Proud to be EMC: LocalMeA visits with GEMC Chamber's President and new Chairman

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14 January, 2019 By Johnston Farrow

On January 1, Mark Linabury started his one-year term as the Chair of the Board for the Greater East Montgomery Chamber of Commerce.


The 400-plus member GEMC finds itself in the center of unprecedented growth. East Montgomery County has seen a 120 percent population increase in the last 15 years for the communities of Porter, 37 percent for New Caney, and 18 percent for Splendora. The development of Valley Ranch Town Center and the high performing New Caney Independent School District has made the area a much sought after community for new residents.


Linabury, serves as the Marketing Director for ServiceMaster Restoration and Cleaning. He has been a member of the GEMC Chamber board for the last two years. He will bring that marketing experience to his role as Board Chair, seeking to assist the chamber in capitalizing on area growth and bring new opportunities to members, old and new.


LocalMeA caught up with both GEMC President Rick Hatcher and Linabury to discuss the latter’s new role, what’s ahead for the chamber in 2019, and goals for the business-related organization.

Rick Hatcher, President, Greater East Montgomery Chamber of Commerce:


LocalMeA: What will Mark bring to the Chamber as chair?

Rick Hatcher: “His marketing background in this fast-growing area is going to be very advantageous for our members who are looking for new and established ways to promote themselves. We have fun while working with others and that makes people want to be involved. Mark is actively helping to make things fun and productive.”


LMA: Why was Mark selected for this position?

RH: Mark has a very enthusiastic attitude about the growth of this area and how businesses can promote themselves through the chamber. He was always looking for ways to help his businesses and others, so he was one of those members that was noticed a lot. His work ethic and integrity are unquestionable. We are very fortunate to have Mark leading the board this year.


LMA: What do you look forward to the most in working with Mark?

RH: Mark and I are very much on the same page with our sense of humor and our joy of seeing others succeed. By offering our members opportunities to advance their businesses through our programs we all win.


LMA: What are some of the highlights over the last year for the chamber?

RH: The Greater East Montgomery County Chamber gave our members over 100 opportunities to meet, greet, and build relationships that can and should become business for each other. From Business After Hours events, to luncheons, informational meetings on area growth and development, and special events for the community, there is always something that can help a business become greater. Some of the most fun events are the Casino Celebration held in February and the East County Grand Prix cart racing event in April.


LMA: What are some of the big things ahead in the next year for GEMC?

RH: The east side of Montgomery County is one of the fastest growing areas in all of Houston. With this growth in business comes growth residentially, which continues to push economic development of the area. We have new entertainment opening, new neighborhoods being built by major builders such as DR Horton, continued addition of retail establishments in Valley Ranch as well as other new businesses around the region such as the new HEB center on Northpark Drive. Other tracts of land are cleared and ready for development. The future is very bright in East Montgomery County.


Mark Linabury, new Board Chair for the Greater East Montgomery Chamber of Commerce:


LocalMeA: When did you join the Greater East Montgomery Chamber as a member?

Mark Linabury: I joined the chamber as soon as I took on the position of Marketing Director for ServiceMaster Restoration & Cleaning in March of 2016. It immediately connected me with key contacts and quite honestly, some great new friends.


LMA: What other roles have you served with the Chamber?

ML: I have been a board member for two years, both 2017 and 2018.


LMA: What are your goals as incoming chair for the term ahead?

ML: My primary goal is to have the board focus on why the chamber exists. We are a business membership organization first and foremost. As a board, we will help GEMC President Rick Hatcher and his staff serve the members to help them grow and improve their businesses and organizations. We will be working on new opportunities and improving existing ones to do just that. I'm a big believer in being seen, being heard, and being remembered. We want to give our members every opportunity possible to get the most from their memberships.


LMA: What is it that makes East Montgomery unique?

ML: Growth in East Montgomery County has been talked about for years. Well, it's certainly happening now! There is so much to be excited about in the business community as well as for the consumer. Combine that with a genuinely friendly and inclusive chamber, it's difficult not to enjoy and benefit from. It's something we call 'Proud To Be EMC' and it’s certainly something I am personally proud to be a part of.

Written by

Johnston Farrow

Johnston Farrow is also a columnist for Houston's CultureMap and has been a journalist for over 15 years, covering everything from news, entertainment, sports and more.

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