The Recap – A Blog By SK – Issue 3


Hey! It’s SK; this is my final blog for my eight week journey at the Plano Chamber. For my final blog I decided to change it up a little. I still gave a quick recap of each of my weeks, but I also have a little insight on where I am mentally. I hope you enjoy it and thanks for checking in!

Week 5

Week five was another busy week. On Tuesday, I shadowed Katie as she worked on her marketing projects and then after I went to the Plano Legislative Days meeting with Catherine and Jamee. On Wednesday, I went to another Woman’s Division event with Catherine. It was a nice event, but I mainly sat at the nametag booth and helped fill in for Ryan who was on vacation. On Thursday I tagged along with Jamee to a Boeing unveiling event. It was really nice. I got to talk to many city officials and also meet with some of my fellow Plano Mayor’s Summer Internship Program interns. Finally, Friday was another busy day as I attend a meeting with Catherine and then had Katie’s birthday lunch to attend.  Katie’s birthday was really fun; we ate Chipotle and had chocolate-covered strawberries.

Katie Gimenez with her strawberries.
Woman’s Division meeting at Gleneagles Country Club.

Week 6

Week six was a different week. Jamee and Jeff (Board Chair of the Plano Chamber), as well as the directors were leaving for Des Moines, Iowa. The Chamber was a finalist for Chamber of the Year and so Jamee and Jeff went to be interviewed for the award. The directors also went because the Chamber was being recognized for other outstanding achievements. While half the staff was leaving, a new staff member was joining the team. Kara Goodson was recently hired as the Membership Development Manager. The Chamber was expanding rapidly and to accommodate the new growth the chamber created a new position. The week overall was pretty quiet; I pretty much did a lot of my projects the whole week and went to a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday with Christine and Kara.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for CMIT at Yeager Office Suites.

Week 7

Week seven was my second to last week as an intern at the Chamber. The directors and Jamee were back after winning the 2018 Chamber of the Year award in Iowa.  Jamee had brought ice cream and brownies to celebrate the award.  The week was pretty evenly split between events and desk time. I went to two ribbon cutting ceremonies with Christine, which I always love going to. I also attended a couple meetings with Jamee throughout the week. Thursday was a little interesting I went to Tom Thumb to get my Ariel some lemons because she hadn’t been feeling well. (If you read my first blog you would know that was the same thing I did for Ryan). Friday was the busiest day of my internship, however. I had attended the Chairman’s Council Meeting with Jamee at Oak Point Nature Preserve and then I went all the way to the other side of town to meet Ariel at the Toyota North America Headquarters. I really enjoyed both meetings as Jamee’s meeting was about the future of automatic travel and Ariel’s was about cultural inclusion in a work space. During both events I had the pleasure to talk to some very influential people. In Oak Point, I had the chance to talk to Mayor LaRosiliere and personally thank him for creating such a fantastic program. After the Plano Culture Inclusion Alliance meeting I also had the chance to speak with Philip Witcher of McAfee who introduced me to a great program for minorities looking for future careers in the corporate world. Overall it was a good productive week and Friday was just a great way to end a great week.

SK Kiero and Ariel O’Brien with her lemons.
Plano Cultural and Inclusion Alliance meeting at Toyota North America Headquarters.

Week 8

Week eight was my final week of the program. I wanted to finish the internship strong, so I worked hard to finish all my final projects. But there were some events I wanted to attend. On Monday, I went to Plano Mayor’s Internship Celebration Luncheon at Hilton Granite Park. The event was absolutely fantastic! I was able to meet up with some of my friends and fellow interns. The food and venue were amazing.  And best of all I won a $150 card to JC Penney, as well as a letter of recommendation from Mayor LaRosiliere! On Tuesday through Thursday, I was mainly at my desk working on my final projects. On Thursday, I attend my last ribbon cutting ceremony with Christine. It was at the Data Base building and it was really interesting. Friday was my last day at the Chamber, so to celebrate we had a pizza party. I really enjoyed the party, but I was really sad that it was my last day.

SK Kiero and Mayor LaRosiliere at PMSIP Celebration Luncheon.


