Blog

Our Chamber, our members and our neighborhoods are in constant motion!  This News section of our site is designed to help us all keep abreast of what's new in East Dallas.  Members are welcome to contribute their own press clippings, as well!

  • 09 Aug 2016 8:43 AM | Anonymous

    Connie Hearn and Norma Minnis first met when their paths kept crossing at business luncheons. Then they met again at the 2004 March for Women’s Lives in Washington, D. C. where over one million women participated in one of the largest marches in U.S. history. What were the chances of them running into each other half way across the United States at such a huge gathering? They have been close friends ever since.

    The two became involved in Women’s Issues Network (WIN), a local organization formed in 1980 which has worked continuously for women’s rights and equality. Each had a particular incident in their past that shaped their lives. 

    Connie was greatly influenced by her dad in her teen years when he served in the Air Force. He played on a baseball team with fellow soldiers, but when the game was over, he could not have a drink with the African American players because of the segregation laws. He was angry over the injustice of the laws. Then she personally experienced social prejudice as a teen in Hawaii where she was the minority. Connie’s first job in the business world in the late 80’s was for a small company that rapidly grew to an INC. 500 company. She quickly rose to the position of CFO and that’s when she discovered that both she and the V.P. of Operations were being paid less than what their male counterpart was being paid as the V.P. of Sales.  “It was shocking to learn that he was paid twice what we were and, when our owner was confronted, he had the nerve to say it was because John needed more income as a man.  We threatened to resign until we were paid equally and the owner acquiesced.” Since that time, she has worked passionately for women’s equality and for equal rights for all.

    Norma became politically involved when the city was planning to demolish houses on the street behind her house in order to build a thoroughfare. She worked with the neighbors to successfully defeat the plan. She then worked for Congressman John Bryant for 14 years as the District Director where she learned about the political process and became involved with many civic causes. She has worked on numerous neighborhood campaigns because she knows that one person can make a difference in the quality of life.

    The pair will be at the Women's Equality Day celebration at Dallas City Hall on August 24 which has been celebrated annually by WIN for over 20 years. Over 100 women wearing white will descend upon City Hall for the program. White garments represent the suffragists who lobbied for women to vote, keeping their memory alive.

    Although women's voting rights are taken for granted today, they were earned through a long brutal campaign by women that began in the 1700's and culminated nearly 150 years later when the 19th Amendment was passed on August 26, 1920.

    Until that time, women were not allowed the right to own property, to have legal claim to the money they earned, nor the right to vote. Clothes, jewelry, and land were owned by their husbands or fathers. Bibles were one of their few possessions that they could hand down to their children.

    “Although 66% of women are registered, only 46% actually vote,” said Norma. “The most important thing you can do to initiate change is to vote.”

    Women’s Equality Day is scheduled for August 24 from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. in the Flag Room on the 6thfloor of City Hall located at 1500 Marilla Drive. The keynote speaker is Debbie Branson, former Chair of Parkland’s Board of Managers and the 87th Linz Award recipient. The event will include a Proclamation recognizing the 96th Anniversary of Women’s Equality Day given by Mayor Rawlings, the City Council, and County Commissioners, and others. It will be followed by a program honoring the history and aspirations for full equality of women and girls.

    Betty Ritchie and Jo Ann Jenkins are the event chairs. Jana Barker is the President of WIN.

    Sponsors for this event are: Dallas Women’s Foundation, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Dallas Alumnae Chapter, Jane’s Due Process, Junior League of Dallas, League of Women Voters of Dallas, NARAL Pro-choice Texas, National Council of Jewish Women Greater Dallas, National Organization of Women N. Dallas Chapter, League of Women Voters of Collin County, Peacemakers, Inc., Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, S.E. Dallas Business & Professional Women’s Club, Temple Shalom, Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation, Inc., The Afiya Center, United Nations Association—Dallas Chapter, Women’s Issues Network.

    The event is free and open to the public.


  • 14 Jul 2016 10:26 AM | Anonymous

    Be sure to join us and other chambers of commerce for a BBQ fundraiser and blood drive on Friday!



  • 12 Jul 2016 9:58 PM | Anonymous

    Author, teacher and music enthusiast, Steve Lund brings his captivating presentation “The Secret World of Music: Theme and Variations” to Fowler this summer. An energetic speaker that delights audiences, Lund will perform from the pages of classical masters, such as Beethoven, Mozart, Paganini, and Liszt, to name a few. His performances and storytelling weave the intricacies of the themes and musical variations of each composer. Join us for an afternoon of fun!

