Woodlands Chamber celebrates at chairman’s ball – Houston Chronicle

The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce held its 43rd Annual Chairman’s Ball Saturday night at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center. Jeff Garrett and Linda Nelson were celebrated as the outgoing chairman. Julie Ambler was welcomed as the incoming chairman of the Chamber. Pictured from left are U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, R-The Woodlands, Linda Nelson and Jeff Garrett.
The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce held its 43rd Annual Chairman’s Ball Saturday night at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center. Jeff Garrett and Linda Nelson were celebrated as the outgoing chairman. Julie Ambler was welcomed as the incoming chairman of the Chamber. Pictured are Julie Ambler, left, and J.J. Hollie, CEO and President of the Chamber, right.
The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce held its 43rd Annual Chairman’s Ball Saturday night at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center. Jeff Garrett and Linda Nelson were celebrated as the outgoing chairman. Julie Ambler was welcomed as the incoming chairman of the Chamber. Nelson is pictured handing over the gavel to Amber at Saturday’s ball.
The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce held its 43rd Annual Chairman’s Ball Saturday night at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center. Jeff Garrett and Linda Nelson were celebrated as the outgoing chairman. Julie Ambler was welcomed as the incoming chairman of the Chamber. Pictured are U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, R-The Woodlands, and Linda Nelson.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce never ceased their work in the community, they just changed the way they did it.
Through Zoom meetings, getting creative with their major events and the support of their membership, the Chamber moved forward with its mission of supporting businesses in the South Montgomery County area.
“We were extremely fortunate not just to survive, but to thrive during this time and that’s all thanks to our membership,” said J.J. Hollie, President & CEO of The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce. “We have a strong volunteer base of members who have remained engaged.”
On Saturday night, the Chamber members came together to celebrate those who have lead the group through this tumultuous time at the 43rd Annual Chairman’s Ball.
The elegant black-and-white themed formal event took place at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center. The theme for the evening was “A Night in Napa.”
Sam Houston State University served as a title sponsor for the night and Piney Rose Florist was the floral sponsor.
More than 500 attended as the Chamber gave thanks to 2019-2020 Chairman Jeff Garrett of Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP and 2020-21 Chairman Linda Nelson of Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center.
The ball did not take place in 2020, and special recognition was given to Garrett during this year’s event. He was even presented a Hawaiian lei from Piney Rose Florists. The theme for his outgoing celebration was to be “A Night in the Islands.”
In addition to the Chamber’s three core interest areas of transportation, water supply and flood projects and education, members were also very engaged in the COVID-19 response in the past two Chamber years.
They worked directly with local elected officials and officials in Washington D.C. to talk about what financial aid could be offered to the business community that struggled during the pandemic.
“We were able to get in on the ground floor and remained engaged politically to bring aid to businesses as fast as we could,” Hollie said.
They also served as a resource for business owners trying to navigate the many changes the pandemic brought.
Members were also able to shift major events like the Taste of the Town and the annual Economic Outlook Conference to work with the pandemic. Taste of the Town became a month of tastings in January where patrons could support participating restaurants instead of gathering for a one-night event. The Economic Outlook Conference took place in April 2021 as a hybrid event with participants both in person and online.
The event drew national attention as U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, R-The Woodlands, made his announcement that he would not seek re-election.
Both Garrett and Nelson brought different and new insight plus their own corporate experience into the role as the whole community navigated the pandemic.
Hollie said Garrett brought a great level of discernment and acted as a sounding board in the role.
Nelson’s health expertise was an advantage over the 2020-21 year.
“(Having Linda as Chairman) gave us a front row seat to what the hospitals were going through,” Hollie said. “We talked to Linda almost daily and it gave us a better understanding of the pandemic and its impact on the hospital system from the nurses to the ER to the ambulance drivers.”
The Chamber year begins on Sept. 1, and Saturday’s Chairman’s Ball was also an opportunity to introduce the incoming Chairman, Julie Ambler, the Head of School at The Woodlands Christian Academy since 2006.
“As the head of a large private school, Julie brings a great set of experiences with her as well,” Hollie said. “She has a very calm and deliberate demeanor and really understands the member-related board business model.”
Next up is a new event for the Chamber, the The Woodlands Area Business Summit on Nov. 5 at Lone Star College — Office — Community Building at 5000 Research Forest Dr., The Woodlands. Breakout sessions will cover topics that are important to new business owners, established businesses and corporations.
Visit https://bit.ly/3klHTnv to register for the business summit.
A team is also planning the annual Taste of the Town event. It is set for January 2022 and logistics are being worked on currently.
A date of Feb. 11, 2022 has also been set for the 2022 Economic Outlook Conference.
Visit https://www.woodlandschamber.org/ or https://www.facebook.com/TheWoodlandsAreaChamber/ for more on The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce.
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