Chamber Connection Newsletter


May 2016
Shelby County Chamber of Commerce
Ribbon Cuttings & Grand Openings
Parmer Pools joins Chamber

The Shelby County Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors, family and friends, and community members attended the new member ribbon cutting for Parmer Pools with owner Dirk Parmer.
Andy Foster, Ambassador vice-president, welcomed everyone, "I want to thank everyone for attending the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting today. On behalf of the Chamber Ambassadors and Directors, congratulations to you and your staff for joining the chamber and opening your doors to the community." Foster ended saying, "We are here to serve you and help you promote your business and get the word out and send customers your way."

Jessica McSwain & Dirk Parmer 

Owner, Dirk Parmer, gave an introduction and description of services offered. He stated, "We do pool service, we sell in-ground fiberglass pools, we also do maintenance on in-ground and above ground pools. We carry and sell chemicals and supplies for all pools. If anybody needs anything, we are here to service y'all."  

Parmer introduced his staff, Jessica McSwain, Jesse Gann, James, Billy Ramey, Cody Price, Alex Caporali, and Eugenio Gonzalez.
Parmer Pools is located at 209 Nacogdoches Street, Suite C in Center. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Friday 10am until 5:30pm and on Saturdays from 10am until 2pm. For more information, call 936-332-9013.
For more information please contact the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce at (936) 598-3682 or
Member News
Lasting Impressions
Celebrates 20th Anniversary



The Shelby County Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors joined Paula Jones, owner of Lasting Impressions,  to  celebrate 20 years of business with an Open House at 112 Foster St.

Paula Jones & Pam Phelps

Pam Phelps, Executive Director of the Chamber, welcomed everyone to the open house and stated that she remembered when the building was just a thought and Foster St. had nothing on the new street.  She congratulated Paula on the growth her business has experienced and she has since had an expansion to the original build.  The public along with friends and family were treated to refreshments and received a 20% discount on selected anniversary specials showcased during the celebration.

Lasting Impressions carries a variety of children's clothing items, totes, home decor and jewelry.  They welcome bridal, baby shower
 and house warming registries.
For more information contact the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce at 598.3682 or see their facebook page.
Chamber Event
Chamber's Inaugural Golf Classic
Slated for June 6

The Shelby County Chamber will hold the 1st Annual Chamber Golf Classic, presented by Shelby Savings Bank, on Monday, June 6 at the Center Country Club located on Hwy 96 N.

The golf classic will be an excellent opportunity to network and fellowship in a relaxed atmosphere with fellow Chamber members and potential business associates.  The outing is a way to market your business or organization as well as treat a client or customer to a great day of golf.

Open registration will begin on Wednesday, May 18 until Wednesday, June 1 at the Chamber office or by email. It will be a shotgun start with a four-person scramble format.  Registration fee is $500 with lunch and 

beverages served.

Gold sponsors for the event are Texas Quick Care and Hope Medical and the Award sponsor is State Representative Chris Paddie.

For more information please contact the Chamber at 936-598-3682 or email to


Teacher of the Year Reception
Shelby County Teacher of the Year
Reception Presented by
Cline Family Medicine

The Shelby County Chamber of Commerce saluted the accomplishments of the talented teachers throughout the county's school districts with a Teacher Appreciation reception, presented by Cline Family Medicine, on  April 20 at the Windham Civic Center.
Each Shelby County school campus chose one teacher as the 2016 Teacher of the Year for their campus. Each campus teacher and their school was recognized at the reception. Teacher of the Year for each campus were presented with a Certificate of Recognition from the Chamber of Commerce and the Education committee. 

The following selected Elementary teachers were Iva Nell Miller, F. L. Moffett; Chelsi White, Center Elementary; Patty Davis, Center Intermediate; Barbara Boucher, Excelsior ISD; Amber Graves, Joaquin Elementary; Jennifer Sonmor, S. W. Carter; Stephanie Jamar, Timpson Elementary; and Billie Price, Center Christian Academy  were the Elementary Teachers of the Year from their campus.

Secondary teachers were Matt Duvon, Center Middle; Jennifer Fausett, Center High School, April Gates, Joaquin Junior High; Yesenia Corrales, Joaquin High School; Erin Alford, Shelbyville Middle; Walt Baty, Shelbyville High School; Chad Lawrence, Timpson Middle; and Kay Dawson, Timpson High School.