Now that my internship is officially over I can look back and say I had a great experience. I was able to learn so much about the business community and how it operates. I discovered a whole different side of Plano that I never knew existed. During my time of reflection, I also thought about where I am in my professional life. I realize that I have been blessed to have had this great opportunity and I’m at a huge advantage. I also realize that I’m in a great position right now, but I’m still not where I want to be professionally. I know I still have a long and hard journey to get where I want to be, but I’m glad to have had a great start at the Plano Chamber of Commerce. If I could give any advice to the future Plano Chamber interns it would be take advantage of every second you’re here, because you never know when a great opportunity presents itself.

Special Thanks

This internship has been one of the best experiences of my life! I would like to thank Mayor LaRosiliere for creating such a fantastic program that I had the privilege of being a part of. I give Cigna a special thank you for being so generous to sponsor my internship.  I have to thank the most important people in my life -my family and friends- for being so supportive and encouraging through the whole journey! I really could have not done it without your love and support.  I would like also to thank all the Chamber members for how welcoming they were; and for also making the Plano Chamber the number one chamber in the nation, because without them there would be no chamber!  I would also like to thank the Plano Chamber Ambassador team for making all the ribbon cutting ceremonies fun and interesting to attend! I would also like to thank the Chamber Board for allowing me to sit in on their meetings and learn the logistical side of the business community. Finally, I would like to give a huge thank you to Katie, Judy, Jennifer, Megan, Kara, Tracy, Christine, Carole, Catherine, Ryan, Ariel, and Jamee!  You guys took me under your wings and taught me a lot about the business world. You guys made me love coming to work every day because I knew there would be something new I could learn! It was my pleasure working with each one of you and I will really miss all of you. I will forever be thankful that our paths crossed because whatever success I will have in the future would be due to y’all!

Katie Gimenez, SK Kiero, Jennifer Ruhman, Kara Goodson, Ariel O’Brien, Judy Webster, Jamee Jolly, Megan Sieling, Catherine Riggle, Tracy Bartholomew, Christine Wunderlich, Ryan Minter (Going left to right)

The Recap – A Blog by SK Kiero – Issue 2

Week Two

After having a great first week, I wanted to have an even better second week. I had overcome my shyness and was ready to make my mark at the Chamber. Even though my second week had way more events and meetings to attend, I couldn’t wait to tackle them all!

From Monday to Wednesday, I had at least one meeting a day. I really enjoyed attending the meetings because I found it interesting how community business leaders would present problems and concerns in the business community and discuss possible solutions.

Every day of the week was important, but the most impactful day was Thursday. The Plano Independent School District (P.I.S.D.) recently appointed a new superintendent, Sara Bonser. The Plano Chamber wanted to introduce her to the local business community so they held a meet and greet for her at the Chamber office on Thursday.

During the first half of the event I was working the nametag table with Ryan. After a while I went to listen to the superintendent’s speech. The speech was good. I could tell she was very passionate about children and wanted to fulfill the role to the best of her abilities. The audience gave her a warm reception and the event went swimmingly. While I was at the event, I remembered all the little things that made the event go well. From the flyers Katie had designed and distributed to the nametags Ryan printed and assigned me to make. It was overall a fascinating event and I really enjoyed meeting some of the people there. After “Meet the Superintendent”, the week was partially over – ending my second week on the job!

registration table
SK Kiero and Ryan Minter managing the Registration Table at the Meet the Superintendent event.

Week Three

My third week was a little different then my first two weeks. Since Fourth of July was on the upcoming week the Chamber scheduled a lot of events the week before. The week started off busy as Monday had my normal weekly staff meeting. I did a couple small tasks for the staff, like helping Jennifer file some papers and Christine with mailing invoices. I also helped transport some boxed donations with Ryan to the P.I.S.D building for the new 2018-2019 teachers welcome bags.

SK Kiero and Ryan Minter deliver boxed donations to Plano ISD for the New Teacher Bags.

