Chamber in the News

chamber_in_newsBy carefully developing and scrupulously maintaining a culture based on sound governance,  exemplary leadership,  transparency,  and accountability,  and a business ethics that rests upon the six principles of Character Counts!,  the Chamber has become an influential advocate for the business community and the community at large and,  at the same time,  it has been also extraordinarily successful in being portrayed accurately by the news media.

Morevoer,  our strategically selective and low-key approach in addressing a variety of business and social issues has yielded significant goodwill and results, and has enabled the Chamber to maintain high visibility in the community and be a consequential player in local and regional affairs.

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Most of its members are in Maryland, with others in Washington, D.C., Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. It has five chapters in Montgomery County, and one chapter each in Prince George’s, Frederick and Washington counties.  Founders Marcelo Isaak and Luis Diaz have since moved on to other business opportunities, but Jorge Ribas stuck with the chamber and is now its president and CEO.

December marks the fifth anniversary of the incorporation of the Mid-Atlantic Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and Jorge Ribas hopes next year will be better. The Hispanic chamber started as a volunteer-run organization with two business memberships, said Ribas, chamber president.

Prince George’s County is revving up its international outreach efforts for business and trade partnerships with companies in Latin America and the Caribbean Basin. ‘This is not a Hispanic meeting. This is a business meeting,” said Jorge Ribas, president and CEO of the Mid-Atlantic Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, one of the sponsors. ‘‘We encourage every company that has business interests in Latin America or would like to enter the Latin American market to attend this summit.”


After giving his welcoming remarks in Spanish to Hispanic parents filing into the auditorium of Northwestern High School yesterday, Prince George's County School Superintendent John E. Deasy worried that with his less-than-perfect command of the language, his invitation -- "We want you to visit your child's school" -- might have sounded like an order, "Visit your child's school!"

Five of the seven candidates for City Council participated in a forum on Oct. 3 at the Texas Parrillada restaurant. From left candidates Carlos Solis, Ryan Spiegel, Jud Ashman, Cathy Drzyzgula and Ahmed Ali.  Civility dominated the first debate for the upcoming Gaithersburg City Council election where seven candidates are seeking three open seats.

Thursday, 04 October 2007 23:29

Schools reach out to Hispanic parents

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More than 1,000 people are expected to attend a Dual Language Parent Summit on Saturday where parents will have the opportunity to learn about the Prince George’s County Public Schools in both English and Spanish.  School board member Rosalind Johnson said the summit developed from a May meeting she had with Jorge Ribas, president and CEO of the Mid-Atlantic Chamber of Commerce. Ribas told her that Hispanic parents were having difficultly understanding what was going on in the schools and navigating the system.

Wednesday, 03 October 2007 22:43

Dual-language summit Saturday

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About 1,300 parents in Prince George’s have signed up to attend the county’s first annual Dual Language Parent Summit Saturday to learn how to help their children have successful academic careers.  ‘‘Parents don’t notice the dramatic changes that have occurred in public education” in the past 20 years,” said Jorge Ribas, president and CEO of the MAHCC. Workshops will be held throughout the day on topics like how to talk to a teacher, what to expect from a teacher and how to prepare students for college.  ‘‘The summit is targeting any parent who has children in the public schools who want to learn about the resources that are available,” Ribas said.

Marta Trumble moved to the United States from Colombia about 10 years ago,  but said she still cherishes her South American culture and wants to pass on that pride to her two daughters.  “It’s something only I can give them,”  the Hagerstown resident said.

Friday, 14 September 2007 14:40

A growing presence

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The market’s immigrant owners envision a bustling kitchen staff of five serving Peruvian dishes from a charcoal grill. The Don Chicken carryout will be behind a wall dividing it from the market products. Just off Alt. Route 40 on the Golden Mile, Metro Market 2 is the first Latino-owned business in Frederick County to secure a loan from the Latino Economic Development Corp. of Wheaton, for the expansion.

The race for the Democratic nomination in Maryland's 4th Congressional District cranked up last week with the first debate of the campaign season.  Sort of.  The Mid-Atlantic Hispanic Chamber of Commerce hosted the lunchtime candidates forum over sizzling fajitas and plates of enchiladas at Ay! Jalisco Restaurant in Gaithersburg.

The first in a series of debates and forums being held for congressional candidates in District 4, which spans parts of Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, kicked off Wednesday in Gaithersburg with a discussion on immigration. But U.S. Rep. Albert R. Wynn (D-Dist. 4) of Mitchellville, who is seeking his ninth term in office in the Feb. 12 Democratic primary, prompted some grumbling from his challengers for sending a substitute.

Hagerstown's first annual Hispanic Festival is sure to be the best ethnic fiesta in the area.
The four members of the Hispanic Committee became friends and together decided to do something positive for the Hispanic community. "

Thursday, 06 September 2007 17:05

Fajitas in the Fourth

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With Labor Day over, it's time for the campaign for the contest for the Democratic nomination in Maryland's fourth congressional district to get started in earnest.  The Mid-Atlantic Hispanic Chamber of Commerce hosted a debate yesterday for the candidates over sizzling fajitas and plates of enchilladas at Gaithersburg's Ay! Jalisco Restaurant.

At the first debate of his 2008 campaign, Rep. Albert Wynn (D-Md.) endured criticism from primary challenger Donna Edwards and even the debate sponsor, but he was not there to defend himself. Edwards continued to accuse Wynn of not taking the election seriously and joined the sponsoring Mid-Atlantic Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in criticizing his constituent service.

Whether painted, carved or stitched, Gaithersburg’s inaugural City World Market hosted a fresh outlet for the arts during the Celebrate Gaithersburg festival in Olde Towne last fall.

Each time YaVonne English recounted how she lost her house in Silver Spring, she was on the verge of tears. Three years ago, she said, a series of financial setbacks led her to seek help from unscrupulous lenders.
A broker referred her to an investor whose wife was a real estate agent.

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