Members of The Roswell Hispano Chamber of Commerce and the Chaves County Development Foundation cut the ribbon to celebrate the Chamber’s new billboard, Friday. Pictured, from left, are Jose Zavala, Bob Donnel, Carmen Arias, Susie Roe, Mike McLeod, Dominic Villegas, Bob Villegas, Sandra Quintero and Romo Villegas. Mark Wilson Photo
The Hispano Chamber of Commerce wants visitors to know what Roswell is all about the moment they reach city limits.
Friday the group had a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a billboard located just past Brown Road, welcoming those entering the city from the west.
The Hispano Chamber believes the billboard is an excellent way to send a message out about how diverse the city is. The billboard pictures five children of different ethnicities, each costumed to represent five styles of music that can be heard in Roswell — gospel, country-western, folkloria, mariachi and symphonic — and bears a welcome message.
The Chamber has never had a sign welcoming people to the city before and treasurer Susie Roe said to finally have one “means a lot.” Secretary Carmen Arias said all the points stated in the sign are key in describing Roswell.
“I think it’s very important to point out our culture, diversity and that we’re a business-friendly city,” she said. “I think that’s a major, major point of the Roswell community.”
She added that the process to get the billboard went smoothly and hopefully by promoting businesses around the city will encourage everyone to work together and prosper.
R.G. Bobby Villegas of the Farmers Insurance Group was one of the sponsors of the welcome sign and said he did not hesitate to support the project because it accurately it depicts the city.
“We want the people to know they are welcome coming in and Roswell a business-friendly city,” he said. “We do have a very diverse culture within the city … the picture tells it all because it’s really about who we are. It’s also about music. In Roswell, we do offer diversity in music.”
Xcel Energy is the second sponsor of the billboard and regional manager Mike McLeod said the message the billboard conveys is right up Xcel’s alley.
“We certainly support the Hispano Chamber and its mission in Roswell,” he said. “And of course Xcel Energy, we’re very pro business. Xcel’s very engaged in the community and we recognize that we only grow as our communities grow and thrive. We’re very supportive of both Chambers in Roswell and economic development in our community.”
Both Xcel and Villegas donated $1,000 to get the billboard up and the Hispano Chamber of Commerce will pay rent on the sign for the next two years.