Olga Enciso, the president of the Greater San Jose Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GSJHCC,) was interviewed by phone on November 18th of 2012, discussing the issues she faced and how they were addressed during her tenure. The issues will include some irregularities in the funding process management within the chamber of commerce prior to Mrs. Enciso presidency, and also the misleading operations of services and membership within the mission of the chamber of commerce. In addition, topics of leadership, background and mission within the GSJHCC will be addressed, as well as Mrs.

Enciso background prior her involvement at GSJHCC, and her functions as president will be covered. GSJHCC is a non-profit California organization founded in January 2003. GSJHCC’s purpose is to provide programs and services that enable its members to do business globally. GSJHCC is comprised of micro, small, medium and multinational businesses from different nationalities throughout the United States and the world. GSJHCC has contributed in creating an atmosphere for entrepreneurs and small business owners to take their business to an international level and create jobs for communities and wealth for themselves.

GSJHCC does so by providing training and networking opportunities. (GSJHCC, home) The members of GSJHCC run the board of directors of the chamber. Individual members are selected to the board by general vote of the membership during the annual elections in January. The leadership is comprised of three major groups, the board of directors, the advisory board and the executive committee. All the members of the leadership of the chamber are volunteers. The maximum number of seats on the board is 23. (GSJHCC, about our members) During this interview, I explored the affairs activities of the Hispanic chamber of commerce in San Jose.

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Their functions include keeping members informed on the global market and government activities, sponsoring events where members can meet and query public officials or to travel to the seats of international businesses entrepreneurs to meet with them. The future of the GSJHCC activity may lie in the cooperation or partnering with other chambers or business organizations such as global economic development agencies as regionalism for economic development is emphasized. Olga Enciso was recently named president of the GSJHCC.

She had previously served as logistics chair for the group’s 60 anniversary gala and received a chairman’s award for her service. “I am very honored to be selected for such a prestigious position,” said Mrs. Enciso. Enciso has been an active leader in the San Jose community since she moved to the city in 1990. She was involved in the invitation of four Hispanic Texas state senators to Dallas to discuss Hispanic issues; served as chair of protocol for the LULAC National Convention; and organized a Honduras Medical Relief effort after Hurricane Mitch. (Enciso, O. 012) In 1997, she ran for the San Jose City Council, learning a great deal about the political arena. Enciso plans “to bring [the GSJHCC] to the next level” during her tenure. “I hope to provide people with excellent customer service and value for their investment,” she said. Olga Enciso as the president of GSJHCC, plays a vital role in overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Chamber, including management of: * Programs, membership and marketing efforts. * Work with the Chair to prepare agendas and materials for Board and Executive Committee meetings.

* Develop goals and objectives for recommendation to the Board. Establish administrative policies and procedures for office functions. * Serve as the principal spokesperson and ambassador for the Chamber. * Represent the Chamber at business and community ribbon cuttings, grand openings, events, meetings, etc. * Build partnerships with other organizations. * Support the officers of the Chamber. * Advise the Chair in the appointment of personnel to committees, task forces and recruit volunteers. * Motivates and inspires volunteers to purposeful action. * Direct the annual and long-term planning process. * Fulfill the legal responsibilities as recording Secretary to the Corporation. Fulfill the officer and committee responsibilities assigned to the President in the Chamber by-laws. * Attend Chamber Board committee meetings and provide staff support to committee efforts.

* Provide written monthly reports to the Board of Directors along with recommendations. * Participate in higher level membership and sponsorship sales. * Identify and develop revenue generation programs and events. * Maintain an effective Economic Development Program that meets the needs of the membership. * Serve as the chief relationship with other chambers of commerce in the region and the State. Oversee organization of the chamber’s annual retreat. When Olga assumed the presidency in 2006, she found the agency was not effectively tracking the funds made in the past by the previous administration of GSJHCC, “the funds that were reported and registered to the IRS as a non-profit institution were no transparent” she said. Mrs. Enciso incorporated a new system that ensures the agency is following up on past due obligations. Mrs. Enciso will assure the agency will review the details on each fund including private donations, membership fees and fundraisings, to learn from mistakes that may have occurred in the past.

A complete review will help strengthen future policy decisions. The purpose of the GSJHCC is to serve the community by assisting minorities in expanding the economic development of their small businesses globally through networking events, workshops, trade missions and seminars. Olga Enciso believed the CEO Carlos Figueroa was misleading the purpose and the actions of the chamber of commerce by recruiting members into projects that do not belong to the programs of the Chamber of Commerce.

For example, the CEO Carlos Figueroa, after careful research to a particular multi-level marketing company, he brought the idea to the chamber regarding the recruitment of GSJHCC members to integrate in to a larger group of sales representatives of this multilevel company by paying the fees. In addition, the CEO will arrange weekly meetings for the members to help each other by creating strategies to increase their profit. The CEO Carlos Figueroa defines this project as an”Equity Building Program. However, the president Olga Enciso intervened against this project and reached out to the executive committee, “I believe this project shall not be considered as a GSJHCC program since it’s a behavior that doesn’t fall under chamber’s principles and mission” Mrs. Enciso stated. She requested a consensus within the executive committee to declare a decision in whether this “Equity Building Program” should be operated outside or inside the GSJHCC. The results of the consensus declared that the majority agreed that the “Equity Building Program” should not be an operation of the GSJHCC.

Currently, The GSJHCC has been an excellent way the assist the business community of minorities in keeping informed of government actions and to make their views known. The GSJHCC studies held locally and internationally-based events for members to meet and interact with delegations including presidents, ambassadors, other high level officials, trade associations and delegations from most Latin American countries, Malaysia, China, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Germany, Spain, India, Eastern Europe, and Africa. This exposure has given opportunities to members to network with potential international business. GSJHCC, about our members) This chamber has had different committees in its organizational structure since 2003. Membership and communication committees are now stronger as structural components at GSJHCC. Business development, education and workforce development are aimed toward helping members strengthen and improve their businesses.


Enciso O. (2012, November 18). olgaes. gsjhcc. [email protected] com. Phone Interview GSJHCChome. http://gsjhcc. org/. Accessed 18 November, 2012 GSJHCCabout our members. http://gsjhcc. org/. Accessed 18 November, 2012


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