MCALLEN, RGV – Cynthia Sakulenzki, President and CEO of the RGV Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, says that of the upcoming items on their calendar, the inaugural Latina Leadership Conference on Thursday, Sept. 14, excites her the most.

From 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., participants will hear Latina leaders from California, Arkansas and across the state discuss topics like social and business etiquette, confidence and assertiveness and conflict resolution. Anette Soto, state chair of the Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas, will open the conference.

“This is not only good for the person themselves, but it’s good for the employer because they’ll have a stronger person returning back to work with all of the new knowledge and new attitude,” said Sakulenzki.

Sakulenzki says the response for the conference has been “tremendous,” and she is already looking forward to next year.

By hosting workshops, conferences and other events for their members and the public, the RGVHCC provides opportunities for networking and education. But, Sakulenzki says the chamber serves the community in many ways that are not necessarily business-related.

“Our focus is that of small business – that’s our main concern – but we also, of course, like to keep tabs of all government issues because they do affect the valley, both good or bad,” said Sakulenzki. “… We try to stay on top of all issues so that we can approach our elected officials both locally and statewide, and our federal officials.”

To that end, the RGVHCC will be hosting a town hall on Monday to discuss the recent rescindment of DACA. Sakulenzki says the repeal’s impact on the Valley is what is prompting the meeting.

“It negatively impacts the economy – period – in the US and it also divides families,” Sakulenzki said. “And, of course, we’re concerned about the kids that came and were brought over.”

Sakulenzki says that DACA recipients make excellent students and employees, pointing out the number of corporate CEOs that came out against President’s Trump decision to end the program. She says that the loss of these employees will hurt our area, and the country in general.

“We’re here to inform, to educate, and to receive information,” Sakulenzki said.

The town hall will have a panel of speakers from various sectors in the community speaking on behalf of UTRGV, farmworkers and attorneys. Alejandro Martinez, vice chairman of government affairs for RGVHCC and an immigration attorney, will be the master of ceremonies. Sakulenzki says that there will also be elected officials to facilitate the discussion.

“I realize that they’re here as illegals, but that is not by their choice, and several definitely want to become American citizens – that’s all they know,” said Sakulenzski. “So, we want to also assist with that if possible … We want the public’s input; we want employers’ input … how they feel about this.”

To learn more about the RGVHCC or their events, you can visit their Facebook page at or call (956) 928-0060.

The RGVHCC is a member of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce with 400 members across the Rio Grande Valley. The organization changed its name from the McAllen Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to reflect their service to the whole region. Under Sakulenzki’s leadership, the RGVHCC was named TAMACC’s 2017 Medium Chamber of the Year.

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying this story shows members of the RGV Hispanic Chamber of Commerce winning an award as Medium Hispanic Chamber of the Year for 2017. The award came from the Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce.


  1. “I realize that they’re here as illegals, but that is not by their choice.” And ?

    Who else under what circumstance enjoys the ill-gotten gain from the crime of another? Ohhhh, and never mind that ‘chain migration’ myth. Dreamers families wouldn’t be allowed to stay no would they. OR would they? Of course they would.

    And what of the 32 million LEGAL Permanent Residents and naturalized citizens who paid thousands of dollars and waited years to accomplish their dream? Suckers eh?