After conducting 75 ribbon-cutting ceremonies this year for small businesses and large corporations alike, Williamson Inc. will host its annual celebration luncheon at a new mixed-use facility that will soon become the headquarters of newly relocated Mitsubishi Motors and the chamber of commerce itself.
The afternoon will include a message from keynote speaker Fred Diaz, president and CEO of Mitsubishi. Diaz will share the behind-the-scenes story of the company’s relocation from Orange County, California, to Williamson County. Matt Largen, president and CEO of Williamson Inc., will moderate a conversation between Diaz and Elizabeth McCreary, Williamson Inc.’s chief economic development officer, highlighting perspectives from both sides of the relocation process.
Largen will also give an overview of Williamson Inc.’s successful year, highlighting the many business openings, relocations and networking events the chamber coordinated throughout 2019 to support its members and the business community at large. The number of ribbon cuttings alone — up from 44 last year — is a reflection of this year’s thriving business economy.
“We’ve had an impact on the community through the number of ribbon cuttings that we’ve done this year, through working with the school system to help kids create relevancy and … understand the work they do and how that could translate into a career, and also, this year, hosting an expo that actually part of it was a job fair,” Largen said.
Chamber events such as a recent business expo reflect the CEO’s goal of treating those in the business community like partners. Largen said this culture at Williamson Inc. drives the chamber to help businesses such as Mitsubishi all the way through the process of becoming established in Williamson County, not taking off after the next opportunity the moment they strike a business deal.
“We’ve held a job fair at our office for the company (Mitsubishi). We’ve let the company use our office before they signed the lease for temporary space for interviewing,” he said. “So, we really view this as a partnership that benefits each other. It’s not just, ‘Hey, we got you here. Now we’re onto the next one.’ It’s, ‘We want to make sure that you’re successful in this community hiring local talent.’”
Further, events such as First Friday and the young professionals luncheons focus on the individuals that constitute businesses.
“Our goal for that is that our members leave with a page full of notes and some ideas that they can implement immediately from the speaker and from the content that was delivered,” Largen said.
This year, the event, which is normally in the evening, will be a lunchtime affair, a time which Largen said is typically well received by the business community for events that don’t act as a fundraiser. This is confirmed by the nearly 300 attendees registered for the event already.
Aside from celebrating the business community itself, the afternoon will also recognize the staff, new board members and volunteers for the work they have done throughout the year.
Williamson Inc.’s annual celebration is set for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19, at McEwen Northside. Chamber members can register at the Williamson Inc. website, williamsonchamber.com, for $75, and nonmembers can register for $85.