Chamber CEO attends TTIA Tourism College


Faustine Curry, Chamber president and CEO, is attending the Texas Travel Industry Association’s 2014 Travel & Tourism College this week. The weeklong event is a three year certification program for travel and tourism professionals across the west and southwest U.S. Curry began her freshman year at the college on Monday near Austin. The intensive curriculum includes travel and tourism marketing, management, and leadership courses. Once students complete the three year program as well as a capstone project, they will earn a designation as a Certified Tourism Executive.

Categories: Chamber Members, Visit Mount Pleasant | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Total Resource Campaign – Meet the teams

Jey Yancey-Offenhauser Insurance

Team Name: The Rock Stars

Team Chair: Jey Yancey, Offenhauser Insurance

Team Members:

Rob Hedges, Republic Services

Sara Calhoun, Sandlin Motors, Inc.

Roxie Vickers, Holiday Inn Express & LaQuinta Inn



Jey Yancey is an independent insurance agent for Offenhauser Insurance. He has been a resident of Mount Pleasant since 2010. He previously worked as a claims representative for The Republic Group of Dallas. Yancey earned a finance degree from the University of Mississippi. He has served the Mount Pleasant-Titus County Chamber as a board member, ambassador, a member of the marketing committee and subcommittee chair. He is also a member of the Mount Pleasant Rotary Club. He and his wife, Cassie Redfearn Yancey, met at Ole Miss in 2006.

Why do you serve in the Mount Pleasant Chamber?

I feel that the chamber provides me with more than enough resources to have a successful business, so I feel that I must give back and help grow the chamber, which will, in turn, help grow my business.  Plus, there are so many great people involved in the chamber that I want to meet, get to know and, hopefully, be able to help them with their business as well as have them help me with mine.

What was your goal as a TRC chair?

My goal was for my team to renew all of our prior year commitments and then double what my team did last year.

How will your team encourage the business community to support the campaign?

I feel that I have recruited a great new team of go-getters that I feel know what it is like to be sitting in the place of the businesses they are calling on and will know how to find things that will fit that particular company’s needs, while  keeping in mind the limited resources of each of their prospects.

How vital is this campaign to the continued growth and strength of the Mount Pleasant Chamber and why?

I believe that this campaign is the greatest thing we have done as a chamber since I have been a member.  It provides all of the members with the opportunity to get their names out there without breaking the bank, so to speak.  There is something for everyone in this campaign, which I believe will help it grow.  Also, with each business knowing what they are going to spend with the chamber at the beginning of the year, it will make it easier for them to budget their advertising expenses. It also makes them aware of all of the resources available at the chamber.

Categories: Chamber Members | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Convention brings gospel singers from all over southeast


Southern Gospel singing conventions have a long history in the south and they are alive and well in the 21st century. The Mount Pleasant-Titus County Chamber & Visitors Council had the privilege of bringing the Texas State Gospel Singing Convention to Mount Pleasant recently, which drew about 125 singers from Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

The convention was held April 18-19 at the Mount Pleasant Civic Center.

Susan Bollman, president of the Texas state Gospel Singing Association, says the group was so overwhelmed by the support from the Chamber and the Mount Pleasant Civic Center that the group voted to bring the state convention back to Mount Pleasant next year. It will be held at the Civic Center April 17-18, 2015.

The state convention had been held in Stephenville every year until 2011 when it was moved to Mount Vernon in 2011. This year, because the event fell on Easter weekend, organizers had to look for a new venue that had room to host the event.

“We are so appreciative of the support we received,” Bollamn said. “We’ve had a great experience everywhere we’ve been, but this time we had the support of the Chamber of Commerce and the Civic Center helping us. It turned out fantastic.”

The Chamber also brought the National Gospel Singing Convention to Mount Pleasant in November 2013. It was held at South Jefferson Baptist Church. The national convention moves throughout the southeast every year. It has only been held in Texas six or seven times, Bollman said.

Chamber CEO Faustine Curry said the state convention was successful due to the great partnership between the Chamber and the City of Mount Pleasant.

“It is always great to have people from out of town visiting Mount Pleasant and I couldn’t have been happier with the turnout on an Easter weekend,” Curry said. “We just love being able to show off our city and show them our Everything Texas hospitality.”


Bollman said the conventions date back to the late 1800s and early 1900s.

“The quartets like the Statesmen, The Blackwoods, and the Stamps all started in this type of music,” she said. “It’s like a church service, but you have a minister of music directing the congregation and then people in the congregation will get up and direct the singing also.”

