McComack: Region takes business message to D.C. legislators

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, June 8, 2016

A variety of business leaders and local government officials participated in a Washington DC fly in on May 17-18.

It is echoed by all that attended how valuable an effort the Chamber fly-in is at enhancing collaboration between parish lines and providing a River Region presence in our nation’s capital.

We were fortunate to have a few first-timers attend such as Kent Lomax-Rainbow Chevrolet, Kevin Hebert-St. Charles Printing/FastSigns, Rene Gurdian-IMTT, Larry Sorapuru-St. John Council, Annette Wray-Cox Communications, Laverne Saulny-St. John Parish Government and Robin Delahoussaye-St. Charles Parish Government.

We will have a special recap coming out soon. Be on the lookout for it.

Most are probably aware of the recent happenings during the Regular Legislative session and the scheduled 2nd special session to begin. We will leverage our partnerships with other state organizations such as LABI and GNO Inc. to ensure legislators are aware of the detriment additional taxes will cause to all businesses.

I encourage you to share your story on how your business is being affected by these tax changes. While we work hard to be your voice, it is imperative to hear from you directly on how this is impacting your bottom line.

Thanks to Cheryl Millet with Saint Optical for sharing her story with us. Feel free to send me your story at The more we can share, the louder our voice!

As disheartening as the surface seems, we are still hopeful that we can, together, instill some positive change to help our state rise to the purpose of its highest potential.

As a reminder, we were scheduled to host LABI President Stephen Waguespack in a Legislative Wrap-Up General Membership meeting on June 16. However, with the 2nd special session, this event has been rescheduled for June 29.

The Membership Directory & Community Resource Guide is in the planning phase of being updated. Not only will this publication serve as a great marketing tool for Chamber members, but will also serve to promote the services and amenities of the Region as a whole.

We want local industry and business to share this with employees passing through that may want to know more about the River Region. Where to eat, where to shop, or where to live. If you’re not a member yet, but want to have your business included in the guide, contact the Chamber today to get signed up.

Also, if you’re a current member, are you using the new mobile member app? Contact Janine at the Chamber to find out how to get access. This is an added new benefit to help keep you connected with the who and what with your Chamber.

Chamber 101 (aka New member orientation) was held last Friday. Thanks to the following members for attending: Ochsner Medical Center, Sam’s Club-Kenner, Perez APC, Demetria Robinson-Carter CPA, St. Charles Parish Hospital, Transworld Systems and Top Priority Enterprises. We look forward to working with each of you and helping you grow!

I’d like to send a huge thanks to our newest Capital campaign Investor, Marathon Petroleum Company LP.

Marathon joins several other investors that will be added to our Legacy wall in the Chamber office. Without the support and contribution of these businesses, we would not have the privilege of being able to continue to promote a positive business climate in our communities.

Have you liked us on Facebook yet? Help us reach 1000 at

Thank you to our past and current members for believing in the mission to “Grow, Strengthen and Unify Businesses in St. James, St. John and St. Charles parishes.” We look forward to helping you grow!

Chassity McComack is executive director of the River Region Chamber of Commerce. Email her at or log onto