WAXAHACHIE — Though many see local chamber of commerces as event organizers or ribbon cutters, the reach and resources the organizations provide go much deeper.

Such is the case with the Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce and its mission to provide businesses on the homefront with the latest tools and information to prosper in an ever-changing economy. And Sandy King, Chief Financial Officer for the Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce, has added yet another tool to the group's toolbag.

Just last week, the Waxahachie Chamber held a roundtable to debrief business owners on new bills recently passed by the 85th Texas Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott.

Even more recently, the Institute for Organization Management (IOM), which serves as the professional development program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, announced King graduated from its program and can now add an IOM to her CFO title. A graduation announcement released by the organization states that the recognition "signifies the individual’s completion of 96 hours of course instruction in nonprofit management."

King acknowledged the difficulty in squeezing four years of schooling into one, which she added was made even more grueling considering the chamber was in a transition year. But, "Waxahachie is home," King explained. "I am very passionate about giving back all I can to the community."

"The insight and peer relations were invaluable to me, and the Chamber as a whole," King said. "I am extremely grateful to those who set me on the path to earning IOM certification. I have been able to bring back critical tools to help propel the Chamber to the next level on several fronts."

According to the graduation announcement, the IOM began in 1921 with a goal to build stronger organizations that better serve their members and become strong business advocates. The curriculum consists of four weeklong sessions at five different university locations throughout the country.

“Through a combination of required courses and electives in areas such as leadership, advocacy, marketing, finance, and membership, Institute participants are able to enhance their own organizational management skills and add new fuel to their organizations, making them run more efficiently and effectively,” the announcement adds.

Raymond P. Towle, IOM, CAE, the U.S. Chamber Foundation’s vice president of Institute for Organization Management, stated, “(IOM) graduates are recognized across the country as leaders in their industries and organizations. These individuals have the knowledge, skills, and dedication necessary to achieve professional and organizational success in the dynamic association and chamber industries.”

For King, the placement among some of the top leaders in the chamber of commerce industry is an exciting opportunity to continue the expansion of industry in Waxahachie.

"With the rapid growth that Waxahachie is experiencing," King said, "I am excited to know that our Chamber is equipped to lead our businesses into the future and help to maintain the quality of life that was built up from generations before."