BlueLogoWACO, Texas – The Greater Waco Chamber is hosting the 46th Annual Mid-Tex Farm & Ranch Show, with Presenting Sponsor Equipment Depot, Dec. 13-14, 2016, at the Extraco Events Center.
 
The Mid-Tex Show offers exhibitors a first-rate forum to present their products and services to an expected attendance of more than 3,000 Central Texas farmers and ranchers. Visitors to the Mid-Tex Farm & Ranch Show will have the opportunity to view top exhibits of the newest farm and ranch equipment, seed, chemicals and ag-related services and technologies.
 
Show hours will be from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, December 13 and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, December 14. The public is also invited to attend and there is no admittance fee.
 
The 55th Annual Blackland Income Growth Conference (B.I.G.) will be in conjunction with the Mid-Tex Show and will offer commodity sessions, special meetings and forums. Topics of discussion will include beef, horticulture and grain; health and fitness with a busy schedule; cotton, forage and wildlife; and other training and recertification sessions.
 
Selected McLennan county high school students will be awarded scholarships for outstanding FFA, FHA and 4-H members at the Allen Samuels Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram Scholarship Luncheon. These exceptional students plan to major in an agricultural or home economics related field. Scholarships are sponsored by Associated Concrete Contractors and Brazos Valley Equipment.
 
Other sponsors include Dealers Electrical Supply Co., Educators Credit Union, Buzbee Feed & Seed, Bar None Country Store, Texas AgriLife Extension Service, National Banks of Central Texas, Clark Auction Company, HOLT CAT and Walter Moss Seed Company.
 
For more information about the Equipment Depot Mid-Tex Farm & Ranch show, visit WacoChamber.com.
 
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About the Greater Waco Chamber:
The Greater Waco Chamber is a business leadership organization that advances a progressive and visionary agenda for economic growth and quality of life. The Chamber prepares and markets Greater Waco for the businesses and jobs of the future and enhances the quality of life of the community by promoting strategic development. For more information, visit WacoChamber.com.
 

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shaneturner-award-winner-webWACO, Texas – Turner Real Estate, a family-owned real estate investment firm whose portfolio ranges from single-family and multi-family units to retail, office and restaurant space, has been honored with the Greater Waco area’s first Texas Business Star award by the Texas Economic Development Corporation, the organization that promotes economic development for the state.
 
Led by brothers Shane and Cody Turner, Turner Real Estate has invested heavily over the last 10 years to revitalize Waco’s downtown, converting old and historic properties into lofts, offices and retail and entertainment space.
 
“We’re proud to present Turner Real Estate with the Texas Business Star award,” said Tracye McDaniel, president and CEO of Texas Economic Development Corporation and TexasOne. “Real estate investment is an integral part of successful economic development. Turner recognizes this and has made significant strides to transform downtown Waco into the growing hub that it is today.”
 
Turner Real Estate’s recent projects include the creation of more than 200 apartment units for students and young professionals at Tinsley Place near Baylor University; the renovation of a 98-year-old downtown warehouse into the Altura Luxury Lofts, which will open later this year; and the renovation of the historic Hippodrome Theatre, a century-old downtown venue that sat vacant for five years before reopening in 2014. Today, the Hippodrome serves as a modern entertainment and dining complex, as well as a venue for the Harris Creek Baptist Church, where Shane Turner serves as a deacon.
 
“Turner Real Estate is an ideal candidate for the Texas Business Star award,” said Kristina Collins, senior vice president – economic development at the Greater Waco Chamber. “Shane and Cody Turner saw an opportunity to revitalize our downtown and took a risk to see their vision come to life. They have served, not only as pioneers in our downtown redevelopment efforts, but also as integral members of our community.”
 
Both graduates of Baylor University, the Turner brothers are active on the boards of numerous charitable and community organizations throughout the region.
 
Launched by the Texas Economic Development Corporation in September 2016, the Texas Business Star award recognizes companies that are making an extraordinary impact in their communities, whether through job creation, capital investment or a multitude of other factors that can elevate the economy. Previous awards were presented to Neutral Posture of Bryan, Texas and Seton Healthcare Family of Austin, Texas.
 
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About Texas Economic Development Corporation and TexasOne
Texas Economic Development Corporation is an independently funded and operated 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, whose mission is dedicated to economic development, business recruitment and job creation in the State of Texas. TexasOne is a public-private partnership of the Texas Economic Development Corporation, which coordinates efforts with the Office of the Governor to market Texas globally as a premier business destination. For more information about Texas Economic Development Corporation and TexasOne, visit www.texaswideopenforbusiness.com.
 

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WACO, Texas – The Greater Waco Chamber will host the 5th Annual State of the City and County Address featuring McLennan County Judge Scott Felton and Waco City Mayor Kyle Deaver on November 3.
 
