about-the-chamber

About the Chamber

The Odessa Chamber of Commerce is a volunteer business organization providing leadership to further develop and market the city of Odessa, Ector County, and the Permian Basin.

The Chamber unites business organizations, individuals, and professional firms to create a unique central agency working to improve business and build a better community. More than 80 percent of the membership is comprised of small companies interested in prospering and creating a healthy environment in which to conduct business. Most importantly, the Chamber is a dynamic group of citizens who realize that they can accomplish more collectively than any one business can do individually.

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austinkeith

A Message from the Chairman

As Odessans, we have seen the ebb and flow of the oil and gas industry this year and how the economy has changed in our community. As such, we know that these cycles have been constant over the history of the Permian Basin. The one constant that has been frontline for our community is the Odessa Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber has been here and will be here for the citizens and local business community, working with our city, county and state leaders. The Chamber works closely with the Ector County Independent School District, Odessa College, Texas Tech Health Science Services and the University of Texas of the Permian Basin for the betterment of Odessa with an educated workforce both for existing business and for future industry. The Chamber works with attracting conventions and tourism to the community, as well as economic development with existing businesses and also attracting industry diversification for the sustained growth of Odessa. Like Odessa’s economy, the Odessa Chamber has also seen change.

After 23 years of promoting Odessa, Mike George retired as the Chamber President/CEO. Mike has served as a mentor to other Chamber professionals not only in Odessa, but across the state of Texas. Mike’s commitment to and passion for Odessa is evident in all he does. Mike will be sorely missed, but we wish him the best on a well-deserved retirement. With Mike’s departure, we welcomed Odessa native Renee’ Henderson Earls to lead the Odessa Chamber. Her love for the community is evident through her decades of volunteer involvement in a variety of local organizations, including the Chamber. As a small business owner, Renee’ also understands what a valuable resource the Chamber is for local business. We look forward to Renee’ moving us forward into this new journey for the Odessa Chamber.

After a decade long absence from the Odessa community, Wesley Burnett is back at the Chamber to lead the Economic Development efforts. When times are busy, our efforts to actively recruit and sustain are often limited simply due to time and resource constraints. In a slowdown, our community must proactively seek new opportunities for vitality and growth. With an ED Team with more than 60+ years of experience in West Texas, we expect great things to happen for Odessa.
In our Convention and Visitors Bureau, Director Lawanna Lambert spearheads the Team that sells Odessa to associations and tour groups who might be seeking meeting locations. Be it sporting events, religious meetings, reunions or conventions large and small, our CVB Department brings great energy and unmatchable hospitality and customer service. Lynn Van Amburgh rounds out our Department Directors, overseeing Operations. The Operations Team stays busy planning monthly networking opportunities, seminars, fundraisers and special events that benefit the Chamber membership.

While the Chamber staff works each day to sell Odessa, none of these efforts could exist if it weren’t for the hundreds of volunteers who give of their time to improve our Chamber and make Odessa a better place to live and work. The Chamber has a variety of volunteer opportunities, so I encourage and challenge you to come join the Team that works each day to sell Odessa…the right place in Texas! Like a wagon wheel with a center hub and the spokes that radiate out to support the outer circle, the Odessa Chamber of Commerce is the hub for our community in promoting the community and also informing our membership of issues on the local, state and national level.

We will always have challenges, but along with that we also have great opportunities. The Chamber is here for you as a united voice to promote and inform our community. So if you are not a member of the Odessa Chamber of Commerce, I urge you to join, and to our membership, I say thank you for your continued support.

Sincerely,

Austin Keith
Chairman, Odessa Chamber of Commerce