Author Archives: kellemarsalis

Ambassadors Committee now accepting applications

Ambassadors LogoJust in time for the first meeting in 2013, the Ambassador Committee is now open for new members. Each year the Ambassador Committee’s mission is to promote the Dallas Regional Chamber and assist in the retention of members through benefit awareness, contact of members and involvement in Chamber programs.

Members who participate can build connections and gain exposure for their business through networking and increased visibility in the business community.

“While involvement in the DRC is part of my business strategy, it is a long term solution,” said Adrian DeLeon with Carter Financial Management. “I encourage individuals to join the Ambassadors committee to meet other business leaders and contribute their own unique abilities. Show up, serve, contribute and the rest will come.”

To join, please contact Max Monico, Manager of Member Services, at The next Ambassador Committee meeting is Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013, at 12 p.m. Click here for to register.

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Membership ROI: Make the Most of Your DRC Membership

posted by: Kelle Marsalis, Director of Member Services and Small Business Programs

Just over a year ago I joined a new gym. Last month, as my renewal date came up, I found myself wondering “am I getting a good return on my investment?” Then I dug a little deeper and asked myself a question I already knew the answer to: “Am I giving myself a good return on my investment?”

Like my gym membership, the first year of membership with the Dallas Regional Chamber is exciting and new. There are many opportunities for new members to learn how to be involved and engaged in DRC programs. As companies enter their second year and beyond, we wanted to make it easy for our members to find the information they need to truly take advantage of all the benefits membership has to offer. Continue reading

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Filed under Member Benefit, Membership, Small Business Friendly Programming

Five Questions With Virgin America CEO, David Cush

By: Kelle Marsalis, Director, Small Business Programs & Member Services

David Cush, President & CEO of Virgin America, will headline the DRC’s Small Business Speaker Series next week in Dallas. Cush will discuss his success with the company over the past four years, including record-setting growth and their many major industry best-in-class awards.

Virgin America began service with Dallas between San Francisco and Los Angeles just over one year ago. An SMU graduate, Cush is coming back to the Metroplex to celebrate this partnership and give attendees a glimpse at what’s next for the growing airline. Continue reading

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Filed under Membership, Small Business Friendly Programming

Is your business looking forward to more ICE?

Posted by: Kelle Marsalis, Member Services Manager

Snow and ICE has been a theme here in North Texas the past few days. If you’re like many of our members, you won’t be sad to see it go and business hours get back to normal. I was recently reminded by our friends at the Metro Atlanta Chamber of how important ICE can be for business.  Now we are looking forward to more ICE in February. Want to join us?

Involvement:  If you’re looking for opportunities to get more involved with the DRC and expand your business exposure, join the Ambassadors Committee. Ambassadors are a critical arm of member services. To learn more, contact Yolonda Henderson at, or sign up for Orientation, February 22, 2011, HERE.

Connections:  The DRC provides hundreds of networking opportunities throughout the year. This month you can find as many as 50 new potential clients at Coffee Cup Connections, our morning networking session. Join us at 8 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2011, at Cityplace Conference Center. Register online today.

Education: Join the DRC at the Technology Business Council’s Cyber Threats Issue Forum, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011. Keynote speaker Justin Somaini, CIO of Symatec Corporation, and other panelists will bring together leaders in the IT field to network and discuss the current threat environment and how it has evolved. Learn more or register HERE.

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Filed under Membership, Small Business Friendly Programming

Why Do Small Businesses Fail? If you’re asking the owner… you’re asking the wrong person.

Posted by: Kelle Marsalis, Manager, Member Services

Why do small businesses fail?
One blogger says, “Don’t ask the owner, ask the customers.”

A recent blog on the New York Times’ “Your’re the Boss” page offered ten reasons small businesses fail. The writer’s first major statement seems like common sense – “don’t ask the entrepreneur. If they knew what they were doing wrong, they would have stopped. Ask the customers… or should I say the ex-customers.”

Below is the rundown of the posted reasons. What is the number one reason you think small businesses fail?

1. The math doesn’t work. There may be more supply coming from this company or other large retailers than the demand can handle.

2. Owners who cannot get out of their own way. Great idea… not great at business management.

3. Out-of-control growth. Sometimes less is more.

4. Poor accounting. Single entrepreneur? Well, according to this blog, unless your business is accounting, chances are you’re not qualified for this part of the job.

5. Lack of a cash cushion. Lawsuits, loss of critical employees, new competition: all reasons a cushion can keep you on track.

6. Operational mediocrity. Each owner thinks their operation is above average. But they can’t all be stellar, or that would be the average. How do businesses have an edge to create repeat customers?

7. Operational inefficiencies. The ability to cut costs without your product suffering is major asset right now. Be competitive, but also be willing to negotiate.

8. Dysfunctional management. If the management has checked out or can’t keep their personal life at bay, disaster is looming.

9. The lack of a succession plan. Many businesses don’t make it to the next generation because that generation may not be ready.

10. A declining market. Many industries are becoming obsolete. Anyone used a Walkman lately?

CLICK HERE to read the full blog. Did the writer miss anything? Post below.

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Filed under Membership, Small Business Friendly Programming

49 Connections Changed Jobs – Have you?

Posted by: Kelle Marsalis, Member Services Manager

Linkedin recently informed me 49 of my personal connections changed jobs in 2010. Almost 50 fifty people (about 1/3) I interact with though Linkedin took a new position, received a promotion or changed employers completely. That is a lot of CHANGE to keep track of. And that figure only includes people who took the time to update their profile.

Now consider an organization with more than 2,500 member companies and 600,000 individual connections. That could mean almost 4,000 individuals represented by the DRC change jobs each week. What happens to your company’s connection to the Chamber if that person leaves?

The DRC relies on our members to inform us when key representatives change, address or telephone numbers are updated or new additions come on board. Our Member’s-Only section of the DRC Web site,, allows members to log on with a username and password to update this information themselves and manage their engagement with the Chamber.

To retrieve your username and password, please e-mail Without current contact information, your company could be missing important business news and announcements, opportunities to meet new clients and exciting events and programs new in 2011. More importantly, the Members-Only section is developing more offerings and exclusive member-only content each month. Don’t let your next customer or business-partner find a bounce-back or disconnected tone when trying to reach you. It’s easy to use and DRC staff is here to help you.

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