Cliffe Killam, who recently assumed the role of Chairman of the Board for the Laredo Chamber, named ten female leaders to the Board as one of his first executive actions.  This move is significant since ten women have never been elected or appointed at any one time in the history of the organization.  “I was sitting in the board room looking at all the pictures of the past Chairs, and they were all men, except for 4 in our 105-year history,” stated Mr. Killam. “It occurred to me that we need to have more female leaders in our organization. I personally know most of the ten female leaders I appointed, and they all could be future Chairs,” he added.  Killam further reflected, “I have a newborn daughter, and she needs to see more role models of highly visible, successful female leaders making a difference like I know these new Board Members will.”

The Board of Directors of the Laredo Chamber consists of forty members, representative of Laredo’s various industries.  Thirty members are elected to three-year terms and ten are appointed by the incoming chairman of the board annually.  Women have played an important role in the Chamber over the years taking on positions as officers of the Board or as heads of committees.  Yet, it is noteworthy, to literally raise their participation to a 38% level in one swift move.

As part of his action plan for the year, Mr. Killam is focused on listening to membership and the broader business community to understand what issues matter to them and how the Chamber can play a role in addressing their concerns.  During this period of COVID pandemic, the business conditions like all aspects of our lives have changed.  Chairman Killam believes the Chamber has a special and unique role to fulfill, as businesses, society and governments adapt.  The Chamber will be taking an active role speaking out on policy issues that matter to their membership.  Most of all the Chamber is about bringing people of various industries together in an inclusive way to serve their needs, be their voice, and champion their cause.

Joining Killam on the Board as his appointees in 2020/2021 are: Melissa Huddleston, Laredo Motor Carriers Association; Jackie Jimenez, Main Event Entertainment; Leticia G. Martinez, Laredo Title and Abstract; Lisa Morales, Lula Morales Realty; Diana Ortiz, UISD Curriculum & Instruction; Rosanne Palacios, TAMIU, Office of Institutional Advancement; Magali Rodriguez, The Vaswani Group; Sandra Valdez, Elite Employment Services, LLC; Olivia Varela, former CEO for Laredo EDC; and Abelina Veliz Perez, Texas Community Bank.

If you’d like to know more about the benefits and services offered by the Laredo Chamber of Commerce please contact 956-722-9895 or visit


About the Chamber:  Founded in 1915, the Laredo Chamber of Commerce is Laredo’s and Webb County’s longest running business organization.  Headquartered at 2310 San Bernardo Ave. since 1974, the Laredo Chamber has been an advocate for the local business community for over a century.  The Laredo Chamber of Commerce is a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. With 642 members representative of every industry in the community, the Laredo Chamber is accredited by this organization with 5 stars.  Only 200 chambers out of 7000 across the country are accredited by this organization.