Posted by: Tampa Bay Chamber on Monday, August 30, 2021


The Tampa Bay Chamber is excited to travel to San Antonio, Texas in October for the annual Benchmarking Trip. Benchmarking trips provide an opportunity for us to investigate new programs and initiatives in a city similar to our community. It gives us a chance to study one of America’s other great cities and adapt its best practices to meet the growing needs of Tampa Bay.

We have a full agenda for our time in San Antonio. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor kicks off sessions on Monday with San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg followed by a discussion on housing and inclusion with the former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Henry Cisneros. We’ll learn one of the ways San Antonio is addressing workforce development through Alamo College. A group of 5 community colleges, Alamo College serves over 90,000 students in the San Antonio area. The college has programming beginning in high school and progresses to more specialized programs in academia and technical training tied to various industries. Tampa Bay Chamber CEO, Bob Rohrlack and Chair of the Board, Yvette Segura will sit down with San Antonio Chamber CEO, Richard Perez and Chair of the Board, Esperanza “Hope” Andrade for a discussion on relevancy, membership, and policy. Monday’s sessions will end with Visit San Antonio sharing the activation of their Riverwalk through arts, events and other programs ensuring it’s viewed as a place for locals as well as tourism.

Marina Gonzales, J.D., President & CEO of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will start the day on Tuesday. The San Antonio Hispanic Chamber is the first organization of its type in the United States. It is the leading resource, advocate and access point for Hispanic businesses, Hispanics in business and the Hispanic market. Marina will share how the Chamber strategically focuses on small businesses, economic development, international trade, leadership development and education. This session will lead into a panel discussion featuring local business leaders sharing how they leveraged creativity to find new solutions to overcome adversity and thrive during the challenges of the last year and a half. Major General (RET) Juan Ayala, Director of Military & Veteran Affairs for the City of San Antonio and Lori Stinson, Vice President of Military Affairs and Leadership Development for the San Antonio Chamber will close out the sessions with a discussion on supporting military family readiness. San Antonio plays home to one of the largest concentrations of military bases in the US and is better known as Military City, USA. Thanks to their outstanding support of the installations and military families, they’ll share best practices on how they support military family readiness and quality of life initiatives.

Thank you to our Benchmarking Trip Chair, Yvette Segura and our sponsors USAA and Skanska. Register for the San Antonio Benchmarking trip here and if you have questions, please reach out to Karen Arnold.