Acosta elected president of the El Centro chamber

June 17, 2002|STAFF REPORT

Richard Acosta, an insurance agent with Smith-Kandal Insurance, has been elected as president of the El Centro Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau. Acosta will take over for John Anderson during the chamber's annual dinner July 2 at the Barbara Worth Golf Resort.

Acosta joined the chamber's board of directors in 1999 and has served as special events chair, vice president and president elect. Prior to joining the board of directors Acosta was actively involved with Los Vigilantes and that group's ramrod from 1987-1988.

A native of the Imperial Valley, Acosta grew up in Holtville and graduated from Holtville High School. Acosta has worked in the insurance industry throughout his career. He worked for Pan American Underwriters for 17 and a half years prior to joining Smith-Kandal Insurance more than eight years ago.

Acosta said, "It's an honor to be elected to the chamber's board and represent over 800 businesses in El Centro and Imperial Valley. We have a wonderful group of directors who will work with me on the board and represent our membership well in serving the interests of the business community."


Acosta continued by saying, "I will carry on the strong leadership shown by the prior chamber presidents."

In making that statement, Acosta vowed to protect local businesses against any third- party impacts that may result from the water transfer. His other priorities include working with the city of El Centro on the revision of the city's general plan, helping local businesses grow and expand through economic development opportunities, promoting the air cargo field, continuing the chamber's close alliance with Naval Air Facility El Centro and expanding the chamber's role in governmental affairs by being an advocate for local business.

"The chamber board recently approved a number of policy statements outlining the chamber's position on issues being discussed in the state Legislature. This policy manual will enable the chamber's governmental affairs committee to react quickly to bills that will encumber businesses and those bills that help business survive in California," said Acosta.

"Congressman Filner and his Republican challenger, Maria Guadalupe Garcia, will be our featured speakers at our upcoming annual dinner," Acosta said. "Beginning in 2003 we will have a new representative in Congress, and I feel it's important the business community meet the individuals running for the seat and hear what they have to say about helping Imperial Valley."

Acosta serves on the board of the Holtville Rotary Club and last year was appointed by Gov. Davis to the 45th Agriculture District Board. Acosta lives in El Centro with his wife, Sharon. They have two grown children, Chris and Cara-Lisa and one granddaughter, Jessica.

Joining Acosta on the chamber executive committee are president-elect Bill Blair, Imperial Valley Expo; vice president Frank Popejoy, Pioneer Van & Storage; past president John Andersen, Imperial County Office of Education; treasurer Gary Glud, Cherie Alford Distributing Co.; and Bill Gay, Reliance Communications.

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