Our December Board meeting was hosted by the award-winning Morgan’s Wonderland, with breakfast being sponsored by BCFS. Morgan’s Wonderland General Manager Ron Morander and BCFS Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications Marilu Reyna provided a warm welcome to the Board, followed by a presentation from Sharon Krietzburg, Executive Director for Project Angel Fares. Project Angel Fares is a non-profit organization that covers travel expenses to Morgan’s Wonderland for children with special needs across the country.
Chair Shaun Kennedy kicked off the meeting with an update on one of his priorities – Project Ability. The goal of Project Ability was to develop a workforce disability-inclusive hiring initiative for individuals with intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD). The Chamber hosted the Project Ability Summit on September 28 at Morgan’s Wonderland, and more than 100 members of the business, government agency, non-profit and education communities discussed ways to engage individuals with IDD in local employment opportunities. As a result of the highly successful summit, the Chamber, 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.
During his President’s Report, Chamber President and CEO Richard Perez announced that the Chamber’s Vice President of Membership Tuesdae Knight has left the Chamber after eight years to be the President and CEO of San Antonio for Growth on the Eastside (SAGE). Richard invited board members to attend a good-bye party for Tuesdae on Monday, December 17 from 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. at the Chamber’s downtown office (602 E. Commerce).
Richard also discussed the results of the Charter Amendment election. While Propositions B and C passed, he was encouraged that Proposition A, which was the most complex and potentially the most damaging, did not pass.
Chamber Vice President of Image and Communications Julie Ring provided a brief update on the upcoming Annual Gala that will take place on December 13 from 6 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. in the Hemisfair Ballroom at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. The Gala is the Chamber’s largest event of the year and our chance to honor our 2018 Chair Shaun Kennedy and the 2018 leadership team and welcome 2019 Chair Paula Gold Williams and the 2019 leadership team. This year during the Gala one lucky winner will drive away with a new Toyota Tacoma, and the winner does not need to be present to win. Tickets are available for purchase ($25 each) online. Gala attendees will receive a ticket and will be able to purchase more tickets at the event.
Dave Petersen, the Chamber’s Executive Vice President, gave the Board an update on the Chamber’s new Association Health Plan, which is designed for employers with between two and 50 employees. The plan allows Chamber members to band together to obtain quality, affordable health coverage for their employees. Other Chambers in the area can affiliate with the San Antonio Chamber to offer the plan to their members. Benefits of the plan include:
- Access to 30 medical plans in the product portfolio along with non-medical benefits such as Dental, Vision, and Life Insurance.
- Savings of as much as 5% – 15%, depending on company and employee demographics.
Public Policy Council Chair Juan Antonio Flores, Executive Vice President of Governmental Relations for Port San Antonio, presented the Chamber’s Federal Agenda, and focused on the issues that the Public Policy committee identified as top priorities. (For more information on the Federal Agenda, click here.) Following the Board’s approval of the Federal Agenda, Dave Petersen presented the 2019 leadership team, which was approved unanimously. Finally, Chairman Kennedy thanked the Board for their service and presented appreciation awards to the Chamber’s 2018 Council Chairs and the retiring 3-Year Board Appointees.