Twenty years ago, Cindi Howard got a phone call that would begin her two-decade-long journey of being a part of the Flower Mound Chamber of Commerce family. Her long-time friend, Kathy Beahm, worked at the Chamber and expressed that they were in need of someone to answer the phones for them.
“I had just put my three-year-old in mother’s day out twice a week. I told them, ‘I’ll give you those days, but that’s it.’ I hadn’t planned on going back to work. I was a full-time mommy.” She said.
Her family and her faith have always been the center of her world. She says that her husband of 35 years, Clifford, has always been her rock. “He has supported me in every step and new endeavor in my career at the Chamber. I couldn’t have done any of this without him.”
Before she knew it, her two days at the Chamber expanded to even more days, which then led to a full-time position. “I have done every job that there is to do at the Chamber.” She says. She started out as the receptionist doing administrative work, then became the membership director, which led to her becoming the vice president of the Chamber.
Not only did she fill all of those shoes, she also acted as interim president two separate times when she was the sole remaining staff member. “I did the best and as much as I could to keep us afloat.” She said.
During one of those times, Cindi enlisted the help of Kelly Heslep to assist in the day-to-day stuff that Cindi wasn’t able to do alone. Their big event of the year, Fiesta Flower Mound, which just celebrated its 23rd year in 2020, was coming up. Kelly excelled in party planning, and there was no one more perfect for the job. Cindi and Kelly had a wonderful relationship as long-time friends, which quickly grew to become an amazing work relationship as well when Kelly was brought on to the Flower Mound Chamber family by the Board of Directors.
Seven years ago, the board made the decision to hire Lori Walker as acting president of the Chamber. Before her role as president, she had been a loyal member of the Board of Directors for 10 years. Her strong attention to detail and her drive for perfection makes her the ideal leader for the Chamber Team.
Mary Ailor has proven to be an essential member of the Chamber family. Her friendly and bubbly personality make her the perfect person to greet each person that walks into the Chamber doors. “She is the first to greet you with a smile and open arms,” Cindi says.
Ginger Eads is an essential part of the Chamber’s extended staff. She works as the Flower Mound Chamber’s CPA and operates out of the Chamber office. “We were together when there was no one else. She is and always will be very special to me.” Cindi says.
Cindi says that all of these women are key components to the success of the Flower Mound Chamber of Commerce. Every member is essential to keep the Chamber functioning at its best. “When all of the parts work, and all of the parts are great and strong, it makes for a great organization,” she says. “Our team is made up of different ages and all different qualities that make up a great team. We stand together.”
Cindi attended the Institute of Organizational Management when becoming a full-time member of the Chamber. It’s a four-year-long program that she attended for one week every summer at the University of Notre Dame.
When asked what her main reason is for staying at the Chamber for 20 years, Cindi’s response was, “It’s all I know. It’s what I know how to do. It’s all of the things that I love to do. It’s comfortable. I love the people and the members. I’ve gained great relationships with the people of the community. I’ve stayed because of the people that I work with. The board is wonderful. I don’t want to do anything else. I love what I’m doing. I love getting up and going to work.”
Cindi Howard has proven that the journey isn’t about the end goal but about the people and relationships that you build along the way.
photos courtesy of Flower Mound Chamber