El Centro Chamber introduces new businesses at spring Mega Mixer

Third place winner Alexander Arredondo, 10th grade at Southwest High School, holds a $100 check as he stands next to his agriculture-themed artwork during the Mega Mixer at Desert Trails RV Park & Golf Course in El Centro. His elder bother Andrew Ibarra takes photos with a cell phone.
Thursday, April 20, 2017

EL CENTRO — The El Centro Chamber of Commerce hosted a spring Mega Mixer April 20 at the Desert Trails RV Park and Golf Course to introduce new chamber members to the rest of the business community. The two-hour mixer started at 5:00 p.m. with about 130 individuals representing new and experienced business owners.

Highlighting the event was a presentation of awards for the chamber’s art contest.

Veronica Wright, El Centro Chamber of Commerce board director and chairwoman of the agriculture committee said the contest was geared to bring different factions together.

“We want to build that bridge with the El Centro Chamber as well as with the agriculture committee,” said Wright. “We want to include students and the community as well. So we opened up an art contest to display and show that the Imperial Valley is an agriculture town, and how we feed, probably if not the world, a lot of the United States and California.”

According to Wright, the contest was open to kindergarten all the way up to college-age students and over 100 entries were submitted. Ana Sofia Rodriguez, a junior at Southwest High School, won the $500 first prize. Second place went to Josue Pimentel, an eighth grader at Barbara Worth Junior High School in Brawley. Alexander Arredondo, a sophomore at Southwest High School, won third place.

“I’m very proud for getting third place,” Arredondo said as he described his art work, which won a $100 prize. His art showed four phases of agriculture: sowing of seeds, growing seedlings, harvesting, and selling produce in the market. “l’ll buy video games, buy food for my friends. My brother is my friend,” said Arredondo. “I would like to thank my art teacher, Jacqueline Pleitez, from Southwest High School.”

According to organizers, the El Centro Chamber’s spring Mega Mixer is an opportunity to connect new business owners with other businesses, not only in El Centro, but also in the greater Imperial Valley. It is a time for networking, enjoying snacks and winning door prizes donated by business owners themselves.

Cinthia Abarca is the owner of M.V.P. & Associates on Main Street in Brawley. It opened for business in November of 2016. She and her husband, Jaime Abarca, attended the mixer to promote their business which provides tax preparations, payroll, immigration consultation, and passport photos. They are in the final stage of being able to offer medical billing services. “We are here to put ourselves out there to show that we can offer a package,” said Abarca.

According to Abarca, she met some of her clients at the mixer. ”I really enjoy meeting new people and their friendly smiles.”

In alphabetical order, other new members of the El Centro Chamber featured on the Mega Mixer flyer included Ashley Home Furniture Store, Beyond Borders Gazette, Cricket/MAS Wireless, El Centro Chamber Ambassadors, Exxpress Lube Oil Change, Fiesta Mexican Foods, Food 4 All, Hampton Inn by Hilton, Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, Imperial Valley Chiropractic MVP & Associates, Medgetaway, Padre USA, Quality Inn, REACH Air Medical, Sierra Jaime – State Farm Insurance, Spread the Love Charity, T.R.E.E.S. Imperial County, United Rentals, and WasupWU Comedy.