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News & Press: Chairman's Message

Chairman's Message: November 2016

Wednesday, November 30, 2016   (0 Comments)
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Dear members and friends,

We hope that your Thanksgiving was a nice, peaceful time to spend with dear friends and family and to reflect on the blessings many of us enjoy on a daily basis. Before I wish you a very merry holiday season, don’t forget to reserve your tickets for our 2017 Business Excellence Awards Holiday Gala by clicking here. This annual evening of great food, friends, drinks, music, VIPs, awards and recognition to excellence will take place on January 12, 2017, 6:00 p.m at a to be announced confirmed location. For sponsorship opportunities please contact our Managing Director, Seth McDonnell at

Our fall has and continues to be very busy as we just finished our strategic planning session. There are a few new initiatives that we will be rolling out next year, and I want to highlight a few:

  • Quarterly New Members Breakfast and Economic Outlook with our partners, the Federal Reserve Board of Richmond, Baltimore Office. If you are an existing member you are certainly welcome and encouraged to attend.
  • MDHCC’s Advocate and Mentorship Program, where members will be paired with board members and other senior members who will serve as their guide through MDHCC as well as provide strategic advice on a one-on-one basis.
  • Restructuring of the MDHCC Partnership matrix, to make it simpler, more streamlined, and also allow for more flexibility at the higher levels, which will allow us to continue to customize our partnership packages, based on the unique needs of our members.
  • Chapter/Region expansion through select counties and cities in Maryland (as phase I), to provide our members access to the entire state, but with a local focus on their area with robust and engaged local chapters/regions to address the unique needs of each locality.

As the New Year approaches, and to be able to execute these initiatives and more, we need talented and enthusiastic individuals to join our committees:

Partnerships and Memberships
Our Partnerships Committee is driven to serve our members. We are focused on providing our members the necessary tools to increase their visibility and influence within the diverse Latino community by recognizing and leveraging the key assets from our cultural diversity and multilingual talents in the business world.

Through our established partnerships and strategic alliances, our committee works in tandem with the Marketing committee to offer a variety of customized membership opportunities designed to best serve the needs of our members in the State of Maryland. This ranges from setting the platform for the growth of Latino-owned businesses, to expanding their network infrastructure, procurement opportunities, partnerships, leadership education and training seminars.

Juan Barbaran:

The Marketing Committee is a vital committee to the Chamber and serves in a dual capacity, both to promote our Chamber’s brand equity and to increase our members’ visibility and recognition within the Hispanic community. Our goals are:

  • To increase the visibility, reach and influence of the chamber in the region.
  • To increase the visibility of our members through our event programming and through our online publishing channels.
  • To forge strategic partnerships with companies and entities and collaborate with them in an effort to provide our members and our chamber with marketing exposure.

Corey Sale:

The Events Committee’s mission is to educate and facilitate connections to our members through events such as, but not limited to, forums, networking events, study tours, and trade missions in order to improve our members’ business and professional success in the state of Maryland and nationally.

David Diefenbach:

Board Governance and Nominations
The Board Governance and Nominations committee is responsible for our sustainability. Thus, it is the steward of our pipeline and recruiting strategy and selects and interviews candidates who are interested in joining our committees and Board of Directors. This Committee is an essential part of the Chamber’s fabric since it is responsible for planning for succession and for long-term sustainability.

Beverlee Barthel:

The Legislative Committee advocates on behalf of Hispanic businesses on several legislative issues. Our legislative priorities include:

  • Supporting a competitive business climate in Maryland, including getting rid of W/MBE sub-goals which negatively affect Hispanic firms and discourage competition among minority contractors
  • Encouraging job growth and workforce development in Maryland
  • Supporting small businesses
  • Representing minorities in state government
  • Securing funding to Minority Chambers of Commerce to support programs that:
    • help minority businesses grow enough to hire employees
    • assist minority companies in obtaining W/MBE certification

Through it all, the Legislative Committee helps the Chamber navigate through all of the briefings, hearings, maze of law, budgetary matters and procurement opportunities. Members have the opportunity to be involved by attending hearings, briefings and meetings with decision makers. During the Legislative Session, our committee is active, speaking to legislators and State and local officials, advocating on our behalf, ensuring that we are being represented and receiving the most up to date information on issues that matter the most to us. During the interim, the Legislative Committee has established the relationships within State and local government to remain informed of issues and opportunities affecting your interests.

If you are interested in chairing the committee, contact

I encourage professionals to become involved with the MDHCC, beginning as a committee member and perhaps later joining our esteemed Board of Directors. The connections you will not only improve your business, but enrich your personal life.

And, since the foundation of any sound business strategy is a collaborative mindset, we are always looking forward to your ideas and contributions. Let me know your ideas and your requests directly:


Jorge Eduardo Castillo
Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

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