West 3rd Street

Andres Alcantar — COO, Texas Association of Business (TAB)

Posted by on Tuesday, April 30th, 2019 in Blog

Reported by Andy Swanson

President Julie called the meeting to order and led our saying of our Vision Statement.  Grant Sparks led the pledges and Leslie Bagby gave our invocation of the day.  Gary Gerstenhaber led us in saying the Four Way Test.
Alison Michels greeted each member and guest as they arrived and Caroline Valentine introduced our guests and visitors.

Past President Barry Curlee announced that the “Brainstorming Session #3” will be held after our lunch meeting today.  Everyone is welcome to attend to discuss fundraising ideas!

Mary Reynolds followed him and reported she needs volunteers to help pack bags of fresh fruit and vegetables during June and July to give to students at Hart Elementary.  Please let her know if you can help.

Past President John Braziel provided an outstanding update regarding one of our past scholarship recipients – David Padilla-Arenivar– during the Membership Minute.  David attended Del Valle High and was one of the top students in his graduating class.  In addition to the scholarship he received from us, he also received a Gates Millennium Scholarship to cover the balance of his college expenses, including tuition and books.  He was set to attend St. Edwards University to study graphic design when his mother became ill and his father left their family.  He contacted John who presented a request to our Austin Rotary Club Foundation asking that the scholarship funds be used to provide money for food and housing to David’s family for three months.  Without this generosity, he and his mother would have been homeless.  David has since excelled in college, maintaining a 3.98 GPA majoring in computer science with a minor in graphic design.  He will graduate and attend grad school at UT Austin.  Congrats to David!

Tillery Castillo reminded us about our Spring Social/Membership event that will be held at President Julia and Harold Benkoski’s home on Saturday, May 18 from 4-6pm.  Please plan to attend, and if you know someone who is interested in Rotary invite them, too!  This will be a casual and family-friendly event.

President Julie announced that if you are interested in becoming an advertiser in our newsletter, please contact Jenn!  Cost is $250 for six months.  Then we enjoyed a solid ten minutes of fellowship!

Andres AlcantarTarby Bryant introduced our speaker, Andres Alcantar, the COO of the Texas Association of Business (TAB).  Andres has been COO at TAB since July 2018.  He grew up in West Texas and attended college at Texas Tech where he received a bachelor and master’s degree in public administration.

He reported that, with a state unemployment rate of 3.8%, it is a great time to be in Texas!  Texas has now had 107 months in a row of job growth and every sector of our economy has added jobs.  Last year, Texas led the country with $315 billion in exports, which is up 20% from 2017!  Times are good but pressure from global competition is fierce, and we must be vigilant and strategic in order to continue on this path.

TAB is focused on growing the economy of Texas.  Founded in 1922, they are the “state chamber of commerce” and work on behalf of all businesses in Texas.  Texas is currently ranked as the top state to do business, and we are working to stay at the top.

Andres said that Texas continues to lead the country in corporate relocations, and due to all of the growth, we are facing many challenges.  With state population growth of 18% since 2010, we must figure out ways to address issues caused by this rapid growth.  The state Legislature is facing a number of challenges in the current session, but with the growth in tax receipts and use of the rainy day fund the state is in a good position to find solutions.April speaker Andres Alcantar

TAB works with state and local governments to address priorities including education, economic development, infrastructure and property tax reform.  They are also focused on federal issues regarding trade and NAFTA 2.0 and need to address issues regarding tariffs and the need to get Texas’ fair share of the gas tax receipts from the federal government (Texas is the only state that is a net donor in the country).

TAB advocates and provides a number of benefits for its members.  They are currently rolling out a health plan for their association members for companies with two to fifty employees.  Please contact Andres if you would like information on becoming a member of TAB.

We recognized Mark Johnson (IBC Bank)and Mike O’Krent (Life Stories Alive).  Thank you for sponsoring the newsletter!  President Julie adjourned with a Thought of the Day from Tina Fey.

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