Before Craig Ranch, Mayor Loughmiller or a population of 150,000, McKinney was a community of agriculture and pioneers. As the McKinney Chamber of Commerce (MCOC) celebrates a century of growth and progress, one thing remains the same – our city is made up of generous, hard-working individuals who support one another to ensure a brighter future.
Chamber member businesses are focused on McKinney’s role as a thriving business hub. Founded 100 years ago, to help transition McKinney away from a dependence on agriculture, MCOC continues as the leading voice for the local business community. It represents nearly 40,000 employees from more than 1,200 business investors in the region.
Former First Lady Lady Bird Johnson and former McKinney Mayor Al Ruschaupt stand beside historical marker for birthplace of President Lyndon Johnson's mother. Photo taken in 1977.
The Chamber partners with government and private enterprise leaders to position McKinney as a prime location for doing business. Led by these forward-thinking leaders – and large numbers of highly engaged Chamber members – McKinney has skyrocketed in population while maintaining its treasured small-town charm and enviable quality of life.
Ray Eckenrode, president of Appian Commercial Realty and chairman of MCOC’s Board of Directors, is helping the organization navigate through one of its most rapidly growing periods in history.
“By working with people from different industries, Chamber members are afforded diverse opportunities,” he said. “The Chamber provides that opportunity as well as a variety of resources that affect the success of their individual enterprises. The organization is more active, relevant and essential than ever as we enter our second century of success.”
Having earned a Four-Star Accreditation by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, MCOC centers most of its activities, as it has for decades, on helping members reach their business goals and supporting efforts to make McKinney a welcoming environment for business people and their families.
The McKinney Chamber offers members several options for building the strong relationships necessary for success. Chamber Ambassadors help promote meaningful programs and facilitate networking among members.
After Hours Networking and New Member Showcase, Benefits and Breakfast and LINKS are scheduled regularly to help our members extend their marketing reach. LINKS (Learn Inform Network Know Share) is often credited by guests as being the area’s premier weekly networking event. Here, nearly 100 businesses gather to share a 30-second commercial about their products and services.
Dennis O’Hagan of RE/MAX DFW Associates – Team O’Hagan has served the Chamber in various capacities since 2006 and has proudly witnessed startup businesses expand. He listens weekly to guests who share their stories of success and recognizes the direct impact of the relationships made at LINKS.
“Getting to know and depend on service providers has been a huge help with our business,” he said. “Establishing relationships with people you see on a weekly basis builds trust and that goes a long way.”
More than 200 members of The Women’s Alliance of McKinney connect with other women in business to achieve their vision of empowering, promoting and supporting one another through programs like the Women’s Summit and the Top 25 Women in Business.
With a membership of nearly 150, the McKinney Young Professionals (MYP) provide numerous opportunities for networking and community engagement to attract and retain a young, talented workforce in McKinney. MYP events have grown in popularity by staying on the cutting edge of business trends, resulting in sold-out Business After Hours and networking luncheons.
MCOC helps open doors for new, expanding and existing businesses by serving as a guide and liaison. Whether a business needs direction through the permitting processes or working through ongoing infrastructure improvements in our area, staff takes the time to troubleshoot and educate.
The award-winning Leadership McKinney program includes an alumni network of more than 500 individuals which it has helped develop into agents of positive change. Based on a year-long curriculum that combines personal leadership skills training and an awareness of the McKinney community, this challenging educational experience provides a chance to engage with city leaders and subject experts.
State of the City, Business & Education New Teacher Breakfast and Community Awards are annual events that connect our businesses to community partners and residents who recognize the value of joining together for the good of McKinney.
Buy Local — McKinney First!
For every $100 spent in McKinney, $68 stays in McKinney. Buy Local – McKinney First! Promotes this benefit. When residents buy local, the sales tax collected goes back into the community. Half-cent sales tax revenue is invested in community development projects and supports high quality community services.
The Chamber is committed to building a strong and engaged membership in order to serve as an advocate for business interests. The McKinney Chamber and its members advance and protect the pro-business tradition of McKinney through its government affairs efforts. The Chamber represents local businesses and drives public policy at the local, state and regional levels on behalf of businesses. This representation among policy makers is a critical advantage for Chamber members.
The objective of the McKinney Chamber Political Action Committee and its Government and Legislative Issues Committee is to foster and support good government and to enhance the economic well-being of the community.
The Chamber is committed to encouraging community involvement and building leaders of today and tomorrow.
Educational offerings are essential to helping member businesses stay progressive and relevant. Best practices, marketing, human resources, sales training and technology are among topics covered at Quarterly Luncheons and Business Roundtables. These events feature industry leaders as keynote speakers and facilitators.
Communication is key to ensuring the McKinney Chamber understands the interests of its members, records our story and remembers the past. Just as sources of information have changed and expanded in recent years, the Chamber has evolved its strategy for keeping a growing community connected.
For more than 25 years, McKinney Magazine has seen the value in ‘local’ — focusing articles exclusively on McKinney residents and businesses: by the community, for the community, about the community. McKinney Magazine is recognized as an important economic development tool by community partners, businesses and residents.
McKinney Magazine reaches more than a half-million residents and businesses annually.
Thousands of readers each month also access McKinneyOnline.com. Besides keeping residents and businesses updated on the latest news from all corners of the community, McKinneyOnline.com offers a robust community calendar.
The Community Resource Guide includes the Chamber’s annual member directory and arrives early spring for residents, businesses and those looking to relocate.
A first in 2014, November's Business-to-Business periodical will showcase McKinney’s business vitality, superior educational opportunities, strong workforce, top-flight health care and unique quality of life that make McKinney such a draw.
Rick Wells, co-owner of Rick’s Chophouse and harvest seasonal kitchen and chair of the Chamber Media Services Board of Directors, noted the importance of keeping McKinney connected.
“Most McKinney residents are already aware of McKinney Magazine,” he said. “But what makes this an exhilarating time is witnessing its transformation. McKinneyOnline.com is saved as my home page, so every morning I read the latest on what’s happening around town. A few years ago, that didn’t exist, but it’s necessary to reach our fast-moving audience.”
Moving Into the Future
The Chamber has served the businesses of McKinney for five years from the Summit I office complex on South Central Expressway and is scheduled to relocate to Historic Downtown McKinney late this fall, welcoming visitors to its new staff offices at 400 West Virginia Street by the end of the year. The Chamber is poised to meet the needs of businesses as they prepare for McKinney’s continuing growth. Those business people interested in making the most of new opportunities will play a leading role in shaping history for the Chamber’s second century.
About the McKinney Chamber of Commerce
The McKinney Chamber of Commerce is an advocate for the McKinney business community and proudly serves as the unified business voice of McKinney. The Chamber represents over 39,000 employees from more than 1,200 business investors in McKinney and throughout the North Texas region. With a rich heritage of leadership and collaboration, the Chamber works in concert with the City of McKinney, community partners and the corporate community to promote, advocate for and expand business. As publisher of McKinney Magazine, McKinneyOnline.com and McKinneyChamber.com, the McKinney Chamber markets the community’s advantages as the foremost location for doing business and to keep a growing community connected. The Chamber is celebrating its Centennial in 2014 — recognizing 100 years of service to the McKinney Business Community and City of McKinney.