Chamber Leadership to Exchange Gavel

image001 Chairman of the Board for the Laredo Chamber of Commerce Wilfredo ‘Willie’ Martinez, Jr., will officially hand over the reigns of the organization to his successor, Joe Palacios, Jr., at a ceremony to be held on Thursday, September 27, 2012.  As is customary, the outgoing chairman will preside over the luncheon meet and deliver a “state of the Chamber” report as one of his final official acts.  Martinez, in addition, will present awards and recognitions to the many volunteers who assisted in carrying forth his program of work during the past year. 


Annually, the Laredo Chamber of Commerce hosts a gala event at the end of its fiscal year to recognize volunteers.  This year’s event will be held in the Laredo Country Club ballroom starting at 11:30 am.  States a cheerful Martinez, “This year we’ve faced a number of challenges, but fortunately we’ve been successful in meeting them head on.  There’s still much work to be done, but I’m confident that the Chamber stands on solid ground and will continue to play a major role in building a better Laredo.”


The Chamber Awards ceremony will be held in place of the regularly scheduled Board of Directors meeting.  As is traditional, the program will also serve to introduce the incoming Chairman of the Board and the new slate of officers.  Heading the FY 2012-2013 team will be Chairman of the Board Jose Palacios, Jr., Vice President with Texas Community Bank.  Other members of the 2012-2013 Executive Committee are: Javier Moctezuma, (Laredo Federal Credit Union), Chairman Elect; John Ulbricht (Laredo Medical Center), Vice Chair/Treasurer; Catalina Zaragoza (Molina Healthcare), Cassandra Wheeler (TAMIU), David Newman (B.P. Newman Investments), Susana Melendez-Valencia (BBVA-Compass) and Mario Pena (IBC) Council Chairs; Wilfredo Martinez, Jr., (IBC), Past Chairman; and Miguel A. Conchas, President/CEO. 


Traditionally, following the recognition of volunteers, the outgoing chairman calls on the new chairman and presents him/her with the gavel.  The new chairman then closes the meeting as his/her first official action of the new year.


Following is the list of recognitions and awards to be presented by Chairman Willie Martinez:


Jim Parish Media Award – to be presented to Lamar Advertising, for unfailing support to the Chamber and its Board of Directors in their quest to improve the image of the city of Laredo.


Un Poquito Más Award — Presented to Danielle D. Marasco, of McDonald’s Restaurants, for continued support to the Chamber mission.  Ms. Marasco is being recognized for her dedication and commitment which have contributed to the success of Chamber events.

Committee Chairperson of the Year Award – Presented to Jose ‘Pepe’ Zuniga, of BBVA-Compass Bank, who, as chairman of the Small Business Committee, was responsible for a well-planned and highly successful Distinguished Business Awards ceremony.

Volunteer of the Year Award – Presented to Rey Ortiz, of Heritage Health Products, who, in his role as volunteer photographer for the Bienvenidos Committee, has improved the level of professionalism of the organization and contributed to the added value that is offered to new members.

Board Member of the Year Award — Presented to Javier Moctezuma, president of Laredo Credit Union, for his dedication and commitment to the Chamber cause.  A constant icon at Chamber events, Javier Moctezuma served as Treasurer during the past year but still managed to take on other responsibilities when asked by the Chamber leadership.

“Spirit of Laredo” Award – Presented to Blackstone Dilworth, of San Isidro Development, for his dedication and commitment to improving the quality of life for the community.

Order of Los Dos Laredos Award – Presented to the Honorable Benjamin Galvan Gomez, Presidente Municipal of our sister city of Nuevo Laredo, who has worked tirelessly to promote improved relations between our two neighboring communities.

Recognition in Honor of Max Mandel – Presented to the Honorable Henry Cuellar, member of the U.S. House of Representatives, who, in his quest to advance the interests of this community, has worked incessantly to bring unity among its various stakeholders.


Tickets to the 2012 Awards Ceremony and luncheon are $35 per person.  Reserved tables of 8 are available for $350.  For information or tickets to the noon luncheon, contact the Laredo Chamber of Commerce at (956) 722-9895 or E-mail

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