May Word from the Chairman

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May 18, 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. The month of May has been busy, with local elections and charter amendments, the Texas Legislature wrapping up their regular session and sold-out North Chamber programs. Sadly, we will be saying goodbye to a long-time staff member at the end of this month as she transitions to an exciting new chapter in her professional life.
 
City Council Elections
On May 9, voters made a number of important decisions on local issues. In the City of San Antonio, all ten (10) city council members and the mayor were up for election. In all of these races but the mayoral race and one city council position, the incumbent won outright on Election Day. The returning councilmembers are Roberto Trevino (District 1), Alan Warrick II (District 2), Rebecca Viagran (District 3), Rey Saldaña (District 4), Shirley Gonzalez (District 5), Ray Lopez (District 6), Ron Nirenberg (District 8), Joe Krier (District 9) and Mike Gallagher (District 10). The District 7 seat will be decided in a runoff election on June 13, 2015 between incumbent Cris Medina and former interim councilmember Mari Aguirre-Rodriguez.
 
On June 13, there will be a runoff election between Mayor Ivy Taylor and former Senator Leticia Van De Putte. In a field of fourteen candidates, Ms. Van De Putte received 25,982 votes (approximately 30.43% of the vote). Mayor Taylor received 24,245 votes (approximately 28.40% of the vote). Early voting for the runoff begins on June 1.
 
On June 17 the North Chamber will host the annual Mayor’s Vision with the winner of the runoff sharing her vision for San Antonio’s future over lunch at the Omni San Antonio Hotel at the Colonnade. I want to extend a special thank you to our Title Sponsor, Joeris General Contractors, and our VIP Reception sponsors, Alterman and Jacobs.  
 
City Council Pay
On May 9 San Antonio voters approved a change to the City Charter that will make the councilmembers and mayor eligible to be paid a living wage. Councilmembers will receive an annual salary of $45,722 and the mayor will receive an annual salary of $61,725. The North Chamber Board unanimously supported this charter amendment, and I have had the opportunity over the last few months to work with our former mayors, fellow chambers and Sensible Pay for SA to educate voters. The passage of this historic measure will allow councilmembers to devote more time to governing our growing city. 
 
Upcoming Programs
On May 21 we will have our Power Lunch at Hardberger Park, featuring speakers Gail Gallegos and Councilman Ron Nirenberg. Friday, we are hosting our annual State of the County lunch with County Judge Nelson Wolff. The State of the County program is sold out, so begin planning your sponsorship for next year. Please also note our upcoming CFO Forum on June 4 at Oak Hills Country Club.
 
Goodbye Renée
At the end of May we are saying goodbye to Renée Crittenden Garcia, the North Chamber Vice President of Marketing, Public Affairs & Lead SA. Renee has served with the North Chamber in various roles since 1999, and we are sad to see her go, but happy for her and her future opportunities. I have had the pleasure of working with her on North Chamber programs and in other organizations, and I have always been impressed by her high level of professionalism.
 
Renee has been responsible for helping the North Chamber reimagine it’s connectivity to the community by enhancing the individual membership experience through increased visibility via digital and social media platforms and a content marketing strategy. She has also been critical to guiding important advocacy efforts including the North Chamber’s opposition to the proposed Storm Water Fee and our support for the City Council Pay City Charter Amendment.
 
North Chamber President & CEO Duane Wilson said it best when he said, “Renée has left a lasting mark here at the North Chamber. She has demonstrated her passion to advance organizations and people through her innovative work in enriching member benefits and overall membership experience, community collaboration and development. I thank her for her dedication and contributions to the North Chamber and know she will be a success in her future endeavors.”
 
Renée will be leaving the North Chamber to join a new enterprise. She said that it has been her privilege to serve the organization over the last 16 years. “I’ve gained a great education in operations, collaboration and stewardship working with the North Chamber’s dedicated staff, board and membership. This has been an incredibly rewarding career, but I’m also excited about starting a new chapter in my life.”
 
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. Your participation makes the North Chamber a more effective advocate for our business members. Thank you for helping us keep San Antonio and Bexar County strong.