Chambre Vue

Lamar County

Chamber of Commerce 


March  2014
In This Issue
New Members
Calendar of Events
From Becky's Desk
The President's Corner

Calendar of Events



Ambassador Meeting,

Springlake Assisted Living

March 5, noon


Southwestern Water Color Society Paints Paris showing in the Plaza Art Gallery

March 6, 5:30-8pm


Kiwanis Pancake Days, Fairgrounds

March 7 & 8


Dinner with the Dr.

March 10, 5:15pm


Energizing Nutrition Workshop

March 17, 5:15pm


VCC Board Retreat,

Love Civic Center,

March 18


The United States Navy Band

Paris Junior High Auditorium

March 18, 7:00pm


Run for Your Wife - Paris Community Theatre

March 21-23, 27-30


Chamber of Commerce Board Retreat,

 Community Room

March 25, 11:30 - 1pm


Dixie Youth Softball Saturday Woodall Field

March 29, 9:00 am



Welcome our New Members!
The National Children's Study
Panda Express
Olive Paris
Eagle Med, LLC


Lamar County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors
Erik Roddy,Chairman
Steve Keywood, Chair Elect
Stephen Gerrald, VP Finance
Jeff Martin, VP Membership
Robert High, Immediate Past Chair
Bobby Walters
Curtis Fendley
John Godwin
Josh Bray
Cheri Bedford
A.J. Hashmi
Matt Birch
Matt Frierson
Greg Wilson
Chad Johnston
J.D. Davidson
Chuck Superville
Rhonda Rogers
James Brockway
Stephanie Connot
Dr. Pam Anglin
James Dorman
Stephen Grubbs
Frederick Reese
Chris Dux
Lisa Walker
Helen Ressler
Sydney Young
Shane Phifer
Tony Bowden



Mission Statement:



The Mission of the Lamar County Chamber of Commerce is to lead the way for economic growth by promoting and meeting the needs of business, industry and tourism.







 We are LIVE!!

Come check out our new website at





Please contact the Chamber of Commerce to volunteer to help with concessions at the ASA Archery Tournament on April 25, 26 & 27 

Please call




The  New Visitor Guide is here!!!


The Lamar County Chamber of Commerce is the acknowledged front door to the community, responding to literally thousands of information requests annually from potential new residents, visitors and new or relocation businesses from all over the world.


Based on the preference of the request, the staff almost always responds with a city street map and the Visitor Guide, the Chamber's relocation magazine and community resource piece.


The latest edition of our Visitor Guide has been delivered and is now being distributed. This 80-page, glossy, four-color guide promotes the best that Lamar County offers.


Stop by and pick some up or call us at 903-784-2501.




Melissa Cook, President and CEO

Becky Semply, Tourism Director

Judy Daniel, Secretary

Gina Crawford, Administrative Assistant 

The President's Corner


COLUMN: Is good customer service a lost art?


What organizations in Fredericksburg practice excellent customer service?

I know there are some, but it seems that even good customer service is hard to find these days.

Think about your best and worst customer service experiences recently. What made the best ones stand out in your mind? Conversely, what happened in your worst? In my experiences, both recollections probably had something to do with the attitude of the person you were dealing with and the respect (or lack thereof) they showed you in their interaction with you.

I came of age when good customer service was expected by customers. If it was not present, customers voted with their feet and went to the business that DID offer good customer service. That does not seem to the case in 2014. Why do I say that? Because I visit far too many businesses, at least once, that do not deliver good customer service.

Over the years, I have talked with business owners and managers about this. They offer excuses as to why customer service seems to be a 'lost art.' For many years I was told that, because the unemployment rate was so low (that is, there were so few people unemployed and looking for work), that firing an employee because of poor customer service might mean that the employer could not find a warm body to replace the fired worker.

And to the employer, it was more important to have a warm body manning the cash register (or whatever the job was) than to treat customers with respect. Hmmm.

In today's world, young people do not necessarily learn how to properly treat others from their parents. When I was a child, manners and attitude were front and center in my home. I was taught to say "Yes, ma'am" and "No, sir" from an early age (and was punished when I failed to do so).

We talked at the dinner table about the right and wrong way to do things. We know that all parents do not talk about these things today. Employers, many of whom are my age, assume they are hiring people who have been brought up in homes like me and they have not.

