From the desk of Bill McCoy (April 2017)

On the way home from a successful Golden Triangle Days in Austin, I received a phone call from Allison Ehrlich with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She was calling to tell me the Board of Directors of the U.S. Chamber had voted to award the Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce the designation of a Four Star Accredited Chamber of Commerce.
In the United States, there are 33 chambers of commerce with this designation. In Texas, there are 13 Four Star Accredited chambers of commerce. The Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce is proud to become a part of this elite group.
Raymond P. Towle, IOM. CAE, U.S. Chamber vice president of Federation Relations and Institute for Organization Management, said, “The U.S. Chamber’s Accreditation validates a chamber as having programs that benefit its local economy and positively influence its community. We applaud these organizations for advancing the principles of free enterprise.”
The only program of its kind in the country, U.S. Chamber accreditation recognizes excellence in chamber planning and performance. To achieve accreditation, a chamber must demonstrate quality programs, clear organizational procedures, and effective communications by meeting minimum operation and program standards in the areas of Governance, Finance, Human Resources, Government Affairs, Program Development, Technology, Communications, Facilities and Bench Marking policies and programs.
If properly done, the Chamber will emerge from the program with a more efficient, productive and managed organization. When we entered the process, I told the staff and volunteers we wanted the certification but we also wanted the end results that such a process produces.
Due to the unselfish contribution of time and resources from Barbara Phillips, Verna Rutherford, Mitch Osborne, Ray Thompson, Marian Ruiz, Blaine Caillier, Carol Hebert, Stuart Salter, Ted Moor, Ron Arceneaux, Carol Hebert, Paul Chargois, Rich Macke, Joe Tant, Raquel Ochoa and Paige Snyder, the Greater Port Arthur Chamber received the certificate and the benefits of the Accreditation Process.
If you want to be part of a 4 Star Accredited chamber, call Paige Snyder at (409) 963-1107.
Tuesday, Feb. 28, the Port Arthur Education Foundation hosted the State of Education Luncheon with around 500 guests in attendance.
Speakers included Port Arthur Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Mark Porterie, Lamar State College Port Arthur President Dr. Betty Reynard, and Sabine Pass ISD High School Principal Andy Bates.
The funds raised at this event will go toward the Foundation’s Innovative Teacher Grant Program and the Foundation’s Scholarship Program.
Raquel Ochoa and Joe Tant, along with the Port Arthur Education Foundations Board of Directors, were extremely pleased with the turnout and would like to thank the community for coming together to support our children in Port Arthur.
If you would like to get involved with the work of the Foundation, visit our website at