February Word from the Chairman (2017)

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February 24, 2017
The North SA Chamber has hit the ground running in 2017. In just the last month we hosted our annual Gala—celebrating the colors and culture of Wild South Africa while honoring our outgoing Chairman Gary Hoyack of BD; recognizing our San Antonian honoree Berto Guerra of Avanzar Interior Technologies and Chairman of San Antonio Water System; and inducting your 2017 North SA Chamber Board of Directors.
 
Legislative Trips to D.C. and Austin
This month the North SA Chamber, along with a group of 130 community partners and members, traveled to Washington D.C. to meet with elected officials about legislative needs in business, immigration, military, education and community development priorities in our region. Participants heard from Senator John Cornyn, Senator Ted Cruz, Congressman Lamar Smith and Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Mac Thornberry. Issue teams were created and separated by 11 topics and each team went to Capitol Hill for important meetings with key influential members of Congress and executive branch leaders to advocate for specific issues and community needs.
 
On February 28th the North SA Chamber will partner with community organizations for a local legislative trip to Austin. Under the leadership of the Government Affairs Council, the North SA Chamber will work with Bexar County legislative delegation to ensure that the voices of business – both large and small, are heard, and that the issues that are important to them are represented. To see a detailed list of our legislative initiatives, download our Legislative Agenda (PDF) here.
 
Leadership Lab Class of 2017
I had the opportunity of welcoming 91 students to Leadership Lab during our Class of 2017 orientation breakfast this month. The award-winning course is an intensive nine-month leadership development series offered by the North SA Chamber’s non-profit arm, Lead SA. Nearly 1,000 people have attended Leadership Lab since its inception in 1999 representing over 250 companies in San Antonio. Thank you to this year’s chair Lisa Kopecky of HR Business Solutions, and co-chair John Wood of Broadway Bank. To learn more about how you can contribute to the success of this program reach out to Chris Bugg at (210) 384-7721 or email at cbugg@northsachamber.com.
 
February Events
Our Valentine’s Day Networking Breakfast program focused on the heart—and keeping it healthy! Speaker Leigh Ennis, Wellness Program Manager for SWBC Employee Benefit Consulting Group gave a presentation on saving healthcare costs with wellness in the workplace. If you missed it, stay tuned for upcoming breakfasts by checking the Events Calendar & Registration and keep a special eye out for quarterly technology-focused breakfasts.
 
The North SA Chamber had a busy day on Thursday, February 23rd as our membership had a number of events to participate in. We kicked off the morning with a Chairman’s Council breakfast featuring Paula Gold-Williams, President and CEO of CPS Energy. Paula has more than 25 years of leadership experience in San Antonio and leads more than 3,000 team members at CPS Energy. During her presentation Paula shared her thoughts on the future of CPS Energy, its role in the rapidly changing industry and how the City of San Antonio and customers will benefit in coming years. Paula also had the opportunity to mention how incredibly well CPS Energy was able to perform after recent tornadoes in San Antonio. During the storms there were 84,000 people out of power and within 51 hours, all power was restored. Thank you to our sponsor of this event – San Antonio Water System. Chairman’s Council events are offered quarterly at no cost to our Chairman’s Council members. To learn more or inquire about this level of membership, please contact Cristina Aldrete at (210) 384-7730 or caldrete@northsachamber.com.

Members also had the opportunity to attend our tri-annual CFO Forum—a knowledge series designed exclusively for CFOs. This month’s topic was “The Amazon Way on IoT: 10 Principles for Every Leader from the World’s Leading Internet of Things Strategies” and attendees had the opportunity to hear from speaker John Rossman, Managing Director of Alvarez & Marsal. During the presentation John focused on how companies can reinvent the customer experience, improve operational efficiencies and enable new business models by capitalizing on related data collection and analytics—providing an executable roadmap for company’s IoT strategy. If you are a CFO and missed the presentation, you can purchase John’s book from Amazon by clicking here. You can also inquire about our upcoming CFO Forums on June 8th and October 5th by visiting our Events Calendar & Registration or contacting Debby Zucker at (210) 384-7720 or dzucker@northsachamber.com.
 
 
Upcoming Events
If you missed out on our events in February, you still have many great opportunities to get plugged in for the rest of the year. Join us on Tuesday, March 14th from 7 - 9 a.m. for our Networking Breakfast on the 2017-2022 Bond Program. Bond Tri-Chair Darryl Byrd will explain how the $850 million proposed program will impact your neighborhoods and businesses. Register by visiting the event page here. On Thursday, April 13th from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. the North SA Chamber Technology Council will host their annual CIO Panel during San Antonio’s largest technology-based conference, InnoTech. The panel will feature speakers Time Brown, VP of IT Innovation Research & Development at USAA; Anthony Espinoza, Deputy CIO at The University of Texas at San Antonio; Shawn Wiora, CEO at Maxxsure LLC & Mynd Virtual Reality; and Steve Young, VP of Information Technology for VIA Metropolitan Transit. To learn more about this event, watch a brief informational video here or register online by visiting the event page here.
 
Stay Involved
We are already two months into 2017 and that means it’s a good time to check in with our commitments and get plugged in where you feel you and your company can benefit. The North SA Chamber has a wide array of participation opportunities and sponsorship opportunities to help move you and your business forward. Thank you for your involvement and for all that you and your businesses do to keep Bexar County strong.