Monday was also Jennifer’s birthday celebration so we held a special staff lunch for her. Judy asked me to pick up chocolate strawberries from Market Street for her birthday lunch. There was some confusion on my side. Long story short, I had to make two trips back and forth to pick up the strawberries. But the strawberries eventually arrived and the lunch went well!

Jennifer Ruhman celebrates her birthday with chocolate-covered strawberries!

Tuesday was also pretty busy because there were two meetings and a ribbon cutting for me to attend. The first meeting I attended was a Woman’s Division Board Meeting with Ryan.  Woman’s Division is a division of the Chamber that focuses on helping woman get better involved and connected in the Plano business community.  Right after that I attended a ribbon cutting ceremony with Christine at the newly-renovated Homewood Suites by Hilton North Dallas-Plano. The event was really nice. I received a full tour of the building and met some of the hotel directors. I even met the Hilton Duck!

Homewood Suites Ribbon Cutting
Plano Chamber Members and Ambassadors celebrate the Grand Opening of Homewood Suites by Hilton with a Ribbon Cutting!
Hilton Duck
SK Kiero poses with the famous Hilton Duck at a Ribbon Cutting.

The last three days of my third week was full of events. On Wednesday, we had “Maximize your Membership” and “Success in Business”.  Both events where interesting; however, I found “Success in Business” more fascinating as the topic was about the generational gap many businesses face.

On Thursday, we had the main event of the week with Plano First Quarterly Luncheon at the Marriott. Every four months, the Chamber plans Plano First luncheon and Thursday were the summer event. The event was very nice and elegant; in attendance where some of the big corporate leaders of North Texas, as well as many local small business owners. The event included networking as well as moderated discussion between three leading leaders of Plano retail development. During the event I reconnected with some people I had met at previous Chamber events as well as some new faces. For example, I met LaMonte Thomas, Market President of Cigna North Texas and Oklahoma. His organization has been so gracious to fund my internship this summer. It was nice that I could give him a proper thank you for his company’s contributions. Overall, I had a great time at the event and really enjoyed my time there.

As my week came close to the end, I had two more events for the week. There was the usual Business Interchange the Chamber holds every Friday plus ONE Plano. The only problem was that I had lost my voice and could barely talk so I had to skip Business Interchange. I did attend ONE Plano which was a very nice meeting. ONE Plano is a meeting for nonprofits to discuss ways to manage their nonprofits. The meeting wasn’t too long, but it would have been the last event I would attend before my work week was over.

My third week was very busy and somewhat crazy, but I really enjoyed it. I really enjoyed going to the events and meeting the people there. Overall I would consider my third week a very successful week as I finished all my tasks and tagged along to most of the events.

Week Four

Week four was by far the most relaxed week of my internship. For one, we had finished all the major events the previous week. Plus, Fourth of July was on a Wednesday dividing the week in two. We had the usual staff meeting on Monday and an Events Team Meeting (or “Dream Team Meeting”) on Tuesday. Wednesday was Fourth of July and we got the day off. For Fourth of July, Katie and I created a nice picture to remind the members we would be closed that day via Facebook.

4th of July
The image wishing everyone a Happy 4th of July on Facebook.

In preparation for low attendees at the weekly BI due to the holiday, the Chamber came up with the idea to incorporate a patriotic theme for the week’s BI Meeting.  Ryan and I filmed a very patriotic video to help attract more Chamber members to the meeting.

SK Kiero and Ryan Minter pose after their patriotic Business Interchange video.


Overall I had a great first half of my internship. I’m happy with everything I have learned and experienced so far. However I know there is still so much I can learn, master, and experience. As I start to approach the end of my internship, I know I’m running out of time. However, I plan on taking advantage of every second.

Call to Action – Support Smart Planning

The Plano Chamber has spent months reviewing the Envision Oak Point Plan, talking to business members located in that corridor, attending public sessions and Planning & Zoning meetings, and reviewing the document and changes made as a result of input. After thoughtful consideration, the Plano Chamber Board of Directors expressed support for the plan and we would like to encourage local citizens and business owners to support the plan, as well.

