Word from the Chairman

On behalf of our membership and staff, we salute you for working to grow your business, employees and our vibrant community. Because of your membership and individual participation, the North Chamber is keeping San Antonio strong as we advocate for businesses large and small; provide exceptional business-to-business connections; recognize leaders at every age and career stage; and cultivate the workforce through leadership and professional development training.

Connectivity & Communications

We always say, “Participation is the key to maximizing your membership.” While that’s true, we want to help you amplify your involvement with increased visibility opportunities and enhance your membership experience with meaningful and convenient communication.

Earlier this year, I challenged our leadership team to reimagine this Chamber’s connectivity to the community. Already, we are exploring ways that we can engage more fully. You’ll see we’ve hosted and planned events that address our members’ increasing reliance on mobile computing devices, smartphones, and digital and social media, and now you can join the conversation in our communities on Facebook (North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce), Twitter (NorthSAChamber) and LinkedIn.

To lead this effort at the operational level, please join me in welcoming to the North Chamber staff a longtime member and volunteer, Renée Crittenden Garcia, as she assumes the new role of Vice President of Marketing & Business Development. Coupled with our efforts to improve connectivity, Renée will work with our Membership Council and Committee to revise and improve membership benefits to reflect the resources our members value most. Watch your in-box for your invitation to participate in various feedback forums.

Advocacy & the 2012 Bond Election

We’re excited to welcome back County Judge Nelson Wolff, who will provide the Bexar Facts at the Annual State of the County Address on Thursday, May 18, at the Omni San Antonio Hotel. This will be an informative update as there are many new infrastructure projects that will impact our Chamber membership.

Early voting has begun (through Tuesday, May 8) for the May 12 election regarding the City of San Antonio’s $596M bond project – and every vote counts! The bond dollars are divided as follows: $337M+ for streets, bridges and sidewalks; $128M+ for drainage and flood control; $87M+ for parks, recreation and open space; $29M+ for library, museum and cultural arts facilities; and $14M+ for public safety facilities.

Some of the more notable projects include $30M for the completion of the 1604/281 Northern Interchange; $6.6M for Callaghan Road improvement (Evers to Centerview); $8.8M for Hardy Oak Blvd; $30M for Hausman Road (Loop 1604 to IH10). In addition to highways, there are significant dollars included for drainage, parks and libraries throughout the North Chamber service area.

This entire bond package – which had significant public input, will be completed without raising taxes, and because San Antonio has successfully managed its finances, the City has the nation’s highest bond rating of AAA allowing the City to borrow money at a lower rate.

The bond measure will make sure our tax dollars are spent wisely by: requiring an annual financial audit; establishing a citizen oversight committee to ensure an open competitive bidding process that supports local job growth and that funds are spent properly. In addition, no money will go towards the development of a light rail system or a downtown street car.

Each of the above mentioned projects will have its own proposition on the ballot; however, the North Chamber Board of Directors has recommended that all propositions merit a “yes” vote. To learn more about the proposed bond projects, visit the City’s website at sanantonio.gov/2012bond.

Mark Your Calendar

For those of you who enjoy the friendly competition and fellowship of a day on the greens, I hope you’ll join us for the Annual Golf Tournament on Thursday, May 10, at TPC San Antonio. The golf committee, chaired by Kara Sagebiel, JBGoodwin Realtors/Kara Sagebiel, has planned an exciting event. I want to offer special recognition to our chair-elect Brad Rollins and Dahill for their title sponsorship and his help in securing the Tourney’s awesome venue. Plan to attend, network and stay late to toast the winners!

Additionally, we are seeking nominees for the ATHENA Leadership Awards Program®. If you know a leader who’s inspiring women to achieve their full potential, please nominate and encourage your nominee to complete an application and submit it by the deadline, Friday, June 1, 5 p.m.

Now is an exciting time for the North Chamber, our members and our growing City. The North Chamber is on the cutting edge of programs in leadership, sustainability, infrastructure and education, and we welcome you and your employees to participate as an event attendee, committee volunteer or sponsor. It’s our pleasure to serve you and we hope to see you very soon.