Home > About TAB > History

History

Leadership for Texas when it counts...

That is the mission of the Texas Association of Business -- Texas’ leading employer organization. Representing companies from the largest multi-national corporations to small businesses in nearly every community of our state, TAB works to improve the Texas business climate and to help make our state's economy the strongest in the world.

 

For more than 85 years, TAB has been on the front lines of the legislative, regulatory, and judicial battlefields, fighting for every issue that impacts business to ensure that employers’ opinions are being heard.

There is a direct correlation between the size of an organization and the impact that its members have on public policy. When numbers talk, lawmakers listen. Through TAB, thousands of employers have united under the battle cry for a prosperous state economy and the creation of new employment opportunities.

Through the generations, this powerful voice has allowed TAB to emerge victorious -- a strong independent voice for Texas business. On January 1, 1995, the voice of Texas business was unified by the merger of the state's top two employer organizations: the Texas Association of Business and the Texas Chamber of Commerce. The rich history of these organizations tells the story not only of each group but of Texas business as well.

About the Texas Association of Business

In 1922, three San Antonio businessmen -- G.M. Kneibel, G.G. Geyer, and I.M. McIlhenny -- anticipated the start of a new era for Texas business. They predicted the need for a coordinated effort to deal with emerging public policy issues, and formed the Texas State Manufacturers Association.

In 1946, the organization's state headquarters were moved from San Antonio to Houston. Recognizing the state's economy reached beyond agricultural, petrochemical, and manufacturing industries, as evidenced by the rapid growth of service and financial sectors, the organization became the Texas Association of Business (TAB) in 1976. In 1990, TAB completed a state headquarters building in Austin -- a permanent home just four blocks from the Texas State Capitol.

About the Texas Chamber of Commerce

In 1988, the Texas Chamber of Commerce was officially chartered through the consolidation of the regional East, South, and West Texas Chambers of Commerce, which had served the state's local chambers of commerce since the 1920s. As the umbrella organization for hundreds of local chambers of commerce statewide, the Austin-based Texas Chamber actively pursued the creation of new jobs within the state by promoting sound economic legislation at the State Capitol and working closely with legislators, state agencies, and other business organizations on laws and regulations that would promote growth and allow the free enterprise system to function smoothly.

Another priority of the Texas Chamber was to improve the state's public education system by helping develop a workforce capable of competing in an increasingly complex and technologically advanced workplace. To coordinate this effort, the Texas Chamber developed the Texas Business and Education Coalition, an organization aimed at promoting responsible school improvement initiatives and ensuring that state regulation does not impede efforts to raise student achievement levels.

About the Texas Association of Business & Chambers of Commerce

Texas Business has seen major changes since the 1920s and Texas employers need an organization that can expand and diversify to meet new needs while offering members an effective voice in the policy-making process.

The Texas Association of Business & Chambers of Commerce was formed in 1995 for one reason: the combined strength of the Texas Association of Business and the Texas Chamber of Commerce was both logical and necessary as the burgeoning Texas economy forges into the 21st Century. Through vigilant legislative and regulatory action, helpful employment relations services, informative workshops and seminars, cost-saving benefit programs for both small and large employers, and other unique member services, TABCC is better positioned than any other organization to lead Texas employers through the challenges that a new era of business will certainly present.