Envision Oak Point is a long-term, strategic plan to ensure that the inevitable development of that area is cohesive, in line with the existing and surrounding communities vision for green spaces, social hubs and recreation opportunities, and provides a variety of housing options for students, seniors, young families and more.  Projections show this plan will boost job growth in the area, allow opportunities for additional transportation hubs, and result in an overall positive economic impact of more than $5.6 billion.

Click Here to view the plan.

CALL TO ACTION: Please email your council members TODAY at and You can also sign a card of support and choose to speak, along with the Plano Chamber, at City Council on Monday, July 23rd at 7:00pm. Get there early in order to get a card in.  Talking points on the key highlights of the plan are provided to use in communicating with council.

The Recap: A Blog By SK Kiero

Hello! My name is Shawin “S.K.” Kiero and I’m the 2018 Special Projects Intern at the Plano Chamber Of Commerce. I couldn’t be more thankful to the Chamber for selecting me, as well to Cigna for sponsoring my internship. During my eight week journey I will be posting three blogs describing my experiences as the Special Projects Intern.

The Interview

My journey with the Chamber began April 20, 2018 – the day of my interview. My interviewers were Ariel O’Brien and Katie Gimenez. They asked about my interests, my personal life, and why they should select me. I answered every question to the best of my ability while remaining honest. After my interview, I felt confident that I had received the internship and wrote thank you letters to Ariel and Katie, my two interviewers. I had to wait for the official letter that I received the internship.  As my friends started to receive their intern acceptation letters, I started to worry about my intern status. Two hours after my first friend received his letter, mine finally came. I was ecstatic and could not contain my excitement for the internship.  After I officially accepted the internship, I began the wait for June 11, my first day.

My thank you email to Ariel O’Brien after my interview.

Week 1

On Monday, June 11, I walked into the Plano Chamber of Commerce building for the first time. The first co-worker I saw was Catherine Riggle (Programs Manager) who was very nice and welcoming to me. Once I arrived to the cubicles, I met Ariel O’Brian (Programs Director) and Katie Gimenez (Marketing and Communications Director) again, as well as Jamee Jolly (President/CEO) who I had first met a week earlier. All three welcomed me kindly into their office spaces and introduced me to the rest of my co-workers: Ryan Minter (Programs Manager), Catherine Riggle (Programs Manger), Jennifer Ruhman (Finance and Operations Director), Judy Webster (Member Services and Business Center Coordinator), and Tracy Bartholomew (Director of Membership Development). Everyone was very nice and made me feel welcomed. They even gifted me with a beautiful gift basket of my favorite things.

My lovely welcome basket

Afterwards, there was staff meeting. During the meeting, I learned everyone’s role in the Chamber and the task they’re assigned. Later in the day, Ryan, Katie, Judy, and Tracy took me to an amazing Italian restaurant where I learned more about them and the kind of lives they have. While my first day didn’t have too many tasks, I felt tired nevertheless. But as I was driving home, I had this indescribable sense of joy. This joy was not because I was leaving work, but from the knowledge that it was the first day of a great summer.

On Tuesday, I filmed an introduction video with Tracy Bartholomew. I was extremely nervous and I couldn’t keep my eyes straight to save my life. Overall, it was a very fun and entertaining video. We later posted the video on Facebook and it received 92 likes and 1,400 views. It made me feel like a part of the team.

During the rest of the week I attended two more meetings with Jamee as she meet with local business leaders, as well as the board of the Chamber. During the meetings, I observed how Jamee would create a comfortable environment through refreshments and friendly interaction. This was key to her meetings going well as everyone was felt welcomed to voice their opinions. During the week I also observed how all my co-workers were kind and respectful to each other creating a very positive environment.

Through the week I came more and more out of my shell and came to see everyone as more approachable. For example, Ryan was feeling ill on Tuesday so I had told him to drink boiled lemons with honey to help cure his cold. While at first he was reluctant, he would eventually try my method. To ensure he would have enough lemons for the remedy, I decided to bring him a bag of lemons to work to his surprise.

Ryan with his lemons

Overall, I would say my first week was a success; I met many wonderful people and attended many interesting events. I look forward to continuing my journey with the Chamber!


