Stratton to be chair of Nederland Chamber in 2017

Published 2:57 pm Thursday, January 12, 2017

Mark Stratton will take the reins from Stephen Savant as the new chairperson for the Nederland Chamber of Commerce and Tourist Bureau at its 76th Annual Installation Banquet on Jan. 12 at the Pompano Club.

Stratton owns and operates Ace Glass & Mirror on Twin City Highway in Nederland. He started the business in 1984 when he was 26.

“My grandfather was big into the glass industry,” Stratton said. “I built this shop in 1984, and it has been going strong ever since.”

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Stratton lives in Groves but has had his business in Nederland ever since he first opened shop.

When asked about business opportunities the Nederland area offers, Stratton responded with the subject of community.

“People here in Nederland all pull together and work together. It’s a whole different group of people who work together. They’re just really close over here,” Stratton said.

According to Stratton, he has noticed these kinds of things since joining the Chamber.

“People just pull together here,” Stratton said. “They’re really close knit; they’re a bunch of good people.”

In discussing the benefits of being part of a chamber, Stratton emphasized the value of networking.

“I’ve talked to several people who’ve been involved in the Nederland Chamber and other chambers. Some felt they didn’t get their worth from it when they joined because they didn’t get the right incentive.”

According to Stratton, they were not networking.

“It’s networking — you have to get out there and be active,” he said.

According to Stratton, the benefits come into play because people like to do business with people they know.

“Networking is what really benefits any business — and meeting new customers and making new friends and new clients,” Stratton said. “Regardless of whatever business you’re in, it helps all businesses.”

Stratton has three other businesses in addition to Ace Glass.

“I have one in Houston, McCormick’s San Jacinto Glass Company, and Allied Glass & Mirror in Lake Charles and a huge warehouse in Beaumont,” Stratton said. “I stay busy with that.”

Stratton also does work with Southeast Texas Circle of Hope, a nonprofit charity organization.

In discussing what he hopes to accomplish as the new chairperson, Stratton mentioned the Chamber membership.

“I’m hoping that we could build our members up more than before. We have a bunch of great members who are here,” Stratton said.

President of the Nederland Chamber of Commerce Diana LaBorde said Stratton has been a member of their board for years.

“Their business has been in the family for many years,” LaBorde said. “He is a very active board member. He’s the go-to member on the board if something needs to be fixed or dealt with. He leads by example and he’s a workhorse.”

LaBorde said both his sister and his son also work with the Chamber. “With him, there comes his family — which is always nice.”

LaBorde emphasized Stratton’s community involvement and his work with the Chamber.

“His message will be participation. He’s our guy out there — inviting and trying to get people to attend our coffees, events and meetings. He tries to get them interested in the Chamber and to be an active part of the Chamber,” LaBorde said.

LaBorde commented that the Chamber is wonderful, but the Chamber does not work without being active.

“Being an active member works and he believes in that,” LaBorde said. “He lives in Groves, but he has always had his business in Nederland, for many years.”