Secret Life of a High School Intern

 A Little About Me

Hello everyone, my name is Lydia Williams! I am interning with the Plano Chamber of Commerce through the Plano Mayor’s Summer Intern Program. I am a rising Junior at Plano East Senior High School. At school I am a Senator on Plano East Student Senate where I advocate for youth community involvement. I am also a Junior Manager for the Plano East Golden Girls.

Outside of school, I am the Vice-President of Pearls and Ivy; a community service-based organization for the advancement of young African American women in Collin County. The organization is sponsored by the Chi Zeta Omega chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Also, I am a dancer in the Pre-Professional Division of Dallas Black Dance Academy. I am a proud member of the National Honor Society and National Society of High School Scholars. I also participated in programs such as Duke University’s Talent Identification Program, and the National Student Leadership Conference.

                                          My First Day

                Looking back on my first day, I remember poorly parking my dad’s car and hearing him say “Repark the car! You won’t pass your driver’s test parking like that”. I hastily shifted the gear and said “Dad, you’re going to make me late!” Even though I was already thirty minutes ahead of schedule. Shortly after, I informed my Dad that he didn’t need to walk me in, and I’d be able to find Plano Chamber on my own. However, after wandering around LegacyTexas Bank for ten minutes and tripping on the stairs, his presence comforted me.

Despite my minor slip ups from the morning, lunch was rejuvenating. Partially because I realized that my coworkers for the next two months weren’t as scary as I was anticipating, but mostly due to the decadent cheese pizza I inhaled… I mean ate. In summary, the butterflies in my stomach still flutter around but as time progresses, I’ll become more comfortable in my cubical and confident in my work.

My First Two Weeks

                While shadowing different people on the staff, I got to attend a Women’s Division Luncheon and two Business Interchanges. At both I played a role in greeting members, distributing and collecting name tags and business cards, and of course eating good food such as stuffed peppers and Taco Cabana breakfast tacos (always a crowd favorite). Both networking events have exposed me to a large audience of people that are kind enough to give me sound advice about navigating high school and picking the right college or career. I’ve even been encouraged to make a personal business card and pursue the scrunchie making business I’ve been dreaming about since the eighth grade. There is something about being in a room full of business executives and entrepreneurs that has inspired me to innovate.

                Although events seem to be at the heart of Plano Chamber, there is a well oiled machine behind the scenes that is necessary to create the awesome events Plano Chamber members know and love. I have been observing staff members in retention, finance, Board of Directors, and weekly staff meetings, and although I generally am clueless as to which numerical doohickey they are referring to, their work ethic is unmatched and almost that of an athlete. They’ve given me so much to look forward to for the next couple of months and even more to aspire towards in life. I am grateful to Plano Mayors Summer Intern Program and a sponsorship and Cigna for giving me this opportunity and thrilled to see what my next two weeks at the Chamber brings me!

Lydia’s Lucrative Lessons for Interns

  1. Always bring a winter coat or blanket to the office unless you
    wish to return home with frostbite.
  2. Coffee is not just for an energy boost; it can also keep you warm.
  3. KEEP A CALENDAR! KEEP A CALENDAR! KEEP A CALENDAR!
  4. Don’t bring your phone to staff meetings … or any meetings, in fact.
  5. Write your passwords down where YOU can find them.
  6. Always check in with someone when you arrive and before you leave to stay on the same page as the team.
  7. Talk to the people you work with; they have a lot of useful advice for you.
  8. Put in the code before trying to scan something to your computer.
  9. Make sure YOU scan papers to YOUR computer.
  10. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

A Thank You Letter to the Plano Chamber Membership

Dear Plano Chamber of Commerce Members,

My amazing journey of leadership with the Plano Chamber of Commerce began in September 2010, when a group of board members met with me to extend an offer for employment. Little did I know what an adventure the next 8+ years would be. As I wrap up my final days here at the Plano Chamber, I want to take a moment to express my gratitude to each of you and to the greater Plano community for an enriching, collaborative, and productive tenure.

Leading an organization through change is never an easy task; but with a board that empowered me and the entire Plano Chamber team, we were able to reinvigorate an organization that was facing difficult circumstances. The recession led to a drop in membership, and programming was not as relevant as it once was. We also experienced rapid growth across our business community as a result of several major relocations to our area. With growth came a new set of challenges—talent retention, traffic, and density, to name a few. Each time I went to the board with concerns that were facing our organization and the business community, they never shied away from confronting the issue and working to be the solution-provider to our growing membership.

