2016 President & CEO MessageCindy • Dec 09, 2016
Dear Chamber Supporter,
2016 has been a landmark year for the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce!
With the ongoing support of our Board, members, community partners, corporate sponsors, and staff, I am happy to say that the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce continues its trajectory of growth, success, and impact. As this year comes to a close and we begin to look forward to 2017 - the Chamber's 40th Anniversary - I want to take a moment to touch on what we achieved together this year.
As the leading regional voice for the Houston business community, your Chamber continues to be a steadfast advocate on the issues that most impact your businesses, families, and regional economy. This year the Chamber championed critical issues like immigration reform, defending the DREAM Act, and necessary reforms to our tax system and energy industry, amongst many others. The Chamber also served on numerous panels that touched on issues like economic development, immigration, the strong economic relationship between Mexico and the United States, and much more.
Beginning in January of this year, the Chamber participated in robust Voter Registration and "Get Out The Vote" efforts with several of our media partners including KHOU, ABC 13, CBS Radio, Comcast, Telemundo, and Univision. This effort encouraged people in the region to get engaged, registered to vote, and headed to the polls in this year's Presidential election. In addition, we also partnered with the League of Women Voters - Houston and NALEO to register voters on-site at several of our yearly events.
This year the Chamber has been an active and vocal participant in the search process for several of the region's leaders. We worked behind the scenes and served on search committees for the selection of the new Houston Independent School District Superintendent, the University of Houston-Downtown President, and the City of Houston's Police and Fire Chiefs. We congratulate Superintendent Richard Carranza, President Juan Muñoz, Police Chief Art Acevedo, and Fire Chief Samuel Peña, and look forward to working very closely with them - and Mayor Sylvester Turner - in the years to come to help improve the lives of all Houstonians.
This year the Chamber increased its international presence, as it participated in several trade delegations with Mayor Turner and other various business and community leaders. One delegation took the Houston Hispanic Chamber to Cuba, where we participated in several meetings, met with the Mayor of Havana and other Cuban leaders to identify potential business opportunities for our members.
Another trade delegation took the Chamber to Mexico City where we met with leaders in a wide array of industries including energy, infrastructure, and technology. The Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce continues to maintain a strong relationship with Mexico - both at home and abroad - and even published an editorial piece in the Houston Chronicle with Mayor Turner championing the immeasurable trading relationship our two countries enjoy. Our ongoing work with the Mexican Consulate in Houston has led to several breakthroughs in the region. One example of this work is the new partnership between the Consulate and Houston Community College which led to the opening of an on-site office in the Consul General's office.
The Chamber also significantly increased its outreach to local, regional, and national media this year. With that, we found ourselves in the news on an ongoing basis, sharing the stories of our members and their business across the country in outlets that included the New York Times and CNN. In addition, we authored several editorials with various partners to help advocate on behalf of our members and their businesses.
This year the Chamber also undertook a rebranding of its logo, website, and entire visual identity which led to us being awarded the 'Marketer of the Year' Award by the American Marketing Association - Houston in the Economic Development category.
Through our Foundation we also graduated the fifth cohort of our Emerging Leaders Institute in 2016. The Chamber's Foundation has now graduated more than 250 young leaders who we know will all continue to do great things for our community. The successes of these young leaders is already leaving a lasting impact across the globe and will continue to do so for years to come. We also launched our Inaugural Business Institute with a cohort of 20 small businesses as well as our Annual Impact Summit which focused on procuring critical data pertaining to the community in the region.
As you can see, we have had a busy year!
Even with the successes of this year, we are even more excited about 2017 - a year in which we'll celebrate our 40th Anniversary. We hope that you'll join us for yet another exciting year, as we honor our past while continuing to serve as the Leader of Houston's New Majority!
Yours in service,
Dr. Laura G. Murillo
President & CEO Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Founding President & CEO Greater Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation (GHHCCF)