MIDLOTHIAN — Chambers of commerce from across the state recently competed in the 2017 Texas Chamber of Commerce Executives (TCCE) annual excellence awards and Midlothian took second place for Outstanding Chamber Website.

“I knew we were finalists but I didn’t have any idea where we were going to come out in placement,” expressed Cammy Jackson, president of the Midlothian Chamber of Commerce.

Established in 1908 as the longest standing association of chamber of commerce professionals in the nation, the TCCE operates with a primary goal of serving its memberships through guidance and leadership.

By providing excellence in professional development, networking, resource and idea exchange opportunities, and grassroots advocacy information and coordination, the TCCE gave recognition to their top chambers for the year on June 20 in League City, Texas. The awards called attention to organizations with outstanding efforts in marketing, communications and media outreach.

“Every year, the TCCE has an annual conference and every year you can submit entries for these different categories that they have,” Jackson began. “Well, we had just launched our new website in January, and I thought, ‘I’m pretty excited about it, and I think I’m going to submit it for the competition.’”

Submitting their name along with a self-addressed envelope for critique feedback, Jackson was hopeful to receive a bit of helpful advice.

“I’m sure when our old website was first created it was wonderful and cutting edge, but it was outdated and non-responsive and wouldn’t transfer to your mobile devices. You couldn’t pay your invoices online, or join online — it was crazy. But now it's heaven,” Jackson acknowledged this year’s update. “I thought, ‘At the very least, even if we don’t win, we’ll get some feedback on how we can improve the website. About three weeks before the conference I got an email that said, ‘Congratulations, you’re a finalist.’”

According to a TCCE press release, the awards are judged in seven categories: Outstanding Chamber Map, Outstanding Brochure, Outstanding Magazine or Directory, Excellence in Print or Electronic Newsletter, Outstanding Chamber Website, Excellence in Social Media Marketing and Communications, and Outstanding Marketing Campaign.

In the category of Outstanding Chamber Website, the Midlothian Chamber was honored as one of the best in Texas, taking second place.

“When we had the awards ceremony, we were listed with the top three, and at first I thought, ‘There’s no way we’re going to win.’ And when they called our name for second place, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh!’ It was a pretty exciting moment for us,” Jackson recalled. “The web developer and I worked really hard to where I wanted the website to be. We worked on the color scheme, the photos, the placement, and every little piece of it that we put in, like what people want to see when they look at the chamber’s website."

Thanks to Buddy Rigotti of Cristers Media, Jackson’s vision came to full completion with professionalism and style.

“I could not have done it without Buddy,” Jackson complimented. “I had the vision, and he has the knowledge and expertise to bring my vision to life, so I really appreciate him.”

“When I was handed the envelope with our results, they had said that it was very attractive and good navigation, nice color scheme, and that made me feel really good,” she included.

Known to the community as “the voices of business,” the Midlothian Chamber received a well-deserved "pat on the back" for their diligent work.

“This highly competitive process demonstrates how these organizations fulfill this task with excellence daily, often with little or no accolades,” expressed Aaron Cox of TCCE. “This award demonstrates the exceptional work carried out by the Midlothian Chamber and provides them well-deserved recognition.”

The overall competition had more than 200 entries from which the best were judged by panels of experts.

“This prestigious honor is cause for the staff, members, and community to celebrate,” said RaDonna Hessel, 2017 TCCE Board Chairman and CEO of the Grapevine Chamber of Commerce. “This type of recognition is indicative of the great work, creativity, and innovation that exists in these chambers, congratulations to all!”

“The Chamber has always been an important part of the community, and now we have this new website, and it’s easy to navigate, and notice what we’re doing. It’s just going to add so much to the community about what we do,” Jackson emphasized.

“Our job is to strengthen economic development and the business community, and by getting information out there is one of those steps to make that process easier for people,” she encouraged.

As for next year, Jackson is confident that her team will be ready to take their online identity to the next level.

“I think next year we’re going to work on some different things, like some of our social media marketing like we do for our events. I have a great staff, who should be recognized, and I think we’ll push the envelope for next year,” Jackson added.

To connect with the Midlothian Chamber of Commerce, visit midlothianchamber.org or call (972) 723-8600.

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Chelsea Groomer, @ChelseaGroomer

(469)-517-1450