Official Announcement from Chris Thiel and Duane Wilson

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July 19, 2018
She said 'Yes'!
Cristina Aldrete to Head North San Antonio Chamber as President and CEO

Cristina Aldrete - North San Antonio Chamber - President and CEOJuly 20, 2018, San Antonio, Texas – After an extensive search, which attracted more than 200 candidates, nationwide, an exuberant Chris Thiel – North SA Chamber’s (NSACC) Chairman of the Board and chair of the President/CEO Search Committee – announced today, “She said yes!”
Cristina Aldrete, the seasoned NSACC Executive Vice-President of Government Affairs will become the Chamber’s new President and CEO, effective August 1, 2018. Aldrete succeeds Duane Wilson, who for the past 25 years built the NSACC into one of the state’s leading business and advocacy organizations.
“I can’t say enough how thrilled we are making this announcement,” Thiel beamed. “And, I want to thank Duane Wilson for his support throughout this search process, members of the search committee and executive committee who worked diligently and deliberately to get this done, and the NSACC staff for their great support throughout this process.”
Aldrete, who began her career at the NSACC in 2015, learned she had made it to the final round of CEO interviews last week and was happy to accept the position.
“I am thrilled beyond belief to accept the leadership of the Chamber. I am also acutely aware of Duane’s legacy of leadership and the importance of his management discipline that I am committed to continue, even as we explore new ways to build our pro-business stance in the community,” stressed Aldrete.
In an interview for the Rivard Report published this past June, Wilson characterized chamber work, generally, as, “probably not understood. [Business owners] don’t see us out there… working on their behalf.”
Chambers of commerce have long played a ceremonial role as ambassadors of goodwill, representing cities, communities, and businesses—both established and new.
“Our role is expanding,” Wilson noted. “We will continue providing great educational opportunities to members through our programs Leadership Lab and Innovative Leadership, and we will continue stressing the importance of technology, especially in cybersecurity, through our Technology Council.”
Wilson continued, “Cristina brings new depth and a real passion for advocacy, representing the business community at all levels of government and all levels of policy-making. I am leaving what was started under my watch in Cristina’s very capable hands. I couldn’t be happier for Cristina, for our staff and our members.”
Aldrete acknowledges the growing importance of legislative advocacy as a “primary function” of chambers competing to develop and grow a base of members.
“We’re also a business, and a critical focus for me, in addition to day-to-day management, is to build membership and engage those members in a full range of activity that promotes our mission,” Aldrete declared.
Aldrete promises the North SA Chamber’s mission – to strengthen Member-businesses, and the community, through the delivery of legislative advocacy, leadership development, and business-to-business marketing and recognition – is also her mission.
“Duane’s legacy of leadership is, perhaps, the clearest and most important direction I have. I am fortunate to have had the chance to continue learning from Duane the many nuances of chamber work. I am grateful to have a staff that supports our efforts and brings to the North SA Chamber deep experience and dedication to their roles.”
Wilson, who will maintain a presence through the end of July said, “Members should be as confident as am I, that this new chapter of the North SA Chamber is going to be exciting, and I know it’s Cristina’s commitment to carry on in the best tradition of what we’ve begun, expanding on what the North SA Chamber has meant to the city, county and state—and to our Member-businesses.”