Bollman said the state convention has five songbook publishers that offer new books every year in the old fashioned shape notes style, Bollman said.

“It’s easy to read the shape notes and if you can read the round notes you can still sing the shape notes,” Bollman said. “Anyone can walk in and pick up a songbook and either listen or sing along with us,” she said.

The organization also awards scholarships for youth and young adults ages seven to 25 who participate in the singing convention to attend the two-week long summer session at its Texas Southern Gospel School of Music.

Bollman said the conventions are free, non-denominational events and the music draws people from all over.

“The music is toe-tapping and it’s fun to sing. The conventions are enjoyable and there’s a message,” she said. “You become part of a family. Once it gets in your blood, it’s hard to get out.”

Categories: Chamber Members | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Total Resource Campaign – Meet the teams

Troy Sellers-Luminant

Team Name: Everything Texas Winning Team

Team Chair: Troy Sellers, Luminant

Team Members:

Kim Crabb, Diamond C Trailers, Co-Owner

Martin Bell, Guaranty Bond Bank, Executive Vice President

Stephen Curry, Capps Insurance Agency, Producer/Agent

Kris Groda, North Jefferson Church of Christ, Pastor

Edd Hess, Cypress Basin Hospice, Executive Director

Suzanne Walker, Capps Insurance Agency, Producer/Agent

Richard Witherspoon, Herschel’s, Owner

Tricia Foster, Luminant, Administrative Assistant

Bill Price, Luminant, Retired



Troy Sellers is Luminant’s Cumminty Affairs Manager. He has been a resident of Mount Pleasant for seven years. Sellers worked for Energy Future Holdings and its predecessor companies for over 35 years in various management and customer relations positions. He was a Vocational Agriculture teacher for six years before joining Texas Power & Light Co. Sellers attended Tarleton State University, Grayson County College and East Texas State University, now Texas A&M – Commerce. He received Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from ETSU.  Sellers has been involved with various Chambers of Commerce, including Waco, Brownwood, Bonham and Mount Pleasant. He has served as a board member, ambassador, vice president and president of the board in 2011.  He has also served on various chamber committees and graduated from Leadership Mount Pleasant. Sellers is also a member of the Mount Pleasant Rotary Club. He is involved with the Friend of Scouting Fundraising Campaign and NETSEO Trails Boy Scouts. He is a VATAT member, is a past member of the Titus County Literacy Advisory Council and is involved with the Titus– Morris County Relay for Life. Sellers has been married to his wife, Linda, for 43 years. They have three married children, Amy Albro, Angie Trammel and Bret Sellers, and 12 grandchildren.

Why do you serve in the Mount Pleasant Chamber?

You get out of any organization, job or group what you put into it. I receive a tremendous return on the time I invest into the Chamber of Commerce and it is a pleasure to work with such great people, businesses and organizations that the Chamber of Commerce affords me the opportunity to work with.

What was your goal as a TRC chair?

My goal was for all of our team members to accomplish all that they could to help the Chamber of Commerce be as successful as possible on this very important fundraiser.

How did your team encourage the business community to support the campaign?

We provided members of the business community with the opportunity to be a part of the Mount Pleasant-Titus County Chamber of Commerce and to receive all the benefits that come with that membership in their Chamber. 

How vital is this campaign to the continued growth and strength of the Mount Pleasant Chamber and why?

How vital is it for a business to make a profit? All businesses and organizations must remain solvent in order to grow and prosper and serve their customers. The Mount Pleasant-Titus County Chamber of Commerce is no different than any other business or organization.  It is in the business of serving businesses and organizations in our area and it is vital that it continues to grow as it serves our community.

Categories: Chamber Members | Leave a comment

Annual Chamber Magazine is available

The 2014 Your Connection is now available. Free copies of the Mount Pleasant-Titus County Chamber & Visitors Council annual magazine and Chamber partner directory are available at the Chamber office. The publication’s cover story features the history of Priefert Manufacturing and the legacy of the Priefert family as the company celebrates its 50th anniversary. Your Connection also includes feature articles on the Mid America Flight Museum, the history of the Bankhead Highway, warm water fishing in Titus County, how experience-infused learning sets Northeast Texas Community College apart, and how the Small Business Development Center benefits local businesses.  The valuable local resource also includes a Guide to Shopping Everything Texas and Numbers to Know. The Chamber’s annual magazine is a sought-after award-winning publication that also offers Mount Pleasant At-a-Glance and the 2014 Calendar of Events, providing residents, visitors and potential businesses with a complete snapshot of the local area. Pick up a copy at the Chamber office at 1604 North Jefferson Ave. in Mount Pleasant.

