Chairman's Vision for 2016

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January 27, 2016
Gary Hoyack is proud to be a native San Antonian. As the son of local Police Chief Frank Hoyack, Gary was rooted in the heartbeat of the city at a young age and dedicates much of his business success to his parent’s supportive upbringing. There was no question that Gary would return home after receiving his degree in accounting from Texas A&M University to work for a CPA firm. Fast forward to present day and Gary has 30 years of experience as a certified public accountant – currently serving as a Partner at BDO USA, LLP.

Early in his career, Gary learned the importance of service. He says, “We exist to serve. When we serve in our community organizations, churches, non-profits, trade and government agencies we promote the ideas and issues that matter. This city was built by leaders who serve.” As his career provided him the opportunity to volunteer, Gary was immediately referred to the North Chamber by a long-time member. His involvement over the last several years has evolved from serving as a committee volunteer and executive board member to presiding as the North Chamber’s Chairman of the Board for 2016. Gary hopes to use his leadership as Chairman to engage the business community to cultivate future leaders and advocate for issues that move San Antonio forward.

Advocating for Business
The North Chamber consistently champions a pro-business agenda and endeavors to serve as a collective voice to represent its large and small business members in government policy and legislative issues at the local, state and national levels. “The North Chamber is fighting for business-friendly initiatives because it contributes to economic development and ultimately makes San Antonio a better place to live and raise your family. The North Chamber fights to improve this community for everyone whether you are a member or not, and that’s what I admire most about this organization,” says Gary.

In 2015 the North Chamber fought for issues concerning education, transportation, water and infrastructure. Many of the issues that the North Chamber outlined in their 2015 Legislative Agenda were supported in the 84th legislative session including: the approval of tuition revenue bonds to pay for capital construction projects for educational and research institutions and the passage of new, long-term sustainable funding sources for transportation and infrastructure.

“You’ve got to always be moving forward or you will fall behind,” says Gary noting the importance of planning for the 2017 Legislative Session now. “Our city has a lot of opportunities directly in front of us and now is the time to take advantage of them.” With population expected to increase by an additional 1.1 million people and 520,000 households (according to Alamo Area MPO), Gary’s primary initiative is to not only endorse economic sustainability but to communicate the message effectively.

Engaging Online & Offline
In 2012, the North Chamber made a big decision to increase their marketing and communication infrastructure. Since then, they have expanded their website, social media channels, and implemented new software that makes it easier than ever to connect online. “Although we recognize the huge benefit of connecting online, we realize that it’s only half of the puzzle. Social media and technology serve as great tools but the value of relationship building lies in developing personal connections and deepening existing relationships,” says Gary.

In 2016 the North Chamber is going to embark on an engagement campaign, taking the extra steps to teach our members and the community what this organization does every day to keep our city strong. We will continue to hold monthly Member Benefit Orientations to teach members how to access and exploit the resources available to them. In addition, we are going to call upon our board members to build relationships with local businesses and professionals and provide them with opportunities for engagement.  “We realize that not everyone understands how our work as a chamber applies to them. We want to fill that gap through what we call our ‘Did you know’ campaign – spreading our mission and message through relationships and social media and, in the process, engaging others to work alongside us in our efforts.”

Developing Future Leaders
Gary’s passion for relationship building melds with his desire to develop and empower our future leaders. “Our future depends on the relationships that we build and the tools that we can provide our future leaders. We have many great leaders in our community who went far beyond building their own business. We need to carry on this legacy,” he says and the North Chamber offers a number of resources to facilitate this.

Leadership Lab will continue to be our flagship program for developing the skills needed by well-rounded leaders in our rapidly changing business environment. Additionally, Gary intends to reach out to Leadership Lab alumni and past chamber leaders and ask for their help in our efforts to involve those our young professionals in serving in the community. 

In 2014, the North Chamber launched college student memberships offering students a discounted membership for their last two years of school. During his term, Gary would like repurpose these memberships to be inclusive of a larger age group of students and would like to engage community partners to contribute to the benefits of these memberships.

Recognizing that investing in our youth means investing in our future, Gary is dedicated to increasing the number of students serving on committees and attending events. “It’s important that we teach our youth things that they may not learn behind a computer or even in a classroom. Building business relationships and observing positive examples of leadership are a very critical step in entering the workforce and becoming a future leader.”

Moving San Antonio Forward
The North Chamber was founded with the anticipation of growth beyond San Antonio’s downtown and has served its growing membership for over 40 years. We will continue to anticipate growth and support transportation funding, water, infrastructure and economic development. The North Chamber has endorsed the Lone Star Rail District’s LSTAR rail service and the San Antonio Water System’s rate restructuring for the Vista Ridge Water Supply Project and will continue to be a voice as those projects play out in coming years. “We will continue to be involved in supporting initiatives that support the positive growth of our business community and secure our future as one of the most attractive places to live,” says Gary. 

“It’s incredible to see how far San Antonio has come and even more impressive to see where we’re going. I want to ensure that we as a chamber are always remembering our past and planning for our future but it is not possible without the countless volunteers and dedication of our community. I invite you to join me in 2016 and be part of moving San Antonio forward.”