The holiday season is a time for reflection. As we close out 2017 and welcome 2018, I am grateful for the amazing opportunity that I have been given to serve the Hispanic community as the interim Executive Director of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation. It might sound cliché, but I truly believe that 2018—the Foundation’s 25th anniversary—will be our best year ever.
After many years in corporate America, I approach this new role with a genuine commitment to innovation and continual improvement. Just as the Hispanic businesses and entrepreneurs that we have the privilege to serve must adapt in this ever-changing business market, so too must the Foundation actively seek ways to advance across all facets of its operations. In 2018, I will roll out a multi-point action plan for the Foundation built around a few core principles:
First, transparency. In recognition of the Foundation’s trusted position as a financial beneficiary for public, corporate, and individual donations, I will ensure that the Foundation’s financials are available in real time on the Foundation’s website and that this financial information is audited on an annual basis.
Second, innovation. The Foundation will commission the development of a new website that will improve our ability to deliver information about the Foundation’s programmatic offerings, and to enhance interaction with our members.
Third, quality. We will continue to develop and deliver high-caliber, successful programs to our key stakeholders, including:
At the Table: Women in Business and Leadership, which was built to support future business leaders and ignite the entrepreneurial spirit of communities across America.
The Chamber Training Institute, which offers chambers across the country accelerated leadership training on a range of topics with faculty from the University of Notre Dame–Mendoza College of Business. Over the past six years, more than 1,000 participants have completed this program.
Finally, accountability. In support of our rapidly growing organization, we are in the process of revising our organizational structure to allow for full-time staff dedicated to the Foundation and hiring a new external accounting partner. We have also established an independent board accountable for overall Foundation financials and operations.
Looking ahead to 2018, the Foundation will continue to empower business leaders through lifelong education and support, encourage entrepreneurial ideals, cultivate business growth, strengthen local chambers, and foster leadership values.
My compass as I take on this new role will be the core values my parents instilled in me at a very young age—work hard, act with integrity, be honest, stay humble, and pay it forward. Our strength as an organization, as a community, and as a nation lies in our ability to work together and find meaningful solutions to help grow our chambers, businesses, and entrepreneurs.
The Foundation’s important work lifting and channeling the Hispanic business community’s needs and connecting its members would not be possible without you, our great members, our thoughtful legislative leaders, and the support and engagement from our outstanding business community.
On behalf of the Foundation, thank you for your continued support. I wish you and yours Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year.
Interim Executive Director