Community Impact interviewed Lori Fickling, the Lewisville Area Chamber of Commerce president and CEO, ahead of the chamber’s 60th gala on May 19. Fickling has served in this role since 2018. She is also a social media marketing strategist and has worked in a variety of fields. She previously served as the director of economic development for Denton County and as the Flower Mound Chamber of Commerce president. Fickling also owned and managed a community newspaper, The Messenger, for many years and served as chief development officer for Communities In Schools of North Texas.

The conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

What does your role as chamber president entail?

It’s all about people really. Every day is different. I know people say that all the time, but it really is. Our goal really is to make sure the business community is successful. Our members have an extra leg up because they’re here and we help market them. We provide networking opportunities; we provide learning opportunities. We partner with the city on a lot of things. Everything I do is about relationships.

What motivated or inspired you to take on this role?

I really never thought I’d be back in the chamber world. [Denton County Commissioner] Bobbie Mitchell said, “You should really come and apply because I think you’d be perfect for it.” She kind of convinced me to do it. It made sense because I have so much history with Lewisville. In the time I wasn’t the chamber president I volunteered here; I was on some committees and things like that.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

The relationships. I love connecting people with each other. People call me all the time and say, “Here’s what I’m doing,” or, “Who should I call; where should I go?” I’ve been in this community for 44 years. You get to know a lot of people in that time, and you know a lot of history. You know who’s connected to who. I like to be able to use that to help people. It’s such a great community and such great partnerships. I really do want to help people be successful.

How has the chamber evolved over the last 60 years?

I got involved in the chamber early on in the ‘80s. Watching how [the chamber] has evolved is just so impressive. The impact [the chamber’s founders] have had over the years and the way they’ve helped shape the growth of the community, it’s been phenomenal. I love that I’m part of history. I love that when I’m gone, it’ll still be here, evolving and doing great things. I love how work has become so efficient [due to technology]. We do 1,000 times more things today than we did even 30 years ago.

Do you have a favorite chamber program?

I like politics, so I’m kind of fond of the government affairs stuff we do. I like the people things, when we gather in large groups. I like the joint events. I like our luncheons and our networking, because they’re so fun and energetic. Everybody feeds off each other, and everybody leaves in a good mood.

Any future plans or goals for the chamber?

We call ourselves the best chamber in Texas. There’s a lot of great chambers, but I want us to be one of the top ones when you think about a chamber and who you should join. [Chamber dues are] just barely over $1 a day. You get instant friends; it’s a love fest if you come here. We’re an extra marketing arm.