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Chamber banquet outlines new initiatives

FredKurth_thumbMISSION — Mission and its retail sector are poised for greatness despite the tough economic climate, said Fred Kurth, the 2010-2011 chairman for the Mission Chamber of Commerce.

Kurth explained the chamber’s goals and initiates at the group’s annual banquet last week where the group also introduced the president/CEO Matt Z. Ruszczak.

“We have a growing retail base,” Kurth said, explaining that the group would return its focus to its members.

With that focus, the chamber will reintroduce and reenergize programs like seminars and mixers to help chamber members improve their businesses with the help of local colleges and universities. The chamber will also increase its advertising to highlight members, Kurth said.

Additionally, the chamber will continue to work with its Sister Cities and Winter Texans, along with other routine activities.

“We’re excited about where we are as a chamber,” he said.

Ruszczak, who’s only been on the job a few weeks, also introduced chamber members to their new membership director, Alex Garcia.

Mission, which Ruszczak called a “premier community” in the Rio Grande Valley, can improve if business and community members communicate their goals, ideas and concerns about the city’s growth.

“We are here to serve you,” he said. “…Help us make this house the strongest structure far and wide.”

Outgoing chairwoman Cathy Garcia said last year the city was successful in its projects and sales tax receipts as Mission opened the Anzalduas International Bridge.

“Shopping is a buzz word, especially below the border,” Garcia said. “We will continue to entice the Mexican nationals.”

The chamber also honored Hector Leal, general manager of Walmart, who retired from the chamber’s board this year. Danette Garza was named Volunteer of the Year and Mission Regional Medical Center was named Business of the Year.

“It takes a community like our business community to give us a good image as we grow,” said Mission Mayor Norberto “Beto” Salinas.

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