West Austin chamber broadens its membership area, searches for new leadership to guide future

Following its name change this past summer from the Four Points Chamber of Commerce, the West Austin Chamber of Commerce, 6816 N. RR 620, Austin, is set for more significant changes.

On Oct. 12, the chamber grew its borders from the Four Points area it encompassed when it began in 2010—including the neighborhoods of Steiner Ranch, River Place, Glenlake and Westminster Glen—to include parts of Lakeway west to Debba Drive; Volente; North RR 620 past Anderson Mill Road and US 183 east through Jollyville and The Domain; and south to Westlake Drive.

The previous chamber borders encompassed Hwy. 620 from Hudson Bend and Mansfield Dam to Anderson Mill, and RR 2222 from Jester Boulevard to Volente.

Chairman and founder Ray Freer said the new borders increase the support the chamber will have to focus on its goals. With its rebranding, the group enumerated its priorities: to ease traffic congestion in the western regions of Travis County as well as foster improved area transportation options to help local businesses stay afloat with staff.

Freer announced his plans to step down as chairman by the end of the year, and a search team is interviewing prospects for the group’s leadership, including its chairman and executive director, committee lead Ken Smith said.

“Seven years is a long time,” Freer said about his tenure at the helm of the chamber. “The chamber requires more focus, and new blood can probably take it to the next level.

“I’m still going to be involved, just not managing the day-to-day [activities].”

He said he would be spending more time working on his insurance business after the start of the new year.

The chamber released a statement Oct. 27 in support of the $720 million Austin Mobility Bond decided by voters Nov. 8.

“The bond will critically provide over $100 million for regional mobility and specifically $30 million for projects in Austin’s [City Council] District 6, which includes [RR] 620/[RR] 2222, and Anderson Mill and Parmer Lane improvements as well as projects in District 10, including improvements to Loop 360,” the news release stated. “The improvements for [RR] 620/[RR] 2222 are of critical importance.”