The East Boston Chamber of Commerce recently announced that Karina Hicks has been hired as the Chamber’s new Executive Assistant.
Hicks, a native of Mexico City, Mexico, began her career working as an executive assistant for the Ministry of Interior in Mexico during the Chiapas Conflict. The conflict led to the Zapatista Uprising as well as tensions between the indigenous peoples and subsistence farmers in the Mexican state of Chiapas beginning in the 1990s.
“I was born and raised in Mexico City,” said Hicks. “I worked for the Ministry of Interior during a very difficult time in my country.”
The uprising lead to several armed conflicts between guerrilla groups and the government. However, Hicks worked at the Ministry of Interior as the government tried to negotiate peace between the government and Zapatistas.
She moved to Kentucky in 2005 to attend the University of Kentucky and work as an interpreter. She, her husband and their two children then moved to Brazil because her husband’s accounting firm relocated the family to the South American country.
“We then moved back to the U.S. in 2017,” said Hicks, whose family settled in Somerville. “I then worked for the Mexican Consulate in Boston for one year. It was a very interesting job. I had to do many different things from going out to meetings and events to being in charge of the Consulate’s press and media as well as social media. It was very interesting work because of the things I learned and the people I met.”
However, she left the consulate after the Consul General recalled to Mexico.
In Eastie, she began doing some work for a few months with Veronica Robles at Robles’s Cultural Center.
“It was through that contact that I found about this job,” she said.
Hicks was hired by the Chamber and began working on Monday, January 7.
“I like East Boston a lot and I’m just starting to meet all these wonderful people,” said Hicks. “I would like to contribute to achieving the goals of the Chamber and keep the businesses and people here in East Boston informed about the events and opportunities that can help economic growth in the neighborhood.”
One thing Hicks has already done is use her past experience and social media savvy to heightened the Chamber’s online presence.
“No one is mailing letters or receiving letters and typing the information into computers anymore,” explained Hicks. “Everything is done through social media and everything on social media is synced with people’s’ personal devices. So if I send out a meeting notice or event all people have to do is click on it and it goes into their calendars on their phone or computers.”
With the housing and development boom in full swing here, Hicks would also like to see more big corporations, as well as smaller developers, get involved with the chamber and become members.
“There a lot of opportunities for growth and I would like to see some of those larger corporations get involved,” she said. “I’d also like to get more information out there about how the Chamber can help your small business through networking.”
Chamber Vice President Jim Kearney said Hicks has filled a huge void that has been empty for almost two years.
“It’s amazing. Since the Chamber had the opportunity to hire Karina (Hicks) she has done more in five or six days than has been done in the past two years at the Chamber,” said Kearney. “There’s been a void and she has stepped up to the plate and has more than met my expectation. She’s shown initiatives, made executive decisions that have been the correct decisions and we are lucky to have her.”
Kearney said right away Hicks updated the Chamber’s Facebook page, began a email campaign using Constant Contact software to keep members abreast of events and meetings and is working on overhauling the group’s website. “We want her to be the face of the Chamber and reach out to all businesses, old and new, and begin selling the Chamber,” said Kearney. “However, in her first week she’s already hit the ground running and been doing just that.”