Carmen Gutierrez Past President of the Del Rio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce was recognized at TAMACC’s 2022 Women of Distinction Award Ceremony in Austin on June 17, 2022. Carmen’s nomination below was submitted by DRHCC Past Vice Chair Ms. Dora G. Alcala and Past President Ms. Otila Gonzalez. Joining Carmen at the table of of honor included her husband of 43 years Ruben C. Gutierrez Jr., son Ruben Gutierrez, cousin and San Antonio businessman Miguel Gutierrez and wife Maria, close family friend George LeGrande of San Antonio, Ms. Dora G. Alcala BFCU Board Vice Chair and Ms. Otila Gonzlaez, Vice Chair of the BFCU Supervisory Committee, President and CEO of the Border Federal Credit Union Maria J. Martinez and Val Verde County Surveyor Abner G. Martinez.
Carmen donates her time in volunteering to advance the quality of life in our community. She uses her professional background to help accomplish goals. One example is her tireless efforts to ensure ADA compliance at a local City of Del Rio public venue known as Historic Brown Plaza, located in the Hispanic neighborhood known as San Felipe. Brown Plaza is important as it is a center of cultural activities and annual celebrations throughout the year such as the Cinco De Mayo and 16 de Septiembre. Although these activities and celebrations attract a major part of the Del Rio and surrounding area population, it is not accessible to the hundreds of disabled veterans, elderly and children with physical limitations. Carmen researched FEMA and ADA Compliance regulations and made a presentation to the City Manager and after no results, approached the Del Rio City Council with photos and suggestions that would ensure compliance and most importantly provide physical access to those with mobility issues. The City of Del Rio is presently correcting this need by installing ADA Compliant access at Brown Plaza, all due to Carmen’s relentless efforts. Another example is utilizing her social capital in marketing the need to establish a Kids Art Center for children from all areas in Val Verde County. Her work on the Falcon Art Center Board of Directors will benefit the underserved in the barrio for the first time because of its location in the barrio. Carmen donates her time and skills in promoting the work of other non-profits such as Los Amigos del Cemeterio de la Loma de la Cruz which is responsible for documenting, maintaining and preserving the first Hispanic and Historic Cemetery in Del Rio by helping publish a book which documents the grids and history of the only cemetery to serve the Hispanic community until 1932 and was abandoned for 90 years. Despite her own physical limitations due to an accident in 2015, which caused her to have 9 surgical operations, Carmen actively volunteers in the community. Incredibly Carmen who was employed with U.S. Congressman Will Hurd at the time of the accident, returned to work in a wheelchair, followed by a walker, rollator, cane and finally some independent mobility. Currently Carmen serves as Board Chairwoman of the Border Federal Credit Union, volunteers with International Good Neighbor Council and is a volunteer with the Catholic Charities Retired Senior Volunteer Program with the Del Rio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Los Amigos de la Loma de la Cruz.
Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce (TAMACC) is a nonprofit 501C (6) organization created to promote business leadership, create economic opportunities and provide legislative advocacy for the Hispanic business community in Texas.