Advancing the Hispanic Community's Diversity of Thought
Founded in 2003, CHLI is a 501(c)3 non-profit and non-partisan organization. CHLI is dedicated to fostering a broad awareness of the diversity of thought, heritage, interests and views of Americans of Hispanic and Portuguese descent.
Advancing the Hispanic Community's Diversity of Thought.
The Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI) is the premier organization founded by Members of Congress to advance the Hispanic Community's Economic Progress with a focus on Social Responsibility and Global Competitiveness.
I would like to personally thank the Gala Committee and its Chair and leader, Ivette Fernandez, as well as our sponsors, our alumni, and our hard-working staff, for making our 10thAnnual CHLI Gala and Leadership Awards our most successful ever!
It was a genuine pleasure to see so many longtime friends and program alumni at the gala. Our students are CHLI's greatest legacy and I'm proud of their extraordinary achievements. With your support, we have been able to guide so many emerging leaders into successful career paths. Through their actions, they have established CHLI's reputation for excellence.
I was also extremely pleased to meet so many new friends, and introduce them to our mission and our programs. The Gala gave us the opportunity to showcase CHLI's bi-partisan commitment to the promotion of the Hispanic community's economic development, political involvement, and educational opportunity.
Your continued support has been essential in allowing us to positively affect the lives of so many future leaders.We re-affirm our commitment to continue the global leadership development of current and future Hispanic leaders in the United States!
Executive Director's Message
Echoing our Chairman's statement, I'd like to also thank everyone for helping make our 10thAnnual CHLI Gala and Leadership Awards our most successful gala ever! The event exceeded our expectations and I'm grateful that we have so many engaged sponsors and supporters dedicated to CHLI's mission!
But rest assured, we are continuously working on advancing the Hispanic community's diversity of views through our Congressional Policy Briefings on the Hill and Future Leaders Conferences throughout the country.
In April, we held a Congressional Briefing on the Economic Situation in Puerto Rico and were honored to have former Governor Luis Fortuño; Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi; Mr. Ignacio Alvarez, Chief Legal Officer, Popular, Inc.; Mr. Antonio Medina, Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company; and Mr. Carlos Bonilla, Chairman of Tax Committee, Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association. Our panelists shared their multi-level insights about the economic challenges Puerto Rico is currently facing.
In June, we partnered withThe Latino Coalitionand
The Libre Initiativeto host a Congressional Briefing titled, "Barriers to Prosperity for the Hispanic Community".Panelists focused on the need for greater investments in education, how technology can help bridge the opportunity gap, health care accessibility, and the constraints certain regulations have on small business growth.
On July 18th, we will be hosting our Future Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. The Conference brings together college and high school students, young professionals, Congressional members, Hill staff, corporate executives, and academic and non-profit leaders to discuss leadership in the public and private sectors, diversity and inclusion, innovation and global competiveness. For more information, please click here.
And please mark your calendars for CHLI's Trade and International Trade Symposium on September 29that the Newseum. The Symposium brings together international business leaders, experts on trade, members of the diplomatic community, and foreign and U.S. government officials to discuss relevant trade and business issues that affect U.S. global competitiveness.
Again, we thank our sponsors, partners, staff, volunteers and the very dedicated Board of Directors and Corporate Advisory Council members for contributing to CHLI's success. See you at a CHLI event!
Mary Ann Gomez
Message From the CAC Chairman
I recently had the opportunity to sit-down and meet the current fellows of the CHLI Global Leaders Program (something I urge all of you to do). I am confident these exceptional young men and women will be a driving force in the Hispanic community.I know that they are grateful for the experience the fellowship has provided them and the tools they acquired to help them continue on their paths towards successful careers.
This, and the other programs under CHLI's umbrella, would not be possible without the support of our sponsors, many of whom sit on CHLI's Corporate Advisory Committee (CAC). Members of the CAC are leaders in their industries and have contributed their time and expertise towards the development of the future Hispanic leaders, promoting social responsibility, economic progress, and global competitiveness.
I am honored to Chair the CAC. Our prime role is to advise the Board of Directors in the areas of organizational development, programmatic support, and strategic advice, with the goal of advancing CHLI's goals and mission.
