U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Announces New Board of Directors

U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Announces New Board of Directors

New Members elected at 2007 Convention in San Juan, Puerto Rico


Washington, DC–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–October 4, 2007–The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) Board of Directors recently elected six new Board Members. The new members were elected by their peers at the 2007 USHCC Convention, Business Expo & International Pavilion that took place in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

“Our newly elected Board Members represent a distinguished and diverse group of business leaders,” said USHCC Board Chair David C. Lizárraga. “These accomplished professionals bring a wealth of experience and expertise that make our Board more effective in fulfilling USHCC’s mission to empower Hispanic business.”

The annual event drew over 3,000 participants and 200 exhibitors to the convention. It was the second largest event to be hosted at the newly developed Puerto Rico Convention Center bringing in an estimated $3 million in revenue to area-businesses and the tourism economy in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The newly-elected USHCC Board of Directors are:

Martha Montoya, elected to Region 1, is a businesswoman whose imagination, creative talent, and drive have always kept her moving forward. Ms. Montoya owns and directs a unique media enterprise, Los Kitos Entertainment LLC, which has three main divisions: Syndication of the inspirational Los Kitos bilingual cartoon strip; licensing the characters through United Media and utilizing the characters to bring edu-entertainment to the U.S. Hispanic community. Today, Los Kitos cartoon strip can be read daily in newspapers worldwide, enjoyed on the Internet and heard in America and abroad through Univision Radio and Organization of Americas States.

Gonzalo de la Melena is the Founder & President of Emerging Domestic Market Ventures, LLC, a small business investment company. He is also the CEO of Emerging Restaurants Group, the exclusive Arizona developer and franchisee for Pollo Campero – the #1 Quick Service Restaurant in Latin America, and is partner in GARCIA 360º company, a leading Hispanic advertising agency in the USA. Mr. Gonzalo was elected to serve Region 2.

Elected to serve Region 3, Maria Guadalupe Taxman is CEO and Co-founder of Avanza Hispanic Marketing Specialists, a marketing and public relations firm that helps corporations and not for profit organizations penetrate the United States Hispanic Market. She is a Hispanic advocate and civic volunteer with more than 20 years of experience in international business. Ms. Taxman is a 2004 appointee to the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC). The NWBC is a bi-partisan Federal government council created to serve as an independent source of advice and counsel to the President, Congress, and the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) on economic issues of importance to women business owners.

Val Vargas is a founder and current CEO of the Minnesota Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. She also serves as President of Vargas Company, a tax/accounting and consulting firm. Vargas serves on the Mnnesota Small Business Procurement Advisory Council and the State Urban Initiatives Board. She was awarded the 2003 Latina Leadership Award by the National Association of Women Legislators and Lawmakers.

Alfred Placares was re-elected to represent Region 5, and has served as President of the New York State Federation of Hispanic Chambers of Commerce (NYSFHCC) since 1990. He has brought significant corporate and government resources to its membership, empowering them to expand their business for the betterment of their communities. He has been in private practice specializing in small business issues and immigration law since 1981, and has been a leading advocate for small and minority-owned businesses for more than 20 years. He has served on the Mayor’s Small Business Advisory Committee under Mayors Koch, Dinkins, Guiliani, and now Bloomberg. He was also a member of Bloomberg;s Transition Committee.

Ignacio R. Veloz is the President of I.N. Service, Inc., a company specialized in administration & maintenance of buildings and condominiums, and was elected to serve in Region 6. In 1998, he became part of the “Centro Unido de Detallistas de Puerto Rico” (Retailers Assocation of Puerto Rico) as an associate and a year later became a director. In his role, he has been able to spearhead programs for medium and small businesses.

“We look forward to enhancing business opportunities for our members so that they can continue to compete in a global economy and working toward the 2008 Convention in Sacramento, California,” adds Mr. Lizárraga.

About the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Founded in 1979, the USHCC actively promotes the economic growth and development of Hispanic entrepreneurs and represents the interests of more than two million Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States, which earn more than $350 billion annually. It also serves as the umbrella organization for 200 local Hispanic chambers in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and Mexico.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information about the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, please visit the USHCC Web page at http://www.ushcc.com/about on USHCC’s information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of release, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact USHCC’s Communications Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.ushcc.com/contact.html.

U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Announces New Board of Directors