Sugar Land native named Heights Chamber director
By Michael Sudhalter
Sugar Land native Jacob Milwee has climbed the ranks of the Greater Heights Area Chamber of Commerce since he joined the staff as the Director of Member Services in the summer of 2008.
Now, he’s ready to take the things he learned from outgoing president Terry Burge and former presidents Ken Stallman and David Santana when he becomes the Chamber’s next president on Sept. 1.
Burge will leave the position to accept an opportunity become vice president of Mueller Environmental Designs.
“Terry had a very positive attitude and a pretty clear vision of what a Chamber of Commerce should be, and it’s a vision I’m happy to adopt,” Milwee said. “Ken taught me quite a lot about financial management and rolling with the punches. I learned the basics and fundamentals of a Chamber of Commerce.”
Milwee said he hopes to make the Chamber more visible in the community and to strengthen its existing programs. He also wants to make the Chamber a “clearinghouse of information” for businesses and the community.
He’d also like to build upon the “Buy Local” campaign that encourages local residents to frequent businesses in the Heights area.
Milwee, 34, grew up in Sugar Land, graduating from Dulles High School. He studied theater at the University of St. Thomas and worked as a director, screenwriter and in set design in New York, Houston and Los Angeles.
“I found out that it’s much more rewarding as a hobby than as a career,” Milwee said. “L.A. was a lot of fun, but Houston’s home.
After moving back to Houston from L.A., Santana – one of Milwee’s friends from college – contacted him about joining his staff at the Chamber.
Milwee accepted and learned on the job and eventually became the Director of Operations in the spring of 2012. For the past two years, he’s focused on event management and financial oversight of the chamber.
“There have been an enormous amount of learning opportunities working for the Chamber,” Milwee said. “We have such a small team, and everyone is involved. I’m looking forward to Sept. 1. I’d be foolish if I didn’t have a little bit of adrenaline.”
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