Jessica Attas, director of public policy with the Greater Waco Chamber, said the event will address recent accomplishments and current challenges in the county, as well as downtown and urban development plans.
 
“We’re excited once again to have the opportunity to host our community leaders with the State of the City and County Luncheon to hear their strategies and goals for the community,” said Attas.
“It’s encouraging to see how the community anticipates this annual event and engages with our elected officials for the betterment of Greater Waco. We are especially excited to provide this forum for our community to hear from Mayor Deaver in his first such address as our newly-elected Mayor.”
 
County Judge Scott Felton will provide an update on the financial health of McLennan County in regards to economic development and supporting the varying needs throughout the rural and urban areas.
 
Mayor Kyle Deaver will provide updates on behalf of the city of Waco, including insight on how the city is investing in infrastructure, planning for future development and supporting workforce initiatives with Prosper Waco.
 
The State of the City and County Address will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on November 3 in the Letterwinner’s Lounge at McLane Stadium.
 
Space is limited, so please register online at WacoChamber.com.
 
The State of the City and County presenting sponsors are Wells Fargo and Texas State Technical College. The gold sponsors are Baylor University, Packaging Corporation of America and Oldcastle Materials.
 
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About the Greater Waco Chamber:
The Greater Waco Chamber is a business leadership organization that advances a progressive and visionary agenda for economic growth and quality of life. The Chamber prepares and markets Greater Waco for the businesses and jobs of the future and enhances the quality of life of the community by promoting strategic development. For more information, visit WacoChamber.com.
 

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1000-cupsWACO, Texas – Beginning October 26, Waco will be the newest home of 1 Million Cups, a national program to engage, educate and connect local entrepreneurs.
 
1 Million Cups—based on the notion that entrepreneurs network and discover solutions over a million cups of coffee—is a free, weekly gathering that helps to build startup communities on a grassroots level.
 
Entrepreneurs, innovators, funders and other interested community members are invited to attend each Wednesday, beginning October 26, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Waco Hippodrome, located at 724 Austin Ave, Waco, TX 76701.
 
The program’s model is consistent in each city: Every Wednesday morning, two early-stage startups present their companies to an audience of mentors, advisers and other entrepreneurs. Each founder presents for six minutes, followed by a 20-minute question-and-answer session with the audience.
 
The inaugural 1 Million Cups in Waco will feature presentations by Kornerbooth, a photo booth company that provides an open studio photo booth with a professional photographer at major events across the nation, and Waco Escape Rooms, which builds rooms around a story or theme and tests your wits against challenges and mysteries embedded in their rooms.
 
In each 1 Million Cups city, local entrepreneurs drive the program as community organizers. Local organizers are:

  • Jake Cockerill, manager of entrepreneurship & innovation at the Greater Waco Chamber
  • Kevin Renois, director of City Venture Waco
  • Brooklyn Bolton, Entrepreneurship LLC program director at Baylor University
  • Cory Dickman, owner of Waco Escape Rooms
  • Cydney Cockerill, owner of Cydpics
  • Kevin Cochran, owner of Kornerbooth
  • Dylan Washington, owner of Pinewood Roasters

“1 Million Cups is a game changer for Waco. It creates a connectivity in this community for entrepreneurs that is essential to its future development,” said Cockerill. “We are beyond excited to be 1 Million Cups’ 100th community in America to adopt this program. We are helping not only to connect entrepreneurs locally but nationally as well, and that’s incredible.”
 
View the national website at 1MillionCups.com or access the Waco microsite at 1MillionCups.com/waco for more information.
 
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About Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private, nonpartisan foundation that aims to foster economic independence by advancing educational achievement and entrepreneurial success. Founded by late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman, the Foundation is based in Kansas City, Mo., and has approximately $2 billion in assets. Visit www.kauffman.org for more information.
 

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LORENA, Texas – Lorena, a city along IH-35 five miles south of Waco, Texas, is pleased to announce a significant public private partnership (P3) that will create development opportunities in the community. This city is ready to accelerate development through the cooperation of private sector investors and local governmental entities. The opportunity to spur development was created by financing the design and construction of a major sanitary sewer trunk line from the WMARSS Bull Hide Creek wastewater treatment plant to development tracts along IH-35.
 
On October 3, 2016, the Lorena Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone #1 East (TIRZ) Board of Directors signed five development financing agreements to fund design and construction of the major sanitary sewer trunk line for $2,300,000. The TIRZ development financing agreements include agreements with the City of Lorena, the Lorena Economic Development Corporation, Mitchell/Tully Group, Braswell Family Enterprises LTD, and McElla Group LLC. The construction of the sanitary sewer trunk line will be completed in the summer of 2018.
 
