On December 17, Gerald “Gerry” Schwebel, executive vice president at Laredo-based IBC Bank, was presented the Asociación de Empresarios Mexicanos (AEM) San Antonio Legacy Award. The AEM San Antonio Legacy Award recipient is selected by the AEM board of directors to recognize a local business leader who has demonstrated continuous support of the association and has made significant contributions to the international business environment.
“Gerry was ‘the man’ behind USMCA [U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement],” says Javier Lopez de Obeso, president of the AEM San Antonio chapter. “He values friendship, teamwork and hard work and has spent decades improving the commerce between our two nations. We feel fortunate to have the opportunity to work alongside him to contribute to the economic development of Mexico and the great state of Texas.”
Javier Lopez de Obeso, president of the AEM San Antonio Chapter presents Gerry Schwebel with the San Antonio Legacy Award.[/caption]Lopez de Obeso presented Schwebel with a handmade drawing of the Mexican Águila Juarista (Juarista Eagle) over a clay plate, framed with mantilla and wood, made by artist Pablo Pajarito from Tonalá, Jalisco, México.
“I can think of no one more deserving of this award than Gerry,” says Dennis E. Nixon, IBC Bank chairman and CEO. “As the head of our international department, he is a dedicated advocate for not only our own banking customers, but also for the entire business community and country. We’ve been doing business on the border for more than 50 years, so no one understands the value of our relationship with Mexico better than Gerry. I congratulate him on this well-deserved, distinguished honor.”
Widely regarded as a leading expert on international trade and finance, Schwebel is an advocate for free trade, economic development and transportation. He frequently represents IBC Bank and the international business community with top government and business leaders in the U.S., Mexico and Canada, and was intricately involved in each of the negotiating rounds that resulted in the new USMCA agreement.
“As a child of immigrants, and having lived and worked on the border all my life, I understand the important role that Mexico plays in the economic prosperity of the North American region,” Schwebel says. “I’m grateful to accept this award from AEM on behalf of the entire IBC team. We all believe in the mission of AEM, and without my IBC family, none of us could do the work that we do.”
Schwebel has held a variety of regional and national leadership position, including the national chairman of the Border Trade Alliance; bi-national director of the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce; member of the Transportation, Logistics and Infrastructure Committee of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; member of the Texas Secretary of State’s Border Trade Advisory Council; and ex-officio member of the Texas Freight Mobility Committee. He is also the immediate past president of North America’s Strategy for Competitiveness, a tri-national trade coalition (U.S., Canada, and Mexico) that advocates for competitiveness through logistics, transportation infrastructure, security, energy and a skilled workforce.
AEM is dedicated to encouraging economic competitiveness by promoting business between companies in the U.S. and Mexico. It creates opportunities that promote progress and innovation by strengthening ties and developing programs for bi-national businesses and entrepreneurs. AEM provides the public and private sectors a cross-border forum for dialogue, convening business leaders and elected officials working to advance bilateral and global competitiveness.
Established in 1966, IBC Bank and Commerce Bank are divisions of International Bancshares Corp., a $13.6 billion multi-bank financial holding company with 187 facilities serving 88 communities in Texas and Oklahoma.