The Leadership Las Cruces program provides an in-depth look at the industries that make the Mesilla Valley successful, including education, health care, government, agriculture, military and business. The program has graduated a full class of 28 participants since 2009, and for the third successive year has had more applications than spots available in the program. The growing interest in the program has led to a greater diversity amongst the participants and a strong group of alumni that stay involved with Chamber activities.
Chamber Member Showcase
The exclusive opportunity for Chamber members to showcase themselves to the public and other businesses returned in 2010 with great success at the Mesilla Valley Mall. The event brought hundreds of people to enjoy both the member booths and the mall businesses. The Showcase boasted 90 participant businesses and organizations in its first year back, as well as new additions such as the Business Seminar with speaker Bruce Villareal for all registrants and the Taste of Las Cruces following the expo for all attendees.
Economic Update Forum
One of the newest programs offered by the Chamber, the Economic Update Forums offer a free and open forum for area residents to hear from New Mexico State University professors about the economic conditions of the nation, border region and Mesilla Valley. Through a partnership with local public broadcast station KRWG-TV, the Chamber is able to televise these important presentations and allow them to reach even more people.
Member Update Luncheons
The Chamber's Member Update Luncheon series gathers noted speakers from sectors that affect the local economy at the highest levels. Topics include military, education, healthcare, Spaceport America and local government. One of the keynote events for the Chamber each year is the Governor's Update Luncheon held in September, which serves as a "state of the state" address for southern New Mexico. These events have grown each year, setting attendance records and drawing in speakers and audiences from throughout the state.
Classic Golf Tournament
Because of popular demand, the Chamber's Classic Golf Tournament was forced to expand last year into a full-day event with two flights to accommodate the 42 teams registered. The tournament continued the Chamber's partnership with the New Mexico State University PGA Golf Management program by posting a student from the PGM program at each whole to mingle with and help the teams. In addition to the growth of registration, new sponsorships allowed the Chamber to provide many more amenities to players, including complimentary massages and free breakfasts.
Las Cruces Day in Santa Fe
Las Cruces Day in Santa Fe is the annual lobbying trip for Las Cruces area businesses in the state capital hosted by the Council Conquistadores, goodwill ambassadors of the Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce. In 2011, the three-day event had 224 participants that attended a reception at the Governor's Mansion with Gov. Susana Martinez, heard from local legislators, business leaders, elected officials as well as Secretary of Economic Development Jon Barela at the breakfast and lunch receptions. As an addition to the event in 2011, chamber members delivered a gift to each of the state senators and representatives at the capital.
The Chamber's Annual Banquet continues to grow in size and scope every year, and in 2011 the Chamber hosted the event at the newly constructed Las Cruces Convention Center. The move allowed for the record 532 members and guests to attend the celebration. Noted journalist Sam Donaldson provided the keynote address for the evening prior to the induction of new board members. In addition to the annual awards that are given to volunteers, businesses and individuals, the Chamber created two new awards to honor the educational administrator and early career teacher of the year.
Thanks Team WSMR
Thanks Team WSMR is a block party featuring food, drinks and music donated by the Chamber and area businesses and staffed by volunteers from the community. The event serves as a "thank you" for the soldiers, families and civilians of White Sands Missile Range for their dedication and service to the defense of the United States. With the rising number of families living on the installation, the Chamber has added a children's area to the event complete with games, prizes and entertainers.
Business After Hours
Twelve free networking events are hosted by Chamber member businesses each year, each hosting close to 100 members. The Business After Hours events provide the host with a chance to showcase their place of business while providing a light, relaxed networking atmosphere for Chamber members to meet and discuss business opportunities.