Richardson Chamber of Commerce History

With more than 900 member organizations, the Richardson Chamber of Commerce continues the goal of its founding fathers to serve as the cornerstone of economic and community development for the city of Richardson.

1946-04-04 16:26:55

The Chamber's Beginnings

The official charter for the Richardson Chamber of Commerce was granted by the State of Texas on April 4, 1946.

1954-09-06 23:28:18

Building Central Expressway

U.S. Highway 75 (North Central Expressway) was built through Richardson.

1958-01-01 00:00:00

Early Days

The Chamber also sold license plates to residents in order to better serve the community.

1959-10-01 00:00:00

Electronics Center

A four-color brochure was developed marketing Richardson as the "Electronics Center of the Southwest"

1961-01-20 03:34:43

Richardson Symphony Orchestra

Chamber leadership played a role in organizing the Richardson Symphony Orchestra.

1963-01-20 00:00:00

1st Building

The first Chamber building began construction on Main Street. Most of the materials were generously donated by Chamber members.

1964-02-14 09:48:20

UT Dallas

Ground breaking for the Graduate Research Center of the SW, later became UTD.

1965-02-14 09:48:20

Richland College

The Chamber voted to support a proposed Junior College District for Dallas County.

1968-10-01 00:00:00

Stimulating Business Growth

A 50% Business and 50% Resident Tax Base Goal was set to stimulate business and industry growth.

1969-08-24 08:37:28

State Support for UT Dallas

Chamber officials traveled to Austin to support the creation of the University of Texas at Dallas.

1969-11-01 00:00:00

Building County Roads

The Chamber endorsed a $99.9 million County Road Bond.

1972-02-19 08:19:26

City Sales Tax

The Chamber urged the City Council to call an election to levy a 1% city sales tax.

1973-10-01 00:00:00

Preparing for George Bush Highway

The Chamber endorsed Loop 9 to be located along the city boundary lines between Richardson and Plano. The Board also urged City Council to rescind an ordinance limiting office buildings to a maximum of two stories.

1973-10-28 05:17:07

New Hospital

The Board of Directors urged City Council to re-zone property for a new hospital along Campbell Road. Chamber also supported Richardson to become a member of the North Texas Municipal Water District.

1976-10-01 00:00:00

Chair Frances Powell

Frances Powell became the first female President of the Chamber.

1976-10-01 00:00:00

Cooper Lake

The Chamber endorsed the construction of Cooper Lake.

1977-04-17 03:00:12

Road Improvements

The Chamber recommends that Plano Rd., Arapaho Rd., Spring Valley Rd., Beltline Rd., and Walnut Street be included in County Bond Improvement Programs

1977-10-01 00:00:00

New Mall and Hospital Open

Richardson Square Mall, with 739,000 square feet, and Richardson General Hospital open.

1977-11-01 00:00:00

Hotel/Motel Tax

The City of Richardson, with the Chamber's recommendation, establishes the Hotel/Motel Tax.

1978-03-07 12:14:52

Enterprise Curriculum

The Chamber raises $40,000 to fund a Free Enterprise Curriculum for RISD.

1978-10-01 00:00:00


Rockwell breaks ground at the Renner Road site.

1978-10-16 06:59:36

Blue Cross/Blue Shield

Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Texas expands 320,000 square feet in Richardson.

1979-10-01 00:00:00

Palisades Central and Fleetwood Shopping Center

A ten-story Palisades Central Building broke ground, and Fleetwood Square Shopping Center at Campbell Road and Central Expressway began construction.

1980-10-01 00:00:00

George H. Bush and Ronald Reagan

Ambassador George H. Bush spoke to 1,200 attending a campaign rally at a high school in Richardson, and just days later, California Governor Ronald Reagan spoke to 1,400 attending a campaign rally at Richardson Square Mall.

1981-10-01 00:00:00

New Chamber Building

The existing Chamber building was designed and a ground breaking was held in October on the Belle Grove Drive site.

1982-10-16 06:59:36

Central Expressway Expansion

Chamber members appeared before the Highway Commission in Austin to support the expansion of the Central Expressway

1983-10-01 00:00:00

Fujitsu Facility

Fujitsu Network Transmission Systems announced a 50,000 sq. ft. facility in Richardson

1983-10-16 06:59:36

DART and SH-190

The Board of Directors voted to support DART and the one-cent sales tax to fund DART. In addition, a resolution was submitted before the Highway Commission to urge action on SH-190.

1984-10-01 00:00:00


The Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) opened its business assistance service at the Chamber. SCORE continues its service today.

1985-10-01 00:00:00

Leadership Richardson and Enterprise City

Leadership Richardson began its first year, and Enterprise City, a project that continues to teach children about free enterprise, opened its doors at Canyon Creek Elementary School.

