The 2022 Laredo Business Hall of Fame honored the Asmussen family, Hank and Elizabeth Sames, and Gerald Schwebel

 The 2022 Laredo Business Hall of Fame honored the Asmussen family, Hank and Elizabeth Sames, and Gerald Schwebel

Laredo is a city where many businesses and entrepreneurs thrive, and Thursday night at the Laredo Country Club, some of the city’s most famous minds were honored.

The 2022 Laredo Business Hall of Fame honors three individuals and families for their significant contributions to the community and the local business world.

New winners for the Hall of Fame include: the Asmussen family, Hank and Elizabeth Sames, and Gerald Schwebel.

The event is even more special this year for the honorees after it was postponed for two years due to the pandemic. All the winners really felt honored for the experience.

“It’s great, because it’s something you don’t expect,” Keith Asmussen, owner and trainer at the Asmussen Horse Center, said.

Marilyn Asmussen, who is Keith’s wife, says recognition for the whole family is something to do for two years, because they know and are waiting for recognition because of COVID.

“It’s delayed from 2020, so we’ve known it for two years,” he said. “But we’re very happy. If it had happened two years ago, our whole family probably wouldn’t have been able to do it, but now everything is done this way and here we are.

The Asmussens horse, Epicenter, competed this past week in the 2022 Kentucky Derby, entering as the overall favorite with 4-to-1 odds for the sport’s biggest race of the year. Epicenter took second overall after a stunning win over Rich Strike, the second-biggest longshot in Derby history to win 80-to-1.

After the race, the family already has tickets ready to go to the 2022 Preakness Stakes to be held in Baltimore, Maryland later this month.

The Sames family is equally proud of their honor from the Laredo Business Hall of Fame. They say it’s something they hope to show not how they contribute to the community but show others how helping the community is a good thing to come first.

“We are very proud, because our family has been in Laredo for 110-plus years,” Elizabeth Sames, president of the Sames Auto Group and Director of the Laredo Area Community Foundation, said. “We always thought it was important to give back to the community, and it was about honoring us for giving back to the community. (The award) is not the reason why we give back, as we give back because it makes us to feel good.

Elizabeth Sames-who said she prefers the titles of wife, mother, bookclub member, tennis court organizer and grandmother of 14-is also proud to share the honor with her husband, Hank.

“It’s a great honor, a very great honor, and we’re humbled that they chose us,” he said. very good to us. ”

Hank Sames said in the future, they seek to further expand their business areas because they are “strong believers in Laredo,” especially now that their daughter, Evelyn, is at the helm of the company. .

“Laredo will grow, and our plan for Laredo is that we will grow with Laredo and take it to the next level,” Hank said.

Schwebel is another individual recognized for his outstanding work. And the Executive Vice President of the International Bank of Commerce was honored for making the area internationally recognized in the business world and working to drive many of the city’s infrastructure efforts.

“I am very humbled and honored to be part of the Asmussen family and the Sames family, because it is an honor to be part of them,” Schwebel said.

Schwebel, who has been involved in numerous business projects in the community and also across the state and in Mexico, said he gained the knowledge he now has in the business world because he sees what he does as fun. She said she was lucky to be surrounded by so many good people in her life and in her company.

“You have to have a passion, you have to be positive and you have to be willing to give back to the community that gives you so much, and I appreciate that very much,” Schwebel said. “I’m lucky in Laredo and Nuevo Laredo, where I grew up in two cities, it gave me a lot, and whatever I can do to make it better is what I try.”

Schwebel’s son, Gerry Schwebel Jr. -a software engineer in the Dallas-Fort Worth area-said he was inspired by the recognition his father gave him, because he was a man who was the same at home as the public. He said he learned many valuable lessons from his father, but the most important was to respect others.

“I think respecting others is something I’ve always kept, because he’s a very humble person. And I think people are attracted to that, and people respect that,” Schwebel Jr. said. ” He’s a staple for me and someone I always look up to. ”

The three renowned winners also provide advice to any aspiring individual or child who wants to enter the business world.

“It’s important to find something you like and follow your dreams, because our two sons are an example of that. One of them is a leading rider in France, and Steven is a leading coach in North America and have won many races, “said Marilyn Asmussen.” They are very enthusiastic and dedicated to what they do, and they are very successful at it. “

Hank Sames said in efforts for someone to thrive in the business world, one must be willing to work in any kind of job. He says they can never be comfortable and always try to get a promotion or promotion, because that’s how they know their value. He said they also need to know when they can branch into the business world on their own.

“Entrepreneurship is an easy thing and a hard thing, because you can have this bright idea in your head and what you want to do, but you have to have the perseverance to keep it going,” he said. Elizabeth Sames. “If you open your new business, it’s going to take a long time because you’re not going to be successful overnight, and you have to keep it going and keep it going through good and bad times.

“We’ve been in business for over 110 years, and there have been a lot of ups and downs. There were times when the business was good, there were times when we thought the business wasn’t going to succeed – like the chicken devolution in the 1980s, the economic catastrophe of 2008. My advice is to persevere. ”

And for his part, Schwebel says there are “many more dreams to come” and that his work is not over yet. He plans to help build new bridges, Binational River Park, highways and other international projects that will only make Laredo a stronger and better city for everyone.

“I always say I’m probably not the smartest person in the room, but I’m the most diligent person in the room, and that’s for sure,” Schwebel said. “Hard work ethic, positive attitude, striving for importance, humility, understanding that God is your guide and having faith that you will succeed in everything that comes before you. Face the challenges, raise your hand and volunteer and be part of the community, and give back and engagement to everyone and the processes of anything that affects your life. Don’t wait for others to do it, you have to come in and get involved. “

For 26 years, since 1994, the Laredo Business Hall of Fame has annually honored the community’s most respected business leaders. The winners are considered renowned for their contributions to the growth of Laredo through business excellence, vision, innovation, inspiring leadership and for their service to the community.

All revenue collected at the Laredo Business Hall of Fame benefits Junior Achievement’s economic education programs in the Laredo area.

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