Next Generation Orange County seeking new members while making positive impact

Published 12:20 am Wednesday, February 15, 2023

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The Orange County Chamber of Commerce established Next Generation Orange County in 2021 to grow the involvement of the youth in the community and expose networking opportunities geared towards their career paths.

The meetings are held the fourth Thursday of every month, and the schedule is posted on their Facebook page.

“I became a part of NGOC because I understood what the Chamber was trying to do with starting the group,” said Kari Busch, director of operations and marketing for Golden Triangle Emergency Center in Orange.

“They wanted to grow the involvement of the youth of our community in organizations and expose them to different boards this community has to offer.”

Busch is currently starting another group like NGOC in another community.

She enjoys the trust the chamber instilled in her and the opportunity it provides to meet new people and other driven leaders of the area.

“The Orange location has personally helped me find a lender for my first mortgage, helped me learn more about this community and all it has to offer, which allows me to be better at my job,” Busch said. “It also has encouraged me to join other boards that are looking to add younger members to them and expand my contacts of business professionals.”

Last year, the group hosted meetings that highlighted speakers in different industries as well as community service projects.

“We had a team for the ‘Trash-Off” in Orange County,” she said. “This was the 27th annual community event.”

According to, the event began in 1995 when a small group of concerned citizens joined forces to help clean trash out of Adams Bayou. In 2002, the event became a program for the Stark Foundation when the planning of Shangri La was initiated.

“We also had Jessica Hill speak on behalf of the EDC about events and projects taking place in Orange County,” Busch said. “We hosted an educational bingo at the Stark Museum of Art, had Orange County Disaster Rebuild talk to the group about non-profits and volunteering along with their organization.”

Innovative Air Solutions spoke about being leaders and how important it is to help the next generations get involved and become leaders.

David Jones with Gopher talked about entrepreneurship, how they started Gopher and how much it has grown.

Bridge City Independent Superintendent Mike Kelly spoke about teacher shortages and the improvements to their schools.

Lutcher Theater gave a tour and information on what goes into the theater.

“A group helped at the Day of Caring for the United Way, and a few members helped create bags for Salvation Army’s Angel Tree,” Busch said, adding the organization’s goal is to recruit members.

“We are hosting a kickball tournament to raise awareness about our group and bring in new members on April 1. We are hopeful to increase our membership and meeting attendance by 50 percent. This is a great opportunity to see all the attractions and different organizations that help our area. It is also an amazing networking opportunity, and we look forward to having them attend one of our events or meetings.”

To become a member, call 409-883- 3536.

— Written by Sierra Kondos