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20121016-Mission-C-of-C-Awards-042Incoming Mission Chamber of Commerce Chairwoman Sandra Vecchio presents a plaque to outgoing Chairman George Myers in appreciation of his service to the chamber. Progress Times photo by Doug YoungMISSION—The aggressive support of local business opportunities and developing strategies to boost sales and profits are new goals set for the Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce. The chamber’s 2012-2013 Chairwoman Sandra Vecchio believes the hard work of the community, as one, will prove a positive outcome.

Vecchio was named the new chairwoman of the board at the Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce 2012 Annual Banquet on Oct. 16 at Mario’s Banquet and Conference Center.

The annual event marked the beginning of the 2012-13 term for the board members and the recognition of chamber volunteers, businesses and local community members.

Mission Chamber CEO Matt Ruszczak welcomed the attendees and introduced prominent members of the Mission community.

“Mission is a very interesting place…we are great place for families, for a very simple reason, we operate as one big family,” Ruszczak said.

“It’s that spirit of Mission that we celebrate today throughout this evening, and that is good because it makes this community and chamber successful.”

Councilman Ruben Plata, representing the City of Mission, spoke of the growth and improvements taking place in Mission during the past year.

“The city of Mission keeps growing …with all of these expansions, and all of these projects we are one of the safest communities in the Valley,” Plata said. “An FBI statistic has shown that the crime rate in the city of Mission has decreased, also sales tax has increased.”

The chamber’s Chairman of the Board of Directors for 2011-2012 George Myers revisited the goals the chamber accomplished under his leadership.

“During my time here we focused on goals with the organization and restructuring the chamber to satisfy the needs for its members,” Myers said.

“2012 has been a very exciting year. One of our goals this year was to maximize social media…. Another goal was to continue supporting and connecting with community organizations and their activities.”

The media focus led to an award for 2012, the chamber received first place in the State of Texas for Social Media Marketing at the Texas Chamber of Commerce Executives (TCCE) Annual Conference.

Myers added Vecchio would be well prepared for her new position with the chamber. He said her experience in the business community and current participation with chamber would add to its success.

Vecchio addressed the chamber membership as the new chairperson.

“The greatest asset we have is that we all share a common goal, the creation of a sustainable economy that encourages the opportunity for business growth and job creation,” Vecchio said. “No one of us is as powerful as all of us.”

Ruszczak presented the chamber’s Volunteer of the Year award to Ed Vazquez and Shane Mata. The award is for their dedication and volunteered time to the chamber. Both serve as Chamber Diplomats.

Business of the Year for 2011-2012 was awarded by the chamber to HEB Plus; Dan Martin (member of the chamber board of directors) accepted the award. The 2011-2012 Business Leader of the Year was awarded to Rob Neagle, managing owner of Chili’s Restaurant in Mission.

A video was provided by the chamber that included testimonials from each board member on the 2012-2013 board of directors which include: Navin Buxani, Holiday Inn & Express Mission; Nick Espinosa, Mission Regional Medical Center; Cathy Garcia, Freedom Life Church; Marilyn Hardison, Star Properties; David P. Hernandez. M.D., Women’s Health Services; Fred Kurth, Melden & Hunt, Inc.; Dan Martin, H-E-B Plus; Rob Neagle, Chili’s; Mikal Powers, University of Phoenix; Husbaldo Salazar, Dahill A Xerox Company; TJ Tijerina, Spikes Ford; and Michelle Zamora, Frost Bank.

The retiring director for 2011-2012 was Javier Iruegas with Mission Regional Medical Center. Iruegas also served two terms as the chamber’s chairman of the board.

The Progress Times also presented the Mission Citizens Awards at the annual chamber banquet. See separate story.

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