SAN ANTONIO, TX – The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has announced the appointment of Rio Grande Valley native Ramiro Cavazos as its next president and CEO.
USHCC is the largest Hispanic business organization in the country, representing over 4.3 million Hispanic-owned businesses. Those businesses contribute over $700 billion to the American economy every year.
Cavazos was born and raised in Weslaco and is a 7th generation Texan. He currently serves president and CEO of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He will replace interim president and CEO, Fernand Fernández at USHCC. Fernández replaced another Valley native, Javier Palomarez, as head of the Chamber.
“After a search and selection process that spanned several months, we have selected Ramiro because of his strong financial acumen, servant leadership, and shared vision to serve the Hispanic business community, and put our community first in everything we do,” said Carmen Castillo, co-chair of the USHCC board of directors.
Castillo said of the outgoing interim president: “We extend our utmost appreciation to Fernand Fernández, our colleague and fellow board member, who generously stepped up to lead USHCC as Interim President & CEO. We owe him a debt of gratitude for the commitment, stability, and leadership he brought to the USHCC over the past seven months.”
Fernández said of Cavazos: “Ramiro shares our desire to build stronger relationships between the USHCC and the local chambers, our corporate partners, and members of Congress. I am confident that he will be a strong advocate for the resources needed to provide services and programs that will ensure the success of Hispanic businesses.”
Cavazos said he was honored to be appointed.
“I am grateful to the Board of Directors for selecting me to lead the USHCC, an organization that I have admired and supported for many years. It is an honor to have been given this opportunity to lead such a valuable and important American institution that positively impacts our nation’s economy and strengthens our fast-growing Latino business community,” said Cavazos.
C. LeRoy Cavazos-Reyna is senior manager of public affairs and communications for Coca Cola Southwest Beverages, a company of Arca Continental. Cavazos-Reyna served as No. 2 to Cavazos at the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber.
“Ramiro created the modern Chamber, first when he assumed the reigns as a young charismatic president in the 1980s then as a seasoned economic development expert during his second term, ten years ago this August,” Cavazos-Reyna told the Rio Grande Guardian.
“His leadership has made the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber an iconic national institution of thriving businesses, political influence, and one of the strongest voices for small, minority, women- owned businesses in America.”
Cavazos-Reyna said the experience Cavazos will now gain at the national level “has the ability to create social, legislative, and sustainable change” for more than 4.3 million Hispanic owned businesses across the country.
“As a native of south Texas, I am proud to have worked for Ramiro, his professional identity has taught me so much and I enthusiastically look forward to his evolution on the national stage,” Cavazos-Reyna added.
Prior to joining the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber, Cavazos was director of research and economic development for the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and was also director of economic development for the City of San Antonio. Previously, he was global public affairs manager for the Levi Strauss Foundation in Texas, Mexico, and Latin America.
Cavazos earned a Masters of Public Administration from St. Mary’s University and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Government from The University of Texas at Austin.
Cavazos’ appointment will be effective on October 1, 2018.