Monday, Oct. 10, 2016



New chief believes in the potential for regional growth

Dr. Timothy J. Magner was publicly announced as the new Shreveport Chamber of Commerce president Sept. 29 at the Forum Top Small Business event at the Shreveport Convention Center.

Magner said his appointment was ratified by the chamber board the day before the event, but Thursday was the first time it was made public.

“It was thrilling to be introduced in front of such a significant portion of our membership and to get to be a part of the good feeling that the Awards Luncheon created,” Magner said. “It was also terrific to get to hear Gene Kranz and his inspirational words on leadership and teamwork. His words resonated with me, and I think represent great advice on how we as a Chamber and as a community can work together to enhance the business environment and improve our community.”

Magner said former Chamber President Richard Bremer, who acted as president for 16 years, has been very generous with his advice.

“In large part, he has confirmed my belief about the potential for growth in this community as well as the depth and strength of the Chamber membership,” he said. “Dick has led the Chamber for more than 15 years and has maintained a five-star rating, one of only 2 percent of chambers to be so honored. I look forward to building on the work that Dick, Lindy Broderick and the rest of the staff have done over the years and bring my own energy and vision to help grow and expand both the membership and the impact of the chamber in our community.”

As the new chamber president, Magner said he is most looking forward to engaging with Chamber members and learning about their plans and aspirations for their businesses in the community.

“With our diverse economy, there is a great deal of potential for expansion and growth, and I look forward to having the Chamber serve as a catalyst for that regional growth,” he said. “I also look forward to building upon the nascent Connect initiative to link the Chamber with local and regional governments.”

The Chamber is the business voice of the community, Magner said.

“The chamber can play an important role in a range of issues from spurring economic development, improving education and helping to brand and promote the Shreveport-Bossier region,” he said.

Magner has quite the extensive background.

Magner earned a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary. He then went on to earn a master’s degree in education at Harvard University and finally a doctorate in organizational leadership from Pepperdine University.

Throughout all of his educational and professional experience over the years, Magner said what he thinks will be most helpful in his new role is his history of building teams and creating partnerships.

“I’ve run a number of nonprofit membership organizations and found in each instance that creating a sense of teamwork among the staff and building partnerships with other organizations are really the key to success,” he said.

Magner said current board chair Dr. Philip Rozeman is fond of saying progress happens at “the speed of trust,” and it is crucial the Chamber be a trusted partner of government, business and education in the community.

“I have also had experience in each of those sectors and so have a good understanding of the needs, contributions and limitations that each sector brings to the table,” he said. “As a result, I think I can uniquely position the Chamber to serve as an honest broker and catalyst for the kinds of conversations that are necessary to align the effort and good work already under way in many parts of the community.”

As a relative newcomer to the region, Magner said he thinks what is most important to recognize is the potential of the community.

“With our transportation infrastructure, quality health-care infrastructure, universities and community colleges, IT sector, gaming sector, Barksdale Air Force Base, oil and gas sector, and retail sector, we have the economic potential to rival a Birmingham or even an Austin one day,” he said. “It’s really about getting everyone on the same page about what we need to do together to grow our community. My goal is to help the Chamber lead those conversations and help to drive that growth.”

– April Kelley


The Forum News