WAXAHACHIE

Chamber Chat once again has the latest scoop for local business professionals.

The Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce once again hosts its own radio show on KBEC to update business leaders on local events and hear from the small business owners that comprise the community.

Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce President Sandy King recently rejuvenated the weekly show by interviewing the faces behind the businesses.

“I found record of it from 1955. That’s how long the chamber has been partnered with KBEC and Chamber Chat; if not before that,” King elaborated.

She then grabbed a small, green paper book from her desk drawer. It was a program from the 1958 chamber banquet that mentioned the former format of Chamber Chat, “The Chamber Radio Program.”

But with a new functionality of the show came a new radio host.

For one of the segments, King interviewed Noelle Carmen, the marketing director for Waxahachie Family Dentistry, about an annual giving event.

“We really dove into it and really clicked talking about the doctors and their backgrounds," King relayed. "It made me become more interested into other businesses. And Noel was like, ‘let’s dig deeper into the businesses and the face behind them.’”

Now, Carmen has become the distinctive voice of Chamber Chat.

Carmen was quick to point out that explained a simple listing of businesses will not cut it for the 10-minute show. Her primary focus of the show is for the community to get to know the individual behind the company and hear business philosophies.

Since October 2017, Carmen has realized commonalities between the interviewees and the relationship with their customers.

“I think the overriding theme is how much these business owners care about their people," Carmen emphasized. "They really sincerely care, and that, to me, is one of the reasons I continue to do it."

The conversations behind the microphone are not as tricky for Carmen as they are for the business folks she interviews, she ribbed.

“I think people feel a little naked when they walk in there and they are scared,” Carmen expressed. "But at the end of the interview, the business owner is comfortable and confident with the show."

The shows are prerecorded and edited before aired on Thursdays at 8 a.m.

Carmen has a theatre background and often directs musicals at Bishop Arts Theatre, the Dallas Children’s Theatre and teaches in south Dallas. Even though this is her first experience in radio, speaking with strangers and managing the dashboard of buttons has become second nature.

“I had no idea until I actually started interviewing people how good our people are,” Carmen admitted.

Carmen’s interviewing skills have also evolved, allowing more organic conversations flow.

“I wanted Chamber Chat to be something more,” King relayed. "And, Carmen was the bubbly personality that brought the Waxahachie chamber pizazz the radio show desirable."

“She was just a natural at it,” King continued. “She was inspired by the people, and so I knew she would be the one to bring the story to life,” King shared about Carmen.

With an average of 12,000 listeners a show, the audience has heard the backgrounds of house cleaners, people who climb trees, doctors, lawyers, political figures and several nonprofits and bigwigs. Carmen expressed how the diverse mix of interviews is a direct representation of the people of Waxahachie. The casual conversation allows the façade to dissolve and embrace real personalities.

With the business owner in the hot seat, King said she believes the experience has the individual look in the mirror and realize customers value the attributes of a person and not only what they are selling.

Anyone with a membership with the Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce at the marketing level has the luxury of radio time twice a year.

Tune into Chamber Chat at 8 a.m. Thursday on KBEC 1390 AM.

If interested in an interview contact either King at 972-937-2390 or by email at sking@waxahachiechamber.com or Carmen at 972-808-7066 or by email at noelle.onstagetheatre@gmail.com.

Ashley Ford | @aford_news | 469-517-1450