United Chamber Board of Directors Sworn Into Office

Corpus Christi, TX - On January 26, 2023, the United Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce (United Chamber) celebrated the accomplishments and service of our community leaders in the Coastal Bend area.  

United Chamber Pres/CEO Al Arreola Jr., shared welcome remarks and shared remarks regarding the unique history of our Chamber emphasizing the unique and special commemoration of the legacies of the Corpus Christi Chamber & Corpus Christi Hispanic Chamber.  

Immediate-Past Chair Sam Longoria shared highlights from his term in 2022.  Longoria shared his pride of the Chamber in being a change agent that educates and unifies the businesses of the Coastal Bend region.   Longoria thanked John LaRue for his service as Pres/CEO of the Chamber for the past 3 years and he welcomed newly appointed Pres/CEO Al Arreola Jr. to the crowd. 

Longoria went on to thank termed Board members and Committee members for their contributions to throughout the year.  Bill Stockley of Fast Signs, Eric Villarreal of Adurra, & Dr. Osbert Blow of Christus Spohn were thanked for their service and leadership during his term as Chair.    

Gabe Guerra of Kleberg Bank was presented the Henry Baldwin Award.  after the Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce's first Chairman of the Board from 1929, Mr. Baldwin was a builder, developer and businessman who made a significant impact on Corpus Christi through his service to our city.  The Henry Baldwin Award is given to an individual or organization for outstanding service to the community.  

Alyssa Barrera Mason of Downtown Management District was presented the Dora Cervera Mirabal Women's Leadership Award.  This commemoration was created in 2009 to honor women who have excelled as mentors, leaders and role models in their community. Dora Cervera Mirabal was a local businesswoman and trailblazer who went above and beyond to move her community ahead and promote entrepreneurship of small, minority & women-owned businesses. 

Longoria then presented Eric Evans of Corpus Christi Regional Medical Center as 2022 Board Member of the Year.  He also thanked Deanna Heavilin of YellowFin Digital for serving as Leadership Corpus Christi Chair and Alan Wilson of Charter Bank for serving as Chair of the South Texas Military Task Force in 2022-23.  Sharon Valderrama was presented the Chamber Champion of the Year award.

The event concluded the swearing-in & inauguration of its new Chair, Merida May Mendoza, and its new Board of Directors for the year 2023.  

2023 Chair Merida May Mendoza shared her memories of first joining the Chamber of Commerce and the many mentors and friends she has come to appreciate throughout her membership.  

She shared highlights of the Board Retreat that was conducted early in the year.  She thanked the Board for working, planning, creating, and putting together our Strategic Plan and Goals for the organization.  

She emphasized that she personally wants the Chamber to continue to honor our commitment of unity for which our great organization stands for.  She noted plans on working together on initiatives and advocacy that benefits our businesses in the Corpus Christi and the Coastal Bend.  

2023 United Chamber Officers and Directors: 

  • Merida May Mendoza, Farmers Insurance, Chair
  • Sam Longoria, CoastLife Credit Union, Past Chair
  • Amy Granberry, Port Royal Ocean Resort, Chair Elect
  • Cindy Barrera, Frost Bank, Secretary
  • Anna Aldridge, Hanson Professional Services, Treasurer
  • Sam Canavati, Durrill Properties
  • Eric Evans, Corpus Christi Medical Center
  • Doreen M. Harrell, KCS Public Relations
  • Eric Hamon, Driscroll Children’s Hospital
  • Mitra Khan, Highway Barricades & Services
  • Jennifer Lira, CITGO Corpus Christi
  • Chris Majors, AG|CM
  • Ben Molina, Pinnacle Roofing Systems, Inc
  • Phil Ritley, American Bank
  • Darcy Schroeder, Valero, Bill Greehey Refineries
  • Jennifer Vela, Texas State Aquarium
  • Dr. Nelly Garcia Blow, CHRISTUS Spohn Health System
2023 Ex-Officios: 
  • Capt. Ty Jurica, U.S. Navy
  • Sean Strawbridge, Port of Corpus Christi Authority
  • Dr. Mark Escamilla, Del Mar College
  • Ken Trevino, Workforce Solutions of the Coastal Bend
  • Dr. Kelly M. Miller, Texas A&M University Corpus Christi
  • Hon. Judge Connie Scott, Nueces County Judge
  • Peter Zanoni, City of Corpus Christi
  • Roderick Benson, Corpus Christi Army Depot
  • Mike Culbertson, Corpus Christi Regional Economic Development Center