WASHINGTON & PHOENIX–(HISPANIC PR WIRE – BUSINESS WIRE)–June 11, 2003–Jim Padilla, President of Ford North America was named Honorary Chair of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s 24th Annual National Convention and Business Expo. Ray Arvizu, President/CEO of the Phoenix-based Arvizu Advertising and Promotions has been named Convention Host Chair. “Maximizing Performance for Economic Success” is the theme of the USHCC Convention that will be held in Phoenix, Arizona from October 1-4, 2003. The convention will focus on the accomplishments of Hispanic entrepreneurship and its influence on the nation. Issues that affect the Hispanic small business community such as wealth creation, homeownership, financial planning and workforce development will also be among the topics of discussion.
Jim Padilla, President of Ford North America, who will serve as the convention’s Honorary Chair said he is honored to help the USHCC promote entrepreneurship during Ford Motor Company’s Centennial year. “Henry Ford was a true entrepreneur, and he also was among the first business leaders to recognize the value of a diverse workforce and open his doors to everyone,” Padilla said. “As Ford celebrates its 100th anniversary on June 16, it is fitting that we support the Chamber’s many worthwhile economic development programs.”
“I am delighted to have both Jim and Ray serve as the honorary chair and convention host chair respectively, for this year’s annual convention. With their participation and support, I anticipate the Phoenix convention to be a history-making endeavor,” said George Herrera, USHCC President and CEO. “We hope to empower our community with the skills, knowledge and expertise so that each of us may maximize our individual performance to create collective economic success.”
The USHCC expects to generate nearly $5 million in revenue for the city of Phoenix by attracting more than 5,000 business owners, government leaders, national and local elected officials and corporate executives from around the country. Together with the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, convention participants will connect with corporate and government buyers, discuss strategic alliances for economic development, and explore business and career opportunities.
The official kick-off of the USHCC Convention begins Wednesday, October 1, at the USHCC Foundation’s 3rd Annual Golf Classic at the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa in Phoenix. All proceeds from the Golf Classic will benefit the Foundation’s Youth Entrepreneurship Initiative. The USHCC Foundation will also host the National Youth Entrepreneur “BizFest” and “BizFest” Competition. The “BizFest” is a hands-on practical three-day training camp where Latino youth learn about entrepreneurship and compete for cash prizes and awards.
On October 2, a plenary session entitled “Women In Power” will be held, featuring some of the country’s top Latina business owners. Chamber training and business workshops on finance, international trade, technology and media will also be offered. Distinguished leaders from the business, corporate, education and political communities will be among the guest speakers.
The free, two-day Business Expo on October 3 and 4 at the Phoenix Civic Plaza, will host more than 200 exhibitors comprised of local Hispanic chambers of commerce, Fortune 500 companies and an international delegation from Mexico. At the Expo the USHCC Foundation will also showcase a Youth & Career Pavilion that will offer Hispanic youth the opportunity to meet with human resource representatives to discuss career opportunities and potential job openings.
The Convention will conclude with its National Awards Gala, where chamber members, businesses, government and corporate advocates will be among the celebrated recipients of the USHCC’s Regional and National Hispanic Leadership & Business Excellence Awards. The deadline for the USHCC Awards is July 31, 2003. Latina entrepreneurs will also be recognized as the recipients of the Anna Maria Arias Memorial Business Fund and receive up to $5,000 in cash awards. The deadline to apply for the Anna Maria Arias awards is August 31,
For more information about participation, sponsorship and registration for the USHCC Convention and Business Expo and the USHCC Foundation’s 3rd Annual Golf Classic, please call 800/874-2286 or visit http://www.ushcc.com.
The USHCC represents the interests of more than 1.2 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States and Puerto Rico, which earn more than $200 billion annually. It serves as the umbrella organization for more than 130 local Hispanic chambers nationwide, and it actively promotes the economic growth and development of Hispanic entrepreneurs.
United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Maria Ibanez, 202/842-1212