The SFDRCISD was host to the Del Rio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce March Membership meeting. The DRHCC was joined by the International Good Neighbor Council members at the new Administration Building on Griner Street for the important presentation by Dr. Carlos Rios. President O. Gonzalez welcomed the group and presented plaques to new members the IGNC group, represented by its board members and to The Khoury Group represented by Ms. Norma Floyd.
Dr, Rios presented the plans of the district to propose a Bond Election in May of this year to take build two new elementary schools and to restructure the attendance areas to better serve our student population. The proposed Bond Package is for $60 million dollars of which the State of Texas will pay 55%. Mr. Manuel Pacheco, local businessman, spoke in favor of the passage of the Bond package and presented the pros to getting approval by the community.
The hosts provided a spread of sandwiches, fruit, chips and light refreshments for forty in attendance. The gathering was a success and provided ample opportunities to network before and after the business session. The DRHCC sincerely thanks the hosts and those in attendance.
WE'RE LOOKING FOR THE NEXT BEST TEXAS-MADE PRODUCT!
The “Quest for Texas” search for prospective participants in the HEB competition for original products to make it to the shelves of H.E.B. Stores. The presentation was made by Tessa Benavides, HEB representative. Mr. Brian Maldonado shared his “Savage Cabbage” dip and Mrs. Deanna Castillo presented her “Terlingua Badlands Chili mix”. Interested entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply on line.
Each year, the U.S. Border Patrol and local volunteers help make the Women’s Seminar successful and offer attendees a chance to interact with professional mentors. The event brings together women who wants the opportunity for employment and connects them with people who help them reach sources giving them the confidence they need to succeed. These topics are what people have interest and want information on. “Our community is passionate about providing all people the opportunity to realize their human potential.”
In addition to the great guest speakers, we had work stations offering advice on beauty, finance, career mentoring and cyber-security. Also, women who are stay at home moms or work from home, had the opportunity to network their home business or re-connect to the work environment.
This year the DRHCC along with Ford sponsor the Wall of Hope, which are our Cancer Survival Heroes.
This special conference is designed to help develop yourself professionally and find fulfillment on everything you do. There is absolutely no limit to what you can achieve, especially when you have the right tools, the right plan and most important, the right attitude, and that is what this conference was all about. “We had the opportunity to spend the day with the most inspiring professional women and networking with women who are facing the same life situations you are. By far a meaningful day you won’t forget.”
“Often what women lack the most is confidence, so this event is a great first step to help women entering or re-entering the workforce to be prepared with the soft skills they need to succeed throughout their working lives.”
Mr. Gregorio Arrambide has been working with Gateway Apartments since 2013 as Property Manager. Mr. Arrambide has also been volunteering with the DRHA Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program for approximately 3 years as Site Coordinator and advanced Tax Preparer. Mr. Arrambide works diligently with the DRHA VITA Program and believes that Financial education is important. Not only by providing a free service which normally would cost a tax payer $150-$300 but also to save their refunds to earn interest in saving accounts or to start a IRA through the IRS program of myRA. Educating people through VITA plays an intricate roll in providing options to families who are low to moderate income base. Mr. Arrambide quotes “The best thing about helping others is that it costs nothing.”
The Silver Eagle Distributors building on Lowe Dr. was the site of the Del Rio Hispanic Chamber's February monthly membership meeting and Annual Valentine Social. Sponsors for the event were Silver Eagle and Border Federal Credit Union, both of whom did an outstanding job in giving the event a festive and inviting atmosphere! Our thanks to Ms. Maria Martinez, BFCU CEO, Mariana Zuniga and their staff and to Mr. Carlos Ayala of Silver Eagle Distributors for their outstanding support!
President Otila Gonzalez welcomed the sixty plus persons in attendance and introduced new member, former School Superintendent and former Mayor of the City of Del Rio, Bobby Fernandez, before the festivities began.
The attendees enjoyed a spread of finger foods and a variety of Valentine candy in a setting of red and white décor and lively background music. Door prizes were awarded and refreshments were plentiful.
