February 2010 - Lone Star Legislative Summit, other Chamber events
Posted 02/15/2010

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Lone Star Legislative Summit speakers

bring expertise in critical areas

By Bruce R. Partain

The third Lone Star Legislative Summit includes speakers with specific knowledge of critical legislative issues.

The event is set for February 17 and 18 in Nacogdoches, Texas.

“The transportation panel will include State Senator Robert Nichols,” said John Ruckel, event chair. “He is a former TxDOT commissioner who has visited every TxDOT district office in the state.” TxDOT Assistant Director of Engineering John Barton is on the panel with Rep. Allen Fletcher, whose District 130 covers part of Harris County. A law enforcement professional, Mr. Fletcher serves on the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee and Urban Affairs Committee.

Chairman of the House Education Committee Rob Eissler leads a panel that also features Rep. Jim Jackson. “Mr. Eissler was just named to the Select Committee on Public School Finance,” Ruckel said. “Rep. Jackson also serves on the House Education Committee.”

Eissler served 18 years on the Conroe Independent School Board of trustees.

The water resources session will be moderated by David Alders of Nacogdoches. Rep. Allan Ritter and Rep. Brandon Creighton will participate with Jerry Clark, executive vice president of the Sabine River Authority.  Rep. Ritter chairs the House Committee on Natural Resources. Rep. Creighton’s also serves on that committee. Alders serves on the East Texas Region I Water Planning Group for the Texas Water Development Board.

The event kicks off with the Lone Star Reception on Wednesday, Feb. 17 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Hotel Fredonia.

Summit sessions begin with an early breakfast on Thursday, Feb. 18 on the second floor of the Stephen F. Austin State University Student Center. Sessions run through the afternoon.  

Texas Governor Rick Perry will speak on legislative challenges and opportunities across Texas.

“We have invited Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison to present her views of the national legislative landscape,” said event chair John Ruckel.

U.S. Representative Louie Gohmert will highlight federal activity on healthcare, homeland security and other major issues.

Rep. Wayne Christian will take part in panels and welcome fellow legislators attending the event to his ‘home territory.’ Christian serves on the Business and Industry Committee and is vice chair of Criminal Jurisprudence.

Cost for the Wednesday reception at the Hotel Fredonia is $25.

Thursday events run from approximately 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. at SFA.

Thursday breakfast is $15 and luncheon is $25. A combination registration for all ticketed events is only $50.

The event is produced by the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce.

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Luncheon gives SFA and Sugar Land insights

Sugar Land businessman Jimmy Thompson is not only serving his community as mayor, but also his state by chairing the SFA Board of Regents.

Thompson will present “Leading Sugar Land, Leading SFA” at Nacogdoches County Chamber’s Fourth Friday Luncheon, noon to 1 p.m., Feb. 26 at the Fredonia.

Thompson will discuss his insights into Sugar Land and SFA as regional leaders and his role on the leadership teams of both organizations. “Parallels in developing Nacogdoches are sure to be discussed,” said Chamber Vice Chair of Membership Bill Teague.

Lunch is $16 and attendee RSVPs are required by Thursday, Feb. 25. Register and pay online – go to for the registration link, or complete and fax the registration form to the Chamber, 560-3920. All attendees may enter the $50 drawing. All Chamber members are entered in a $250 drawing, but you must be present to win. Both drawings sponsored by First Bank & Trust East Texas.

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NOBLE Banquet to honor local high school students

The 19th annual banquet honoring Nacogdoches county high school seniors who have chosen the more rigorous “recommended” or “distinguished” program of study will begin with registration at 6 p.m. Monday, March 1, at Stephen F. Austin State University’s Student Center Grand Ballroom.

According to NOBLE Banquet co-chair Robin Dawley, approximately 250 of  an estimated 400 qualifying seniors will attend the banquet, an event sponsored by the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce’s education committee.

“This is a great opportunity for the business community to honor county high school seniors for their commitment to education,” Dawley said. “Local businesses and individuals have supported the banquet through their donations and sponsorships.”

The banquet begins at 6:30 p.m. A reception for parents in the Twilight Ballroom will include refreshments. Representatives from SFA will be present to provide information about the admission process. Parents will join the students at about 7:15 for presentations.

