Coalition Corner with Stacia Runnels

Coalition Corner is an opportunity to highlight the good work that coalition members do every day and to hear their thoughts about coalition work. Stacia Runnels is the Executive Director of the Greater Marshall Chamber of Commerce.

How long have you been a member of the Piney Woods Substance Abuse Coalition? I have served on the SHAC (or Student Health Advisory Committee) for years, since my children were in elementary school. Now called the SHAC Coalition, I’ve served through the Chamber of Commerce for the last two years.

What do you like most about the coalition? I most appreciate the informative nature of the coalition, always striving to educate our communities ~ especially the parents of our local students, on topics often critical to their future success. We love being a part of this process through our partnership with the coalition.

Can you tell us about how the coalition fits into the organization you work for? It is our pleasure as the Chamber, and part of our mission, to advocate for local organizations as they seek to improve the health & educational climate of our county. We have the ability to assist organizations like the Piney Woods Substance Abuse Coalition with the promotion of their programs and campaigns.

What is the best advice you have ever been given? I do believe the best advice was from my mother, to always pray for wisdom first and foremost. Taking that cue from the book of Proverbs, it says that ‘wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.’ Since none are perfect on this earth, we’d all do well to have an extra supply of wisdom to guide us as we lead in our respective roles!

What do you like most about East Texas? The people. East Texans are genuine; and, certainly around here, would move heaven and earth to support a good cause or help their neighbor. I might also add that our landscape is quite breathtaking in East Texas!

What should people know about your organization and the work you do? The Chamber is a service organization, providing a medium through which local businesses and individual members can take effective action for progress in our local business community. Throughout a tough 2020, we proudly advocated for all, but especially our small business community. We were (and are) proud to be a resource for crucial information, positivity and help for those who needed assistance and support.

What should other people know about the coalition? The Piney Woods Substance Abuse Coalition is proactively making a difference, providing community resources to arm families and individuals with information to prevent substance abuse and foster a better quality of life and mental health. When you see the permanent drop boxes for your unused pharmaceuticals or see the stickers about underage drinking on to-go orders and store coolers, that is your coalition at work for your community. The Greater Marshall Chamber of Commerce is delighted to be a part of that far-reaching East Texas impact.