Steve Ahlenius, President/CEO McAllen Chamber of Commerce presented with Marvin Hurley Award for exemplary service

by Public Information Office | Jun 24, 2015

The Texas Chamber of Commerce Executives, an association of more than 1,500 chamber professionals, annually honors one of its own with the Marvin Hurley Award for exemplary service to the Chamber of Commerce profession. The 2015 Marvin Hurley Award recipient is Steve Ahlenius, IOM, CEcD President of the McAllen Chamber of Commerce.
Steve Ahlenius has served 17 years as President and CEO of the McAllen Chamber of Commerce.   Under his leadership, the Chamber provides services that help power the economy of South Texas.  Steve has led the way as the chamber has undertaken initiatives that include economic/business development services, business advocacy and leadership development programs.
A common theme emerges throughout the community when people are asked to sum up Steve Ahlenius -- “visionary.”  The Hurley committee agreed that Steve is truly a visionary and trailblazer leading the chamber and the community to undertake several successful initiatives during his tenure that have brought opportunity, economic prosperity and excellence at the chamber itself. 
Under his leadership, Ahlenius the chamber has implemented innovative and visionary programs including the Idea Lab, New Idea Innovation Grants, Mini Maker Faire, The McAllen Creative Incubator, Latina Hope, TechSpace, The Inventors & Entrepreneurs Network, Crowd Funding Catapult and the McAllen Food Truck Park.  The chamber has been recognized nationally for its excellence being named National Chamber of the Year by the National Association of Membership Development and in 2014 receiving the highest possible 5 Star Accreditation from the United States Chamber of Commerce for operational excellence. 
Steve remains active in many other local and statewide organizations volunteering his services on the Board of Directors for the Texas Chamber of Commerce Executives Association and the Texas Association of Business and formerly served on the Board of Trustees of Wayland Baptist University.   He has served as Chairman for the United Way of South Texas and is Past Chairman of Rio South Texas Economic Development Council.  Steve received his undergraduate degree from Wayland Baptist University in History and Political Science and holds a Masters of Public Administration from Texas Tech University.  Steve received his CEcD certification from the International Economic Development Council and IOM from the U.S. Chamber Institute for Organization Management.
“Water rises no higher than its source,” said Jim Rich, President and CEO of the Greater Beaumont Chamber and 2014 Marvin Hurley Award Honoree.  “I do not know how high Steve’s source is; however, I can tell you that his source is quite high. Steve’s leadership capacity is evident in the team he leads, the coalitions he has helped form, and his willingness to remain teachable.   His energy, his integrity, his reputation and intellect makes Steve the type of person I want to learn from!  Steve represents the characteristics that the Marvin Hurley Award exemplifies.”
The Marvin Hurley Award has been presented to a select group of leaders annually beginning in 1976. Marvin Hurley was recognized by the Chamber Profession for his service in several communities, including Houston, Texas. Hurley began his Chamber career in Tulsa in 1935, moved to Lincoln, Nebraska in 1943 and then served Houston for 15 years after two years in U.S. Army 1943-45. Hurley authored two books on chamber operations and in 1966 published his third book, Decisive Years for Houston, which traces the city’s urban development and its “community leadership structure.” He served as Board Chairman for the American Chamber of Commerce Executives in 1957.
Steve Ahlenius of the Chamber of Commerce exemplifies Hurley’s core belief, “Chamber of commerce management is a profession charged with one of the highest of all missions in the service of mankind.”
The Texas Chamber of Commerce Executives (TCCE) is the professional society of chamber of commerce executives and professional staff in the state of Texas.  Established in 1906, TCCE remains a strong, viable organization and the longest standing association of chamber of commerce professionals in the nation. 
As a private not-for-profit 501 (c)(6) TCCE operates with the primary goal of serving its membership by providing excellence in professional development, networking, resource and idea exchange opportunities and grassroots advocacy information and coordination.  Through its publications and other resources TCCE provides operational guidance and leadership to chambers across the state.