Brenda Enriquez is excited to get started, and is already meeting with members of the chamber.
The Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce recently appointed their new Chief Executive Officer and President, Brenda Enriquez. An event welcoming her to the area was held Friday, Nov. 9 at the 5×5 Brewing Company in the Mission Center for Education and Economic Development (CEED) Building.
Enriquez has 13 years of experience working with the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley as Director of Development for the UTRGV College of Engineering and Computer Science, as well as Special Events Manager of Advancement Special Events at UTRGV and Coordinator of Recruitment and Orientation including the Visitors Center at the university.
She is also a graduate of the RGV Partnership Leadership program and is a member of the Organization of Women Executives of the Rio Grande Valley.
Enriquez became involved with the area through Robert Rosell, former CEO and president of the chamber. They are both alumni of the MPA program at UTRGV.
“When he took over, I started feeding off of his highlights on the city of Mission,” Enriquez said. “And I was very impressed. Mission is blooming, it’s growing. I saw an opportunity to do more and positively impact the community.”
During the event, Enriquez said she hopes to help Mission continue growing, and sees a lot of economic activity and potential already being utilized in the city.
“I want to be very strategic with our planning and our efforts, and how we complement the community, the city, the area,” Enriquez said. “We are keeping a growth mindset on the organization, because technology is now in place.”
She said that how the chamber was operated fifty years ago was different in that businesses looked to the chamber to meet other business leaders and stay up to speed on local happenings.
“It was the organization to be a part of, because that’s how you’re integrated into the community,” Enriquez said. “Now, as technology has been evolving, that’s when it gets tough, because you have to make that transition, too.”
According to Enriquez, the top two leading economic sectors in Mission have been health care and the retail food industry.
“That’s what we have going for us,” Enriquez said. “At the same time, I think it’s important for us to take a look through the lens of identifying what the quality of life for residents in Mission is.”
“If we need health care, we have it here, you don’t have to go anywhere for it,” Enriquez added. “The food industry – we have a lot of wonderful places to eat. Top-end restaurants, maybe that’s an area we can continue building on.”
Enriquez began her position on Nov. 1, and already has a few plans for the chamber and what they can offer their members, as well as the existing workforce in Mission.
“I love Mission, I love the community, the businesses are fantastic,” Enriquez said. “But I also think we need to look at other factors that make a person’s life very valuable.”
Access to education should be one of the main focuses toward directing growth, Enriquez said. She is ready to study all the sectors that encompass Mission, including current demographics, household incomes and job availability.
“Our local health care is one of the largest employers of Mission residents,” Enriquez said. “We need to keep supporting that industry.”
Enriquez hopes to give Missionites the proper tools to keep the flow of business thriving. She intends to kickstart some new events in the area, including a celebration for Mission Regional Medical Center, which will be celebrating 65 years in operation, providing access to health care and jobs.
“In our efforts, we make sure people don’t work in silos,” Enriquez said. “We want to make sure that we can help each other and share the access to the wealth of knowledge that we have.”
“In order to really help Mission build and become a prosperous city, more than it is, because it’s already prosperous, we want to be able to complement our city and community priorities,” Enriquez added. “Because once we have that, we have people getting educated, we can keep the pipeline of our workforce going. If people eat healthy, go to school, get a job, they’re going to contribute back to the economy.”