I suspect we all drive by the Muleshoe Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture’s office located in the Hugh Earl Young Visitors Center every day, but know very little about what the Chamber of Commerce does or why it even exists. I thought it would behoove us to know more about their purpose and benefits.
So I visited with Brittany Pendley, recently named manager of the Muleshoe Chamber of Commerce, about what’s going on at the chamber these days.
Brittany’s position as chamber manager began in early February this year. Brittany and her husband Billy grew up in Dumas. After Billy’s company, Southwest Cheese, moved him to Clovis, the couple wanted to continue to live in Texas, so they and son Noah, age13, moved to Muleshoe in 2014, and Billy drives to work at the Portales plant. Brittany commented that while Dumas is larger than Muleshoe, it still had a small town flavor, which they wanted for themselves and Noah. She laughed, “I thought I just couldn’t wait to get away [from small town life], but that life sticks with you, so we choose to live here.”
Brittany’s hours at the chamber office are 8 to 5 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, which allows her to continue part-time as hair-dresser to her established clientele at Wild Prairie Studios with Kim Hunt and Keely Dunham.
Brittany hit the ground running, and she and board member secretary Londi Blackwell did some major house cleaning and found old pictures and fun Muleshoe-related memorabilia and trinkets they then used to do a little redecorating in the office.
Muleshoe merchandise is displayed along with the found treasures. Brittany said more new merchandise will be ordered which will add to the nice variety of items to choose from when you need a special gift that can’t be bought just anywhere.
Brittany works with board members John Villalba, who serves as president, Kari Preston who is vice-president, secretary Londi Blackwell, along with Jackson Myers, Kamry Cribbs, Myles James, and Markus Stephens. Board members serve for three years and then drop off the board to make room for someone else who wants to serve the community.
If you check out the chamber website, you will see that their mission statement declares that they want to “foster community and business retention through the promotion of economic, civic, social, and cultural programs.” The website goes on to say if a community is worth living in, it’s a community worth improving. So, in partnership with the City of Muleshoe and the Muleshoe Economic Development Corporation, the board has set out to do just that, to make Muleshoe “a big spot on the map,” as Brittany put it, a place where things are happening and people want to come and be a part of the festivities.
July 4th and Christmas have always been big events here, and they are working to keep it that way, brainstorming ways to add to both events; details will be forthcoming. But other activities have also been planned.
A monthly community prayer service has already kicked off this month and will continue on the first full week’s Monday of every month at the chamber office at 7 a.m. The next one will be April 4th.
The Double Shoe Classic Car Show is scheduled for April 9th at the Bailey County Coliseum from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Lonnie Adrian and Jesus Tovar are in charge of the show and can be contacted for more information.
May 5th a National Day of Prayer Luncheon is planned. More information will be announced on the details for the luncheon.
One of the big events for the chamber is the annual banquet, which will be held on May 21st this year. The highlight of the banquet is the recognition of businesses and individuals who have contributed to the community and their respective businesses. Business of the Year, Employee of the Year, Woman and Man of the Year, Youth of the Year, Ag Family of the Year will all be recognized. This year nomination forms will be placed in various businesses in town as well as at the chamber office and emailed to chamber members. Nominations can be made starting the week of March 14th and will close April 29th. The banquet will be adults only this year and held at the Desert Rose at 6 p.m. Attendance will be limited to 200 people. This year’s event will include a dance rather than a speaker; music to be provided by Bubba Bellin from Fort Worth.
The Muleshoe Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture wants to serve not only Muleshoe, but the surrounding area, so the week of March 28th interested individuals and businesses in Sudan can become members at Shelby’s Bridge from 2 to 5.
Another new benefit provided for chamber members is the opportunity to advertise on two billboards in town for three months for a fraction of the usual price. Brittany can give you details if you are interested.
An interesting convenience chambers of commerce have been known for that I was not aware of is providing water when needed by travelers for their pets, livestock, or perhaps just themselves. John Villalba brought this up since he, as a county agent who has worked with 4-Hers and their animals, has benefitted from this available water in other towns. So the board now does that, too. All you have to do is ask.
Something else board members are working on is bringing employee and management seminars to Muleshoe for members that will focus on teaching customer service, people engagement and leadership skills, things that will benefit the businesses and the individuals, especially young people and new business owners who might not be aware of some of these skills.
The Muleshoe chamber was formed in 1951 to promote Muleshoe’s economic development and growth. These days over 250 businesses and a population of over 5,000 are here to make Muleshoe an inviting destination. You, too, can get involved to help this all happen. Find out what you can do; you might be surprised at how you can contribute. Call Brittney at 806-272-4248 or 806-477-9649 and see how you can help.
Stop by, meet the new manager, see the new look and check out the Muleshoe merchandise you just can’t live without! You won’t be sorry.
Thanks to Brittany Pendley for her help in writing this story. And thanks to all the board member who give of their time to get things done. Mule up !