Welcome New June 2018 Members!

The Plano Chamber was thrilled to welcome 31 new business members in the month of June. Learn more about each member business and the services they offer by clicking the links below.

Membership Thank You

A Cut Above Hair Salon
Action Planners
Agape Resource & Assistance Center
American Technologies, Inc.
AMN Healthcare Inc. – Coppell, TX*
Candlewood Suites Plano-Frisco
Conference USA
Cruise and Travel Guides Powered By Dream Vacations
Design Unto Others
Dough Society Pizza
Dough Pizzeria
EGI Consulting Business Solutions Group, LLC
Eureka Business Group
Golden Chick
Liberty Mutual – Corporate Campus*
McDonalds #21318 – The O’Reilly Group
Mike Graff
Preferred Technology Solutions
Prince of Peace Catholic School*
Resurrection Lutheran Church Preschool
Sip N Button
Solstice Senior Living
Tapping Knowledge/Texas Substance Abuse Education
The Alternative Board
The Storehouse of Collin County
Wells Fargo – Business Banking
Wells Fargo – Middle Market Banking
Whitley Penn – Dallas*
Whitley Penn – Fort Worth*
Whitley Penn – Legacy West*

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 Tracy Bartholomew, Director of Membership Development, at

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.


The Plano Chamber was thrilled to welcome 28 new business members in the month of May. Learn more about each member business and the services they offer by clicking the links below.

Membership Thank You

5K Technical Services
Abundant Solutions of Dallas – LLC
Advantage Storage – McDermott Square
Axium Solar
CMIT Solutions of Plano
FutureGen Media
Goen’s Nerds, LLC
Granite Foundation Repair, Inc.
Henlee Senior Relocation Solutions
Humana – Doug Gilreath
IHM Business Group
Ked’s Artisan Ice Cream & Treats
Micah Peacock, Financial Advisor
North Dallas Indoor Digital Billboards
Paw Theory – Private Pet Sitting, Dog Walking, Healthy Treats
Promotion Health, LLC
Quiroz Chiropractic
Savorite Southern Cuisine
Sky Investigations LLC
Smart Neuro Health & Wellness
Texas Best Construction, Inc.
Whirly Ball Laser Whirld – Plano
Xedious Technical Solutions
Yes Hair Salon

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 Tracy Bartholomew, Director of Membership Development, at

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 2018 Members!

The Plano Chamber was thrilled to welcome 39 new business members in the month of April. Learn more about each member business and the services they offer by clicking the links below.

Membership Thank You

AB Moving
AFLAC – Marcus Geisenhoff
Alkami Technology
Ameristars Best Care
Brixmor Property Group
Brooks Eye Associates
Buckaroo Pest Protection
Critical Start
Dallas Network Services
Eureka Ergonomic
Flexsin Technologies Inc
Freeman Law PLLC
Guaranty Bank & Trust
HospitalityFan Inc
Hotel Indigo Frisco
JKS By Design
Kolache Factory – Coit Rd.
Kolache Factory – W. Parker Rd.
Law Offices of Maria Tu, P.C.
Loza & Loza
Mattress Guys
McKinley Bridal
MEI Rigging and Crating
Microgen International LLC
Modern Acupuncture
Nest Burger
New York Life – Jatonne Burgess
Quaynor Legal Services, PLLC
Regevity Stem Cell Institute
Stellar Stream Solutions
Step Forward Coaching
Texas Timber Group
The Megan Victor Group
Timeless Luxury Watches
Venture X Plano – Legacy West
Wick Phillips

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 Tracy Bartholomew, Director of Membership Development, at

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.

Making A Difference | Ambassador Service Project

Wrapping up two days of hard work! (top row, left to right) Matthew Walden, Misty Hoyt, Kevin Giles, Bob Kehr, Rob Hacker, Dmitri Maglalang, Ron Schoof, Ven Kurvari (bottom row, left to right) Mavis Everett, Christine Wunderlich, Shanette Eaden, Tracy Bartholomew

The Plano Chamber Ambassadors recently embraced a service project to assist one of our Chamber nonprofit members in need. Heritage Farmstead Museum, the premiere living history site interpreting the Texas Blackland Prairie region in North Texas, submitted a service project to Leadership Plano (LP) Class 35 requesting assistance with updates to their property. LP ultimately selected a different class project, so our Ambassador leadership team willingly stepped up to the plate to lend a helping hand.

