Cen-Tex Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to Launch Series of Events for Community Enhancement

By: Allie Gonzales
Thursday February 7, 2019

Staff and Board Members enjoy lunch and a group photo before the retreat began. From left to right: Dytrun Thirkill, Linda Frausto, Mark Arias, Jonathan Olvera, Alfred Solano, J.R. Gonzales, John Montez, Henry Carbajal, Allie Gonzales. Photo courtesy of Ivon Mendoza.

Fresh into the new year, the Cen-Tex Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (CTHCC) ventured on a strategic planning session to discuss new objectives for the organization. New President and CEO of the CTHCC, Alfred Solano, established a point of redirection for the Board of Directors and staff on the weekend of Jan. 25. As the Texas Hispanic population continues to increase, cities like Waco and surrounding areas have the advantage to be a resource for that community. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Hispanic population of Central Texas is at 32.1 percent. The growth and prosperity of the Hispanic community validates the need for Hispanic Chamber membership.

The retreat was facilitated by J.R. Gonzales, Executive Vice Chair of the Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce (TAMACC). With Gonzales’ leadership, the strategic planning process implemented prosperity for the future of the CTHCC.

John Montez, Chairman of The Board of Directors, commented on how Gonzales’ ability to facilitate the session and the positive impression he left on the participants.

“It’s really important that we had someone who could challenge us and help us think outside of the box and think outside of what we’ve been doing,” Montez said. “And I think J.R. did a great job of accomplishing that.”

Gonzales’ style nonetheless initiated the shift of focus and energy into the goals of the Chamber. The board members were able to generate plans to launch educational business workshops that will benefit Chamber members.

The Chamber is set to host workshops on entrepreneurship, social media management, QuickBooks, HUB certification obtainment and more throughout 2019.

J.R. Gonzales leads a discussion with CTHCC staff and board directors to help redefine Chamber needs.

During the retreat with Gonzales board members took the opportunity to develop a timeline and focused goals for the Chamber and its membership. Solano was pleased with the outcome of the weekend. The Chamber board and staff has now rejuvenated and refocused on how to better serve the needs of the Hispanic community and CTHCC.

“The Chamber has made some changes; we have new leadership and it’s OK to do things differently,” Solano said.

The mission, vision and purpose was widely discussed during the strategic planning process. The Board of Directors now have a better understanding and the tools necessary to take the Chamber to the next level.

At the end of the retreat, each participant left with better insight of how to better fulfill the Chamber’s mission.
“I love the fact that the Chamber gives back to the community and now we are launching new programs that will directly benefit our local businesses and Chamber members,” Solano said.