Amber Graves & Kelly Lucas  

At the reception the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce Education committee announced the 2016 Shelby County Teacher of the Year for Elementary and Secondary school campuses. Kelly Lucas, Chairman of the Education Committee presented the award. The recipients were Amber Graves, Joaquin Elementary and Kay

Ron Lindgren, Kay Dawson  & Kelly Lucas 

Dawson, Timpson High School.

This event was made possible in part by gold sponsors Farmers State Bank and Shelby Savings Bank.
For more information please contact the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce at 936-598-3682 or email at


Chamber Event
94th Annual Chamber of Commerce
Celebration Dinner & Awards 
Presented by Farmers State Bank


The 94th Annual Chamber of Commerce Celebration Dinner & Awards, presented by Farmers State Bank, was held Monday evening, April 25, at the John D. Windham Civic Center.   Several Shelby County citizens were honored recipients and were recognized for their contributions to the community.

Master of Ceremonies, Chris Watlington

Chris Watlington, the master of ceremonies, welcomed everyone to the event. After giving the invocation and leading the pledge of allegiance, Watlington recognized visiting representatives from the offices of U.S. Senator John Cornyn, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, and U.S. Congressman Louie Gohmert. Texas House Representative Chris Paddie, District 9, was introduced and spoke briefly. The City of Center Mayor and Council members were recognized along with Chamber of Commerce President Jim Sawyer and his wife Kathy and President-Elect Meg Camp and her husband James.

Derek Pierce and Jim Sawyer

Jim Sawyer presented Derek Pierce, Past Chamber President, with a plaque recognizing his year of service and contributions to the Chamber.  He was thanked for his leadership which pushed the Chamber forward.

Jim Sawyer and Rose Specter

Jim Sawyer, Chamber president, presented the President's Award to Rose Specter, Specter, Inc. She has worked with the Chamber for years on several committees and projects. Rose has helped with the Christmas Parade, Total Resource Campaign, Poultry Festival, Rooster Revel, Chamber Banquet, Barbecue Cook-off, and has served on the Chamber Board.  Often times while volunteering she is seen as going above and beyond.

Jeff and Betty Parker and
Ed Johnson

Ed Johnson introduced the Farm Family of the Year, Jeff and Betty Parker. Jeff and Betty have been in the poultry industry since 1997. Jeff was named top pullet grower for Pilgrim's Pride in 1991, 1999, 2001, 2002 and 2007. The Parkers received the Moosberg award recognizing top pullet growers three years in a row - 2011, 2012, and 2013.

  Anna Lee and Josh McAdams

Josh McAdams, Young Citizen of the Year 2015, introduced the 2016 recipient to be Anna Lee. Mrs. Lee graduated from S.F.A. and since that time has devoted her time and talent to several civic organizations and activities. She is a part of a growing family who has been in the agriculture industry for three generations. She is an advocate for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), has been the president of the Eta Rho Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi and this year she is nominated at the 2016 woman of the year. She has been president of Rotary Club and has worked at Shelby Savings Bank since 2009 and just recently promoted to senior vice-president.

    Alease Copelin and Jim Forbes

2015 Distinguished Service Award recipient, Alease Copelin, presented Jim Forbes with the 2016 award. Mr. Forbes was the recipient of the Thomas Jefferson Award; he coached in the Center Little League program when his son was young; his family has helped report the daily weather when needed, in 48 years, no reporting of the weather has been missed. He moved to Center in August of 1961; he was awarded the Dick Hagemeyer Service Award for 45 years of continuous service for the United States Weather Service; he was a volunteer for the Center Volunteer Fire Department for 30 years and he served as both secretary and treasurer; and he provides weekly weather information to the local paper and monthly weather information to Shelby County Today.

In a recap of a year of change in Center, Watlington mentioned the new Chicken Express, the new shopping center on Hurst Street, the tearing down of Pizza Hut, the removal of the hospital building as well as milestones for several area businesses including the 65th anniversary of Center Motor Company, the 50th anniversary of Bounds Insurance and the 20th anniversary of Lasting Impressions.
Sponsors that made this event successful included Gold sponsors, General Shelters of East Texas and Shelby Savings Bank. Silver sponsors, City of Center and High Roller Wells and the VIP Reception sponsor, Republic Services.
For more information please contact the Chamber at 936-598-3682 or email at or click here to
 read more.


