1. HYP Committee Meeting

    February 17 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
  2. Ribbon Cutting for Sapphire Smiles

    February 18 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
  3. Education Committee Meeting

    February 19 @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am
  4. Ribbon Cutting for HOTWORX

    February 19 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Welcome to the Greater Heights Area Chamber of Commerce.

The Greater Heights Area Chamber of Commerce (GHACC) is a member-focused organization through which members can effectively develop their business and themselves. Since its founding in 1988, the hallmark of the Chamber has, and continues to be: “People do business with people they know, like, and trust.” Relationships developed in the Chamber become part of one’s business infrastructure. New friends can be found in the Chamber and some of those friendships will last a lifetime. Members can learn how to grow their markets, supply their business, mentor associates or even find a special mentor. GHACC works diligently to provide benefit to all members, be they new, or long-term.

This growing Chamber provides a forum into which its members’ businesses can fit together in an atmosphere of mutual benefit. Active participation provides multiple benefits including access to the entrepreneurs and management of business and organizations with differing viewpoints and methods that work. An abundance of activities provide networking occasions to create new business opportunities, obtain business referrals, join committees, have fun and enjoy a camaraderie unique to Heights Chamber members.

Just as the “Heights” is known for its uniqueness and historical Houston significance, the GHACC blends businesses, promotes “Buy Local First,” and has often been described as a “not so well kept secret for successfully serving its members.”

President’s February Letter:

Dear Members,

I hope you had the opportunity to attend our annual Economic Forecast Luncheon held on January 30. Noted Economist, Dr. Bill Gilmer, addressed the implications the global economy has on the state and local business climate. In case you missed it, a write-up of his presentation can be found at the IRF website as a January 17 economic update and an outlook for 2020: https://www.bauer.uh.edu/centers/irf/houston-updates.php. This is an update of the Houston forecast from his November Symposium.

Moving onto upcoming exciting events, please mark your calendars for the annual Crawfish Festival in the Heights scheduled for March 7th. The Crawfish Festival in the Heights is a fantastic event with food and fun for everyone. Come and be entertained by the Zydeco Dots while chowing down on some delectable crawfish with corn and potatoes. In addition, there will be a shopper’s paradise offering treasures and other gifts for that hard to please person. Kids aren’t forgotten either as they can jump to their hearts delight in our bounce house. Tickets are available, just see the Chamber website, www.heightschamber.org.

Your Chamber is steadfast in helping member businesses grow. Your membership, shared with more than 575 other members, offers you numerous opportunities to network, build relationships, and make lasting friendships. In fact, a review of the many networking opportunities we provide, in last year alone, totaled 5,404 occasions to meet face-to-face with other members. Your participation can result in new business opportunities or obtaining referrals leading to future business.

In the coming months, we will continue staging valuable events and contributing to enhancing the greater Heights area. As always, we are interested in your comments, suggestions and expectations from your membership. Feel free to email me: president@heightschamber.org.

Louie Gill

Chamber President.

Chamber News

Chamber Staff Tours University of St. Thomas Campus

January 31st, 2020|

David Schein an Associate Dean for the Director of Graduate Programs and Professor of Management for the Cameron School of Business invited the Chamber staff to a tour of the University of St. Thomas campus. Joining David as Ch-host for the tour was Joe Chieh-Chung Ueng, Interim Dean of the Cameron School of Business, Department Chair for Economics & Finance and the Cullen Endowed Chair of Finance for the University. Following a luncheon and tour, President Louie Gill and his staff met with David Schein, a Chamber member, and Joe Chieh-Chung Ueng to discuss potentially beneficial programs between the Chamber and the University. The University’s Cameron School of Business is fully accredited by the Association to [...]

Chamber Accepting Applications for 2020 Scholarship Program-Deadline is March 15th

January 24th, 2020|

The Greater Heights Area Chamber of Commerce is currently accepting applications for the 2020 Scholarship Program for deserving high school students in the area. Each year, the Greater Heights Area Chamber of Commerce awards scholarships to  outstanding high school seniors  in the area.  Those students are honored at a luncheon to be held in May.  Since the inception of the program, the Chamber has awarded over $350,000 in scholarships to area students.  Those scholarships are made possible through generous donations by our members.  We are pleased to continue that tradition this year and are currently taking applications for the 2020 scholarship program.  Deadline to apply is March 15, 2020.  To apply, please read and complete the 2020 [...]

Greater Heights Area Chamber Sets March 7 as the Date for the Annual Crawfish Festival in the Heights

January 22nd, 2020|

The Greater Heights Area Chamber of Commerce has scheduled its annual Crawfish Festival in the Heights for March 7, 2020. The festival will be held at 411 West 20th Street, across from Heights Hospital and the hours are 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. This family fun event is one of the Chamber’s primary fund-raising projects and offers plenty of food, entertainment, festivities, and of course, crawfish. The events of the day include entertainment by local students; live Zydeco music by the Zydeco Dots, an award-winning group that not only plays Zydeco music, but R&R, R&B, C&W and other varieties of music. Display tables in the shopper’s paradise which contain products, services and much more plus a [...]


