Greater San Antonio Chamber delegation visits Laredo to discuss legislative priorities

Laredo, TX (Aug 6, 2012)–Members of the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce visited Laredo August 2 to meet with their Laredo counterparts and discuss issues of mutual interest.  The meet comes in anticipation of the bi-annual Legislative Session scheduled for the spring of 2013.  The San Antonio business group was headed by Jim Greenwood, Chairman of the San Antonio Chamber Board, and Richard Perez, Chamber President/CEO.

The leadership of the Laredo Chamber hosted the visitors at a working lunch meeting held on the grounds of Texas A&M International University. Appropriately enough, one of the topics identified by both groups as one of the most pressing needs for the region was education, both  secondary and higher education. Other issues of major importance deliberated during the round-table discussion included infrastructure development , particularly in support of trade, and changes in the healthcare system and their anticipated impact. Needless to say, all agreed that diminishing revenues would once again play a leading role as legislators once again meet to formulate a bi-annual budget.

The Laredo group took advantage of the meet to stress once again that one of the major problems the community faces is the perception created by the rising level of insecurity and violence in Mexico.  Laredo Chamber President Miguel Conchas stated that all major industries of the Laredo community have been impacted in one way or another as they recruit personnel or try to attract visitors into the area.  Joe Palacios, Jr., Chairman Elect for the Laredo Chamber concurred and added, “In the short term the flight of Mexican investors may prove a boon for South Texas communities, but in the long term this will lead to a negative impact in Mexico – and that will undoubtedly affect us.”

The group agreed to maintain lines of communication and keep each other informed of legislative issues of interest as the legislative session approaches.

Accompanying Greenwood and Perez from the San Antonio were Liza Barretechea, VP of Public Affairs for the SA Chamber; Eduardo Parra, Business Development Manager, CDM Smith;

Silvia Peña, San Antonio Human Resources Management Association;  Greg Garcia, Assistant Vice President for Governmental Relations, Texas A&M University- San Antonio;  and Armando Diaz, Vice President for Governmental Relations, UT Health Science Center San Antonio.

The Laredo delegation included: Chairman Elect Joe Palacios, Jr., VP for Texas Community Bank; Javier Moctezuma, President of Laredo Federal Credit Union; Cassandra Wheeler, member of the Board and Executive Director for the Office of Career Services. at TAMIU; John Ulbricht, member of the Board  and COO at Laredo Medical Ctr.; Victor Gonzalez, President of the Laredo Licensed U.S. Custom Brokers Association; Candy Hein, VP for Institutional Advancement at TAMIU;  Elizabeth Martinez, Dir. of Institutional Research at TAMIU; Miriam Castillo, Director of Special Projects for the Laredo Chamber; and Miguel Conchas, President/CEO for the Laredo Chamber.

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