Hispanic 100 Initiative helps Latino professionals branch out

The Hispanic Chamber Cincinnati USA is looking for a few good men and women - one hundred, in fact. HCCUSA's Hispanics for Community Engagement, also known as the Hispanic 100 Initiative, will identify, guide, and mentor a hundred Hispanic businesspeople, positioning them for leadership in greater Cincinnati organizations.

Alfonso Cornejo, president of the Hispanic Chamber, described his vision for the Hispanic 100. "We want to enroll fifty women, and fifty men - half from Fortune 500 companies, and half from small businesses."

He plans to divide this mix into affinity groups based on common interests, such as sports or the arts. When organizations from around Cincinnati call the Hispanic Chamber in need of volunteers, Cornejo and his staff will have teams ready to go. If an organization is looking for Hispanic representation on their board, the Chamber can easily recommend a talented leader. The Hispanic 100 will also sponsor group outings to build community and increase visibility of Latinos at local events.

Observing that many Spanish-speaking countries lack a strong system of nonprofits, Cornejo hopes to build up volunteer work as a new tradition for Hispanic Americans. After emigrating from Mexico, he came to Cincinnati through employment at P&G. He's spent the last nine years operating his own consulting firm, specializing in human resources and Latin American business.

The Hispanic Chamber Cincinnati USA was founded fourteen years ago; its mission is to promote the creation and growth of Hispanic companies. It's the largest Hispanic chamber in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky.

Cornejo has served as Board President for the last seven years; his enthusiasm for the growth of the Hispanic Chamber is contagious. "We're making Cincinnati a more welcoming city for immigrants," said Cornejo. "We can show the world how beautiful this city is."

Writer: Elena Stevenson
Source: Alfonso Cornejo, Board President, Hispanic Chamber Cincinnati USA
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