Q&A: Meet Carolyn Sims, Colleyville Chamber of Commerce's new president

Carolyn Sims began her first day as the Colleyville chamber president in March.

Carolyn Sims began her first day as the Colleyville chamber president in March.

In January Carolyn Sims was officially selected as the Colleyville Chamber of Commerce president, returning to the chamber after already serving as its president from 1989-95. Sims calls North Richland Hills home for now and holds a master’s degree in public school administration and a bachelor’s degree in business education, both from the University of North Texas.

What do you want people to know about you?


I have an unbelievable history … from teaching eighth-graders to running the Colleyville Chamber of Commerce nearly 30 years ago to running the Arts Council over at the Bedford Boys Ranch [Park] to working for a state [representative], to working for the town of Westlake and doing the marketing for the town, and the Westlake Academy Foundation and running it, then going to Westlake [Independent School District] and running their foundation and then working for county Commissioner Gary Fickes as his chief of staff for nine and a half years. ... I’ve been over at Tarrant County College-Northeast campus, working there as their coordinator of events and community relations for about a year and half, and then there were changes there. So then I started thinking, ‘What do I want to do next?’ And then this [position at the chamber] came up. ... And I decided I could do this. This would be a great way to work with an organization from the concept of helping to rebuild, helping to grow, helping to serve, more than expecting anything for myself.

You’re not afraid of change?


No. Yes, it’s scary, but you learn to adapt over the years. Because after awhile you get to a stage that you look at things and you start going, ‘You know this really isn’t for me anymore; I need to step out, or I need to do something different.’ It’s like when I was working down in Austin for a state rep; it was like, ‘I’m ready to go home, I’m ready to come back up here.’ So that was more or less the reason I started looking to try to come back up here and do something. … Everything I’ve done, I wouldn’t trade any of it, because it has all educated me, and taught me many things that I’ve been able to carry forward and share with others and use in an environment. It’s given me information that I’ve been able to call on. … I love to connect people. I love being able to say, ‘So you’re looking for something? What would you like to find? Oh, well why don’t you come over here; I want you to meet so and so.’ It’s things like that; it’s very important to me, as I’ve learned about myself over the years and all the different types of jobs I’ve had.

What experience do you have that will help you with this position?


I’ve learned about relationships and listening and … not having the fear to step out and do what needs to be done. I don’t know if it’s fear. It’s sort of reviewing and then going, ‘OK, well it would be great to look at some changes along the way.’ So maybe it goes back to the initial question, am I afraid of change, and no I’m not. It’s not being afraid to do what needs to be done by working and listening to people and hearing what they’re saying.

What do you foresee as some challenges in your new position?


I don’t think I look at it as challenges; I think I look at it as opportunities. I think I look at it as there are all kinds of possibilities that could happen here. ... The opportunities are going to come in membership, people respecting and believing in the chamber. What I am loving seeing right now is the partnership between the chamber and the city. Where we are right now is amazing, and I said it to Jerry Ducay, the city manager, the other day and the board, with all this construction on [SH] 26, we as a chamber need to be helping these businesses whether they are members or not. We need to work with the city on how can we help them keep their doors open? What can we promote to get people to go and help them encourage chamber members, encourage citizens, encourage anyone to go in and do business with these businesses on [SH] 26? There are definite obstacles, but I know Grapevine and the Northeast chamber and the H-E-B chamber have all been through this because of the big highways. But here you’ve got this road going through the middle of town, and it’s really hard. We need to be in this together to really support these businesses, and the city’s come up with some really good ideas and we need to help them share that. Because yes, we do have members on [SH] 26, and we would love more, but we have to know that the people have to get through this time frame. ...  It just becomes a partnership.

What goals would you like the chamber to accomplish?


It would be great to definitely see our membership grow again. If we’re really reaching for the stars it would be great to see it double. I’m not going to go there yet. … I’m going to shoot low so when we shoot past it, it sounds even better. ... But I really applaud this board of directors. They have taken this on with the intent of keeping the doors open. They have taken on having to sell a building, find someplace to go, create events, hire a new president, and they’ve done it. They’ve done a great job.
SHARE THIS STORY


MOST RECENT

duck ramen
Kanta Ramen & Thai eatery in Colleyville has favorite dishes from Japan and Thailand

When customers sit down at Kanta Ramen & Thai, one of the first things they will notice is how extensive the menu is. Choices cover the front and back surfaces of the menu, with Japanese food on one side and Thai dishes on the other.

bracelet
Main Street Jewelry shop owner perseveres, spreads joy with jewelry in Grapevine

Nancy Freid hardly knew anything about the finer details of jewelry, but she found herself taking over Main Street Jewelry in Grapevine anyway in 2017.

Ohana Hawaiian BBQ & Poke is now open in Colleyville. (Community Impact Newspaper file photo)
Ohana Hawaiian BBQ & Poke opens in Colleyville

A new restaurant has opened in Colleyville.

GRACE regularly receives donations from the community. Each year it sets up its Christmas Cottage to house items and then distributes them during the holidays. (Renee Yan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Nonprofit GRACE announces plans for new donation station in Grapevine

The Grapevine Relief and Community Exchange, or GRACE, will soon have a new donation station to accept contributions from community members.

ramen noodles on chopsticks
New ramen and sushi restaurant now open in Southlake Town Square

A new Japanese restaurant has opened in Southlake Town Square.

girligirl boutique in Colleyville contains designer lines that may not be found at other nearby stores.
Girligirl Boutique celebrates 15 years of business in Colleyville

Girligirl Boutique hits its 15th anniversary this November after first opening in 2004.

church pew bible
St. John Church marks 20 years of services

St. John Church in Southlake recently celebrated its 20th anniversary.

The Grapevine Animal Shelter renovation project was discussed by the Grapevine City Council Nov. 5. (Miranda Jaimes/Community Impact Newspaper)
Grapevine Animal Shelter moves forward with renovation project

A project to renovate the Grapevine Animal Shelter is gaining traction.

The city of Grapevine approved an increased homestead exemption for its seniors Nov. 5. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Grapevine City Council OKs $15,000 increase to senior property tax exemption

Seniors in Grapevine will see the city’s updated 65-and-over property tax exemption reflected on their 2020 appraisal notices.

Tarrant County voters approved TCC's bone proposition Nov. 5. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Tarrant County College $825M bond passes with 60% of votes

With all voting centers reporting, unofficial results show that voters in Tarrant County voted in favor of Tarrant County College's $825 million bond in the Nov. 5 election.

southlake town hall
'Standards of Care' for city youth programs adopted by Southlake city council

Southlake city council approved and adopted Standards of Care for city youth programs in 2020.

costco gas station
Southlake city council approves first reading for Costco Gasoline expansion

The expansion would include a 4,326-square-foot fuel canopy, six gas station islands, one 40,000-gallon storage tank and remote fill ports.

Back to top