The Irving Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Founders include 7 men who volunteered their time from 1988 to 2007. It was in 2007 when IHCC was founded, and since then, new milestones have been accomplished, including building relationships with the City of Irving, Corporations, Irving ISD, non-profit partners, TAMACC, USHCC, Local Ethnic Chambers from across Texas, among them U. S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce, U.S. Indian Chamber of Commerce, U.S. African American Chamber of Commerce, and NGLCC; since the end of 2013 and 2014, IHCC hired committed, skilled, and dynamic office staff comprised of Mary Ann Kellam, President; Patty Brauer, Finance Director, Gloria Rodriguez Executive Assistant, and Christina Castillo, Marketing/Graphic Design.
The mission of the IHCC is to advocate for education and economic development in the Hispanic market. The IHCC shall identify, develop, promote and support Irving businesses and those serving the Hispanic community through programs, activities, and services for the benefit of its members and the community at large.
HOW THE CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE BEGAN
As long as commerce has existed, traders have banded together. The first purpose of their association was, perhaps, to seek common protection against enemies. Later, they established codes to govern trade, and still later, they attempted to influence legislation.
These early associations of traders have little in common with the 21st century Chamber of Commerce model. Nevertheless, the Irving Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, along with all other chambers, can trace its roots to these early days.
So, while the chambers most often look toward the future, it may be appropriate to take a long look back to understand why we exist.
THE EARLIEST DAYS
The first known use of the term “chamber of commerce” occurred in Marseilles, France, where such an organization was established by the city council in the 17th century. European Chambers of Commerce differ considerably from the American organization. Although they are associations of businessmen, they operate frequently as quasi-public agencies, vested with administrative and judicial powers with respect to trade.
The oldest chamber of commerce is in the State of New York, organized in 1768 and chartered by King George III in 1770. The second oldest is the Charleston, SC Chamber, formed in 1773. By 1870, the number of local chambers had increased to 40. The early American chambers, like their European prototypes, were organized for the protection and promotion of commerce. The establishment of the New York State Chamber, for example, was a direct result of the Stamp Tax Act.
In their role as associations of businessmen, the early chambers of commerce began to promote the sales of goods. They organized markets, enforced rules of trade and protected goods in transit. But their activities were limited to those directly concerned with commerce.
The emergence of the chamber of commerce as a true community organization came later when businessmen realized their own prosperity depended upon development of a prosperous, healthy and happy community.
Prior to 1912, most local chambers were primarily interested in attracting new industries to their community. Civic and commercial development took second place.
EXPANDING THE FOCUS
Gradually, chambers recognized industrial growth is to some extent dependent upon civic and commercial development. In fact, so much emphasis was placed on civic problems that many chambers began to assume the character of civic associations. Their membership was all inclusive, and their program was largely one of promoting public facilities. By 1925, it was perceived that chambers, in order to be true to their purpose, must remain primarily business organizations, and express the point of view of business.
Another major change took place with the advent of the New Deal in 1933. Governmental affairs at all levels became major items in the chamber of commerce program. The chamber became the interpreter of government to business, and conversely, of business to government. In this field of activity, most chambers of commerce were assuming growing responsibilities and achieved increasing usefulness.
In the United States, there are now more than 7,800 chambers of commerce, most which serve local communities. There are also 604 state chambers of commerce, as well as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.