Crosby/Huffman Chamber selects new leadership

By David Taylor
Managing Editor

With the turn of the calendar page into the new year, it ushered in the first days for new leadership in the Crosby-Huffman Chamber of Commerce. Leaders are anxious to distance themselves from the pain of the pandemic.

“I think it’s just refocusing,” said Crystal Egorushkin, the new chairman of the board for the chamber. “The pandemic took a lot out of everyone, businesses and the chamber. Everything was at a standstill.”

Egorushkin joined the chamber in 2021 with her business Trusted Insurance Group and became a board member in 2022. Now she’s at the helm of the organization and hopes to see growth this year.

“We’re kind of getting our footing and revisioning our relationships with members and connecting them together to grow the community,” Egorushkin said.

She also sees social media as an extremely powerful tool and hopes to see their new president revamp their internet presence.

“We’ll also be offering spotlights online to promote our members and at our luncheons, we will bring speakers who can share tips and tricks to help them grow their business. Everything we bring to the table will be valuable content for our members,” she promised.

The chamber board has spent the last four months or so putting together a profile for their new president and pouring over resumes and reexamining the mission of the chamber.

“The chamber is not city or county funded and we have to raise our own funds every single year. We rely on our membership to fund that, but at the same time we have to be able to give back to them in services that will help them,” she said.

Early on, they realized there was no way to bring in a new president until some cleanup was accomplished.

During that time, all the phone calls were funneled to Egorushkin’s personal phone.

“We didn’t want to miss any opportunities and at the time, we just couldn’t afford to pay someone,” she said. Other board members pitched in with office duties and in December, they began their search in earnest for new leadership.

The board hired Tom Richard (pronounced Rih-shard) and he began his duties on Jan. 1.

“I’ve lived in the Houston area since 1983, and my wife’s family immigrated here to Crosby. I’m not originally from here but I got here as fast as I could,” he said, moving to Crosby in 1989.

His background is in advertising and marketing, having worked at Halliburton Company most recently.

“I envision doing some video clips of our businesses for highlights online,” he said, and a much larger social media presence, some of which has already begun.

After speaking with some of his former colleagues at work, he discovered that people had heard of Crosby but didn’t know where it was located.

“I also want to work on the branding of the chamber,” he said. That also includes being the ‘boots on the ground’ type of president where he’s making calls on his business members.

“The national brands already come with marketing and things on a national level, but our locals don’t have that benefit. I want to help provide that through the chamber,” he said.

For now, Richard will maintain hours Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

“After 90 days, we will reassess and hopefully we’ll be able to bring him on full time,” Egorushkin said.

The chamber will host its annual awards banquet on February 22 at 6:30 p.m. at Stonebridge Golf Club in Newport. Tickets are $50 per person.

“We’re still looking for sponsors, and groups may purchase tables ahead of time,” she said.

Egorushkin said the Tees and Tails Golf Tournament returns in April this year, and residents should look for purse bingo and poker night events to come.

“We’re really looking forward to growth, especially in 2024, with all the changes. This would be a great time for everyone to come and join us,” she said.