1986-10-01 00:00:00

UTD Engineering and Computer School

UTD's plans for an engineering and computer school were approved.

1988-10-01 00:00:00

Richardson Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Richardson Convention and Visitors Bureau was established.

1988-10-16 06:59:36

Telecom Corridor

The Chamber created the "Telecom Corridor" name.

1989-10-16 06:59:36

TI, MCI, and Boomtown

Texas Instruments, Inc. announced plans to purchase 130 acres along Renner Road at Custer, MCI announced a new 40,000 sq. ft. facility, and Northern Telecom/BNR announced plans for its 1,000,000 sq. ft. campus in Richardson. The Telecom Corridor® received national attention when Richardson was named as one of the "Boom Towns of the 1990's" by the Wall Street Journal.

1991-01-04 05:00:59

SH-190 Taskforce

The Chamber formed a task force to work behind the scenes to aid the construction of SH-190.

1992-10-25 06:59:36

SH-190, Telecom Copyright, and Southwestern Bell

The SH-190 at Central Expressway Interchange was approved by the Texas Department of Transportation. The Chamber was granted copyright for the Telecom Corridor name, which received national media attention in Business Week, Site Selection Magazine and Washington Technology Newspaper. Southwestern Bell announced the location of their system wide Network Operations Center in Richardson.

1993-10-01 00:00:00

Teaming Business to Win Trade Show

The "Teaming Business To Win Trade Show" was created and won the Grand Award from the Texas Chamber of Commerce.

1994-10-01 00:00:00


The Telecom Corridor Technology Business Council (TBC) was created as a new division of the Chamber.

1995-10-16 06:59:36

TBC and EarlyNet

81 Charter Members joined the Telecom Corridor Technology Business Council (TBC). EarlyNet, an early morning networking program that continues today, was established.

1996-10-16 06:59:36

Telecom and Samsung

Employment by the North Texas Council of Governments ranked the Telecom Corridor as the fastest growing and the 2nd largest job center in DFW. Samsung located their US Wireless Headquarters in Richardson.

1997-10-01 00:00:00

StarTech and Tax Incentives

StarTech Early Venture incubator opened. The Chamber and TBC pushed for and received approval from the state for a tax incentive to corporations working on new technology.

1998-10-16 06:59:36

First Friday Business Impact Luncheon

First Friday Business Impact Luncheon, which is now Signature Luncheon, was started.

1999-10-16 06:59:36

Economic Development, CTE, and Gatalyn Park

Great year for economic development with over 1.5 million sq.ft. of space leased and 12 new high tech announced. The Chamber and RISD developed the Technical Career Day program to introduce 375 high school juniors to technology. Galatyn Park developed with cooperation from the land owner, corporations, a hotel, DART, the City and the Texas Department of Transportation.

2000-10-16 06:59:36


28 major expansions and relocations to Richardson created over 10,500 new jobs. Cisco Systems announced plans for a major new 71 acre campus in the Telecom Corridor. Chamber membership reached a new record with 1,700 members, and Telecom Corridor is recognized as a technology center visited by delegations from 12 different countries.

2000-10-16 06:59:36


Galatyn DART rail station opened in Richardson, opening the door to companies who are highly interested in transportation issues. At Galatyn is the Eisemann Center for Performing Arts, bringing creative thinking to generations within our area.

2001-10-01 00:00:00

Business Basics and New Jobs

Business Basics 101 began as a training program for Chamber members. Nearly 3,000 new jobs were created in the Richardson workforce.

2002-10-16 06:59:36

Eisemann, Galatyn, DART, and UTD

The Charles W. Eisemann Performance Center and Galatyn Park Urban Center development, which included a 336 room hotel, are completed. DART light rail stations opened in Richardson and High Five construction began. The UTD School of Engineering completed construction, which included 152,000 sq. ft.

2003-02-28 02:06:41

TI and Blue Cross/Blue Shield

Both Texas Instruments and Blue Cross Blue Shield built new facilities in Richardson, bringing in high quality jobs, opportunities and tax benefits for decades to come.

2003-06-30 00:00:00

Project Emmitt and Bombardier

"Project Emmitt", the $3 billion Texas Instruments, Inc. chip factory, was announced that it would be built in Richardson. Blue Cross Blue Shield relocated and leased 135,000 sq. ft.. Bombardier relocated its US corporate headquarters to Telecom Corridor, hiring 450 employees and leasing 86,426 sq. ft. Samsung also leased an additional 137,000 sq. ft. of space.

2004-10-01 00:00:00

Countrywide Home Loans and Hot Town

Countrywide Home Loans opened corporate offices in Telecom Corridor. Current President and CEO, Bill Sproull, was hired, and Richardson was voted #13 on the "Hottest Towns to Live In" by Money Magazine.

Richardson Chamber of Commerce History

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