Through it all, individual members and organizations stuck with us—with me—as we implemented new programs, a revised mission and program of work, a new dues structure, and hired new team members. I feel extremely grateful and humbled by the opportunity to represent such a distinguished organization and group of business professionals who truly care about their peers, their competitors, their neighbors, and their community.

As I set out for a new opportunity to serve the Plano community, I want to express my sincere gratitude to each member, board member, past leader, community stakeholder, and Plano Chamber employee who played a role in helping to create the 5-Star Accredited Plano Chamber that exists today. Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of this transformational time in our organization’s history. It has been an edifying experience and a cherished highlight of my career and professional journey.

With sincere appreciation,

Jamee Jolly

 

Welcome New May 2019 Members!

The Plano Chamber was thrilled to welcome 27 new business members in the month of May. Learn more about each member business and the services they offer by clicking the links below.

Bella Italia Ristorante
Bocell Ridley, P.C.
CBD American Shaman
Firestone  –  West 15th St.
Firestone –  Avenue K.
Firestone  – W. Parker Rd.
Fusion Academy Plano
G//G Voice Over Productions
Goldin, Peiser & Peiser, L.L.P.
Learning Express Of Plano
Lone Star Vision
Medco ER, LLC
Mosquito Joe
Original Chopshop and Bellagreen
Pape-Dawson Engineers*
Parkwood Dental
Pivocity
Rolling Escape Room
Royce Consulting Group LLC
Semida Realty
Service First Automotive Centers
Spark Creative Services
Striker Roofer & Construction
Sunwest Communications
Texas Rhythmic Academy
United Healthcare
We Heart CBD

Are you interested in learning more about the Plano Chamber of Commerce and what your business can gain from joining the Plano Chamber? CLICK HERE for information about member benefits, services, and programs or contact membership@planochamber.org.

Don’t forget to visit the Plano Chamber Business Directory the next time you are looking for products, services, or a fun night out with friends! Remember to support local businesses and Shop Plano First.

Welcome New April 2019 Members!

The Plano Chamber was thrilled to welcome 25 new business members in the month of April. Learn more about each member business and the services they offer by clicking the links below.

4 Kings Capital
ActionCoach – N2 Success Coaching
AKT
American Debt Relief, LLC 
Anything Goes Moving
Arctic IT
Axxess
BT Furnishings
CreditAssociates, LLC
Furniture Marketing Group, Inc.
It’s A Secret Med Spa
JPON Glass Company, Inc.
Lords Indoor 
Lucky Bamboo Realty
Mexican Bar Company
MyRoof
National Technical Systems (NTS)
Nation’s Best CPR
Retirement Planners Of America
Sign Center of Dallas
Spectrum / Mass Mutual Financial Group – Basit Khan
Spring Creek Chiropractic
Texas Health Resources Foundation*
Villagio of Plano
WFAA

Are you interested in learning more about the Plano Chamber of Commerce and what your business can gain from joining the Plano Chamber? CLICK HERE for information about member benefits, services, and programs or contact membership@planochamber.org.

Don’t forget to visit the Plano Chamber Business Directory the next time you are looking for products, services, or a fun night out with friends! Remember to support local businesses and Shop Plano First.

Collin Creek Mall Redevelopment Project

 

Centurion American is planning extensive interior renovations as part of its plans to redevelop the struggling Collin Creek Mall property in Plano. (Photo Credit: Daniel Houston/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Plano Chamber is proud to support the revitalization of the Collin Creek Mall as the project works its way through approvals at the City of Plano.  The $1 billion mixed-use project will provide a fresh new look and purpose for the aging mall, renewing its place as one of Plano’s many assets that enhances quality of life and amenities for our residents and attracts visitors from throughout the region.  Included in the plan:

  • Major hotel with 200 rooms and event space
  • Numerous restaurants and retail spaces
  • 9 acres of parks and green space
  • 1.6 miles of hiking trails
  • 1.5 million square feet of office space
  • 500 new homes
  • 300 senior living units
  • 2,300 apartments

With shopping, entertainment, housing, hotel and office space planned, this new vision has been embraced by its surrounding neighborhoods and the Plano Chamber is proud to add its voice to those encouraging the Plano City Council to approve this project.

Want to learn more? CLICK HERE to read coverage on this project from Community Impact.

Welcome New March 2019 Members!

The Plano Chamber was thrilled to welcome 14 new business members in the month of March. Learn more about each member business and the services they offer by clicking the links below.