    Tuesday, July 26, 2-3:30 pm

    Juliette Fowler Communities
    Schneider Chapel
    1234 Abrams Road, Dallas 75214

    Presentation is free and open to the public.

    Please call 214.818.0344 to reserve your seat.

    Please park in lot off Abrams.


  • 12 Jul 2016 3:22 PM | Anonymous

    On Wednesday, July 13, the East Dallas Young Professionals happy hour will be at Trinity Hall, 5321 E. Mockingbird Ln #250, Dallas, TX 75206. Event starts at 5:30 — come and go as you like. We hope to see you there.

    Facebook and MeetUp:  “East Dallas Young Professionals – EDYP”


  • 20 Jun 2016 10:25 PM | Anonymous

    Each year Lake Highlands United Methodist Church Choir presents a robust Patriotic Concert that celebrates July 4th and honors veterans from each branch of the armed services.   This year’s concert will be on Sunday, June 26, at 6:30 in the sanctuary of Lake Highlands UMC. 

    This year the adult choirs, including the sanctuary choir, contemporary worship praise band, and the men’s and women’s choirs entertain with music from American born James Taylor along with familiar patriotic songs.

    This is a community event and everyone is invited - especially veterans.  A moving and memorable part of the evening performance is when veterans are asked to stand as their military branch song is performed. 

    A night that honors service just keeps on giving with an old-fashioned ice cream social following the performance.  The ice cream is provided and served by Feed Lake Highlands (FLH) Board of Directors, Food Distribution and Homework Club members. 

    Feed Lake Highlands is a neighborhood non-profit formed to Fight Hunger and Feed Hope.  In 2012 it developed from LHUMC Off-Campus Ministries.  Feed Lake Highlands works with limited and low-income community residents by feeding their physical needs through a food distribution program.  They tutor 30 elementary students and work to improve reading skills through the Homework Club.  And spiritual needs are met in worship services at the New Room (located at Skillman and Whitehurst).

    Guests will have an opportunity to partner in service and make a love offering to support scholarship funding for summer camps for FLH youth. 

    Lake Highlands United Methodist Church is located at 9015 Plano Road (at McCree).  For more information about this year’s Patriotic Concert go to LHUMC.com or Feedlakehighlands.com. 

  • 16 Jun 2016 6:58 PM | Anonymous

    The June 21 Greater East Dallas Chamber of Commerce Luncheon, presented by the Economic Growth &  Development Committee, will feature one of everyone's favorite subjects: Food!  A panel made up of East Dallas restaurant owners will be moderated by Matt Tobin of Goodfriend Burger House.  The panelists are Greg Watson of Dugg Burger, James St. Peter of Hypnotic Donuts,  Andrew Savoie of Resident Taqueria, Mark Wooton of Garden Café and Marc Cassell of 20 Feet.  The program promises to be a lively discussion of the surprises of opening a restaurant, what make East Dallas a special place to do so, and how the businesses impact our economic growth.  The door prizes will include gift certificates from the panelists. 

    11:30 a.m. Networking/12:00 p.m. Program

    Lakewood Country Club
    1912 Abrams Road

     $30 for members / $35 for Guests

    Register: www.eastdallaschamber.com

    Hosted by the Economic Growth &
    Development Committee

    Thank you to our sponsor

    Republic Title - Lakewood

  • 16 Jun 2016 10:01 AM | Anonymous

    After a decade of planting seeds and helping them grow, Veritex Bank’s Women in
    Business Summer Internship Program Celebrates its 10th anniversary. With the thriving growth and success of the Women in Business Summer Internship Program, founder Darlene Ellison, Sr. Vice President and Community Development Executive at Veritex Bank, is thrilled to embark on the 10th year of this empowering and productive project in the Dallas community. The Women in Business Summer Internship Program is a local effort that connects college-aged women with female entrepreneurs or executives in the community who mentor and coach their respective interns to become successful, skillful and productive in the workplace. After realizing the prevalence of talented female mentors in the community via her Women in Business Networking Socials, the lack of entrepreneurial internship opportunities available to a large number of college-aged women and her own experience as a graduate of SMU Cox School of Business, Ellison created a solution to fill a void in the Dallas community. Her Program teaches interns not only about industry-specific jobs but also about relevant life skills that yield successful and happy, albeit busy professional women.

