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News & Press: Chairman's Message

Chairman's Message: October 2016

Thursday, October 27, 2016   (0 Comments)
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Dear members and friends,


We begin the third and final quarter this year with a lot of momentum so let’s get to it. First, I would like to invite you to nominate exceptional leaders and companies for MDHCC’s 4th Annual Business Excellence Awards. There are several categories, including Small Business of the Year, Professional of the Year, and Educator of the Year among others. We have also created a new category this year, the Rising Star Award, to recognize a young individual who has demonstrated leadership, ethics, business savvy and community service. Please nominate a deserving individual or company here: The finalists will be invited to our Gala on January 12, 2017 and the winner of each category will be announced during our award ceremony. Tickets will be on sale soon and we hope all of you can make it. We are expecting 300 people to attend and we will sell out like we have in years past.




Another piece of great news to share with our members is that we are the fastest growing chamber of commerce in Maryland! This year, we have seen unprecedented growth, crushing our own goal of growing at 25%. Year-to-date, your chamber has grown membership by 60% and we expect at the end of the year to have grown between 70-80% compared to last year. What does this mean to our members? More access to a growing list of corporate partners like BGE, Morgan Stanley, Whiting-Turner, Scotts, Morgan-Keller Construction, Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation, Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company, MECU, Paychex, Express Care, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Uber, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond Baltimore Branch, among many others. It also means that our voice and influence representing the interests of you, our members, particularly as it relates to legislation, has more weight and becomes harder and harder to be ignored or diminished. Thank you to our fantastic team from Waverly Management and our Partnerships and Membership Committee, led by Juan Barbaran, for the tremendous job and effort to help us continue to grow and be in the right path of prosperity and sustainability.

Also, your chamber was represented in full force at the 15th annual Maryland Hispanic Business Conference and we have been supporting this conference in a variety of roles since its inception. I was honored to be able to give some opening remarks and once again be able to moderate a very interesting panel on the economic effects of Hispanics in the State and national economy. The positive impact of Hispanics in Maryland since the early 1500’s up to today continues to be profound and purposeful. In fact, since the recession, Hispanic businesses have been the chief propellers of the Maryland recovery and the creation of new businesses, a fact that was reinforced by Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford during his remarks at the conference.

Lastly, as we prepare to exercise our constitutional right (provided by the ratification of the XV amendment) and civic duty to vote, I must tell you I was appalled by the most recent comments of Donald Trump during the last debate. The latest continue to add to a list of rude, misinformed, racially derogatory and sexually predatory comments we have all become all too used to hearing. As David Jackson from U.S.A. Today wrote on October 20, 2016, “The key moment in Wednesday's debate came when moderator Chris Wallace asked Trump about his rigging allegations, and whether he would accept the results of the election. ‘I will look at it at the time,’ Trump replied, citing the ‘corrupt media, claims’ — without evidence — that millions of people are registered to vote who shouldn't be, and his contention that Clinton ‘shouldn't be allowed to run’ for president ‘based on what she did with emails and so many other things.’

“Asked again about the American tradition in which the loser of an election concedes to the winner in order to effect a peaceful transfer of power, Trump said: ‘What I'm saying is that I will tell you at the time. I'll keep you in suspense. OK?’” The next day he joked to his supporters in Ohio that he will "totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election — if I win."

These comments and behaviors are unprecedented and go straight against the foundation of our democracy: that there are free and fair elections and that there is always a peaceful transfer of power. As many of us know –because we have lived in Central and South America, and have witnessed military coups and violent transfers of power—nothing is more harmful to businesses than uncertainty about a peaceful administration transition and the continuance of a fair, legal and regulatory environment. These comments and attitude are even more harmful than the disastrous trade policies he is proposing which will harm business growth and personal wealth. These isolationist, high-tariff tactics were proposed in the late 1920’s and transformed a recession into the Great Depression.

While our Chamber’s tradition of never affiliating with a political party has remained the same for the last 30 years, we cannot be silent when so much is at stake for our community, for our businesses, for our children and for our country. While many are disappointed by the two choices we have, in my opinion there is only one that puts our American values at risk. I urge you all to vote early if you can; if not, I hope you cast your vote on November 8th.


Jorge Eduardo Castillo
Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

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