Thank you for sharing your time with us! (left to right) JB Owen, Mo Nilforoushan, Krishna Murthy, Kalpana Murthy, and Kelly Walton!

Over 25 Ambassadors and LP class members arrived to complete the updates, which included sanding, painting, landscaping, and other organizational tasks. We even had some future Ambassadors join us to contribute their helping hands!

Big thanks to Rob Hacker, Hacker’s Painting, for donating your time, expertise and tools!

We would like to give special recognition to Rob Hacker with Hacker’s Painting as our true MVP of the Day. Most of our volunteers were self-proclaimed DIY novices, so Rob stepped up by not only spearheading the project details, but by also donating his time and personal business supplies for both project days. With his leadership and expertise, we were able to go above and beyond our original plan, paving the way for the Farmstead to host an incredible Community Egg Hunt the following weekend – where they hid over 2,000 eggs for Plano children to hunt!

We are so grateful for the Ambassadors who generously donated their time to support this project, which was made possible in partnership with Heritage Farmstead Museum and Leadership Plano. A special thank you to all of the representatives below, who helped make a difference in our community and bring the Chamber’s vision of “One Vision. One Voice.” to life. Scroll down to see more images from the project!

Ambassador/Volunteer Company Name
Dmitri Maglalang DEXTER & COMPANY
Larry Flannery ARTA TRAVEL
Matthew Walden MERSATECH
Mo Nilforoushan TEAMLOGIC IT
Shanette Eaden CITY OF PLANO


Welcome New March 2018 Members!

The Plano Chamber was thrilled to welcome 24 new business members in the month of March. Learn more about each member business and the services they offer by clicking the links below.

Membership Thank You

Altice – Suddenlink
AMLI West Plano
Angela Miner
Camp Gladiator
Collin County Electrical
Cook Nguyen & Ressler, PLLC
Dance Vision Plano, LLC
Farmer’s Insurance – The Isaacks Agency
Fogo De Chao – Legacy West
Imaging Spectrum, Inc.
Larkspur at Twin Creeks
Manara Academy
Mary Kay Cosmetics – Laurie Cole
The Montfort Group
Motel 6
O’Desi Aroma
Sentry Marketing Group
SMA Insurance Services
Spavia Day Spa
Spencer Fane LLP*
Texas Pool Foundation
Veterans Center of North Texas
Workout Anytime

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 Tracy Bartholomew, Director of Membership Development, at

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 County DC Fly-In

The Plano Chamber of Commerce recently partnered with the Allen Fairview Chamber, Frisco Chamber, and McKinney Chamber to lead a delegation of business and community leaders to Washington, D.C. for two days of briefings, meetings, and programs.

The DC Fly-In delegation on a cold and snowy morning before heading to Capitol Hill.

On Tuesday, March 20, the participants sat in on briefings from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce discussing topics ranging from Association Health Plans to infrastructure to NAFTA. Kelly Pollitt, Chief Advocacy Officer with the National School Board Association, discussed challenges and opportunities facing public schools today.

Issue briefings at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Following the issue briefings, participants rode a shuttle to The Monocle Restaurant for a reception and dinner with Congressman Sam Johnson.

Plano Chamber Board Members Jeff Beckley, Lissa Smith, Amanda Rockow, and Matt Foster with Congressman Sam Johnson.

On Wednesday, March 21, attendees traveled to Capitol Hill to meet with Senator John Cornyn and Senator Ted Cruz. Both senators sat with the participants and discussed topics of importance to the Collin County region and business community. Special thanks to Senate Sponsor FedEx Office for supporting this inaugural D.C. Fly-In.

DC Fly-In delegation with Senator John Cornyn.
DC Fly-In delegation with Senator Ted Cruz.