Greater Hispanic Chamber Sets Tone for a New Chapter

Miguel Avila is co-president of the Greater Santa Barbara Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

The Greater Santa Barbara Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has risen from the ashes of the former business group with a similar name, but the new organization has fresh leadership. 

The new chamber has a series of business networking mixers planned throughout the year, including the next event from 5 to 7 p.m. Feb. 12 at the grand opening of Alebrije, Mexican Furniture and Homewares, 2915 De la Vina St., Santa Barbara. 

Oaxacan-style appetizers will be served. 

The new version of the local Hispanic chamber organized last fall and has had several other events since then, including a Jan. 15 welcoming reception for new Mexican Consul General Euclides del Moral Arbona. 

The chamber is led by co-presidents Miguel Avila and Jacqueline Inda. Avila said the former Hispanic chamber dissolved last year. So, he and other business leaders formed the new group. 

Born and raised in Los Altos de Jalisco, Mexico, Avila came to Santa Barbara at age 16. While supporting his mother and five sisters, he learned English and hotel restaurant management at Santa Barbara City College. 

Avila is one of Santa Barbara’s top Realtors and a father of two daughters, one a UCSB graduate and the other attending Cornell University. 

Another a former SBCC student, Inda is a Santa Barbara native. She is on the board of directors of the Santa Barbara Women’s Political Committee and on the steering committee of the Coalition Against Gun Violence. She has a son. 

Members of the chamber board include: Vice President Gabriela Velazquez; Treasurer Juliana Ramirez; Secretary Israel Velasquez; marketing director Diana Cibrian; Alma Medina-Figueroa; Kelly Irene; Miguel Rodriguez; Angie Perez; Luis Esparza; membership director Olivia Carranza; Victor Fernandez; and Rene Garcia. 

The chamber’s mission “is to foster the economic vitality and prosperity of the Hispanic business community as well as the quality of life of the greater Santa Barbara area,” according to its website. 

It also says, “To provide an organizational forum for the exchange of ideas, information, technical assistance, procurement opportunities, and any other form of business opportunities that enhances the Hispanic business community.” 

For more information, see Anyone can join the organization.

Posted Jan. 28, 2020.

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