MCALLEN, Texas – McAllen business leader Annette Franz’s term as chairwoman of the McAllen Chamber of Commerce is about to come to a close. 

The incoming chairman will be Stephan Wingert, publisher of The Monitor newspaper.

During the past year, Franz has overseen the arrival of a new president and CEO at the Chamber, with Josh Mejia replacing Steve Ahlenius.

As part of her role as chairwoman, Franz has given monthly updates on the Chamber’s work to the McAllen Economic Development Corporation’s board of directors.

Here is her final report to MEDC:

“Mr. Chairman, members, my term as chairman of the McAllen Chamber of Commerce will be up later this month. 

“When I started last year, I was told that I might want to appoint someone to come in my place, because these meetings were at 7 a.m. And the person that told me that is not here.

“When you’re given an opportunity to sit at a table surrounded with this type of leadership, you take it. I’ve enjoyed being a part of this board and gaining insight into the inner workings of the McAllen EDC. I see how important it is for the McAllen Chamber to work alongside the EDC to promote business opportunities in this area, and MEDC’s efforts to attract businesses that pay higher wages and employ local residents is something that our entire community should support. 

“While I’ve crossed paths with many of you before joining MEDC, just being a part of this board has allowed me to get to know many of you better. I will continue to be active in the McAllen business community, and I appreciate your friendship. Thank you. Now I’d love to turn it over to our CEO Josh.”

Franz then introduced Josh Mejia, president and CEO of the McAllen Chamber. In his remarks, Mejia paid tribute to Franz. He said it takes a lot of time and effort to serve in a community organization. 

“It’s something that should be respected and it’s something that we should all be proud of – to continue to have great individuals in the community that give their time and energy to be able to serve in these organizations that continue to generate the impact that our community deserves,” Mejia said. 

Mejia said the McAllen Chamber was proud to help kickoff an entrepreneurship development program at McAllen ISD.  

“As I mentioned before, in our prior board meeting, entrepreneurship development is key to be able to support the economic development efforts in the city as a whole,” Mejia said. He said the McAllen Chamber wants to continue to foster a “culture change” to support entrepreneurship and innovation.

Mejia also reported that he would be attending an upcoming International Economic Development Council event in Oklahoma City. He said that, going forward, the McAllen Chamber would have representation on IEDC. “So, we will be able to have a stronger connection in Washington, D.C., as well as be able to relay some important practices, strategies and resources that we can tap into for the benefit of the city of McAllen and the Rio Grande Valley.” 

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