McAllen, TX – The McAllen Chamber of Commerce Board voted unanimously to name Elizabeth Suarez the new President & CEO of the McAllen Chamber of Commerce. “Elizabeth’s extensive experience, her effective leadership, and her deep roots in the community, make her an ideal candidate to lead our organization,” said Stephan Wingert, Chairman of the Board for the McAllen Chamber of Commerce.
“We are excited to welcome Elizabeth to the Chamber of Commerce. We believe her strategic vision, strong business acumen, her commitment to fostering opportunities of growth, and her experience in international relations, make her a solid fit for the important work of leading our Chamber,” said Jim Darling, Chairman Elect of the Board of the McAllen Chamber of Commerce.
Suarez has served the City of McAllen since 2000 where she has led key projects in ground transportation and most recently airports. Additionally, she has ample experience with international government relations, and key international corporate partnerships. She has participated in multiple international aviation and economic development forums both in the United States and in Mexico, and Central America.
“Congratulations to Elizabeth,” said McAllen Mayor Villalobos. “The City of McAllen is proud to see her step into a new role, where she will continue to impact our community, and contribute to the growth of our great city.”
Key projects completed under Suarez’s tenure include the completion of the McAllen International Airport Expansion Project ($26M) in 2015, construction of the McAllen Downtown Parking Garage ($9M) in 2009, and construction of the McAllen Intermodal Transit Terminal ($4.9M) in 2001. Additionally, she established the Metro McAllen Department in 2004 and the Transit Department in 2000.
Other key achievements under her leadership include 42.4% in airport revenue growth, over $66M in FAA grant awards, and record airport traffic in 2022 (875,899 passengers). Under her direction, McAllen International Airport has maintained the majority of the Rio Grande Valley’s market share. McAllen International Airport is also the 9th busiest commercial airport in Texas.
“Elizabeth’s departure is a loss for the City of McAllen, but it is a win for our community. Her impact to our organization, from enhanced transportation service to expanding economic, cultural, business or service outreach is unparalleled. She is deserving of this opportunity and I look forward to working closely with her in this new role,” said McAllen City Manager Roel “Roy” Rodriguez, P.E.
Elizabeth is expected to start her new position in October. “I want to thank the McAllen Chamber of Commerce Board for their vote of confidence in me,” said Suarez. “I look forward to working alongside the Chamber board and team, City of McAllen leaders, and all Chamber partners to prioritize membership development, tourism, business retention, government relations and advocacy to ensure that McAllen continues to be a successful, vibrant, and booming community for all.”
About the McAllen Chamber of Commerce:
The McAllen Chamber of Commerce with a membership of 1,000 and a staff of 17 was founded in 1925. Its forerunner, the McAllen Businessmen’s Club, drove the creation of the City of McAllen in 1911. With a Five-Star Accreditation by the U.S Chamber of Commerce, the organization is the largest Chamber in a 15-county area and is broadly seen as the most innovative, cutting-edge, and progressive chamber in the region. Throughout the organization’s history, The McAllen Chamber of Commerce has been a catalyst for projects and activities that improve the quality of life and the business climate of the city.
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