Phil Morris, new chamber president, outlines goals for year

Pastor Phillip Morris

HIGHLANDS – Phillip Morris has been elected the new president of the Highlands-Lynchburg Chamber of Commerce, to fill the remaining term of Stefe Cochran. Cochran has relocated to Costa Rica, so his term will be completed by Morris.

At the August luncheon of the Chamber, Morris outlined an ambitious program to give the group new relevance, new spirit, and a new organizational structure to accomplish this.

In his remarks, Morris emphasized the idea of Commerce, and that the Chamber should have programs and committees that helped the members in their business endeavors. Morris outlined a new committee structure, with achievable goals, as follows:

Membership Committee, with an increase to 150 members from the current 100;

Ambassador Committee, to engage members in activities and financial support;

Sheriff’s Storefront;

Game Rooms;

Bus Route from Highlands to Baytown;

Beautification Committee, to address the need for a good impression when entering the town.

Morris reminded the group of the Chamber’s two main fundraising methods, the annual Jamboree and memberships. The Jamboree will be held Saturday, Oct. 3, and a new event this year will be a Car Show.

To improve the finances of the Chamber, Morris proposed an internal audit to make sure all members are paid up, and he proposed a one year in advance payment on lunches of $100, which will cover 11 lunches at a discount. Lunch prices will be increased, from $10 on the web, $12 at the door, and $13 if a bill is sent.

As an incentive to businesses, Morris’ proposed Ambassador committee would hold quarterly evening mixers at a host business. New businesses would also be welcomed and introduced to the Chamber. A membership drive will be planned, probably after the holiday season in January. Members heard of a proposed bus route from Highlands to San Jacinto Mall, where connections could be made to three other loop routes. Funding for this service is being investigated by the County now.

The Beautification Committee will be working under the direction of Michelle Fenner, and include Business and Residential Yard of the Month awards. Ugly businesses will be noted, and asked to improve, Morris said.

In other business, ballots were distributed for the Terry Davis Outstanding Citizen Award, and the other Annual Awards to businesses and Public Safety officials. In Jamboree business, corporate sponsors were asked to sign up by Aug. 20th.