Blog

2018 was a year of Transformational Collaboration and success for the San Antonio Chamber

As we reflect on our work in 2018, the Chamber would like to thank our 2018 Chair Shaun Kennedy for his leadership and our valued investors, who have been right by our side throughout the year as we:

ADVOCATED ON BEHALF OF THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY ON KEY LEGISLATIVE AND COMMUNITY ISSUES IMPORTANT TO BUSINESS RETENTION AND GROWTH
  • Introduced Tranformational Collaboration, where key business and civic leaders met quarterly to discuss issues and opportunities impacting our community to ensure shared direction and purpose.
  • Successfully defeated the City of San Antonio’s efforts to include a Labor Peace Agreement (LPA) requirement within the Request for Proposals (RFP) for a Food, Beverage and Retail Prime Concessionaire at the San Antonio International Airport.
  • Led more than 170 business and community leaders to Washington, DC in the record-breaking 40th annual SA to DC and secured a portion of more than $70 billion in funding through this collaborative advocacy.
  • Adopted a Policy Statement on Employer Salary and Benefits Support and signed on to an Amicus Brief appealing to the 3rd Court of Appeals – Austin, Texas opposing Austin’s Paid Sick Leave Ordinance.
  • Submitted comments and testified to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Air Quality Division pertaining to the use of the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Funds in Texas and the development of a state Beneficiary Mitigation Plan. Bexar County successfully secured a $61,585,516 allocation.
  • Led efforts to oppose the City of San Antonio’s recommendations to existing Procurement and Preference Programs resulting in no changes.
ADVOCATED FOR AND PROMOTED SAN ANTONIO’S LEADING INDUSTRIES ON THE GLOBAL STAGE
  • Served as the lead voice in the San Antonio community in pushing for a strong, modernized NAFTA through testimony before Congress and promotion throughout Canada and Mexico of the impact on San Antonio.
  • Led an assessment of the aerospace industry in the greater San Antonio region, which catalogs the capabilities of businesses, workforce needs, and opportunities for growth.
  • Published a biennial report on the economic impact of the healthcare and bioscience industries, highlighting collaboration and innovation in the city.
  • Promoted downtown through support of the redevelopment of Alamo area and the creation of a Tourism Public Improvement District.
fORMALIZED THE CHAMBER’S CYBERSECURITY sAN ANTONIO PROGRAM AS THE ECOSYSTEM LEAD FOR SAN ANTONIO’S CYBERSECURITY CLUSTER GROWTH STRATEGY
  • Helped secure operational expansion from two major cyber firms: Lockheed Martin opened a Cyber Operations Center at Port San Antonio; and PWC opened a Regional Technology and Cybersecurity Delivery Center in the downtown Tech District.
  • Matured the ecosystem-building efforts of our CyberSecurity San Antonio program by developing a Cybersecurity Capabilities Matrix model that will allow for year-to-year tracking of the industry’s growth and stability in San Antonio.
  • Organized the second annual Fiesta Tech Trek, which saw attendance double to 2,000 people who saw first-hand the growing tech companies, innovations and entrepreneurs who are building San Antonio’s Downtown Tech District.
  • Partnered with the City of San Antonio and FEMA to host the San Antonio Cyber Disruption Preparedness and Response Planning Workshop, which brought together industry, academia and government to enhance San Antonio’s preparedness for a cyber event.
  • Continued growing our incubator for early-stage cyber startups. This year companies in the Build Sec portfolio raised more than $5M in venture capital and began new product deployments with customers in the city.
INCREASED ECONOMIC COMPETITIVENESS THROUGH EDUCATION AND TALENT DEVELOPMENT
  • Launched Project Ability Task Force with representatives from H-E-B, Whataburger, Bank of America, Morgan’s Wonderland, the Unicorn Center, SA Works, and Lighthouse for the Blind to develop a workforce disability-inclusive hiring initiative for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).
  • Hosted the Project Ability Summit, a first-of-its-kind event, which coalesced employers, school districts, non-profits and government agencies to discuss practical ways to increase employment opportunities for the IDD community.
  • In partnership with Texas Capital Bank, H-E-B, Whataburger, Bank of America, Dykema PLLC, and Frozen Beverage Dispensers, established the B2B Disability Consortium to lead an ongoing focused conversation among like-minded employers to gain tangible strategies around operationalizing disability hiring initiatives.
  • Hosted a School Finance Summit in partnership with the San Antonio Area Foundation, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Texas Education Grantmakers Advocacy Consortium.
ENGAGED BUSINESS AND MILITARY COMMUNITIES T O CELEBRATE, SUPPORT, MAINTAIN AND GROW THE MILITARY PRESENCE IN SAN ANTONIO
  • Led efforts to establish San Antonio as the Nation’s first Military Spouse Economic Empowerment Zone (MSEEZ), designated by the US Chamber and recognized broadly as a premier example of advocacy for finding meaningful career opportunities for Military Spouses.
  • Successfully advocated for the selection of Joint Base San Antonio to host the consolidation and housing of the U.S. Air Force’s Battlefield Airman Training (BAT) program. The new “Special Warfare Training Wing” will bring 135 employees to train Special Warfare Airmen and will include specialists from sports and medical backgrounds aiming to focus with a Human Performance Support Group.
  • VP of Military Affairs and Leadership Development Lori Stinson was appointed to the Governor’s Committee on Military Support and designated to serve as the Vice Chair of the Committee.
REMAINED THE LARGEST PRO -BUSINESS ORGANIZATION BY PROVIDING AND PROMOTING PROGRAMS AND VALUE ADDED BENEFITS
  • Brought in 240 new members and produced more than 90 ribbon cutting ceremonies across the city to promote members’ businesses.
  • Educated 150 new members during our Membership Orientation to engage them into the fabric of the Chamber and our councils and committees, and hosted 15 membership networking events to build awareness and facilitate networking for our members.
  • Put a new focus on social media which resulted in a 60% increase in LinkedIn followers, a 10% increase in Facebook followers, and a 2% increase in Twitter followers from last year.
  • Launched Net Promoter Score to gather member feedback and to better understand Members’ impressions of the Chamber.
  • Continued to maintain a clean audit and balanced budget and remained fiscally responsible, being good stewards of our members’ investments.

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