Houston Area Chamber of Commerce executive director Angie Quinlan stands in front of the chamber headquarters at the Houston Visitors Center. Quinlan has held the position since August 2016.

Now that a busy 2018 schedule is in the rear view mirror, the Houston Area Chamber of Commerce and its executive director, Angie Quinlan, have their sights set on 2019.

Quinlan said much of the 2019 schedule has been formulated, but there are still gaps that will be filled in as the year progresses.

Planned events and activities:


The second annual “Biggest Loser Houston” competition will begin Feb. 1 and end May 1.

Participants – male or female – will weigh in at the beginning of the contest period and again on the first day of March, April and May. Whoever loses the most weight based on a percentage of their starting weight will win half of the money collected from $20 entry fees. There will also be prizes for monthly winners.

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“This went over very well last year, so we’re doing it again,” Quinlan said.

The woman who won last year lost 12.7-percent of her original weight and earned $270.

“She hasn’t gained any back and is still staying with it,” Quinlan said.


The chamber’s annual banquet is set for Saturday, March 2, in the community building at the chamber’s fairgrounds. This year’s theme is “The Roaring 20s,” and attendees are encouraged to dress for the theme. During the event, several people will be recognized for various contributions to the community, numerous items will be available in a silent auction and a catered dinner will be served.

But new this year, Quinlan said, will be a murder mystery competition.

“I think that will be a lot of fun,” she said.

Tickets are $15 and anyone is welcome to attend.


On Saturday, April 6, the annual spring bazaar and an indoor yard sale will be held simultaneously in the community building.

“I think that will bring more people in for both by having them at the same time,” Quinlan said.


The second annual “Grand Festival” is scheduled for Saturday, May 11, in downtown Houston.

Quinlan and the chamber will assist and support the event’s organizers.

On Saturday, May 18, Houston’s American Legion Post 41 will host an Armed Forces Day celebration at the fairgrounds. The chamber will again assist.


A huge demolition derby is scheduled for June 7 and 8 in the arena at the fairgrounds. The event will be put on by K & P Promotions (of Hot Springs, Ark.) and feature a guaranteed $10,000 payout and a huge field of vehicles.

“There will be 100 or more,” Quinlan said. “The guy who does this has been doing it for 25 years and has a huge following.”

K & P conducts an annual circuit, and the stop in Houston will be a “points race.”


“But they don’t exclude local drivers,” Quinlan said.

Registration for the event begins April 1. K & P Promotions can be found on Facebook.

On Saturday, June 22, the chamber will host a trip to the St. Louis Cardinals game against the Los Angeles Angels. Quinlan said anyone is welcome to go, and the left field loge tickets will cost $35 for chamber members and $40 for non-members (they’re an $85 value).

The contest will be the second game of a weekend series with the Angels that will mark the first trip back to Busch Stadium for former Cardinal and future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols, who joined L.A. in 2012. The first pitch is set for 1:15 p.m.

On Saturday, June 29, the chamber’s second annual Independence Day parade will take place in downtown Houston, followed by the annual fireworks show at the fairgrounds in the evening.


The 109th annual Old Settlers Reunion is set for Thursday, July 25, through Saturday, July 27, at the chamber fairgrounds. It will take place alongside the 69th annual Texas County Fair and its primarily animal-oriented activities.

A pony pull will take place Thursday evening in the arena, and Quinlan said other attractions will be nailed down later for the next two nights.

A carnival will be set up all three days.

August, September

Quinlan and the chamber board are exploring options for events during these months.


An indoor yard sale is set for Saturday, Oct. 6, in the community building.


The annual Taste of Christmas food competition will take place Saturday, Nov. 30.


The annual Holiday Bazaar will be on Saturday, Dec. 7, inside the community building.

The annual Christmas parade is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 14. This year’s version will be a night event, with a 6 p.m. start time.

“This is something the public has asked me about for quite a while,” Quinlan said. “Most of our board members said, ‘why couldn’t we have a night parade?’ So we’re going to do it.”

The parade theme is to be determined.


Quinlan took the position of chamber director in August 2016. She said 2018 was quite a ride.

“It was hectic – it just about did me in,” she said. “There were a lot of ups and downs.”

For the chamber, the past year featured everything from a concert by a popular Christian rock band to a pair of well-attended demolition derbies. Quinlan said that while 2019 will feature plenty of events and activities, it will also be about more than just entertainment.

“This year, my focus will be more on the businesses,” she said. “Updating the website is also on my radar.”

Quinlan plans to begin showcasing specific businesses on the chamber’s Facebook page, taking them one at a time in alphabetical order. She will also begin writing a weekly blog in the near future.

{{tncms-inline alignment=”right” content=”<p>With help from the Missouri Chamber Federation, the Houston Area Chamber of Commerce recently rewrote its bylaws. Copies of the new bylaws are available to chamber members at the chamber’s headquarters inside the Houston Visitors Center (at U.S. 63 and Walnut Street).</p>” id=”2157d9d8-2c40-4ddf-b64e-a89524087df4″ style-type=”bio” title=”UPDATED BYLAWS” type=”relcontent” width=”half”}}

Quinlan said she wishes people would more often contact her with suggestions or stop by the chamber headquarters in the Houston Visitors Center (at U.S. 63 and Walnut Street) and chat.

“I want people to know if they have an idea for an event or any other idea for the chamber, they should talk to me about it,” she said. “We may not be able to do it, but you never know, so please float as many ideas toward me as you want.

“Or just come in and visit with me or ask me questions. That’s what I really want people to do.”

Any business or individual can be a member of the Houston Area Chamber of Commerce.

“I would love to see more individuals join and offer their voices and opinions,” Quinlan said. “And I’d really like to see more younger people join.”

Volunteers are needed at the Visitors Center, Quinlan said.

“They don’t have to work all day,” she said. “They can just stay an hour or two if they want.”

Chamber membership costs:

•Corporate business: $500 (mention in all chamber ads).

•Standard business: $100 (or $50 for new members).

•Non-profit organizations: $75

•Individual: $40

For more information, call 417-967-2220 or email information@houstonmochamber.com

With help from the Missouri Chamber Federation, the Houston Area Chamber of Commerce recently rewrote its bylaws. Copies of the new bylaws are available to chamber members at the chamber’s headquarters inside the Houston Visitors Center (at U.S. 63 and Walnut Street).

•President: Bruce Scheets

•Vice president: Bobby Dixon

•Secretary: Bobbi Martin

•Treasurer: Dana Lewis

•Members: Justin Brown, Cassie Carter, Rustin Miller, Tanya Pacheco, Amber Roby, Russ Stigall, Kim Stipanovich

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