orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

Local News

December 8, 2013

Sparrow looks to continue GOACC success into new year

ORANGE — Shawn Sparrow knows he has his work cut out for him.

Sparrow will take the reins as the next Chairman of the Board for the Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce at its annual dinner banquet on Tuesday, Dec. 10, at Sunset Grove Country Club in Orange. The social gathering begins at 6 p.m. with dinner following at 6:30 p.m.

Sparrow, 35, has been part of the Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce for the past four years. Sparrow, who is married to his wife, Jennifer, and they have a daughter, has been employed with Tony Houseman Companies for 10 years.

He knows the Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce has had what many consider to be arguably its best year ever.

“I definitely have some big shoes to fill and follow,” Sparrow said of Jarren Garrett, the outgoing Chairman of the Board. “The Bassmaster tournament was such a big success not only for the chamber, but for everyone involved. My focus will be on getting everyone on track for the new year.”

Sparrow said one goal will be to find ways to better utilize the resources available to Orange County, which many areas of the country do not have access.

“How many areas have access to an Interstate corridor, deep water shipping or even Chemical Row like we have?” Sparrow asked. “Then we also have attractions like the museums and theater and nature center facilities of the Stark Foundation and more to promote our area.”

Sparrow said the Bassmaster tournament provided a huge economic boost to Orange County. It also showed leaders of local businesses, cities, and the chambers of commerce what can happen when efforts to collaborate are successfully conducted.

“We are the Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce, but if we can work with the other chambers outside of our county, like the ones in Port Arthur and Beaumont, like we did with those in our county, it will only serve to benefit all of us,” he explained. “We can utilize each others resources and everyone will come out for the better.”

Along with local businesses and the joining forces with other area chambers of commerce, Sparrow believes there is benefit for local governments as well as proven by the resulting success of the Bassmaster tournament.

“If we can get city, county and other government entities to work on the same page at the same time with the same goals, I think it will change things for the good of everyone,” Sparrow continued. “We have a very diversified board of directors with business leaders, community officials and people who work well with others. I think that already puts us on a track for success.”

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