The Henrietta and Clay County Chamber of Commerce will hold a quarterly membership meeting on Wednesday, June 26 at the Holman Center, 211 N. Clay St., in Henrietta. The chamber board of directors strive to bring topical and educational programs to both the active membership and to the public on a quarterly basis, to encourage networking between chamber members, and to promote local shopping and service loyalty.
The June meeting will feature as guest speaker District 69 State Representative James Frank of Wichita Falls. Frank, 46, a Republican, is currently in Austin attending a special session covering a plethora of topics, but he has been invited to attend this chamber meeting to focus specifically on “The Water Crisis; Is it Soluble?”
The Texas drought is a serious issue that stretches across the entire state, but is hitting the western, northern and central regions especially hard.
“As our county struggles to endure the Stage 3 drought contingency plan imposed by local municipalities, many are very concerned about when and how Stage 4 may affect our residents, ranchers and agricultural producers in Clay County,” said Betty Ellsworth, executive director for the chamber of commerce. “We are eager to find out what steps our state government is considering to provide relief from this epidemic.”
Frank is a longtime resident of Wichita Falls. Frank graduated from Rider High School and then later earned a degree in finance from Texas A&M University. He then began an 11-year career in banking in Fort Worth and Wichita Falls.
In 2000, Frank ventured into business with the help of local investors by purchasing a local metal fabrication business, BW Fabricators. Since that time, the company, now known as Sharp Iron Group, has grown through internal growth and acquisitions to include field service, welding, machining, sheet metal and electrical controls manufacturing capabilities. Sharp Iron Group has increased its number of employees from 15 in 2000 to more than 130 today.
An advocate for business and jobs in Texas, Frank purchased California-based Transland in 2007 and moved its operations to Texas. Transland’s 21 employees operate the leading manufacturer of dispersal equipment for crop dusting and aerial firefighting.
Frank has served as president of the board of Straight Street and of Home Educators Around Texoma, the vice-chairman of the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce and Industry and served on the advisory board of the Lalani Center for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise at Midwestern State University.
The meeting is open to chamber members and to the general public. A catered meal will be provided for $8 per person. Those planning on attending need to RSVP no later than 2 p.m. on Monday, June 24 by calling (940) 538-5261 or by e-mailing the chamber at firstname.lastname@example.org.