Nacogdoches county NOBLE scholars are eligible to apply for one of an estimated fifteen $1,000 scholarships to SFA. Academically qualified scholarship recipients may be eligible for renewal of the scholarship for up to four years. The scholarships are provided by Citizens 1st Bank and the Daily Sentinel. “This year we are challenging other businesses to step up and sponsor one, five or ten scholarships,” said Paul Smith, Chamber chair.  Businesses can also sponsor the banquet.

Scholarship applications will be available to students from area high school counselors.

The chamber’s education committee also sponsors Great Expectations, a program that brings local business leaders to county schools to encourage students to take advanced courses, which will better prepare them for the workplace and life. The education committee includes school counselors and administrators, SFA faculty and staff members, and members of the chamber of commerce.

For more information about the banquet, call the chamber at (936) 560-5533.

Sponsorship forms are online at

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Chamber and SFA Athletics plan to Cram the Coliseum

Chamber members get free admission tickets for Cram the Coliseum events in this mailout!

A very limited number of extra tickets are available at the Chamber, 2516 North St., or ask a Chamber member for tickets to these two SFA basketball games in SFA’s William R. Johnson Coliseum:

  • 7 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 24:      Ladyjacks vs. Texas State.
  • 2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 27:           Lumberjacks vs. Corpus Christi.


“If you’re a little dribblers coach or a children’s group leader or youth group leader, this is the perfect opportunity to enjoy a university athletic event for free,” Athletics Assistant Director John Branch said.

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Ag Banquet set for March 29

The 2010 Nacogdoches County Agriculture Awareness and Appreciation Banquet is Monday, March 29, at Banita Creek Hall.  Legendary football coach and rancher Gene Stallings is the keynote speaker.  Tickets will soon be available at the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce and the Texas AgriLife Extension Service for $22.00 each.   The event begins with a reception at 6 p.m.

“Each year we pay tribute to an industry that feeds, clothes and shelters the world and creates a solid local economy” said committee chair David Alders.

Awardees this year include Ag Pioneer of the Year Albert Thompson,  Ag Business of the Year Mill Creek Farms, Farm Family of the Year  the Jerry Nichols family and Ag Educator of the Year Dr. Dale Perritt

Tipton Ford, Heritage Land Bank, First Bank & Trust East Texas and Citizens 1st Bank sponsor the awards.

Local youth planning to attend Stephen F. Austin State University majoring in Agriculture, Forestry, or Environmental Sciences will also be awarded scholarships.  These youth must reside in Nacogdoches County having attended a Nacogdoches County education institution either public, private, or home schooled as well as maintaining a 2.5 GPA or higher.  Eligible scholarship candidates should also attend the annual banquet to receive their scholarship.

            The event is a collaborative effort between The Texas Forest Service, the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Texas Farm Bureau, Nacogdoches Economic Development Corporation (NEDCO), Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce and the SFA Agriculture Department.

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Spring online auction underway

The Chamber’s Spring Online Auction is already gathering steam. Staff member Barbara Holl and volunteer Amy Seitz are contacting resorts, accommodation facilities and vacation spots locally and statewide to build up an impressive offering for the event. Check in with Barbara or Amy if you have an item, service – or an idea – on which they can follow up.

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The Chamber continues to promote “Shop Nac First.” A new PSA spotlighting the traditional shopping patterns and history of Nacogdoches began airing in early January.  Thanks to Terri Thompson-Sayler (video) and Dr. Archie McDonald (voice) for their contributions. An audio version of the spot has been running on Gap Broadcasting, and full video version on KTRE and especially on FOX/NBC. The Daily Sentinel has created a Shop Nac First feature that runs weekly. “Our thanks to all media for their support,” said Chamber President Bruce Partain. “The SNF logo is available for your web site and other advertising. Check out, look for information. Please leave a positive comment about any local store, or inquire about where to find items.”

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Newcomer Guide
Chamber Directory & Map
These premier Chamber publications are widely distributed throughout Nacogdoches County and beyond!
© Copyright 2005-2022 Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce. All rights reserved.
2516 North St., Nacogdoches, Texas 75965 • (936) 560-5533
Unless otherwise noted, no part of this website may be reproduced without written permission.