If you haven’t been to the Terrell Chamber of Commerce Convention Visitors Bureau (CVB) office in a while, you will be in for a surprise the next time you visit. The unassuming exterior still looks the same with the green tin roof and the mirrored glass exterior, although you may notice a new ADA-compliant parking area and sidewalks. But once you step inside, you may think you’re in a completely different building.
The Chamber office building located at 1314 W. Moore Ave. was built at Ben Gill Park in 1973 and leased by the City of Terrell to the Terrell Chamber of Commerce in an agreement by which the Chamber would pay $1 per year for 50 years. That’s right…we still have 4 years left on our lease and owe $4.
I was able to sit down Sarah Kegerreis, who is a former Chamber employee and previously served as Chairman of the Board. She shared with me that in the early 90s there was an extension added to the building. Then in the early 2000s the pitched green tin roof replaced the previous flat roof to address an ongoing problem with leaks after heavy rainfall. Other than those two updates, not much else has changed in the building’s 46-year history.
That is until now. Earlier this year the Chamber started a renovation project that began with a complete gut of the interior. The objective was to reconfigure the space to allow room for an additional office for the new Director of Marketing and to update the look to be more modern.
It took almost three months and a host of Chamber-member contractors, but we are finally all settled into our new, gorgeous space. One of our favorite new décor features is a series of black and white canvas prints of old photos of various points of interest in Terrell. The Terrell Heritage Society gave us permission to reprint these and they have added the perfect touch of nostalgia to our new space.
Those three months under construction weren’t the easiest. The six of us spent nearly two months crammed into one room—the new board room—that is 390 square feet. It made collaboration easy, but you could forget about attempting a conference call or meeting. The upside for me is that we moved to that room during my second week on the job, so it was a great way to get to know my new coworkers.
Of course, in the span of 46 years there have been many different people through our doors. The Chamber building serves many purposes—it’s a place for visitors to get information about the community, a place to meet and answer questions of potential new members, a meeting place, the headquarters for the annual Heritage Jubilee, civic auction central operations, home to Terrell Economic Development Corporation and Convention Visitors Bureau, and many other things. We want all who enter our doors to feel welcome. We want to help those in our community and to serve our members as best we can. We believe our new and improved office space will better support our purpose and provide our guests with a good experience during their visit.
The new physical appearance of the interior isn’t the only thing new at the Chamber office. You will also notice a couple of new faces when you visit. I joined the team in June in the newly created Director of Marketing role and Whitney Calloway joined us in August as our new Member Services coordinator. Ray Dunlap came on board earlier this year as the Economic Development President. You likely already know the rest of the team: Carlton Tidwell, President & CEO; Angie Cooper, Director of Membership; and Mandy Laningham, Director of Tourism. So, if you haven’t been by to see the new and improved Terrell Chamber of Commerce office, please stop by and say hi! We’d love to have you.