Otila Gonzalez, President
Mrs. Margie Montez, Del Rio’s International Bridge Superintendent, is the driving force behind the City of Del Rio’s International Bridge, our “Golden Goose” with a Yearly Revenue of $7.5 Million a year . Margie was born and raised in Del Rio, Texas. Her parents are Jose and Susana Rubio. Margie and her husband Joe have 4 children (Selena, Jose-Rene, Ricardo, and Joel). Margie graduated from Del Rio High School, and in 1985 started working for the City of Del Rio. Her first job was at the Utility Billing Department. She started as a billing clerk and climbed the career ladder to become the Utilities’ Billing Department Supervisor. She states that those 22 years of customer service experience served her well and prepared her for her next position with the City of Del Rio. In 2004 she was transferred to the International Bridge where she served as Interim Bridge Superintendent; in 2005, she was selected as the International Bridge Superintendent. As the Bridge Superintendent, she feels that it is extremely important to provide the best customer service possible to her customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A smooth running operation of the toll booth plaza is essential to United States and International travelers crossing the border into Mexico, as well as providing safety and security to her employees and customers alike.
As the Superintendent of this important operation, she manages an Operating Budget of $938,004 dollars. She faces many daily challenges; however, the most recent one has been overseeing the relocation of the toll booth plaza, which is long overdue. This project has been in the planning process for years. When the Del Rio Port of Entry (POE) was relocated, the city realized that there was a need for the toll plaza to be adjacent to the POE for safety and security reasons. This project is now becoming a reality. The new toll booth plaza, a new bridge operations office building, along with the latest technology on line services for pre-paid customers’ accounts should be ready this summer. The new state of the art and latest technology system is also long overdue. It will provide better service, accountability and accuracy for pre-paid customers and management. This new system is expected to go live by June 2017. Margie’s goal is to insure a smooth transition to the new system and Toll Booth Plaza. On the team is her able assistant, Mr. Joe Rivera, Assistant Bridge Superintendent and a staff of 14 employees who maintain and provide services 24 hours, 7 days a week.
The Del Rio Chamber and Del Rio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce are anxiously awaiting the ribbon cutting upon the completion of this important project.
Del Rio Hispanic Chamber members attend the TAMACC Quarterly meeting in McAllen, Texas.
President Otila Gonzalez, Secretary Dora Alcala, and assistant Judith Montalvo traveled to McAllen Texas February 16 through 17th to attend the Quarterly Board of Directors’ meeting of TAMACC. The leadership of TAMACC in partnership with the Rio Grande Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in McAllen and the Camaraderie de Comercio International presented a jam packed agenda of seven workshop sessions on Friday. 1. How to do Business in the U. S., TAx Tips and New Laws for Small Businesses, Immigration Update Under Trump Administration, Benefits of Certification of HUB and Women-Owned Businesses, Chamber Master Program, How to increase Your Membership through Benefits and, Understanding the Structure of a Chamber, Role and Responsibilities of Board of Directors. These sessions share information that is beneficial for all members. I encourage more business owners and Directors to attend at least one meeting a year and we must make an effort to open our doors to TAMACC by planning to host one of these meetings in Del Rio.
Saturday’s 9:00 AM to1:30 PM meeting of the Board of Directors’ robust agenda included discussion of opposition of the 20% Tax Proposal on Mexican Imports and tentative plans for a Legislative Reception to be scheduled, to the upcoming BusinessConvention and Expo in the Fall scheduled to be hosted by the Irving Texas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Otila Gonzalez - President
Del Rio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Secretary, Ms. Dora Alcala, was recently installed as the new President of the local chapter of the International Good Neighbor Council. Mrs. Estela Naranjo, International President of the organization, came in from San Antonio, Texas to do the honors. The installation ceremony was held at the Sunblossom Room of Ramada Inn, with Mr. Joel Langston serving as Master of Ceremonies and attended by a capacity number of supporters and invited guests that included representation from Laughlin A.F.B, IGNC officials from Monterrey, Mexico, members and guests. Mr. Alfredo Diaz,of Monterrey, Mexico and president of the organization in Mexico was in attendance as was the Vice President Ms. Trinidad Ibarra who resides in Eagle Pass.
The Local IGNC plays a central role in the October activities of Fiesta de Amistad in our community, as they are the organizers of the Abrazo Ceremony and the International Parade. Throughout the year, this organization promotes friendship and goodwill between our sister cities and between the US and Mexico. Their work is to share similarities and to celebrate differences, a task that they do well.
Otila Gonzalez - President