A new face at the head of the United Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce

CORPUS CHRISTI — On October 24, a new face will lead the United Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce.

Al Arreola Jr, the new chairman and CEO, was most recently the head of the South Texas Business Partnership in San Antonio since May 2014.

“It’s like being back home,” Arreola said. “Lots of familiar faces, lots of friendly faces. I’m proud to be a graduate of Texas A&M Corpus Christi in 2003.”

He said things were very different back then when it came to jobs.

“It was hard for anyone to find work,” he said. “Not to mention college graduates.

Arreola returned home to Del Rio and became the executive director of the Chamber of Commerce there before moving to Alamo City.

“I was president of the South San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and we merged with the West Side Chamber of Commerce,” he said.

Arreola helped merge the two to form the South Texas Business Partnership and spearheaded her efforts to redevelop these areas—building business-community relationships.

He was also on the San Antonio Business Journal’s 40 under 40 list.

He said he plans to continue his efforts to build business and community relationships in Coastal Bend.

“We are a commercial organization,” he said. “We organize our member companies. But these people have fine ideas, objective ideas about how a community can be developed.

He said he was delighted to take on this new role.

“The South Texas economy is changing rapidly, and Corpus Christi is a special place that makes that possible,” Arreola said. “So that these areas and communities like you talk about or even the south side and the island, as they continue to develop so that we continue to retain our quality talented residents.”

This is a goal shared by the Downtown Management District.

“When you couple this with all the momentum in San Antonio, all the things going on in the Valley and in Brownsville, it really is a great time for South Texas,” said Alyssa B. Mason, executive director of the DMD. “So I think it will be great to have a partner who understands this from a regional perspective so that we move all of South Texas forward…I welcome this new leader to Corpus Christi.”

“We still face many post-COVID realities,” Arreola said. “And tourism was one of the big industries that was hoped to be zapped and so we have to do our part to make sure the downtown can succeed and we’re going to do our part to make sure it can.”

Arreola will replace former chairman and CEO John La Rue who is retiring.

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