Member Benefits

Why join the Greater Heights Area Chamber of Commerce? If you own a business or are involved in the Houston Heights, being a member of the Greater Heights Area Chamber of Commerce brings you numerous benefits.  Invest in your organization’s future and join the over 500 members that already are reaping the benefits.  To begin learning about membership benefits, attend a monthly Member Orientation Luncheon and begin to realize them immediately.

Learn More

Chamber Connections

Megan F. Salch of Tell Your Tale Marketing met team members of HITS Theatre at a ribbon cutting two years ago. Fast forward, Tell Your Tale Marketing designed the new mobile-friendly website for HITS at https://hitstheatre.org/ and provides ongoing maintenance. HITS Theatre is an educational organization, offering classes in singing, dancing and acting for children in kindergarten through high school.

When some friends asked Megan where to meet for dinner and drinks, Megan said, “Let’s head to Harold’s on 19th Street. Alli Jarrett, owner of Harold’s in the Heights is great.” Alli graciously welcomed the group and kindly spent time guiding the friends on the menu.

In fact, Tell Your Tale Marketing even hired our lead web designer Israel based on the solid recommendation of (retired) Chamber member Wayne Sandlin of Photography by Design.

Candice Rodriguez of Natural Care Cleaning Service and Natural Care Pest Control signed up for Send out Cards with Willie Diefenbach Jones about 2 months ago and has LOVED it! I am able to quickly send my client’s personal touches from my cell phone. I am also able to send clients and people I meet special treats. It’s made a huge different in my business and I am so glad we joined!


“Being a member of the Chamber has been so helpful to me in getting to know member’s businesses and services for both professional and personal needs. The opportunity to learn and build relationships with fellow members is so valuable. I’ve used many Chamber member’s services and many have secured mine as well. One I would like to recognize is the Hampton Inn and Suites on I-10. We reserved a block of rooms for our family and friends coming in from out of town for my daughter’s wedding. Thanks to fellow member Paige Cassel, they were so organized and on top of the reservations and welcoming. In fact, when the guests arrived, they received a welcome gift. Hampton Inn & Suites provided excellent service, and everyone was very happy with their stay there.”


Jan Stephenson
Jan M. Stephenson Designs

Here’s why being on a Chamber Committee expands my business connections.

“Joining other Chamber members on a committee establishes recognition of me for my business and service capabilities. With an opportunity to provide new ideas or input in the planning and staging of Chamber events, I have the occasion to meet and interact with fellow members in different fields. Working together provides an arena for me to expand my skills in areas where I may not have been involved before. Equally important is learning how vital collaboration can be to my future success. The Chamber offers a variety of committees, so there are many looking to grow and add new talent.”


Donna Torres
Greater Heights Business Solutions

Here’s why I put Noontime Networking on my Calendar Every Time.

“I know the Chamber monthly Breakfast Connection is a good networking opportunity but, as a working mom, early mornings can be hectic for me. The bi-monthly Noontime Networking sessions fit my schedule perfectly. I can have lunch, learn about a member’s business, and effectively network all in the course of time I would normally spend just going to lunch. Thanks to the Chamber for serving my needs.”


Danielle Stewart
Historic Heights Living Magazine

Member Spotlight

Mark Rafail

In our new spotlight we focus on Mark Rafail, a native Houstonian and first generation Egyptian. Mark attended local schools and earned his BA degree in History from Texas A & M University. His youthful forays into an ultimate business profession included working in the stationery department at Walmart, being a sacker at Kroger and waiting tables at a restaurant. After college he sold phone and internet services to small businesses door-to-door. Disliking it originally, later he would cite its beneficial small business experience that would prove valuable later in his career. Moving on, and now into the insurance field, Mark earned his insurance license. Stockpiling this license, he made a decision to work in the oil and gas industry. This proved to be a temporary roadblock, but Mark was not to be deterred.

In 2009, fate stepped in when he took a loan with Farmers Insurance and decided to open his own agency. Today he is the president/principal of Mark Rafail Insurance Agency offering business/commercial and personal insurance services. How did this new decision work out? Quite well as we acknowledge his winning Rookie of the Year in 2009. Since then he has grown the business to be one of the top Farmers Insurance & Independent Agencies in Houston. He takes pride in pointing out he created a website titled www.HeightsInsuranceAgency.com to differentiate his business. Anyone interested in an insurance review, just contact Mark.

His love for insurance and his clients isn’t his only joy. He has been recognized for starting the first Houston Egyptian Festival with over 6,000 attendees and the event donated over $5,000 back to local non-profits. This man of many talents also helps run a non-profit for special needs children called Soaring Kidz, which enables children ages 4-14 to play sports year around.

His family resides in the Heights for the past five years and his family includes his wife, Sylvia, who is active in the business, daughters Leah age two, and 6-month old Hannah. We applaud Mark Rafail because through all the ups and downs, he has remained steadfast in his life’s ambition: “To own a business, have an awesome wife, kids and be able to take care of my parents and in-laws while staying active and closer to God.” Congratulations on being a valued member Mark. Your dedication to achieving success is an inspiration to us all.



Members in the Community