The Commerce Journal

May 5, 2014

New director hopes to attract business

By Joseph Hamrick
The Commerce Journal

COMMERCE —

Paul Voss has a long history of succeeding in business. 

That is one of the reasons why he was chosen as the new executive director of the Commerce Chamber of Commerce.

Voss is replacing Doug Rohrabaugh, who is stepping down mid-May to move back with family near Detroit. 

Voss has been in business for more than 40 years now, and said he brings with him not only his business skills, but having children who have graduated through the Commerce Independent School District system, he also has a vested interest in the well-being of the community.

“I think this is a good opportunity to give back to the community,” he said.

Voss said one thing he has learned with negotiating business deals with Fortune 500 companies, is that it is all about developing relationships.

He said he wants to use that experience to build the business community of Commerce.

“It’s about getting them in the chamber and involved in the community,” he said, adding he wants to capitalize on the partnership with Texas A&M University-Commerce.

While there has been steps to bridge the gap between Commerce and the university, Voss said there is always room for improvement.

“There is a lot of room for improvement,” he said.

Voss listed the recent businesses that have closed their doors in recent years, including Covidien moving its location out of Commerce. 

“I just think this little town has been hit pretty hard with businesses closing,” he said.

Voss added he wants to begin trying to attract businesses currently in Dallas to make the move to Commerce. 

“We need to tap into that and I think we have a real good opportunity to do that,” he said. 

Voss has been making the rounds with the other chamber executives not only in Hunt County, but also the region as a whole. 

He recently went to a workshop with the Northeast Texas Chambers of Commerce to pool their resources together to draw businesses and people to the northeast Texas area. 

In an effort to become more accessible, Voss said the downtown Commerce location is now open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and is open to the public on suggestions to improve operations.

“Come by the Chamber of Commerce and say hello,” he said. “We’re open to any suggestions.”

Voss said the end goal is to bring more people to experience the Commerce atmosphere.

“We want people to eat here, shop here, stay here,” he said.