New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 30, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas
2 A ■ Herald-Zeitung ■ Sunday, April 30,1995
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By SUSAN FLYNT ENGLAND
New Braunfels rrfay witness the birth of a major new organization, a Hispanic chamber of commerce. Hispanic chambers provide services geared to meet the special needs of Hispanic business people.
Some Hispanic business people, for whatever reason, do not participate in the New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, organizer Ron Gonzales said. They have contacted Gonzales asking him to help form a New Braunfels Hispanic chamber.
“The state office came down a few weeks ago and said they think the time is right,” he said.
Texas has more than 20 Hispanic chambers throughout the state, said a
Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce (TAMACC) official. These include Hispanic chambers in Seguin, San Marcos, Austin, San Antonio, Houston and Dallas. “Having a Hispanic chamber is absolutely the norm for metropolitan areas in Texas,” she said.
New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce President Tom Purdum voiced no opposition to the. idea of a New Braunfels Hispanic chamber. “We have no problem whatsoever with a Hispanic chamber,” Purdum said. “The Hispanic Chamber is not a sensitive issue with us,” he said.
The Hispanic business community is already well represented in the New Braunfels chamber, Purdum said. He named Ramon Chapa, Lee Rodriguez and Dr. Carlos Campos as chamber
leaders who hail from New Braunfels’ Hispanic community.
The New Braunfels chamber offers many services open for any area business person to come forward and use, such as the business counselor who visits weekly, Purdum said.
“But if we’re not doing some things that these businesses need, and another organization can, that’s fine,” Purdum said.
The potential for future conflict between the New Braunfels chamber and a Hispanic chamber lies in the use of hotel/motel tax revenues. More than 70 percent of those revenues now go to the chamber’s Convention and Visitors Bureau.
A New Braunfels Hispanic chamber would begin with only corporate sponsorships, Gonzales said. It would
not compete with the New Braunfels chamber for funds at first, he said.
Eventually, however, when the Hispanic chamber has proven its value to the community, it might bid for a small percentage of hotel/motel taxes, Gonzales said, as do other area Hispanic chambers. That amount would likely be less than 10 percent, Gonzales said.
“I don’t see it as a negative thing,” Gonzales said. “There are other entities in the community that have the right to bid for that same money,” he said.
“We don’t want to see a dilution of things by splitting them up,” Purdum said.
Hispanic chambers work side by side with greater chambers as a rule, the TAMACC official said. “Inevitably both will complement each other, they’re meant to complement each oth
er,” she said.
Hispanic chambers have proved valuable assets to their communities in the area of international relations, the TAMACC official said. With increasing trade between the U.S. and Mexico, Hispanic chambers can bridge language and cultural gaps, Gonzales said.
Hispanic chambers benefit communities in addition to strengthening minority businesses, Gonzales said. “Statistics show minority districts have stepped up and voted more,” he said. “Hispanic chambers have made these people feel more comfortable about participating. I think we’ve been able to knock down a couple of walls.”
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce supports minority chambers, U.S. chamber representative Joanne Prokopowicz said. “The U.S. Chamber
of Commerce is an advocate for businesses. We welcome anyone who wants to help small business,” she said.
The past chair of the Seguin Hispanic Chamber, Gonzales has worked with other Hispanic chambers throughout the state and nation, he said. “I was involved with legislators on NAFTA talks in Washington,” he said.
Gonzales didn’t think the idea of a Hispanic chamber would be a surprise to New Braunfels, since the surrounding small communities already have Hispanic Chambers. “The Hispanic Chamber for the community of New Braunfels is nothing but a positive,” he said.
Kretzmeier descendants gather at homestead near Gruene for reunion
Realtors Association offers course
On Sunday, April 23, descendants of founding father Fredrich Kretzmeier gathered at the original homestead on RR 306 near Gruene for a reunion.
The 12 cousins are: (Top row) Jeanne Taylor, Marilyn Martin, Bill Kretzmeier, Peggy Doty, Orline Smith, and (bottom row) Dorothy Kuhlenschmidt, Doris Batey, Evelyn Wenzel, Lucite Schwarzlose, Myrtle Schlichting, Marge Pantermuehl, and Pat Messer. Cousin Gus Scheler is deceased.
The New Braunfels/Canyon Lake Area Association of REALTORS is offering a 30-hour Core Course on May 5, 6 & 7, 1995. The class will be held at the Victoria Bank & Trust NORTH Building from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. each of these days. Seating is limited; pre-registration must be received
County considers self-insurance
I DONT KNOW WHAT I WANT TO DO,
BUT I KNOW THAT TM NOT DOING ITI SOUND FAMILIAR?
WE CAN HELP
• HIGH SCHOOL STC DENTS •COLLEGE STUDENT
• ADULTS THINKING OF A CAREER CHANGE?
By CRAIG HAMMETT
County Judge Carter Casteel said she had a headache at the end of Thursday’s Commissioners’ Court meeting. It was probably a smaller version of a larger headache the county has experienced this past year wading through the jungle of group health insurance.
Thursday, Commissioner Danny Schecl introduced a proposal on behalf of the employees’ Insurance Committee to look at self-insurance for the county and name Witting and Miller insurance as consultants “to advise Commissioners’ Court in a self-funded health plan for county employees.”
Doug Miller of Witting and Miller told the court that after meeting with members of the committee, he thought they could “maybe make a change for the better.”
He said they would help the county research the aspects of self-insurance, but would not charge a fee until the county chose an insurance agency which would then reimburse Witting and Miller for their services, lf the county did not choose self-insurance, Miller said his company could make a bid for the county’s insurance like anybody else.
The county saved several hundred thousand dollars last year by choosing a Prudential plan offered through the Texas Association of Counties, however many local doctors were not on the plan, which did not please many
“We have not been happy customers,” said Casteel, who added the county needed to do something “to get out of the situation we’re in.”
The Comal Independent School District has been self-insured for several years. Last year, when commissioners discussed changing insurance policies, Frank Witting, whose company worked with the CISD self-insurance concept, told the court self-insurance might be an option but there must be certain considerations.
One important one, reiterated by Miller Thursday, states that the first year of self-insurance is crucial, that the county make sure funds are adequate for their own insurance pool.
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TODAY'S CROSSWORD PUZZLE
1 “The Georgia Peach"
5 Care for IO Sorry!
15 In progress
16 Type of market
17 Money drawer
22 Polish sausage 24 Like — of bricks
27 — Vera lotion
28 Narrow squeak 32 Wolf family
37 Parking —
40 Coo,'book ant js
42 CtiMiese philosopher — -tee
45 Bond the head
46 Smokey —
47 Hammer’s target
48 Pleasant 50 Lower limbs
52 Little boys
57 Collie s charge 61 Rhyme maker
65 Actress Dunaway
66 One opposed
69 Astronaut's grp.
71 For fear that
2 “Garfield” pooch
3 Saved by the —
4 Balloonist s need
5 Catch forty winks
6 Flying saucer (abbr)
7 Chess piece
9 One of the Barrymores
11 Mexican pot
12 Pod contents
21 Sault —Marie 23 Bounds
25 Choral group
26 Undercover cop
29 Weighed down
30 Musical drama
31 Fibbing 33 Famous
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O 1995. Untied Feature Syndicate
34 Cattle enclosure
37 Legendary sorceress
44 Army made up of citizens
48 St. Francis’ birthplace
49 McMahon and Asner 51 Outfit
53 Reach across
54 Mrs. Charles Chaplin
55 Tennis calls
59 Potato buds
Call for Answers • Touch tone Of Rotary Phone 1*000-454-3535 ext. code 540 • &>t per nHispanic business community gears up to form group