Thursday, January 9, 2020

Feb. 18 Expo aims at assisting employers, teens and job seekers

Feb. 18 offers a unique opportunity to showcase your business, look for qualified people to work for you, or to look for a job or a new career for yourself.

It will all be at the Wharton County Business Expo & Job Fair, Tuesday, Feb. 18, at the Wharton Civic Center. 

About 45 exhibitors will be on hand to promote their businesses and employment opportunities. Exhibitors can sign up now. 

Also, Wharton County high school students will learn about skills they need to seek summer employment or a career. The students also can visit directly with the exhibitors. Those who attend the job fair — students and non-students — should dress to interview. It’s best to bring a resume. Entry is free.

Exhibitor space is free. It is open both to businesses, government agencies and non-profit organizations who are employers. Call 979-532-0999 for more in-formation or to be sent a one-page registration sheet. The registration sheet also can be found at

Harvey business recovery grants available

For some, Hurricane Harvey is a memory. But for others, lives are still trying to recover.
We are the Wharton Chamber of Commerce. We are focusing on the business end. But not alone. We are collaborating with the Wharton Economic Development Corp. The chamber, itself, formed a non-profit corporation called the Wharton Small Business Relief Fund, which has awarded small business grants and which is channeling interest free loans.
Now another opportunity has risen for small businesses still recovering from Harvey. 
It’s new grants from $50 to $250,000. The application is simple. You can find out more at a short presentation, and free lunch, at noon Monday, Jan. 13, at 9ers. Help is here, but don’t wait too long. 

The application deadline is March 2.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Shop Small!

Constant Contact, the group email service, put out an excellent guide why you should shop where you live. It’s about doing a good thing for the right reasons and enjoy doing it! Here we go:

1. People love supporting people
As a customer, it feels great to know that you are helping real people, people you may know personally. 

2. The personal experience
As a business owner, customers love when you are able to tailor their experience. You have the ability to make each and every customer feel special when they do business with you. 

3. Quality 
The passion for your business means that you can strive for higher quality products. 

4. Job creation
Small businesses create two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. and employ over half of people in the workforce. 

5. Community support
As a small business, you typically go to other local businesses to buy materials and services to support your own business. You’re building relationships that help your community prosper. 

Shop Small, Wharton!

Friday, August 16, 2019

Four new board to join Wharton

Wharton Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture will have four new board members come Oct. 1.

Joining the board will be Lacy Border, Debra Evens, Richard Lockley, and Dr. David Tripulas.
They were elected by members of the chamber through mail-in ballots, with a deadline to vote at noon Thursday. A nominating committee selected the four candidates, and the chamber board ratified those nominees last month.
Border is owner of Flowers It is. Evans is first vice president of the First State Bank. Lockley is owner of Wharton Feed & Supply. Tripulas is a dentist at David Tripulas, DDS.
Retiring from the board will Chad Faucett, Melanie Carlson and Steven Roberts. Terms are three years.
Michael Limas, will begin his second year as chair of the board. Carry-over board members are Stacy Hoyt, Hudgins-Groover Real-Estate; Kaytee Cenko, K&D Design; Jacob Roberson, Roberson Air Conditioning; Cody Sweat, State Farm Insurance; Traci Knight, OakBend Medical Center; Fred Johnson, Boys and Girls Club of Wharton; and Laura Reyna, A&M Agrilife Extension Service.
            The Wharton Chamber is celebrating its 100thanniversary this year. Its mission continues to be an advocate for making Wharton a better place in which to learn, live and do business.
            It is planning four more events this year. The second Annual Party Under the Bridge will be Thursday, Oct. 24, at Dinosaur Park. The 11thAnnual Chamber Golf Tournament will be Saturday, Nov. 16. The 39thAnnual Christmas Holiday Parade will be Tuesday, Nov. 24. The Second Annual Snow at the Square will be Friday, Dec. 20, at the courthouse square.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Kolkhorst to speak at Oct. 18 Lunch and Learn

With so many issues facing Texas, you will want to attend the chamber’s next Lunch and Learn. The guest speaker is our state senator, Lois Kolkhorst. It will be on Friday, Oct. 18, at the Wharton Civic Center. It starts at noon and will be over by 1:30 pm.

Tickets are just $15 and can be purchased at the chamber office. It will include a catered lunch. It would not be possible without our sponsors — a big “thank you” goes to My Storehouse Mini Storage, InsuranceNet, H-E-B, the Wharton Journal-Spectator, Wharton County Junior College, and Exelon Generation.

As Chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services, Senator Kolkhorst sets public health policies, regulates physicians and licensed health professionals, and provides oversight to state agencies including the Health & Human Services Commission, Department of Family & Protective Services and the Texas Medical Board.

She has speerheaded improvements to maternal mortality rates, and has worked to toughen Texas medical privacy law. A frequent collaborator with CASA, she has sought ways to protect abused children and reform foster care. 

The District 18 senator, Kolkhorst has been serving on Senate Finance Committee, the Senate Committee on Water and Rural Affairs, the Texas Agriculture Policy Board, the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas Advisory Committee, and the Texas Windstorm Insurance Oversight Board. 

Please join us on Friday, Oct. 18.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Deacon Jones and the Skeeters

If Wharton Chamber Night at the Skeeters wasn’t fun enough, an added bonus was purely happenstance. Sandra (the Retired Hon. Sandra K. Sanders) and I were sitting there minding our own businesses with hotdogs and Diet Coke, and along comes Deacon Jones.

Grover William “Deacon” Jones (born April 18, 1934) is currently serving as the special assistant to the president for the Sugar Land Skeeters. He’s also a retired American professional baseball player, coach, manager and scout.
After retiring as a player, Jones served as a scout and minor-league coach and manager in the White Sox organization through 1973. Jones was a coach for the Houston Astros from 1976–82, and with the San Diego Padres from 1984–87.

So, it was a great visit. He’s a born story teller, charismatic as can be, and reeks enthusiasm for life, people and baseball. We first met him when the Skeeters were building the ballpark in Sugar Land and he came spoke here at a Wharton Chamber Lunch and Learn.

Wharton Night at the Skeeters was a success with 145 Wharton folks present. The Skeeters won. The fireworks show was a winner, too.

Friday, July 12, 2019

We have company! Old cars and new folks in town

Aside from having me as her boss, Kim Peikert’s favorite part of her job is hosting tour groups. She returns from the tours energized (and even better prepared to put up with her favorite boss.)
Friday (today, July 12) is one of those days. The chamber’ office manager, Kim serves as host and Official Tour Guide to the Golden Crescent Antique Car Club of Victoria. The 30 members came to town in their classic cars.
After meeting up at the chamber office, the Southern Pacific Depot is their first stop. Next is the Morris Carriage House Museum. Then it’s lunch at Hinze’s Country Kitchen. Their visit concludes with a tour of the Wharton County Courthouse, the most extensively restored courthouse in the history of Texas.
I grew up in a faraway place called Philadelphia. Most native Philadelphians don’t think much about the Liberty Bell, or Independence Hall, or Alfred’s Alley, or the Betsie Ross House, or many other significant landmarks and historic places there. But visitor’s sure do. 
It’s good to take stock of what you have in your own town — what’s your town’s story, and what’s unique about your town. Yes, Wharton is small, but it has a unique story, and visitor’s appreciate it. Ask Kim.