Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Banquet and Lifetime Achievement

The Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce celebrated their success yesterday with the celebration of the 2010 Gala “Celebrando Austin”. I was not aware of this organization and I learned a lot yesterday. They were established in 1973 as a resourceful organization dedicated to improving the commercial climate, promoting economic opportunity, tourism development and international trade in order to make Austin a better place to live, work and play. The GAHCC has about 1,000 active members representing small businesses, corporations, non-profit and governmental agencies. I was very impressed.

They count among their members the invaluable presence of Andy Martinez, their President and CEO. I have known Andy for years and he is a good man. He feels energized and enjoys his work; his presence is the key to success for this organization.

Dinner was great and the Accomplishment Award Ceremony moving. They presented awards to many local businesses and corporations, but what impressed me the most was reading the bio of the Lifetime Achievement Award to Gilbert Martinez. I don’t know this man, but learning what he was able to accomplish in his life, and is still going, was an inspiration to me that I wish to be able to transmit to my adolescent patients.  He is a Korean War Veteran; he has worked as a banker, serving on the Board of Directors of City Bank, opened several businesses and still has time to give to the community. He served on the Board of Directors for the Austin Chamber of Commerce, the Austin Symphony, the Capitol Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America and the National Board of the Southern Regions of Boy Scouts of America. He was a member of the first Board of Trustees for ACC and Chairman of the City of Austin Planning Commission. He was appointed by President Bush to the State Commission on Judicial Conduct and was appointed to the Court Reporters Certification Board by the Supreme Court.


Are you still with me? I am not sure I am. As I am writing all this information about a human being my head starts to spin. He has been married to his wife of 52 years and they have three children.

He is obviously a gifted person; but we all have gifts to pursue and share.

I encounter teenagers in my practice that seem to be at the end of their ropes. They feel desolate because of a bump on the road; sometimes it is a family incident or failure in school, or boy/girl friend issues. It is hard for us, as parents, not to get emotionally involved and it is harder for me to offer a solution in a short office visit. I am certainly going to have my children read the accomplishments of this private citizen. I am sure he encountered a few disappointments and set backs; but they are not listed in his bio because he made them go away by trying again. I am sure he must be a very enthusiastic individual.

Talk to your children. Share information about what you went through in order to be where you are now. Offer them a snap shot of the future if they follow different directions. They don’t know and they lack experience; every one of us learned a few lessons along the road and that information is of great value to young minds. Even if they seem not to listen. Oh, they are listening, but they make us believe they don’t care about our bla, bla, bla…..

I will have to remember my own preaching as I welcome medical students to my practice. Yes, Dr. Jacomides and I are going to have rotating students from UT Medical Branch following us around. We may soon have some for A&M, to be fair to everyone.

Keep talking.

Marta Katalenas M.D.