Banner Year for California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce (CHCC)--Representing 800,000 Hispanic-owned Businesses--Welcomed 2500+ Leaders to 38th Annual Statewide Convention

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The convention featured business workshops, keynotes by nationally recognized leaders, and celebrities like Cheech Marin and Oscar De La Hoya.

The Hispanic business community is making a sizable impact on the state’s and nation’s economy, yet needs to prepare the next set of leaders to carry the torch of Hispanic entrepreneurship and civic involvement.

The California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce (CHCC), which represents the business interests of over 800,000 Hispanic-owned businesses throughout the State of California, held its 38th annual statewide convention in Sonoma County at the end of August.

The convention’s overwhelming success was measured by the discussed topics, launched initiatives, award recipients, and by the standing-room-only general sessions featuring special guests, including Benjamin “el elotero” Ramirez—who defended his business on a Hollywood street corner from racist and violent behavior, emerging as a leader in the small business community—Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio, who represents California's 48th Assembly District, and Hector Barreto, Chairman of the Latino Coalition.

“Our 38th convention served as a bridge for entrepreneurs and leaders from across the state to reach new heights with regards to business performance, community involvement, and making a statement of solidarity to be one with each another,” said Julian Cañete, CHCC’s President and CEO. “The Hispanic business community is making a sizable impact on the state’s and nation’s economy, yet needs to prepare the next set of leaders to carry the torch of Hispanic entrepreneurship and civic involvement. The convention was equal parts celebration and inspiration, a commitment to leadership and service.”

CHCC recognized the effort and leadership of many and the surprise CHCC Chairman’s Award was presented by Frank Montes (current CHCC Chairman) to Juan P. Garcia, who has long been recognized as a leader in the Hispanic community and beyond. In his capacity as CHCC’s Deputy Director, Garcia’s strategic vision and precise tactical execution have played a crucial role in the organization, positively impacting thousands of businesses across California.

A salient aspect of each year’s CHCC convention is the annual election of key officers and directors by Hispanic business owners and chamber leaders. This year’s results included re-election of the leaders serving in the top two Board positions, conveying CHCC’s cohesiveness and stability. The results were as follows:

General elections

  • The re-election of Frank Montes, Inland Body & Paint, as Chairman of the Board.
  • The re-election of Robert (Bob) Gutierrez, PAQ INC., as Vice Chairman of the Board.

Regional Elections

  • Northern Region Chair: Julio Baisa, Pacific Wide & Mortgage
  • Northern Region Directors: Marcos Suarez, Sonoma County Economic Development Board; and Gabriela Sapp, Equitable Growth Solutions Inc.
  • Southern Region Chair: Veronica Corona, CM Cleaning Solutions
  • Southern Region Directors: Julius Argumedo, C1P Solutions Inc.; Mike Limon, MIND Research Institute
  • Central Region Chair Special Election: Marcus Gomez. California Clothing Recycles, LLC.

Three important memorandums of understanding (MOUs) were signed at the convention between:

1. The California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce and the Sacramento MBDA Export Center
2. The California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce and the Latino Coalition
3. The California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce and the National Association of Women in Real Estate Businesses

The signed memorandums formally announce that both parties will make efforts to promote each other’s mission within the framework of their respective organizations.

“The CHCC annual convention was a life changing experience! Seeing all of the success coming from all the wonderful Latinos and Latinas is truly inspiring and pushes us to move forward,” stated Steven Farias, Co-founder of Straightline Dynamics. “I thank CHCC for embracing our generation and for providing a platform that can allow us to reach new heights in our businesses careers.”

CHCC is already looking ahead to next year when it will celebrate its 40th anniversary. It is fitting that in California, the state with the largest Latino population, CHCC will celebrate its four decades and host its 39th annual convention in Los Angeles County—home to the largest Hispanic population of any county in the US.

In the 2012 census, Los Angeles County was home to 631,218 minority-owned firms of which 332,967 were Hispanic. Los Angeles serves as a Latino point of reference for the nation.

“Los Angeles is not only the number one market to attract Latinos, it is where the rest of the state goes and where the rest of the country goes – both economically and politically,” asserted in 2015 Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, then professor and dean of education at UCLA's Graduate School of Education and Information Studies.

Next year’s convention will also mark the fifteenth year of CHCC’s C.A.P.S. (Creating A Path to Success) Program—an intensive half-week of training that provides real-world skills for young professionals, such as interview skills, etiquette for professional gatherings, and learning about optimizing personal strengths.

For more information about CHCC’s recent convention, its new initiatives, and upcoming activities, email CHCC at info[at], call (916) 444-2221 or visit

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