The Lorena Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone #1 EAST (TIRZ) was initiated in the late fall of 2014 with a project plan and financing plan plus agreements with the city of Lorena, McLennan County and the Lorena EDC to reinvest into vital public infrastructure 70 percent of new property tax and new sales tax dollars that are generated within the 700 acre TIRZ. Over the projected 30 year lifetime of the TIRZ, the public infrastructure improvements will include new roads, water lines and sanitary sewer lines needed to spur new development, grow the tax base and prevent a decline of the tax base due to the lack of development.
 
As a result of the planned public infrastructure improvements, it is estimated that over 650 homes and 1 million square feet of retail can be developed within the 700 acres of the TIRZ. The economic impact is expected to generate over 4,000 jobs for Lorena residents and indirectly contribute 3,500 jobs to the Waco Region over the lifetime of the TIRZ.
 
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WACO, Texas – Area residents and businesses are beginning to receive the American Community Survey (ACS) from the U.S. Census Bureau and are encouraged to respond to ensure our metropolitan statistical area data is accurate.
 
The Census Bureau randomly selects approximately 3.5 million addresses each year to participate in the annual ACS. Response to the survey is required by law and critical to the development of the Greater Waco area.
 
Information collected through the survey determines how $400 billion of federal funding is spent on infrastructure and services. Additionally, responses play an important role in the economic development efforts for Greater Waco, providing valuable information used by business and community leaders in planning future developments.
 
The survey takes approximately 40 minutes to complete and all of the information provided to the Census Bureau is kept confidential.
 
Businesses and individuals receiving the ACS form are highly encouraged to participate. Responses are accepted online at respond.census.gov/acs.
 
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About U.S. Census Bureau and American Community Survey:
The U.S. Census Bureau and American Community Survey (ACS) collects information about population and housing characteristics for the nation, states, cities, counties, metropolitan areas, and communities on a continuous basis. Based on the ACS, the Census Bureau can provide up-to-date data about our rapidly changing country more often than once every 10 years when the census is conducted.
 
To learn more about the Census Bureau and the ACS, please visit www.census.gov/acs or call 1-800-354-7271.
 
About Greater Waco:
Greater Waco is located in McLennan County, Texas along the Interstate 35 corridor and is home to more than 14,000 companies, 234,906 people and a regional workforce of approximately 320,000. To prepare and market the Greater Waco region for the businesses and jobs of the future, Greater Waco is strategically positioned with centralized access to Dallas and Austin (90 miles) and Houston and San Antonio (185 miles).
 
Since 2006, Greater Waco has seen more than $1.3 billion in new capital investments and $596 million in riverfront and downtown development, making it an attractive place to live, work and play. Greater Waco is landscaped with top-rated higher educational institutions, including Baylor University, McLennan Community College and Texas State Technical College Waco.
 
The Greater Waco Chamber leads economic development efforts for the area, targeting five key industries for growth, including: Advanced Manufacturing, Aerospace and Defense, Health Care, Professional and Financial Services and Supply Chain Management. For more information, visit WacoChamber.com.
 

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WACO, Texas – The Tip Off Luncheon, presented by the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce, will be October 19 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Baylor University Ferrell Center.
 
The guest speaker will be ESPN’s College Basketball Analyst Fran Fraschilla. Fraschilla joined ESPN as a college basketball game and studio analyst in 2003. He serves as an analyst primarily on Big 12 men’s basketball game.
 
In addition to men’s college basketball, Fraschilla previously worked as an analyst on ESPN’s NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship coverage from 2007-14. Fraschilla also provides commentary for the NBA Draft, the FIBA Basketball World Cup and has covered the NBA and high school basketball.
 
Fraschilla coached at the collegiate level for 23 years, posting an overall record of 175-100. When he joined ESPN, he ranked as the 34th winningest active coach in men’s college basketball. His teams made eight post-season appearances in nine years, including three NCAA Tournaments (1993, 1995 and 1998).
 
The Tip Off Luncheon will also include a preview of Baylor’s upcoming college basketball season from Lady Bears’ head coach Kim Mulkey and Baylor Bears’ head coach Scott Drew. McLennan Community College women’s head coach Ricky Rhodes and men’s head coach Kevin Gill will provide a preview to their upcoming seasons.
 
The Greater Waco Chamber will also be awarding the Frank Fallon Award and the Greater Waco Chamber Sport Luncheon Scholarship, presented by Raising Cane’s, to two outstanding student athletes from McLennan County.
 
Tickets are $450 for a table of 10 and individual tickets are available for $45. For more information about tickets, contact Amanda Haygood at (254) 757-5611.
 
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Latest Events

Latest News

Business After Hours hosted by Waco Foundation at Humane Society

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April 6, 2017 read more

The Texas Food Truck Showdown

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April 1, 2017 read more

Contact Us

Visit the first green Chamber building in America at:

101 S. Third St.
Waco TX 76701

Mailing address:
P.O. Box 1220
Waco TX 76703-1220

(254) 757-5600