Categories: Chamber Members | Leave a comment

Chamber CEO attends Texas Forest Trail Summit

bobabout                                                                                                     TFT Map

Keynote Speaker: Bob Phillips

Faustine Curry, CEO and president of the Mount Pleasant-Titus County Chamber of Commerce is attending the 2014 Texas Forest Trail Summit in Nacogdoches this week. Curry, who has served as a member of the Texas Forest Trail Region board of directors for three years, attended the board meeting on Wednesday. The keynote speaker is Bob Phillips, host of “Texas Country Reporter.” The focus of the annual summit focused is Texas tourism. Sessions include “Destination Marketing: Research Projects featuring Tyler and Palestine and “Destination Marketing: Tips & Best Practices Revealed.”

Categories: Chamber Members | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Total Resource Campaign – Meet the teams

Shannon Norfleet- Titus Regional Medical Center

Team Underdog

Team Chair: Shannon Norfleet, Titus Regional Medical Center

Team Members:

Jennifer Hughes, Hampton Inn & Suites, Assistant Manager

Christopher Rodriguez, Titus Regional Medical Center, Graphic Designer


Shannon Norfleet, the current chairman of the Mount Pleasant Chamber board of directors, is the Titus Regional Medical Center Director of Foundation and Community Relations. With a Bachelor of Science degree in healthcare administration, Norfleet is a registered nurse with 20 years of healthcare experience. She serves on the TRMC management council and is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and Association for Healthcare Philanthropy. She has served as Chamber Ambassador; Chairman of Leadership Mount Pleasant since 2009; and a member of the Chamber marketing committee. She is also a Life member and past president of Mount Pleasant Junior Auxiliary. Norfleet has been a resident of Mount Pleasant for 19 years. She and her husband of 19 years, Terry Norfleet, have a 14 year old daughter, Allie.

Why do you serve in the Mount Pleasant Chamber?

My favorite part of serving the Chamber has been the relationship-building.  I really enjoy the engagement of our business leaders and volunteers who truly want to see one another succeed for the betterment of our community.

What was your goal as a TRC chair?

Our goal was to continue to build on the success of the previous campaign and build sustainable value for our membership.

How did your team encourage the business community to support the campaign?

Our primary strategy was focusing on the exposure and value for the member, as well as exploring new alternatives as our community grows.

How vital is this campaign to the continued growth and strength of the Mount Pleasant Chamber and why?

It’s extremely vital. More resources mean more opportunities for promotion of the community we are proud to call home.

Categories: Chamber Members | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Total Resource Campaign – Meet the Teams

Brad Lowry-Pilgrim Bank

Team Chair: Brad Lowry, Pilgrim Bank

Team Members:
Jacob Butler, Pilgrim Bank
Beth Thompson, Northeast Texas Community College
Nita May, Northeast Texas Community College
McCall Dyke, McGuire-Dyke Investment Group


Brad Lowry, who has lived in Mount Pleasant for 30-plus years, is Senior Vice President at Pilgrim Bank. He has worked for Pilgrim Bank in consumer, mortgage, and commercial lending for more than a decade. Lowry received a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of North Texas in 2003. Lowry has served two previous terms as a member of the Chamber board, one term as treasurer, and is currently serving a third term. He also serves as member of the Tourism Committee, Moonlight Jubilee Committee and the Golf Committee. Lowry previously served as a member of the Mount Pleasant Rotary Club. He and his wife, Christi, have been married for 10 years. They have three children; Kinley, age 6; Bradon, age four and Karli, age one.

Why do you serve in the Mount Pleasant Chamber?

I enjoy volunteering my time and energy to an organization that has a goal of promoting businesses and opportunities in the community that I grew up in and that I am choosing to raise my family in.

What was your goal as a TRC chair?

My goal was to continue to build new relationships amongst my team members, but also to develop relationships around the community for the benefit of the Chamber and also to hopefully benefit me in my job at Pilgrim Bank.

How will your team encourage the business community to support the campaign?

It’s important to portray the importance of community and business involvement in our Chamber because the simple goal of the Chamber is to build economic prosperity. Without the support of the business community in the campaign, it will be very difficult for the Chamber to continue to support education, tourism, leadership initiatives, etc., all of which lend to building economic prosperity in our community.

How vital is this campaign to the continued growth and strength of the Mount Pleasant Chamber and why?

The campaign is extremely vital to the overall success of the Chamber because this is the one shot the Chamber has to get businesses involved and committed to the various event sponsorships for the entire year.

