Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Kevin Holsapple, was elected in January by his peers as President of the New Mexico Chamber Executives Association (NMCEA) for 2011.

NMCEA, the association of the State’s Chambers of Commerce, works on joint advocacy activities on issues of common interest, professional development of Chamber staffs, and mutual support and assistance between Chambers. “I am honored to have been elected as President of NMCEA for the coming year; and I hope to continue and build on the progress started by my predecessor, Simon Brackley of the Santa Fe Chamber,” said Holsapple.

NMCEA highlights from 2010 included the inception of a web conference series, quality professional development opportunities for Chamber Executive Directors and their staffs, award of additional professional development scholarships, and an excellent annual conference. More than 85 per cent of New Mexico’s 50+ Chambers were members of NMCEA during 2010. Holsapple is one of New Mexico’s longest serving Chamber Execs.

2011 is off to a fast start with advocacy on important legislation that would assist Chambers across the state to better help their members with improved healthcare options. These bills have received a good reception by both House and Senate committees to date; and we are optimistic about their passage. In the event that this legislation is successful, Chambers would once again be allowed to have their members and the employees of their members be treated as a group for health insurance purposes. Chambers throughout the state could conceivably form a large buying group that would provide buying power with which to seek more favorable plans and rates than are available to individuals.

Another area that is beginning to be discussed is advocacy on behalf of State enforcement of gross receipts taxes on retail internet purchases. There has been concern expressed by retailers in Los Alamos about the competitive disadvantage they face against sellers who are not being required to pay GRT. This is the kind of issue where a broader based organization such as NMCEA stands a better chance of making a difference.