First Responders' Appreciation Lunch
First Responders' Appreciation Lunch
Presented by McAdams Propane
Slated for May 25
Center Independent School District and the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors will host the First Reponders' Appreciation Lunch, presented by McAdams PropaneWednesday, May 25 between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. at the Windham Civic Center.
First responders including police officers, department of public safety officers, constables, Sheriff Deputies, firemen, medics, Game Wardens and law enforcement officials will be honored guests.
Public servants and peace officers carry a responsibility for maintaining order, enforcing the law and protecting the lives and property of our citizens.   Often, service involves personal sacrifices and even personal danger.

The appreciation lunch recognizes the contribution law enforcement makes to the community. Sponsoring the event are Specter, Inc., Raymond Construction and Spartan Structures.

For more information please contact the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce at (936) 598-3682 or
Chamber Event - "Shred Day"


The Shelby County Chamber of Commerce Shelby Beautiful Clean Committee recently conducted the annual "Shred Day", presented by Shelby Savings Bank, and had two mobile shredding units available on the historic downtown Center Square.

Community members and businesses were invited to bring documents and paper that need to be shredded. Chamber Ambassadors were on hand to help unload materials and break down boxes.   



These services are provided free to the public as a service of the Shelby County Beautiful Clean program of the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce. Shred Day was sponsored in part by Farmers State Bank and Town & Country Real Estate.

For more information please contact the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce at (936) 598-3682 or
Member News

General Shelters of East Texas Reaches New Milestone


General Shelters is celebrating a new milestone for the Center, Texas Plant. The company's 75,000th building was recently constructed. Serial # 75000 will be on display at the Center Texas Plant and open to the public for viewing on May 20, 2016. Plant tours will also be scheduled that day for viewing the manufacturing facilities.

Unlike the 50,000th building produced in December 2004 (less than 12 years ago), a 14' X 20' storage building, the 75,000th is a new floor plan for 2016. This 1,152 square foot cabin has 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, central air/heat, on demand hot water, GE stainless kitchen appliances, washer/dryer and vaulted ceilings.
James Campbell founded the manufacturing business in 1973 in Center, Texas. Combined with plants in Munday, Kenedy and Beeville Texas General Shelters has manufactured well over 100,000 buildings.
General Shelters currently employs about 90 people with a payroll of over $3.4 million annually.   General Shelters has been blessed with a very loyal workforce, which is the major factor for success in the manufacturing business.
General Shelters has seen many economic changes over its 43 years of business diversifying over the years to provide a wide variety of products sold to multiple consumer types. Products include: storage buildings, greenhouses, gazebos, outdoor kitchens, deck barns, offices, mobile offices, guardhouses, change rooms, crew quarters, man camps, cabins, workforce housing, classrooms, horse barns, covers, steel building kits and a new line of carports for 2016.
The public is invited to come celebrate on May 20, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. at 1639 State Hwy 87 North, Center, Texas.

For more information please contact General Shelters at 936-598-598-3389 or go to

Member Spotlight
Chicken Express
Opens in Center
Chicken Express made an astounding entrance in Center, Texas.  First day response broke records for a new franchisee opening.  The traffic and excitement was riveted throughout town as Chicken Express made it's debut.  Photos were taken with the live chicken at the store, so the children were delighted.
Congratulations to owners Steve and Selena Windham.  
Chamber Board of Directors
Shelby County Chamber of Commerce Board Welcomed AT& T

Al Newill and Dell Tipton 

The Shelby County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors met at their regular monthly meeting in April and welcomed guest speakers, Al Newill and Dell Tipton with AT & T Broadband Services, to provide insight on the future of fiber optics in Shelby County.

Fiber Optics provides businesses with the option of bandwidth for growth that was not available previously. They listed some benefits of Fiber Optics such as lower monthly cost, less interruption due to weather and availability to manage company fleets.
Dell Tipton gave an example of a pallet company that had pallets disappearing, which in turn cost the company a lot of profit. The technology of "managing fleets" was placed in pallets for this company which made it possible to track the pallets. Al Newill offered to help businesses look at their individual accounts to see what is available and works best for each business.
The board read the minutes and financials for the previous month and a motion was made to accept. Monthly reports were made by the chairman of Ambassadors, Banquet, Economic Development, Education, Health Care, Leadership, Membership, Shelby Beautiful Clean, Total Resource Campaign and Tourism.