Air Force Recruiting Service
Cheeky Monkeys
Dallas Roughnecks
Element Materials Technology
Farmers Insurance – Rohit Subedi
Hometown Threads
Intertrend Communications
Management Insights Group, LLC
North Texas Municipal Water District
Rodeo Goat
SBG Hospitality
Schooley Mitchell Of North Dallas
Shelby For Plano
Synexus

Are you interested in learning more about the Plano Chamber of Commerce and what your business can gain from joining the Plano Chamber? CLICK HERE for information about member benefits, services, and programs or contact membership@planochamber.org.

Don’t forget to visit the Plano Chamber Business Directory the next time you are looking for products, services, or a fun night out with friends! Remember to support local businesses and Shop Plano First.

Welcome New February 2019 Members!

The Plano Chamber was thrilled to welcome 13 new business members in the month of February. Learn more about each member business and the services they offer by clicking the links below.

Amerant Bank*
Dallas Mavericks
Kathi Dye, CPA, LLC
Legacy Area Transportation Management Association
Master Networks Of North Texas
Mobizca
Naureen I. Agha M.D. PLLC
PNC Bank
Red Mountain Weight Loss
Riverbend Sandler Pools
Sharon Corsentino Mediations, PLLC
Tune Up – The Manly Salon
Vitality Healthcare

Are you interested in learning more about the Plano Chamber of Commerce and what your business can gain from joining the Plano Chamber? CLICK HERE for information about member benefits, services, and programs or contact membership@planochamber.org.

Don’t forget to visit the Plano Chamber Business Directory the next time you are looking for products, services, or a fun night out with friends! Remember to support local businesses and Shop Plano First.

Plano Legislative Days 2019: Recap

The 2019 Plano Legislative Days delegation poses for a photo with Governor Greg Abbott.

Plano Legislative Days, a joint program of the City of Plano, Plano Independent School District, and Plano Chamber of Commerce, kicked off Wednesday, February 27th with the opening session featuring Ross Ramsey of the Texas Tribune. Guests of honor for dinner and reception included Senator Angela Paxton, Representative Jeff Leach, and Representative Matt Shaheen.

Thursday, February 28th, we were ‪honored to welcome Speaker of the House Dennis Bonnen to speak at our breakfast. Introduced by Representative Jeff Leach, Speaker Bonnen talked about the House’s focus on school finance reform and other priorities for the current legislative session. We also had the opportunity to hear from Commissioner Mike Morath of the Texas Education Agency.

At the Capitol, Judge Jeff Moseley, Texas Association of Business (TAB) CEO, shared an update on economic development in Texas and how the TAB works to support businesses.

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick addressed the group and took questions regarding the 86th Legislative Session.

After an issues-focused program, Governor Greg Abbott and the Plano Legislative Days delegation had a meet-and-greet and posed for a photo.

“Our organization was so impressed with the Plano Legislative Days program from top to bottom,” stated Brad McCutcheon with Plano Firefighters Association. “This trip is such a worthwhile investment for us every session. The programming and networking are unmatched and everyone has a great time.”

To view the 2019 Plano Legislative Days agenda, CLICK HERE.

Thank you to all of our sponsors for making this event possible.

Welcome New January 2019 Members


The Plano Chamber was thrilled to welcome 25 new business members in the month of January. Learn more about each member business and the services they offer by clicking the links below.

Aloft Richardson At Cityline
American Cancer Society 
Camelot Services, Inc. 
Cowboys Fit Plano 
Dent Mechanic Group
Diagnostic Learning Services
Equinox
JTR Insurance Agency, LLC
Lamar National Bank
Lily Bao
New York Life – David Baird
Noble Cosmetic Surgery
Plano Therapy Center
Preston Place
Shumi Omakase, Corp.
Signarama
Sir Speedy Midway
Storm Shield Restoration
The Keeton Group – Carmen Bramlage
The UPS Store – 6691
TIG Commercial Real Estate Services
Tricon Group
Waterton Property Management, L.L.C., A Delaware Limited Liability Company
Willow Bend Health & Wellness
Worksuites

Are you interested in learning more about the Plano Chamber of Commerce and what your business can gain from joining the Plano Chamber? CLICK HERE for information about member benefits, services, and programs or contact membership@planochamber.org.

Don’t forget to visit the Plano Chamber Business Directory the next time you are looking for products, services, or a fun night out with friends! Remember to support local businesses and Shop Plano First.

Introducing the Plano Chamber App!

 

We are proud to announce the launch of the new Plano Chamber App, which is now available on iTunes and Google Play.

The app provides Plano Chamber members and Plano residents with access to Chamber resources on the go, including special interest push groups, hot deals and discounts, access to media such as the Plano Pulse podcast, and more!

Exclusive sponsorship opportunities are available now, CLICK HERE for more information.