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Angela R. Burton was born and raised in Kansas City, Kansas. In 1985, Angela came to South Texas as a Spring Breaker and never went back.
For ten years she worked full-time and attended college part-time. Her dedication and strive for an education paid off as she earned an Associate’s Degree in International Trade and Transportation from Texas Southmost College and a Bachelors of Applied Arts and Science Degree in Business Technology from the University of Texas at Brownsville in 1997. (She graduated Magna Cum Laude.) Angela is also a graduate from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Organizational Management at the University of Notre Dame as well as the Texas Certified Public Managers Course at UTB/TSC’s Institute for Public Service.
In June, after almost 9 years of service, Angela announced she would step down as President/CEO of the Brownsville Chamber of Commerce to assume a new role as the Deputy District Director of the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Lower Rio Grande Valley District Office. She was the first woman President in the organization’s 76 year history.
Burton’s exposure to the Chamber world began in 1992 shortly after returning from her tour of duty in the Middle East during Desert Storm when she began working for The University of Texas Pan American’s, Small Business Development Center (SBDC) as a small business counselor (The SBDC is an SBA resource partner). The SBDC was afforded office space by the Chamber so she became well acquainted with the Chamber staff and the Chamber’s activities. Eventually, the Chamber hired her for an entry level position in communication and in 2004 the board of directors offered Angela the President/CEO position.
During her term as president she promoted a strong local economy, created and provided opportunities for relationship building, delivered programs to help businesses develop, and was a relentless advocate for the community.
In 2005, Angela was recognized by Women’s Enterprise magazine as one of Texas’ top women leaders in Chambers of Commerce and in 2006 Toastmasters International recognized her with a communication and leadership award.
In December 2007, Angela graduated from Leadership, Texas. She was one of 100 women in the entire state of Texas chosen to participate in the class. In May 2009, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) recognized Angela as the Veteran Small Business Champion of the year and in 2011 she was again recognized by the U.S. SBA with the Phoenix Award for Outstanding Contributions to Disaster Recovery.
In March of 2004, Angela retired from the U.S. Army Reserves as a Sergeant First Class with more than 21 years of service. Her service included a Tour of Duty in Southwest Asia during Operation Desert Shield/ Desert Storm, tours in Central America as well as many areas in the United States. Her final assignment included training troops in preparation for assignments in Iraq. In November 2003, because of her excellence in training and leadership, the 4th Training Brigade awarded Angela “Instructor of the Year 2003”. (The 4th Brigade covers a nine state region.)