Lunch was catered by Shani's Catering.  The next regular scheduled meeting is Monday, May 9, noon at the Windham Civic Center.  All members of the Chamber are invited and encouraged to attend a board meeting.

For more information or to RSVP for the May meeting please contact the Chamber at 936-598-3682 or email at

Member News
The Lily Farm Opens Mini Nursery

Tri-Color Ginger 

The Lily Farm owner, Mark Carpenter, has opened a mini nursery to the public. The Lily Farm Nursery, located at 10056 Highway 7 West, between Center and Nacogdoches, is open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tall Bearded Iris 

The nursery has added a variety of plants, including knockout roses, drift roses, Bromelia, Tall Bearded Irises, Foxtail Ferns, Crepe Myrtles and Azaleas.

The Lily Farm will be hosting a MOTHER'S DAY breakfast in the garden on the Saturday, May 7 from 8 a.m. until 12 noon in honor of Mother's Day. The day lilies will be blooming and they will also have a FREE GIFT to ALL MOM's with any purchase from their new nursery. This is a great outing for those moms who love flowers!

On Mother's Day, Sunday, May 8, the Lily Farm will open to the public for the sale of day lilies.  Mark has several varieties that will be in bloom and ready to plant.  The farm for lilies will stay open until Father's Day, June 19

For more information please contact Mark at 936-572-1962, email at  or go to or like them on facebook.
Foxtail Fern 



Chamber Ambassadors
Shelby County Chamber Ambassadors Hold 2nd Quarter Meeting
The Shelby County Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors recently held their 2nd quarterly meeting at the Windham Civic Center.

Vice President, Andi Foster, called the meeting to order and David Chadwick gave the invocation. During the quarterly meetings the Ambassadors receive a list of upcoming events that give them the opportunity to volunteer their 

time to help with the event.

Each quarter they are given an event list that is returned to the Chamber and the hours volunteered are tabulated and one individual from each team is recognized having the most hours and one team is awarded the "Traveling Chicken" trophy for the most hours in the quarter.  For the 1st quarter the Ambassadors volunteered 166.5 hours and to date they have accumulated a total of 423.5 hours.

L to R: Keli Talbert, Antoinette Polley,
Billie Sue Payne 
Not Pictured: Gabby West and Scott Stanfield 

Individuals that received a Certificate of Recognition were Keli Talbert, Wayne Christian Financial; Gabby West, Natural Texan Magazine; Antoinette Polley, East Texas Home Health, Billie Sue Payne, Payne Rentals and Scott Stanfield, Farmers State Bank.

L to R: Doug Gay, Susan Hairgrove, Billie Sue Payne, Allison Sanford,  
Kathy Bailey 
Not Pictured: Meg Camp, Scott Stanfield, Camille Stanfield 

The "Traveling Chicken" trophy went to team #4, Meg Camp, Cline Family Medicine; Allison Sanford, Shoop Insurance; Scott Stanfield, Farmers State Bank; Susan Hairgrove, Jordan Health Services; Camille Stanfield and Kathy Bailey, Shelby Savings Bank; Doug Gay, Liberty Tax and Billie Sue Payne, Payne Rentals.

Chamber Ambassadors throughout the year help with facilitating events, meeting and greeting new members, volunteering their time to work at the East Texas Poultry Festival, Annual Chamber Dinner, and recently helped with the 2016 Teacher Appreciation Reception. 

For more information please contact the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce at (936) 598-3682, email

Member News
  Spring Fling Car Show
WHAT:   Car Show
When:  Saturday, June 25
Registration 9:00 a.m.
Show 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.
Entry Fee $20.00

Where:   Wulf Shopping Center

Hurst St.

Why:  Proceeds help support area high school scholarship funds 

For more information please call:
Visit their FACEBOOK or email at


Mission Statement


Mission Statement


The Shelby County Chamber of Commerce is organized to promote and advance economic enrichment and development, tourism, and the social and civic interest of Shelby County and adjoining areas.     



Chamber News

Wayfinding Maps at Chamber Office



The Tourism Committee of the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce the publication of a Wayfinding Map for Center.  The map highlights points of interest and hotels/motels in the area.  The Chamber has distributed them to high traffic traveler locations according to Tourism Chairman, Andi Foster.
For more information or to get maps please
 contact the Chamber office
 at 936-598-3682 or email
To view map click here.




Chamber News


East Texas Press

PO Box 2594
Lindale, TX 75771
Office: (936) 254-5050

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