Major Changes for the Katy Area and Fulshear Chambers of Commerce


July 17, 2018

By Jennifer Skelton and Katrina Katsarelis

Many Katy businesses have noticed a decline in events and community involvement from the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce over the past year, and now the word "Katy" has been officially added to the Fulshear Area Chamber name. Here's what we found out.

Major Changes at the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce

Members of the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce have seen major changes this year starting with the postponement, then ultimate cancellation of the annual Katy Area Chamber Gala. The chamber sent an announcement at the beginning of the year postponing the February gala to April. On April 19, another announcement went out postponing the gala until June, but ultimately, the gala was never held. Eight tickets and a table to the gala is a major the benefit of Chairman's circle and Partner memberships which can run upwards of $8,000 per year. The value of the table and tickets is approximately $1500. It is not known if the Chairman's Circle or Partner members were ever compensated for the loss of this benefit. "After Ann left, the executive committee, board of directors and others in this volunteer organization have really stepped up to continue doing what’s best for our member and providing those programs and services (breakfasts, luncheons, ribbon cuttings, happy hours and other network opportunities, etc.) And, that’s our focus right now," says Marcus Henneke.

Anne Hodge Leaves the Katy Area Chamber

In late April, Ann Hodge, the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce president and CEO quietly left the chamber with no announcement to the membership. Hodge has been with the chamber since 1999 and was instrumental in many initiatives and programs benefiting Katy through the years. No plans have been announced as to when Hodge will be replaced. One of Ann's major responsibilities was to organize the yearly "Katy Rice Harvest Festival". Katy Magazine was the first to break the news in June that the chamber would no longer host the festival after finding a discussion thread on social media. Read the story This information was not been formally announced to the Katy Area Chamber membership.

Katy Chamber Moves from LaCenterra to Save Costs

On June 20, the Katy Area Chamber announced via Facebook that they had moved from their prestigious LaCenterra location. No announcement of the move was sent out to members or even noted on the Katy Chamber website. The move seems to be related to cost savings. "One of the things we’re focused on for the benefit of our members – in addition to continuing to provide programs and services – is to reduce cost and strengthen our financial picture, said Marcus Henneke. "This move is part of that effort." The Chamber's new office is located at 555 Park Grove Drive in the Country Park Portraits Building near Kingsland Blvd. and Mason Rd. Here is the June 20 Facebook announcement about the move.

Fulshear Area Chamber Announces Katy Name Addition

Last week the Fulshear Area Chamber of Commerce announced the renaming of their organization to the Fulshear-Katy Area Chamber of Commerce. The name change was approved by their voting members on Wednesday, July 11, and their new group statement will be "Proudly Serving the Tri-County Region."

The Fulshear Area Chamber of Commerce, led by Don McCoy, has a very active, involved, and communicative leadership team and board of directors that appeals to Katy businessses, and businesses in general. In reviewing both the Fulshear Area and Katy Area membership levels, costs a