Newsletter – July 31, 2022

It is another beautiful day and beautiful week about to begin in Monroe, Louisiana.

Thank you for your chamber membership and for being a difference maker in our community. I

hope everyone had a chance to join us last Tuesday at our “State of Local Government”


What a great event and great presentations by two great leaders. Mayor Friday Ellis and

Ouachita Parish Police Jury President Shane Smiley laid out two complimenting successes and

visions about the direction we are going. Below is an article from The News-Star that details

things. If you go to our website under the Monroe tab you can see some videos from the city

and be watching under the same tab as we will loading the “Live Ouachita” video that Mr. Smiley


, Police Jury president tout growth in Monroe and Ouachita Parish (

Consolidation Update – A survey went out to both our membership and the WMWO Chamber

membership two weeks ago. We will share results and update you all on where we are very


Technology Update – Thank you to all who filled out our second survey. John Jones heads up

our Technology committee. His committee has expanded to include other community members

who specialize in technology. Be watching for two events this fall. A cyber security workshop

and a social media workshop. Thanks to all who have reached out to help on both.

Governmental Affairs Update;

Your GAC met with Dr. Brent Vidrine to get an update on Monroe City Schools. Dr. Vidrine laid

out a very comprehensive plan on upgrade facilities and news on the upcoming school year. We

meet with Mayor Ellis on August 10th. The meeting will be at the Benoit Recreation Center. We

will also have meetings in the next few weeks with Mr. Smiley and Dr.. Coker.

Your chamber along with KEDM and The West Monroe / West Ouachita Chamber will be

hosting a political forum in October prior to the election. Here is an article on those who have


Here’s who qualified for November 8 primary elections (

Non-Profit Update: Thanks to the efforts of Kirsten Gladen and her non-profit committee and

thanks to our partners at The United Way of Northeast Louisiana a survey will go out this week

to local non-profts in effort to help them.

Workforce: Our joint workforce coordinator, Adam Alexander, has hit the streets running. He is

meeting and coordinating all things workforce. Adam is coordinating a giant Career Fair Expo on

September 21st at The Monroe Civic Center – this will be a great event and one to help in your

hiring. Interesting article from The News-Star.

Louisiana employment reaches all-time high, data says (

What a fun ribbon cutting last Thursday in beautiful downtown Monroe. Thanks to the Echols

family for continuing to reinvest in our downtown.

See you this Thursday at the Art Crawl:

Sample art and crafts at the next Downtown Gallery Crawl in Monroe (

Young Professionals:

Our Young Professionals will meet Tuesday August 9th at Flying Tiger. Get your Talons out as

Athletic Director Scott McDonald shares the inside of ULM Athletics. Below is an article on

Coach Bowden’s outlook for the 2022 season. If you haven’t bought your season tickets there is

still time.

ULM football coach Terry Bowden breaks down team at Sun Belt Media Day (

Education Update: A lot of GREAT things going on with our Education Committee. Banners will

be sent off soon for all MCS schools. We have grouped each of our membership businesses by

zones around each city school. Maggie Generous has surveyed all of our school principals for a

“Needs List” to start the school year. We will share that list with our members so each of you can

find ways you can support the schools nearest your business. On September 27th a group of us

will be going to visit the innovation happening at Walker High School and the Helix Academy in

Baon Rouge. Quentin Durr and Roy Heatherly met with Lon Smith of ULM who is teaching

coding and esports at Neville High School. Quentin and I are working on how we help the

school system expand these programs. Finally on September 15-17 Roy Moye III will be here to

share his musical talents with MCS schools 3rd and 4th graders teaching them about STEM. He

is also planning some shows at the Children’s Museum.Here is a link to his website.

Ambassadors: Our Ambassadors meet this Tuesday at DOMO. DJ Fortenberry with the city will

be there to discuss Economic Development (industrial and retail).

Small Business: Our Small Business Committee is working with the city on meetings with you

our local business owners. We have already had meetings with Pecanland Mall and the

commercial realtors. Did you know the Mall makes up a huge portion of our sales tax revenues

and has over 2,000,000 visitors a year.

Inside Chamber Magazine: We are beginning work on our annual “Inside the Chamber”

magazine. We are planning a special section inside. We will reaching out with advertising


Website: PLEASE visit our website – we continue to add things to it plus it houses all our survey


Social Media:

● Please follow us if you haven’t already.

● 100 Days of Funroe – We are almost 20 days in and more great things coming.

● Total Resource – We continue our campaign to thank all of you who make it possible to

do our program of works.

● Continue to watch each Wednesday for a new episode of “Ouachita One Table”.


● Our 20 Under 40 event will be on August 11th. What a great group of over 60 nominees.

● Our “Vision on Education” lunch will be August 16th.

● OUr Golf Tournament will be September 16th.

● Our joint Career Expo will be on September 21st

● Our annual Holiday GALA will be December 1st.