Chris Wallace, president and CEO of the Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce, has accepted the position of president of the Texas Association of Business (TAB). Wallace will leave the Irving chamber May 1, the end of his contract term, and begin his new role at TAB in Austin on May 15. The chamber is expected to name an interim president/CEO in the coming weeks while it searches for a permanent replacement by the middle of August. The Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber is the third largest chamber of commerce in North Texas.
Wallace has led the chamber for 10 years. During his leadership, the chamber became the first national Five-Star Accredited Chamber in Texas and was awarded the inaugural Texas Outstanding Chamber of the Year Award. Wallace has helped build the Irving Economic Development Partnership and attracted the global headquarters of Celanese and Fluor, two of Irving’s five Fortune 500 global headquarters. CHRISTUS, Neovia (Caterpillar) Logistics Services, Blackberry, TXU Energy, Consolidated Electrical Distributors and Health Management Systems also established their headquarters in Irving under Wallace’s leadership. He also is responsible for ensuring more staff resources and focus were allocated to assist small and middle market businesses.
“Chris has pioneered the modernization and reform of the chamber’s role in a city and in the business community,” said Michael Gonzalez, chairman of the Irving-Las Colinas Chamber, in a news release. “He has expanded on the foundation and mindset of what the chamber’s role is in our community by directing an aggressive economic development model and creating legislative advocacy and international trade initiatives as an arm of the chamber, whose staff act as consultants to progress businesses. And, that will be his lasting legacy.”
Wallace serves on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100, as a trustee of the Institute for Organization Management and as a regent of Northeast Institute at Villanova University. He is among only 520 executives in the nation who have earned their Certified Chamber Executive designation.
Wallace is chair of the Texas Chamber of Commerce Executives Association and also serves on the boards of the Texas Association of Business, North Texas Commission and the national board of the Business Industry Political Action Committee. Prior to being named president and CEO of the Irving-Las Colinas Chamber, Wallace served as the vice president of administration for the Las Colinas Association and was the business development director for Reese Technology Center, a 4,000-acre business park developed from the former Reese Air Force Base in Lubbock, Texas. Wallace is a 1992 graduate of Texas Tech University and serves as a member of the Texas Tech Chancellor’s Council as well as the Professional Advisory Board of the College of Media and Communication where he was named an Outstanding Alumnus in 2008. – Betty Dillard