In 2019 the New Braunfels Chamber of CommerceMichael Meek Chamber President is celebrating 100 years. Over these past 100 years the official name has evolved, but the mission has remained the same and that is to promote a better economy and a better city. Each Sunday in the Herald-Zeitung we are featuring space dedicated to “This Week in Chamber History”. This is the eighth month for a review of the previous four featured accomplishments.

The year was 1949, four years after the end of World War II. The Chamber established an Education Committee now known as the Business-Education Partnership Committee. Such iconic initiatives as the Central Texas Technology Center and Communities In Schools of South Central Texas have come forth from the Chamber’s efforts in education. And just two years ago this committee kicked off NB/Steam to create virtual connections between industry and local students. I give that an A+!

I had the good fortune to staff the Business-Education Partnership Committee in circa 1989-1992 when then Canyon Middle School Principal Rusty Brockman brought the idea of us forming a Communities In Schools locally. What started as an idea from one person has become a far-reaching support entity for students needing additional assistance. The success of the CIS program is incredible. And it didn’t just happen. It took a community volunteer action organization (Chamber of Commerce) to provide the “petri dish” of time, talent, and treasure to make it happen.

This was the same story with the CTTC. It took a citizen-led city comprehensive plan, 20 years in the making, and the NBISD to call attention to the need and challenge the Chamber to lead the effort. From the time efforts began in circa 2001 to the opening of the doors in 2004 and now an expansion in 2012, thousands of students have received needed post-secondary education.

In 1926 the Chamber developed a new house numbering system for the community. Yes, you are reading that correctly. The new numbers were necessary to the coming free mail delivery since “the city had grown very materially in area and population”. Guess this isn’t the first time we’ve seen rapid population growth in our town. This was pre-Depression and post-World War I.

Fast forward to the year 1977. A Chamber study committee led to the formation of the Water Oriented Recreation District, or W.O.R.D. This parks and recreation district was created by the Texas Legislature in 1987 (10 years later) and approved by county voters in 1988. Yes, it took a full eleven years from the formation of the study committee of volunteers at your Chamber of Commerce until final creation. If it was easy, everyone would do it!

From taking on a home address system, to assisting education locally, to forming needed recreation oversight in the county, the dates and faces may have changed over the last 100 years, but the focus has not as pointed out over the last four weeks in the recent “This Week in Chamber History” remembrances.

Success Flows Here!

Michael Meek