Dale Champagne announces retirement at Beaumont Chamber’s 115th Birthday Celebration

In addition to celebrating 115 years of advocating for and supporting the Beaumont business community and sharing plans for 2018, the Greater Beaumont Chamber of Commerce announced Wednesday, Jan. 24, that a familiar face at the Chamber would be retiring.

After more than seven years at the Beaumont Chamber, Sales Membership Director Dale Champagne, 58, has retired.

“When Regina Lindsey joined the GBCOC staff as president, I told her that I was looking to retire in the near future to pursue goals for me and my husband, Don, in our senior years,” Champagne told The Business Journal. “The ideal opportunity presented itself that will allow me to pursue a dream while still helping our businesses and community. As of February 2018, I will be a GBCOC partner using the perks and tools as the independent agent for Valued Merchant Services, a nationwide company that provides various services to businesses.”

During Champagne’s tenure, the Beaumont Chamber was recognized as sixth in the nation in the American Chamber of Commerce Executives Circle of Champions Club, and achieved three life time achievement awards from the American Chamber of Commerce Executives Circle of Champions Club, with the latest being the Gold Lifetime Achievement (1,000 sales or $500,000 in sales) that was achieved in January 2018.

“My time at the Chamber has really given me the opportunity to grow and to realize that I can pursue my dreams,” Champagne said.

“I knew when I took this position that Dale was developing a retirement strategy that would include her own business endeavor,” Greater Beaumont President Regina Lindsey said. “I kept hoping that it wasn’t time for her to launch that opportunity, but she feels it is. She has been an absolute delight to work with and is well respected by our members. She is a consummate professional and passionate about the Chamber. We wish her well in her new endeavor and look forward to her transitioning to a partner and volunteer.”

Lindsey told The Business Journal that Joey Armstrong, former general sales manager at Cumulus Media, would be taking over Champagne’s position.

Lindsey also announced the launch of a new Business Retention and Expansion Program, which will be spearheaded by VP of Economic Development Ana Pereda, who was Small Business Advisor at the Lamar SBDC for more than 5 years.

“That’s really going to be working with businesses that have already called Beaumont home and helping them to stay here and to grow,” Lindsey said. “There’s so much emphasis on the economic development side of things and trying to get the new businesses in, but all the statistics say that a majority of your jobs come from existing businesses.”

In April, the Beaumont Chamber will partner with the Port Arthur and Orange chambers in holding the first Legislative Tour: Navigating the Neches, a complement to Golden Triangle Days, which is usually held when the Texas Legislature is in session. This collaborative event will welcome state legislators and their staff to Southeast Texas to educate them about significant topics in the region. Participants will have the opportunity to take tours of the waterways vital to the Texas and U.S. economy, attend informational sessions, meet with local business and community leaders, and learn about Southeast Texas culture. For the 2018 Navigating the Neches Legislative Tour, the Chamber is focusing on three main areas: Healthcare, Industry, and Coastal Restoration, Lindsey said.

May 5, the Chamber will hold its first Lemonade Day.

“This is a nationwide program that works with young students — we’re going to be focusing on third graders,” she said. “This helps them to understand what it takes to run your own business.”

The Beaumont Chamber is also adding a motorcycle ride to its LobsterFest event that will start Saturday morning, April 14, and conclude at Ford Park in time for the dinner. The planned route will stop along various locations of Chamber members, and some prizes will be given with additional entertainment. Participants have the option of doing the ride only or opting into the dinner.

Photo by Kevin King - Dale Champagne (right) announces her retirement at the Beaumont Chamber’s 115th Birthday Celebration Wednesday, Jan. 24. Pictured with Champagne is Beaumont Chamber President Regina Lindsey, who said she wishes Champagne well in her new endeavor as Independent Agent for Valued Merchant Services and looks forward to her transitioning to a partner and volunteer.