After reading many comments in reference to happenings at our McAllen Chamber of Commerce, I felt the urge to write to you in hopes that you could reach out to the public and convey my message in hopes that our community can see a different point of view.

I am not going to talk about the past and what has happened. The announcement of Blanca S. Cardenas being named Interim President is the first correct step in what should only be a two step process.

Blanca S. Cardenas

I read that there will be a national search. I dare ask why? Ms. Cardenas has been with our Chamber long enough to be able to take the reins and continue to move our city forward immediately. Ms. Cardenas is not new to this. The value she brings knowing the intricacies of how our city and chamber work together is a huge one that an outside candidate will not be familiar with. She is highly respected in our community and by the Chamber members. She is a leader within our Chamber. Her staff there respects her and they have an amazing working relationship. She has earned the respect of the staff there and can surely bring forth a positive movement allowing our McAllen Chamber to continue being the leader as Chambers go for our Rio Grande Valley.

To bring in an outsider would be very detrimental to our Chamber Staff and us as members of the Chamber. Imagine all of the training, introductions, back office communications, and the international relationships having to be all forged again with a newcomer. We brag that our community is “unique”. To bring in someone from any other area will either stop or heavily delay any momentum we now have going post-covid and bridges opening. 

How much money will be spent on a search with a big fancy firm? Then we’d have to fly the candidates down for interviews, take time, I’m sure to have them visit with key players in our city, and then send them back home to wait for a decision being made by folks who only briefly met the candidate. Most of the folks they would meet with are community leaders and therefore very busy with their own activities. They’d all have to find a time when they could all meet together and discuss the candidates. Plus, here come the holidays. 

Omar Guevara

We all know it’s going to go into next year if this route is taken. Then, it’s not like the candidates the firm would send are sitting at home waiting for folks here to call them and send the job offer. There would be the process of their resignation from their current employment. And who’s to say they wouldn’t get a counter offer from their current employer, if they really are that good? Then we’d be back to square one.

We need to allow Ms. Cardenas the opportunity to accept this challenge.Has anyone asked her if she wants it?When you are Vice-President of a country, or an organization, if the President’s position is vacated for whatever reason, the sole purpose of a Vice-President is to be ready to take on the duties of the President.We have a highly qualified candidate in our community. Let’s show some respect for Ms. Cardenas and visit with her.There is no need to search for the pot of gold when it is sitting in your backyard.

I hope Blanca is interested.I hope she wants this.It would truly be in the best interest of our community and the members of the McAllen Chamber. Isn’t the membership the ones the chamber needs to look out for anyway?

The second of the two step process is to offer this position to Ms. Cardenas.It really is that easy.

Go Blanca!

Editor’s Note: The above guest column was penned by Omar Guevara, a McAllen Chamber of Commerce member and general manager of Radisson Hotel McAllen Airport. The column appears in The Rio Grande Guardian International News Service with the permission of the author. Guevara can be reached by email via: [email protected]

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