Recognizing the Las Vegas Latin Chamber of Commerceby Senator Harry Reid
Posted on 2015-12-03
REID. Mr. President, I wish to recognize the 40th anniversary of
the Las Vegas Latin Chamber of Commerce.
Since its inception, the Latin Chamber of Commerce has been a champion for the Hispanic business community in Nevada. In working to fulfill its mission of promoting the success of its members and the more than 18,000 Hispanic-owned small businesses in the Silver State, the chamber is driving growth in Nevada and enriching the U.S. economy. By cultivating positive business, cultural, and educational relationships and expanding opportunities for Latino businessowners, the Latin Chamber of Commerce has ensured the success of hundreds of new businesses and transformed the very fabric of southern Nevada.
The Latin Chamber of Commerce was founded nearly four decades ago by a handful of determined individuals who were seeking the resources and support necessary to realize their personal and professional goals. Under the leadership of Arturo Cambeiro, the organization's first president, the chamber developed the foundation needed to become a leading advocate for Hispanic-owned businesses and Latino entrepreneurs. Today, the Latin Chamber of Commerce has grown to include more than 1,500 members throughout the Silver State, making it one of the largest organizations of its kind in the country. I applaud the Latin Chamber of Commerce for its 40th anniversary of dedicated service to the Hispanic community. The chamber's work is truly appreciated and admired.
I also commend the leadership of the Latin Chamber of Commerce, particularly Mr. Otto Merida and Ms. Victoria Napoles-Earl. Their tireless commitment to the Latino business community has played a critical role in the growth and success of the chamber. For the last 40 years, Mr. Merida has dedicated his work to developing and expanding the presence of the Latin Chamber of Commerce in southern Nevada. He has worked hard to fulfill the Chamber's mission and led the organization with the highest standards, currently serving as the organization's chief executive officer. Ms. Napoles-Earl joined the chamber in 1987 and recently announced her retirement after 30 years of service. I would like to congratulate her on her upcoming retirement and career accomplishments. From starting as the chamber's office manager to becoming its senior vice president, Ms. Napoles-Earl has dedicated her career to investing in Latino-owned businesses. During their distinguished careers, Mr. Merida and Ms. Napoles-Earl have successfully secured millions of dollars in funding for Latino businessowners, including grants, loans, and contracts. On behalf of the chamber and the thousands of Hispanic-owned businesses in Nevada, Mr. Merida and Ms. Napoles-Earl have effectively advocated for policies that help Latino entrepreneurs start and expand their business.
In addition to their roles at the Latin Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Merida and Ms. Napoles are active members in the community and have held various leadership positions at the State and local levels. Mr. Merida has worked for the State of Nevada's Department of Education, served as chair of the Las Vegas Housing Authority, and was appointed to the Nevada Commission on Economic Development. Ms. Napoles-Earl has served as a commissioner for the Nevada Commission on Minority Affairs and on the board of directors of Dignity Health's St. Rose Dominican Hospitals. I have had the honor and privilege of working closely with Mr. Merida and Ms. Napoles-Earl throughout my time in Congress, and I can say without reservation that the Hispanic business community in Nevada is fortunate to have them working on its behalf. You will be hard pressed to find more effective advocates.
As the Latin Chamber of Commerce begins its next chapter, I wish them continued success for years to come and thank them for supporting the economic growth and development of Latino entrepreneurs for 40 years and counting.