Community

Pharr Hires New Chamber President

Rebecca Isabel Arizmendi, president of the Greater Pharr Chamber of commerce.

After four months on the job, Rebecca Arizmendi is still working to rebuild the Pharr Chamber of Commerce while also launching a number of programs to help local businesses and residents.

A former staff member for U. S. Congressman Vicente Gonzalez, Arizmendi was hired by as President of the Pharr Chamber in July of this year.

“I’m really, really excited about this position,” Arizmendi explained. “I see Pharr growing and expanding, and I wanted to be a part of that.”

The McAllen native earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from The University of Houston and later a Masters in Public Administration from The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

Born and raised in McAllen, Arizmendi began working for Hidalgo County, as a court clerk and later assistant court coordinator for one of the Justice of the Peace offices while taking local university courses. When her significant other entered law school in Houston, she took the plunge and moved to Houston. There she entered the University of Houston and eventually earned her degree in psychology.

A year after graduating from U of H, Arizmendi moved back to South Texas and took a job with the City of Brownsville in as an innovation and resource analyst where she worked on the methods, procedures and policies within the city and tried to improve or figure out ways to do away or make them better. She also worked updating the city’s salary structure with comparisons to other cities of similar size and structure.

“It hadn’t been updated since 2001. It turned out to be a success, and the city increased its base salaries,” Arizmendi said. “It was very rewarding to complete that project in December 2016.”

After working in Brownsville, she took a temporary assignment with Congressman Vicente Gonzalez. By that time, she had already earned a masters in public administration from The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

When she saw the opening in Pharr, she applied.

“I had worked in government for over ten years, and I had always had an interest in the kind of work that chambers did, so I wanted to see if I could do this. I applied and eventually got the job,” the new chamber president said. “I wanted to help the community and help local businesses and industry. I felt that being part of Pharr was going to be an exciting thing. Their growth is increasing rapidly. It’s probably the best decision I’ve made. It’s been working really great.”

Housed at the Pharr Economic Development Corporation offices, the new chamber is still in the development phase.

“Right now, our goal is to re-establish the Chamber. I’m trying to do everything that a chamber needs to do: trying to get the word out, meeting with ambassadors, fundraising events, lunch and learn events and events for Winter Texans. We really want to assist the local Pharr business community to connect with their customers here in Pharr.”

“We’re still in the initial stages of re-establishing the chamber. We really want to recruit local business owners and their staff to join our Ambassadors group and to be at our events. We encourage them to join as soon as possible.”

For information on the Chamber, visit the PEDC offices at EDC, 1215 S. Cage, Blvd. in Pharr or contact Rebecca at (956) 402-4332 or at Rebecca.arizmendi@pharr-tx.gov.

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