is the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce losing its focus?

The Houston Chronicle ran a story yesterday that asks the question: is the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce losing its focus?

But since August 2003, when President and Chief Executive Officer Richard Torres stepped down after nearly seven years at the helm, three successors have come and gone.

The most recent chamber head left in September. As the search for a replacement continues, the chamber increasingly is challenged by an upstart organization that has some of the chamber’s own members fearing it has lost sight of its mission.

Membership has stood at around 1,200 for at least the past decade.

The chamber bills itself as the “premier resource for and about the Hispanic business community.” But according to the U.S. Census, Harris County has 62,000 Hispanic-owned businesses.

So, if the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce isn’t serving the other 60,000+ business, who is?

Some of these enterprises are opting to join an alternate chamber with a notably Spanish name, Cámara de Empresarios Latinos de Houston, founded just 12 years ago.

It conducts its affairs in the immigrant-friendly language and may be more grounded in the Hispanic business community, circa 2007.

Since I’m not a member of either, I can’t really say if anything in the article is on target (about which organization is serving Hispanic businesses better). I am, however, glad that there are options.

Author: Paloma Cruz

Find out more about Paloma Cruz through the About page. Connect with her on Twitter ( and (Facebook).

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