Working in a male dominated industry, Mamie Salazar Harper, of El Paso, Texas is one of a handful of female rental dealers in the United States. In 1992, she was awarded the Colortyme Top Ten Franchisee of the Year, and in 1993 she garnered the coveted Association of Progressive Rental Organizations (APRO) Dealer of the Year. She is also the founder of Women of RTO. As an advocate for the industry, she feels her mission is to educate the public about the true nature of this business transaction.
Salazar Harper served for ten years on the board of directors for the Texas Association of Rental Organizations (TARA), serving in all executive positions, including Chairman. She served six years on the board of directors for the National Association of Progressive Rental Organizations (APRO) trade association. She served as the APRO Political Action Committee (PAC) Chairwoman for five years, and created a contribution system that rewarded industry leaders and increased PAC revenues from $30,000 to $200,000+. She has testified three times, on behalf of the national industry, before the United States House of Representatives Banking Subcommittee on pending federal legislation. In September, 2002, HR1701, the Consumer Rental Purchase Bill was successfully passed in the United States House of Representatives. Salazar Harper has testified three times, on behalf of the state industry, before the Texas House Legislature Insurance Committee and Business Committee.
The President Bush Administration recognized her hard work and high energy. In June 2001, she was invited to speak at the White House at an economic policy roundtable conducted by Dr. Lawrence Lindsey, special advisor to President George W. Bush. The other attendees included Dr. Vance Coffman, CEO of Lockheed Martin and J. Carter Beese, President of Riggs Bank and former Commissioner of the Securities Exchange Commission. The purpose of this meeting was to report on the current state of the economy in relationship to the different business sectors.
In 2002, Salazar Harper was named one of the Dynamic Dozen by the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce. This award was presented in recognition of El Paso’s small to medium sized businesses who have demonstrated significant growth and who show great potential for continued success.
In 2002, Harper was selected as one of the recipients of Women of Enterprise Magazine’s Women of Excellence. The award, sponsored by IBM, is given to Texas women whose initiative, spirit and achievements have made a positive difference in both the business world and the community.
In 2003, Salazar Harper was selected as a member of the Advisory Board for State National Bank, now BBVA Compass, and served for seven years. She assisted the bank in identifying female entrepreneurs who need to obtain financing for their small businesses. Thomas Casaday, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Sierra Providence Health Network, appointed Salazar Harper to a three year term on the Governing Board of the two Tenet-owned hospitals. She acted as a liaison between the administration and the El Paso community. Her appointment expired in 2006.
In 2003, the United States Small Business Administration awarded Salazar Harper the District Director’s Choice Award. The SBA Administrator, Hector Barreto, presented the award during the 50th Anniversary Economic Growth Tour.
In 2004, Texas Governor Rick Perry appointed Salazar Harper as a Commissioner for the Texas Women’s Commission. She helped fulfill the mission of promoting opportunities for Texas women through education, outreach, research and referral services.
In October 2005, the Small Business Administration District Office presented her with the Small Minority Business of the Year award. In 2006, Governor Rick Perry appointed Salazar Harper to the Texas State Family and Protective Services Council for a five year term, expiring in 2011.
In 2008, she was named to the Board of the Texas Governor’s Mansion. In 2009 she became the Treasurer of the Sam Houston Historical Society.
In 2009, Salzaar Harper was profiled by the University of Texas- El Paso in their National Hispanic Entrepreneurial Oral History Project. Her oral history details her success and growth in the rental industry and is available at the UTEP library and on the worldwide web.
In 2010, Salazar Harper was awarded a scholarship to attend the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College's Minority Entrepreneurs Program.
In 2011, she was The Outstanding Chapter Member of PHMA, the Professional Housing Managers' Association- Tri State Chapter at Ft Bliss.
In 2012 Texas Governor Perry appointed her to the Texas Veterinary Licensing & Regulation board for a period of 4 years.