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Dr. Laura Murillo

Top 20 Inspiring Woman Impact Maker Award


Saturday, January 5, 2019

The Ballroom at Bayou Place

Dr. Laura Murillo is a strong and respected leader of the community. Born to Mexican immigrants, Dr. Murillo has lived in Houston all her life. She says this of her parents: “I am the beneficiary of two extraordinary parents who instilled in me that anything is possible in this great country.” She holds a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, and a PhD from the University of Houston. Her top priority is being the proud mother of her daughters, Marisa and Mia.

In 2007, Dr. Murillo was named president and CEO of the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (HHCC), the leading regional advocate for the economic and civic interests of the Hispanic business community. With the support of the chamber board and staff, she has set unprecedented records, including growing the organization to become the largest Hispanic chamber in the country. Its membership has expanded from 400 to 4000 members, and revenue has increased from $150,000 to $2.6 million.

In 2009, two years after Dr. Murillo took the helm, the HHCC won the National and Regional Large Hispanic Chamber of the Year Award from the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC). The organization also won the Marketer of the Year Award from the American Marketing Association (AMA/AMAF). These honors were bestowed upon the chamber not once, but twice during Dr. Murillo’s tenure. Dr. Murillo also serves as the founding president and CEO of the chamber’s foundation. Prior to her position with HHCC, Dr. Murillo was senior executive director at Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center.

Dr. Murillo’s career began in student services at the University of Houston. At the age of 23, she was promoted to director for the Urban Experience Program, which was sponsored by the Office of the President. She was the youngest person ever to hold the director’s position in the history of the university. Dr. Murillo is also the youngest person to be elected to the position of president of Hispanic Women in Leadership, the largest organization of professional Hispanic women in the Houston area. As well, she is the youngest person to be inducted into the Hispanic Hall of fame, an honor she received for her service to the community and to education.

Another of her many outstanding accomplishments is that of founding executive producer and host for the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s radio and television programs on CBS KHOU and Univision. As well, Dr. Murillo is a Telemundo political commentator and has appeared on numerous national programs.

In service to her community, Dr. Murillo is a member of the Houston BBVA Compass board of directors, the University of Houston board of advisors, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors, the Mayor’s Hispanic Advisory Board, the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority board of directors, the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee and the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition Texas Advisory Committee.

Because of Dr. Murillo’s gracious service to her community, she has been honored by Houston in a variety of ways. Among them: being named one of the Most Powerful and Influential Women in Texas, receiving the Top Latino Leader Award by the National Diversity Council (NDC), being named Woman of the Year by Success Magazine, receiving the University of Houston Distinguished Alumnus Award, and receiving the International Leadership Award from Texas Women’s Empowerment Foundation (TWEF).

In 2016, Dr. Murillo was featured in the Houston Chronicle “Women Who Run Houston” article. She was also named Outstanding Service Honoree by the Mexican-American Bar Association of Texas Foundation (MABATX Foundation). The National MBA organization, Prospanica, honored her with the Community Service Excellence Award, and named her an Icon Honoree.

For her roles in advocacy and civic leadership, Dr. Murillo was presented with the Ohtli Award, the highest award the Mexican government can bestow on a Mexican American. She was also named Top 10 Who’s Who in Business and a Top 5 C-Suite CEO finalist by the Houston Business Journal. In 2014, she was honored with the Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award by the National Football League (NFL).

Both Dr. Murillo and HHCC received the President’s Medallion, the University of Houston’s highest honor. A renowned international speaker, Dr. Murillo often addresses corporations, universities, nonprofits, schools, and conferences.

Brought up to believe she could achieve anything she set her mind to, Dr. Laura Murillo has achieved tremendous success in her life and for her community. In 2018, after the onslaught of  Hurricane Harvey, Dr. Murillo was one of the leaders people turned to for guidance. For days over the airwaves, she provided useful information for business owners attempting to recover.

It is for all the reasons mentioned above, and many more, that Dr. Laura Murillo has been named a Top 20 Inspiring Woman Impact Maker for 2019. 

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