The new bedroom chair paved the way from Dion’s kitchen to the Commerce conference room

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Joseph Trimble, the 2022 president of the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce, is seen in his office in downtown Albuquerque Wells Fargo on February 9. Trimble said he was drawn to the organization because he grew up in the Hispanic community. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)

The ins and outs of small business are nothing new to Joe Trimble.

As a child, Trimble often spent his summers working alongside family members at their small business in Arizona, where he learned the ropes from an inside perspective.

And as an adult, he spent most of his career working with small businesses through various roles at Wells Fargo.

Today, Trimble brings those years of experience to the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce as the organization’s new Chairman of the Board.

“This is about trying to help grow and scale Hispanic and other small businesses across Albuquerque and throughout New Mexico,” said chamber president and CEO Ernie C. ‘deBaca. “And so, I think what he’s going to bring is a lot of energy.”

C’deBaca said that while Trimble may be the organization’s youngest chairman of the board and the only one who isn’t “truly Hispanic,” his dedication to the Hispanic community and the small community companies is profound and largely influenced by his childhood. in the North Valley of Albuquerque.

“Joe Trimble, that’s a name that has nothing to do with being Hispanic, and I joke that he might actually be more Hispanic than me because he grew up in the North Valley of ‘Albuquerque,’ he said. “So in a way…while his last name doesn’t reflect being Hispanic, it’s all about Hispanics.”

An early interest in small businesses

Although he oversees one of the most influential business organizations in the state, Trimble has never owned a small business.

But that doesn’t mean he’s unfamiliar with the challenges small businesses face.

Born and raised in Albuquerque, Trimble said he grew up in Valley North Albuquerque and eventually graduated from Valley High School.

During his years as a student, he saw not only the importance and value of education, but also the difficulties that some of his classmates faced growing up in low-income neighborhoods. .

“Where my childhood really played a part was seeing those around me working hard for opportunities and then also seeing my family who owned a small business, actually, and I had opportunity to spend a lot of time with a few of them,” Trimble said during an interview from his office in the Wells Fargo building in downtown Albuquerque.

Watching his family’s work showed him the passion small business owners have for their careers, but also the hardships that often come with it.

“Somewhere along the way, it instilled in me that while I love and care about small businesses, the way I’m built isn’t to run one,” he said. .

A short summary

Trimble has only ever worked at two companies.

As a teenager, Trimble, like many other teenagers in Albuquerque, got his first job at Dion working in the kitchen.

Soon after, and with the help of one of his high school teachers, he landed a job at Wells Fargo as a cashier and has remained with the company ever since.

Two years into his tenure at the bank, he transitioned from his role as a teller to a small business specialist where he worked directly with small business owners to help them manage their business and finances at the Nob Hill branch.

“My job was to build really lasting relationships with these customers by asking them questions and learning about their business,” he said. “I invested myself and I invested my time to really understand this.”

He said that even though he has stepped away from this role, he remains in contact with many business owners he has met.

Some still contact him for advice – something Trimble said he was happy to oblige.

In his current role as Wells Fargo Mountain Area Small Business Leader, Trimble still works with small businesses, but not as directly as before.

In his role, Trimble says he works to educate bankers on ways to interact with and support small businesses with less than $5 million in revenue.

“It’s a two-way street,” he said. “The first side is the internal which gives me the opportunity to create processes, operate and improve systematic approaches to managing small businesses. And while on the other side is the external component which is to understand small business not necessarily from a banking perspective, but to understand the holistic approach to that small business.

Bring experience

Trimble said he was drawn to the “Hispanic Chamber” because his work is based on his deep understanding of the small business community and because he grew up in the Hispanic community.

Since joining the chamber, Trimble has hosted several Lunch and Learn series and helped create the Avanzar program.

He said Avanzar, which is a year-long business accelerator program, was born out of a conversation on a flight to a U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce convention.

“What I saw was that a lot of start-ups were getting the most attention and I wanted to make a difference for business owners who are trying to scale their business and that’s what this program today,” Trimble said.

The local program received three grants of $25,000 and has since expanded to several other cities across the country.

As chairman of this year’s board, Trimble said he is focused on supporting business owners with innovative ideas and strengthening sourcing opportunities in the state.

This role may include overseeing millions of dollars in grants as the chamber is a finalist in the United States Economic Development Administration’s Build Back Better Region challenge.

C’deBaca said Trimble was also “committed” to increasing membership in the chamber.

But since his tenure will be in the third year of the pandemic, Trimble said he realizes this year will also be different from previous years, although he said it looks like people seem more optimists.

“I think people (and), especially small businesses, for lack of a better word, they roll with the punches and they do it in a way that even savvy business owners and those who are in growing businesses, they always take every opportunity to be the best business owner they can be,” he said.

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