Portillo Is Rebuilding the Revere Chamber of Commerce: Local Business Owner Begins Her Role as Executive Director

Like many organizations, the Revere Chamber of Commerce faced trying times during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

With no networking or social events allowed due to coronavirus restrictions, the local business group pretty much fell out of existence for more than a year.

But on September 7, 2021, a new era for RCC began, with long-time Revere resident and business owner Amanda Schepici-Portillo taking the position of executive director.

Portillo has brought some exciting, new energy to the organization. In just seven weeks of membership recruitment, Portillo has built up the organization to 35 members.

“We are getting new members on a weekly basis,” said Portillo, who has been contacting previous RCC members.

One reason for the rapid growth has been Portillo and the organization’s development of “a new membership program to ensure that members are going to see a return of their investment.”

Portillo also credits the support the RCC has received from Mayor Brian Arrigo and his wife, Daveen Balliro Arrigo, a real estate agent for Keller Williams Realty who is an RCC member. The popular mayor attended the RCC Networking Night held at Fine Line where he greeted new members and honored numerous photo requests. Ward 4 Councillor Patrick Keefe, who is a sales partner with Daveen Arrigo, has also been a strong supporter since the re-launch of the organization and has become an RCC member.

Portillo a Business Leader and Entrepreneur

The daughter of Cheryl DeMasi Schepici, a 1976 RHS graduate, and Steven Schepici, Amanda, 35, attended Revere schools and graduated in 2004 from Revere High School where she was a two-year member of a state championship cheerleading team. She is a graduate of Salem State University with a degree in Social Work and a minor in Spanish and also holds a Master’s Certificate in Organizational Leadership from Southern New Hampshire University.

Her brother, Steven, was an outstanding basketball and baseball player at RHS and a former teammate of Derek Anemoduris, owner of Derek’s Barber Shop on Park Avenue.

Amanda and her husband, Gabriel Portillo, are co-owners of Portillo Property Partners, which provides painting services to clients. They are parents of two children, a daughter, Layla, 11, and a son, Angelo, 6, who are students in the Revere school district.

Amanda is also a career and business transformational strategist. A coach for job seekers and service-based business owners and fluent in Spanish, Portillo will be conducting an RCC workshop, Social Media 101, for business owners on Dec. 7.

“What’s awesome is that we’re partnering with the Revere Recreation Department, and they’ve given us space at the Garfield School for our training workshops,” said Portillo.

Portillo said that as an entrepreneur she has personally joined networking organizations like the Revere Chamber of Commerce.

“I truly understand the needs and challenges that go into running a business, and that’s the perspective I get to offer to our members,” she said.

Portillo said the Revere Chamber of Commerce is seeking to open offices in the city.

“We’re looking for an office space that fits our budget and meets our needs, but we haven’t identified one yet,” she concluded.

‘Just the Beginning’

The Revere Chamber of Commerce will return to the social calendar with its annual awards dinner and gala that will be held Saturday, March 6, 2022 at Casa Lucia.

“I’m super excited about the gala,” said Portillo. “What’s really great is that Pazza on Porter is now the primary food with provider for Casa Lucia and the owners of Pazza on Porter are two RHS graduates, Gino Scalzi, who was my high school classmate, and his brother, Raffaele Scalzi.”

Portillo is hopeful that the organization’s momentum and its warm reception from businesspeople will continue into the new year.

“We’re pleased with the response so far – it’s great but we have to keep going,” said Portillo. “We need to make sure that we’re being consistent, that we’re showing up and providing value because although this is a great first couple of months, this is just the beginning.’’

Portillo has scheduled three very successful Networking Nights, with the next one on tap for Wednesday, Dec. 8 at 6 p.m. at Bianchi’s At The Sandbar on Revere Beach Boulevard.

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