Stars & Strides

Chamber honors women making a difference


“You ladies have embodied what we all want to strive for, what we have strived for: to succeed in what we look for in our daily lives.”

Billie Mims looked out on three new stars in the audience of the Kilgore Chamber of Commerce's 2018 Texas Tea Thursday night.

Chairman of the chamber's Relationship Climate Team, the Austin Bank senior vice president thanked the trio for their contributions to Kilgore: 2018 Rising Star Elsa Selleck of RSM Accounting, Shining Star Debbie VanDoren of Downtown D'Lites and India Rader Stroope, the recipient of the year's Lifetime Star Achievement Award.

The three honorees sat amid a crowd of colleagues and friends, many decked out in 1920s regalia for the Great Gatsby-themed Texas Tea. The chamber introduced the program last year to recognize outstanding business women in the community.

“The Women in Business awards are designed to acknowledge unique women who approach community and business needs with strong leadership, collaboration and intentionality to affect change and influence their surroundings,” DeCeault noted. “Each of our nominees have made a tremendous impact in our business community, they lead by example and give back ten-fold to our community.”

The evening event at the Landing Event Center at Joshua Farms also include a keynote address by KLTV Meteorologist Katie Vossler as well as the annual purse raffle and pop-up bazaar.

Learn more about the 2018 honorees at


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