Categories: Chamber Members | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

photo (10)

Spencer Miche – Don’t Cook Tuesday Week 2 winner.

The Mount Pleasant-Titus County Chamber of Commerce Eat Local Challenge continues with strong community support. In the second week of the campaign’s “Don’t Cook Tuesday” weekly promotion, Spencer Miche of Pilgrim Bank won the April 9 drawing for a $20 gift certificate to Chili’s. To be eligible for the weekly drawing, diners who eat at chamber-member restaurant on Tuesdays during April must turn in their receipts valued at $5 or more to the Chamber office by Wednesday at 12 p.m. Those receipts and any others turned in by 5 p.m. April 30 will be entered into a grand prize drawing for a flat screen television. The grand prize drawing will be held at the beginning of May at the restaurant that has the most number of receipts turned into the Chamber.

In 2013, the challenge generated nearly $20,000 in sales revenue. The campaign is sponsored by La Carreta, Super 1 Foods and H & R Distributors.

For information on the Eat Local Challenge, contact the Chamber office at (903) 572-8567, visit the Chamber Website,, or check it out on Facebook,

Categories: Chamber Members | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Third Annual Robert Arellano Dawg Fest Rally brings thousands to Mount Pleasant


The legacy of Robert Arellano continues this weekend as the Dawg Fest Rally revs into gear.

The motorcycle rally and family-friendly festival is set for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 11-13, at Camp Langston in Mount Pleasant. The proceeds will benefit the Robert Arellano Foundation scholarship fund and the Texas Lion’s Club camps for children with special needs.

The festival is held in memory of Robert Arellano, a motorcycle enthusiast who served in law enforcement as a Titus County Sheriff’s Department deputy and an investigator for the Titus County Attorney’s office. Nicknamed “DAWG,” Arellano was killed in a motorcycle accident in 2010.

“Robert was a huge advocate for children, working many child cases as an investigator for the County,” said Jeff Martin, sergeant at arms of the Robert Arellano Foundation. “We were all friends and a lot of us rode together. We all came together to give back in honor of him because he was such an amazing man.”

Martin said the foundation, which was founded in 2013, provides educational opportunities for students from low to moderate income families in Titus and surrounding counties, including a criminal justice scholarship for students who aspire to become peace officers and serve in the state of Texas. Last year, the foundation awarded two $1,000 scholarships through Northeast Texas Community College.

“We started the scholarship program in honor of him because of the pride and dedication that he had for law enforcement,” Martin said.


The festival’s main event is the motorcycle rally, with registration beginning Friday at 2:30 p.m. The bikes start their engines and leave Camp Langston, located at off Exit 165 at Interstate 30 and County Road 3227, at 10 a.m. Saturday.

On Friday night, the gates open to the public at 6 p.m. The gate fee is $5 per person unless you are pre-registered for the events. Opening ceremonies begin at 6:30 p.m. A D.J. and karaoke contest starts the entertainment at 7 p.m.

Other Saturday activities include a car, truck and bike show, which is new this year.

“We’re allowing folks to bring in their nice cars and trucks, so that’s going to bring even more people in for the event,” Martin said.

There will also be vendors and food, games for children and adults, raffles, an auction and the Miss Dawg Fest “pageant.”

“That’s actually guys dressed up in drag really. We’ll have some donation cans set out and whoever collects the most funds, wins Miss Dawg Fest,” Martin explained.

Live music on Saturday night will feature Eli’s Redemption, a rock band from Tyler, and the Kolton Moore Band, a Texas Country band from Fort Worth.

On Sunday, church services will held on the rally site by the Northeast Texas Biker Church in Mount Pleasant with Pastor Dominic Crescimanno. Services begin at 9:45 a.m.

In 2013, the rally included 520 bikes and drew 1,800 to 2,000 people.

“This event is doubling each year. It’s really an amazing, family-friendly event,” Martin said.

Mount Pleasant-Titus County Chamber of Commerce CEO Faustine Curry said as a sponsor of the Dawg Fest, the Chamber is excited the rally and festival is coming back to Mount Pleasant again this year.

“Motorcycle rallies and rides provide a benefit to the economy when they eat in our restaurants, stay in our hotels and stop at our gas stations. And, usually, when motorcycle riders enjoy the trails, they come back year after year,” Curry said. “We hope this is a festival that keeps growing and bringing people to Mount Pleasant.”

Martin said there is a huge sense of pride in hosting the event to raise funds for a cause that honors Arellano’s name and the things that he was passionate about.



Categories: Chamber Members | Leave a comment

Blog at The Adventure Journal Theme.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,628 other followers

%d bloggers like this: