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Montgomery County Hispanic Chamber hosts inaugural Hispanic Business Symposium, Adelante!

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On Friday, May 31, the Montgomery County Hispanic Chamber (MCHC) hosted their inaugural Hispanic Business Symposium – Adelante! at the Lone Star College-System Office Community Building. Adelante! brought the business community together and provided insights, strategies, networking for business professionals from Montgomery County and Houston area. The event featured keynote speaker NASA Astronaut and Entrepreneur Dr. José Hernández and showcased a diverse array of speakers and topics, giving attendees the opportunity to gain practical wisdom and current trends within the Hispanic business community.

View photos from the event on the Hello Woodlands Facebook page here:


To kick off the Hispanic Business Symposium, MCHC President Miguel Lopez and emcee Dr. Hedith Sauceda Upshaw, Assistant Superintendent for Teaching & Learning with the Conroe Independent School District, welcomed guests and shared opening remarks. Mitz Fliesner, Director of Research of Telemundo Houston, then provided an update on the trends in Hispanic multimedia and the scale and impact of Hispanic consumers in the Montgomery County and Houston area. Fernando Vizcaino and Charlie Schwartzel of J. P. Morgan Private Bank provided an overview of the Hispanic Financial Landscape followed by Gil Staley, President and CEO of The Woodlands Economic Development Partnership, who reported on the local impact of the Hispanic Business Community.

During the breaks between segments, attendees had the opportunity to visit with local businesses and organizations at their booths in the vendor area, enjoy coffee, made-to-order lattes and food from local restaurants and coffee shops, and network with MCHC members and business professionals.

MCHC Chair Julio Resendez moderated the Hispanic Leadership Panel that showcased a lineup of local leaders and CEOs including, Eli Viamontes, Chair, President & CEO of Entergy Texas, Mario K. Castillo, Chancellor & CEO of Lone Star College, and Erwin Caban, Deputy General Counsel of Howard Hughes Holdings Inc. The panel members discussed how they overcame obstacles in their early lives and how these challenges allowed each to now lead, thrive, and be successful in their current roles. By sharing their struggles and journeys, the panel inspired attendees with their honesty and authenticity.

Former NASA Astronaut and Entrepreneur Dr. José Hernández closed the day as the keynote speaker and a motivational message, sharing his story from childhood working alongside his parents who were migrant farmers moving across California to getting accepted into NASA after twelve applications (and eleven rejections). Selected in 2004, José flew aboard Space Shuttle Discovery as the flight engineer on the STS-128 mission to the International Space Station in 2009. José also developed award-winning quantitative x-ray transport models, leading to the creation of the first full-field digital mammography system for early breast cancer detection. His life story was captured in the Amazon Prime video biopic, “A Million Miles Away.” José encouraged attendees to work hard to reach their goals and dreams, and before parting shared his father’s recipe to success: Define your goal, Recognize how far you are from it, Create a roadmap to get there, Education is key, Develop a strong work ethic, and Persevere – never give up!


The Hispanic Business Symposium Adelante! Venue Sponsor was Lone Star College, VIP Sponsor was JP. Morgan Chase & Co., and Keynote Speaker Sponsor was Entergy Texas. The event was also sponsored by Telemundo Houston, Comcast, Amell Law, Rios Funeral Directors, ReyMar Wealth Management, Lupe Martinez-State Farm Agent, Hello Woodlands, Orbitt, Springwoods Market Dental Care, Amegy Bank of Texas, Howard Hughes, Stibbs & Co. Attorneys, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Wham & Rogers PLLC, Acquire Advertising, Comparion Insurance Agency, Memorial Hermann, PHP Agency, First Financial Bank, Rave Financial, Galindo’s Coffee + Elixirs, The Brew Group, Califas Tacos & Beer, Simona’s Bistro, and Bayside Printing Company, Inc.

Save the date! MCHC announced that the 2nd Annual Hispanic Business Symposium will celebrate Latinas and be held on March 19, 2025 at the Lone Star College – System Office in The Woodlands.

The Montgomery County Hispanic Chamber, established in 2003, is a 501c(6) non-profit organization. The purpose of the MCHC is to advance the growth, success, and prosperity of the Hispanic Community. To learn more about MCHC, and how to become a member and get involved, visit

Every Friday MCHC gets together at a local coffee shop or restaurant for coffee and connections. Join MCHC this Friday, June 7 and support a local business at their upcoming event “Viernes con el Chamber” from 8:30 to 10 a.m. at Ome Calli Café located at 2260 Buckthorne Place #179 in The Woodlands.