July Word from the Chairman

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July 23, 2015
On behalf of the North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, our Board of Directors, staff and countless volunteers, thank you for your membership and involvement. We have a number of exciting programs coming up, including a luncheon with Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, our annual Enterprising Women’s Conference featuring the presentation of the ATHENA Leadership Awards®, and the 13th Annual Salute to Excellence. This month we welcome a new staff member and announce several promotions. We also have an update on state highway funding. 
Lunch with Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick
On Thursday, August 27, 2015, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick will speak to North Chamber of Commerce members during a luncheon at the Omni San Antonio Hotel at the Colonnade. There will be a VIP reception beginning at 11:00 a.m., with the luncheon program to follow at noon. Lieutenant Governor Patrick was elected to his first term in 2014. He previously served two terms in the Texas Senate. Please call or go to the event page for more information about sponsorship opportunities and table sales.
Enterprising Women’s Conference
On September 3, 2015 you will have the opportunity to recognize the nominees of the ATHENA Leadership Awards® during a luncheon at our annual Enterprising Women’s Conference. The full-day conference offers opportunities in leadership and professional development through networking, morning and afternoon keynotes, a panel of local speakers, retail exhibits and more.
The prestigious ATHENA Award Program honors rising stars, seasoned professionals and model organizations in three categories for their achievements in professional accomplishment, community service and opening doors of leadership opportunity for women.
This year’s finalists for the ATHENA Awards are:
ATHENA Young Professional
  • Haley Curry | South Texas Energy & Economic Roundtable (STEER)
  • Marisol Robles | San Antonio Water System
ATHENA Organizational Leadership
  • Johnette Lee | San Antonio Lighthouse for the Blind
  • Alma Smith | YWCA San Antonio
  • Rebecca Cervantez | AVANCE – San Antonio
  • Denise Barkhurst | Big Brothers and Big Sisters of South Texas
ATHENA Leadership
  • June Bratcher | Daisy Charters & Shuttles
  • Janie Cook | Boys Town Texas
  • Nancy L. Hard | Family Service Association of San Antonio, Inc.
  • Katherine C. Luber, PhD | San Antonio Museum of Art
  • Martha Mangum | The Real Estate Council of San Antonio
  • Renee Watson | Small, Minority & Women Owned Business Enterprise (SMWBE)
  • Donna Beth Willey-Courand, MD | University of Texas Health Science Center of San Antonio
If you would like to attend the event, please call or visit the event page.
Salute to Excellence
The 13th Annual Salute to Excellence will be at the La Cantera Hill Country Resort on September 23, 2015. The program will feature the presentation of the Gov. Dolph Briscoe, Jr. Salute to Excellence Award to this year’s honorees Robin and Ernesto Ancira for their contributions in the areas of community, business achievement, leadership and philanthropy. I would like to extend a special thanks to our Title sponsor – Security Service Federal Credit Union, VIP Reception sponsor –Alterman, and Salute sponsors – eEmployers Solutions, Inc., Generations Federation Credit Union, and Randolph Brooks Federal Credit Union.
The Salute to Excellence program helps fund Lead SA. Lead SA is the 501(c) (3) non-profit organization whose mission is to support and sponsor North Chamber programs and initiatives which promote educational, leadership, career and professional development in San Antonio. Lead SA has awarded over $280,000 in support of leadership and professional development and the advancement of higher education. To reserve your table for the event, please visit the event page.  
North Chamber Staff Changes
I am pleased to announce one addition and two promotions to our hard-working North Chamber staff.
On July 15, 2015 Cristina Aldrete joined the North Chamber as Executive Vice President of Business Development and Government Affairs. In her new role at the North Chamber, Cristina will oversee membership sales, retention strategy and operational goals. She will also support our Business Development, Government Affairs and Chairman’s Council programs.  
Cristina has a broad background that will serve her well in her new role. Immediately prior to joining the North Chamber, Cristina served as the Director of Institutional Advancement, Planning and Development for Palo Alto College. She and her husband, Eddie Aldrete, founded Aldrete Communications, a corporate communications and government affairs firm where Cristina served as Vice President for 7 years. Cristina has also served as the Deputy Director of the Texas Department of Commerce; the Executive Director for the Laredo Convention and Visitors Bureau; and the Director of Marketing and Public Affairs for the McAllen Economic Development Corporation. Cristina earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Texas in Austin. 
Whitney Lewis has been promoted to Director of Communications and Public Affairs. In her new position, Whitney will oversee chamber and event marketing, communications, public relations and engagement strategies. She will manage the State of the County Address and Mayor’s Vision for San Antonio events and will support the executive board. Whitney will continue the management of the website, social media and monthly newsletter.
Marilyn White has been promoted to Administrative Supervisor where she will oversee a new Administrative Assistant and assume responsibility of the Ambassador logistics. Marilyn will continue her support of Leadership Lab, Leadership Lab Alumni, Gala and Government Affairs.
I want to extend my congratulations and thanks to these three outstanding women and the rest of the North Chamber staff.
Proposition 7 – Highway Funding
On June 23, 2015, the North Chamber Board of Directors unanimously voted to support the passage of Proposition 7, which will be on the ballot on November 3, 2015. Proposition 7 allows Texas voters to approve additional funding for highways throughout the state. During the 84th Texas Legislature, lawmakers approved Senate Joint Resolution 5, which would dedicate $2.5 billion in general sales tax revenue to the highway fund if approved at the November 3, 2015 election.
Stay Involved
We offer many opportunities for you to join us at programs that will help you develop professionally, expand your business connections and learn about the latest local and national economic trends. We are your voice, and your participation makes the North Chamber a more effective advocate for our business members. Thank you for helping us keep Bexar County strong.