This week Escondido Chamber of Commerce CEO J.R. Rowten invited one of the Chamber’s newest board members to write his column as a guest column.
First of all, let me say “hello” in my native language “Howka”. My name is Hellyaachwehay Quisquis I am the President/CEO of the San Pasqual Economic Development Corporation (SPEDC). I am also a member of the Kumeyaay Nation from the San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians reservation, located in Valley Center, California.
The San Pasqual reservation is a thriving community of over 1,500 residents. Expanded economic opportunities include Valley View Casino, Native Oaks Golf Club and are soon to open the Horizon Fuel Center, which includes the Pit Stop Market and Qdoba Mexican Eats.
My journey with the SPEDC started seven years ago. The mission at SPEDC is to create a strong foundation based on a cornerstone of truth, integrity and dedication. Our vision at SPEDC reflects the wisdom that has been passed down from generation to generation to preserve and safeguard our culture and traditions, by creating a long-term economic development structure ensuring the prosperity of the next seven generations of the IPAI People.
As President and CEO, my primary vision is to create a successful and sustainable economic foundation for the IPAI People. The word IPAI in my language means the people and throughout generations it has been passed down that everything we do is always for the people and with this vision, I have been able to create and build a successful and dedicated team to preserve and safeguard our cultures and traditions for the next seven generations.
Included in my primary vision was to take the initial step to create economic communication between the SPEDC and the City of Escondido. I did this by creating a direct relationship between the Chamber of Commerce President and CEO and myself on a monthly basis. Through this communication, we have been able to grow my position into a Chamber of Commerce Board Member that allowed myself to assess the economic challenges unique to the region.
During my time as a board member, I have been working closely with the board to establish mutually beneficial relationships within the region to improve local economies.
During the COVID Pandemic, it has been extremely challenging for economies to thrive. As we are approaching a new normal where businesses are starting to reopen in a modified capacity, now is the time to build on these relationships so our economies can thrive.
I am honored to be selected as the new Economic Development Committee Chair for the Escondido Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber’s Economic Development Committee works to assist, retain and grow existing businesses in Escondido while striving to attract new businesses and ventures with the focus on positive economic impacts and job creation for our citizens. In addition, the Committee focuses on the local and regional economy including projects and policies that impact the City of Escondido’s ability to thrive, grow and prosper.
I look forward to working with the Economic Development Committee members to connect with our business and community leaders to provide a path of strong economic success in our local region.