Because they assume the knowledge and skills are already there, they fail to train or, perhaps, train enough. Instead of teaching these generally entry level, but frontline (the first to greet the customer), employees properly, they leave it to chance. And you, Mr. and Ms. Customer, become the recipient of this.

So when you walk into the retail store, instead of being greeted with, "Hello, how may I help you?" you are ignored by a couple of employees chatting about what they did last night. Instead of the person at the drive-through saying, "Thank you, it's my pleasure to serve you," you are told nothing as the bag with your order is thrust at you.

On the airplane, the flight attendant talks too rapidly in a droning voice, so no one listens to the instructions. Last week I was on a flight and the flight attendant was awesome! She will be forever memorable because she inserted her personality (with pauses, enthusiasm in her voice, and dramatic comments) and everyone listened! I complimented her as we were deplaning and evidently made her day. She "got it."

So what does this all mean for us as consumers AND employers? As a consumer, if we accept poor customer service (and I have just glossed over the greetings in a business; there is much more to it than this), then we deserve what we receive. For most of the products we purchase, there are alternatives, so we can vote with our feet and patronize another business.

As an employer, we can no longer delude ourselves into thinking that our employees will automatically be fabulous deliverers of customer service without being trained, trained, and trained again. Talking to a new employee one time about expectations is not sufficient. Role playing different scenarios can be helpful in giving employees experience in a non-threatening environment. Giving feedback on performance is essential.

Training is not enough, however. Employees need to realize that poor performance will result in sanctions, perhaps including termination. So while I always recommend that businesses offer carrots to their employees to encourage appropriate behavior, sometimes sticks are necessary.

At the end of the day, it's up to you. Will you support businesses with poor customer service? I have chosen to not do so.

This is one in a series of columns by University of Mary Washington College of Business faculty on various aspects of finance and economics as they affect our readers. Lynne Richardson is the dean of the University Mary Washington School of Business in Virginia. 


From Becky's Desk!  


February has been a great month for visitors!

We hosted a new Square Dance group called the Texas Stampede!  They lost their venue in Dallas, and of course, when they called, we quickly adopted them and Rita Haynes at the Fairgrounds took very good care of them.  We want to especially thank those Chamber Ambassadors who went out and welcomed them to Paris!  They loved Paris, and have already booked their weekend for next year!

This past weekend was the Home and Garden Trade Show in Ft Worth, and we partnered with the North East Texas Tourism Council to promote our Cities to hundreds that attended on the three day weekend.  People were very receptive and interested in our towns and all the great things to see and do.  We look forward to welcoming these visitors to Paris soon!

The North East Texas Trail committee held a meeting in Farmersville in February, and people are continuing to hike and bike the trail from Farmersville to New Boston even though some of the trail is difficult to pass.  Excitement is growing as plans are being made to "plow" through and complete each segment of this great trail called the NETT that will bring many people to our area to explore and experience our great Southern Hospitality, while enjoying exercise in the great outdoors!

We had a lot of visitors in Paris this week attending the North East Texas Emergency Management and Healthcare Conference hosted by the North East Texas Advisory Council, offering training and an exercise in an emergency crisis and held at Love Civic Center.   Sponsors and Attendees were very complimentary of Paris and our staff at  the Love Civic Center.

We had visitors from Paris, France and Australia in our office this week, and several couples came to spend Valentines weekend in Paris, Texas, just because it is "Paris"!

The weather is warming up, so venture out and be a tourist at home!  We have a so much to be proud of in Paris and Lamar County!



Opening Doors!!

The Chamber welcomes Panda Express!!!
 Ribbon cutting for  our newest members!!
5280 Loop 286
Paris, TX 75460
Applebee's Ribbon Cutting and Grand Re-opening! 
3905 Lamar
Paris, TX 75460
Main Trading Company Ribbon Cutting!!
2707 Lamar Ave.
Paris, TX 75460
National Children's Study Ribbon Cutting!!
2725 NE Loop 286
Paris, TX 75460
All Needz Plumbing
1995 Creek 1946
Bogota, TX 75417
"Live at Five" at Holiday Inn Express
3025 NE Loop 286
Paris, TX 75460

Speed Networking for your business.                       


April 10, 2014

Civic Center 11:30 - 1 pm


A fun, exciting and effective way to meet local professionals and grow your business.


$20 Members

$25 Non-members


Gourmet boxed lunches included

Bring business cards

Wear company shirt


RSVP by April 8, 2014 






8 West Plaza

Paris, TX 75460