    “I wanted to show young women in the community that they did not need to ‘fit in a box’ of expectations, when it comes to their summer internships or their professional choices after college” said Ellison, who makes it a priority to teach them that it is possible to balance extracurricular activities, personal wellbeing and summer obligations, while still enjoying an amazing career. The internship is not only flexible, but also paid, providing these young women the opportunity to learn valuable skills from their mentors while still earning a nice summer income. In addition to their summer placements that range from part-time to full-time, interns are also treated to a mid-summer “Lunch-N-Learn” thrown by Ellison and Veritex Bank that allows them to hear “nuggets of wisdom” from former interns, successful businesswomen and Veritex Bank’s HR Director about topics such as résumés, interviews and social media presence.

    The program commenced in 2007 with just three interns, and has expanded to a robust 14 interns in just a decade due to such rave reviews from intern and mentor participants. These interns and mentors are found by word of mouth and by utilizing local media resources in the community. The young women hired in the program are entering their sophomore, junior, or senior year of colleges from across the country, yet reside in the Dallas community during the summer. The mentors are coached by Ellison to not only offer a “summer job” but, in addition, to foster a relationship with their intern that serves to teach and empower her as she contemplates her “what’s next” after college.

    Several young women from the White Rock/Lakewood/East Dallas area have participated in the WIB Summer Internship Program, including Alexandra Kish, Caroline Martinez, Mary Katherine O’Rourke, Addie, Sarah & Mary Delph, Emily Vecella, Erin Florence, Katie Spurgin, Alexa Calvin and Claire Musselman, just to name a few. In fact, the Program’s first intern in 2007 was East Dallas native Evie Crabb Krimm, and this year is the first year that two former interns are now serving as Mentors in the program – Lauren Valek Farris and Kiley Trent, also both from East Dallas.

    Veritex Community Bank, the presenting sponsor of the WIB Program, allows Ellison the opportunity to incorporate the work of managing this program into her daily schedule because it has become so successful and expansive. About one third of the year is spent planning and organizing the program, but when asked if she plans to continue in upcoming years, Ellison’s response is a simple, “I can’t imagine not running the program.”

    Ellison’s connection with the young women over the years has evolved into meaningful relationships that have transformed and grown tremendously. She has been an asset in their lives, having written over 25 job references and has even found some of the former interns their post-graduate jobs. “The most rewarding aspect of our Women in Business Internship Program for me is to have the opportunity to meet so many driven young women with such diverse backgrounds, talents, experiences, and dreams, and then to observe firsthand the growth that they experience personally and professionally via this program.  In fact, this year is our first to have a former WIB intern-turned-real-estate-entrepreneur actually serving as a mentor to one of our college students. After 10 years, probably the greatest blessing I have had from this Program is being able to stay engaged with so many of our former interns and to celebrate their successes. I have even attended a couple of weddings and held a couple of first-borns.”  


  • 12 Jun 2016 1:13 PM | Anonymous

    WHO: Professor Nick Chamberlain—10th degree black belt and founder/owner of 35-year-old Dallas based Chamberlain Studios who was recently honored by House Representative Ken Sheets for his dedication to the martial arts and community service.


    WHAT: A free interactive two-hour self-defense workshop and workout led by Professor Nick Chamberlain, the go-to self-defense expert. Participants will learn techniques to avoid dangerous situations, fend off potential assailants and general self-defense methods and mentalities. Attendees can ‘Break a Board for a Buck’ where they are taught how to break a wooden plank with their bare hand; each ‘buck’ benefits Genesis Women’s Shelter. 

    Complimentary children’s workshop (ages 4+) led by trained professionals available in neighboring room which includes martial arts exercises, engaging games and ‘stranger danger’ lessons. Dallas Police will be present with safety tips and a Q&A for all.

    Attendees are not required but encouraged to wear fitness attire and to bring a donation of cash or everyday household items to benefit Genesis. 

    WHEN: Saturday June 25th, 2016; 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm 

    WHERE: Chamberlain Studios of Self Defense, 2114 Kidwell Street, Dallas, TX 75214; 214.351.5367; www.dallaskenpo.com. 

    WHY: Chamberlain Studios wants to expand the way the public thinks about violence prevention, help tackle common fears and empower the community. Participants will leave with greater awareness, assertiveness, verbal confrontation skills, safety strategies and physical techniques to help prevent, escape, resist and survive violent assaults. 




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