The idea of the Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce started when Don Kurtz and Gary Camuñez began looking for business leaders and professionals who were interested in implementing the Triple Bottom Line: success by community investment, success by sustainability, and success by profit (otherwise referred to as People, Planet, and Profit). A diverse group convened; one that didn’t seem to have a common thread. However, these professionals found they all had the same common goal: to provide a better environment for local businesses and a better environment for the planet and its inhabitants.
Founding members include Renee Frank, Jim Graham, Dean Neff, Connie Falk, Elisa Cundiff, Shahid Mustafa, Mark Westbrock, Rosanne Camuñez, and Gary Camuñez. At first, the group of professionals discussed and volleyed ideas about specific issues upon which the chamber should build its foundation. While they all knew they wanted local business and global conditions to improve, they found there were many ways to go about this. Should they focus on local food? Local housing? Shopping locally?
These ideas all came together to provide the mission of the Green Chamber: a place for all ideas to come alive – for the betterment of Las Cruces and beyond. As the original group began to further develop the vision, they evolved into a steering committee at the end of 2009. The steering committee looked in to furthering the vision by handing out materials to people in the business community who they thought would be interested in helping to establish and join a new chamber. They were met with a great response. At first, people would sign up to get newsletters and to network with each other, but they didn’t have to pay a membership fee. The steering committee built up their contacts, and by September 9, 2010, the committee was able to adopt its bylaws and become the Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce.