Outgoing Port Arthur Chamber Chairman Randy Sonnier lauded for leadership, talks successful year

Published 12:18 am Wednesday, January 17, 2024

2023 was a good year for the Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce.

Outgoing chamber chairman Randy Sonnier had a front seat to a successful year that included rising membership and the hosting of summits and shows that allowed networking between businesses and the general public.

One of those successful events was the annual Industry Show, which brought 114 businesses to Bob Bowers Civic Center. The show allowed suppliers to visit with big industry and offered a chance to learn about new vendors.

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This is good when realizing the area is experiencing a rebirth in industry with approximately $45 billion in projects within a 30-mile radius of Port Arthur as of 2023.

Randy Sonnier served as the 2023 chairman of the Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce. (Mary Meaux/The News)

The industry show has grown stronger through the years, growing even after the pandemic.

“It shows the chamber is working for their membership,” Sonnier said during the Industry Show last year.

Membership to the Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce continues to grow.

“We supported over 38 new business openings,” Sonnier said.

The Chamber has a Contractor’s Business Development Group composed of local and area contractors that meet regularly and share information on ongoing, new and upcoming ventures — another successful part of 2023, he said.

The Chamber also offered a Carbon Capture Summit where leaders in that industry brought information to educate its members.

This type of technology — carbon capture and sequestration, is new to our area.

Sonnier noted the chamber was heavily involved in the biennial Golden Triangle Days in Austin, which had more than 350 delegates from Port Arthur and area chambers.

The event allows the delegates a chance to bring prioritized issues of importance to lawmakers.

The Chamber was also involved in the city’s year long Quasquicentennial Celebration, he added.

Newly appointed Chamber President Joe Tant has known Sonnier for many years and knows of Sonnier’s value to the organization.

Sonnier has been a valuable asset to the Chamber and to Tant.

“He’s been a mentor and I don’t even think he knows it,” Tant said of the knowledge he’s received from Sonnier.

“He’s done a phenomenal job with the Chamber. The Chamber is on very strong financial footing. It’s amazing the amount of members we have that are active and engaged. He’s done a fantastic job for them and ensured that small businesses are not lost with industry.”

Sonnier will hand over the title to incoming chairman Art Thomas during the Chamber’s 124’s Annual Banquet set for Jan. 24.

For more information on the banquet call the Chamber at 409-963-1107.