The CAC also supports the Board of Directors in long-term planning by helping create, expand, and advance CHLI's programs. We promote CHLI's work and impact in the community and assist in meeting all fundraising objectives that make that work possible.
In 2014, the CAC has been especially effective in corporate engagement, helping raise more funds to help more students. Thanks to their contributions, we have seen across the board growth in program activities.
I am proud of my colleagues and thank them for their steadfast and continued support!
H. Stephen Halloway
CHLI Corporate Advisory Committee
10th Annual CHLI Gala
& Leadership Awards
On May 8th, members, leaders, and esteemed guests of the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI) gathered for our 10th annual awards gala to celebrate CHLI's work promoting diversity and Hispanic leadership. The date marked a decade of CHLI's dedicated effort to foster broad awareness of the diversity of thought, heritage, interests, and views of Americans of Hispanic and Portuguese descent. CHLI's areas of focus are in commerce, trade, energy/environment, technology and higher education and are at the core of its globally competitive youth leadership development programs.
"CHLI is proud of our honorees. Each of them personify values admired by the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute, and we are privileged to be able to recognize their extraordinary accomplishments," said the Honorable Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Founder and Chairman of CHLI.
The CHLI Leadership in Public Service Award was presented to the Honorable Eric Cantor, of Virginia, House Majority Leader. Rep. Cantor was honored for his support of the approved bilateral free trade agreements with Colombia and Panama, his support of the STEM Jobs Act and for championing the SKILLS Act which improves job training programs. "I was honored to receive the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute's award and for the opportunity to highlight our shared commitment to free trade, a growing economy with greater access to better education and training, and an America that works again," said Majority Leader Cantor.
The Honorable John Cornyn of Texas, the Senate Minority Whip, was also honored with CHLI's Leadership in Public Service Award for cosponsoring a resolution to support Venezuelan freedom fighters and deplore the violent repression of peaceful demonstrators in the country. Sen. Cornyn introduced the Securing Talent America Requires for the 21st Century (STAR Act) and also promotes Hispanic education initiatives. He has also voted to pass the bilateral trade agreements with Colombia and Panama. "It's an honor to receive the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute's award for public service, and I am grateful for the insight and expertise that CHLI has shared with me over the years. I look forward to continuing to work together towards our shared goals for improving economic opportunities and access to education in the years ahead," said Senator Cornyn.
Michael Camuñez also received CHLI's Leadership in Public Service Award. As Assistant Secretary of Commerce, Mr. Camuñez served as one of our nation's leading commercial diplomats, helping to lead the U.S. government's efforts to open new markets for U.S. goods and services around the world. He is widely recognized for playing a critical role in rebalancing U.S. economic policy toward Mexico and was the chief architect of the U.S.-Mexico High Level Economic Dialogue. Previously, Mr. Camuñez served in the White House for two years as Special Counsel and Special Assistant to the President where he was one of the highest ranking Latinos on the White House Staff. "I am very honored to receive CHLI's Leadership in Public Service Award. I appreciate CHLI's commitment to promoting the economic advancement of the Hispanic community, including through global competitiveness and trade. I appreciate the board's recognition of my efforts to strengthen ties between the United States and the Americas, as the award further motivates me to continue this work from the private sector," said Mr. Camuñez.
Emilio Estefan Jr. received CHLI's Corporate Leadership Award. As the founder of Estefan Enterprises, he has become one of the most successful producers in the music industry and has been instrumental in shaping, developing, and directing the careers of dozens of artists. In 2002, Mr. Estefan was appointed by President George W. Bush as a member of the President's Committee on the Arts & Humanities. Most recently, he was named by President Barack Obama as the vice chair to the new commission that will create the National Museum for the American Latino. "It's always an honor to be recognized for your accomplishments but this award is not about me, but rather about an organization who for the last 10 years has worked so hard to promote and acknowledge the achievements of Hispanics in this great country. That's what makes this honor so special and rewarding," said Mr. Estefan.
Ms. Wendy Martinez, an alumnae of CHLI's Leadership Program in 2005, was the keynote speaker for the evening representing the 110 alumni of CHLI's programs. Alumni from throughout the country participated in the gala to mark the milestone anniversary and the annual awards gala, the largest fundraising event that supports CHLI's internships. Wendy Martinez is a Partnership Officer at the Inter-American Development Bank. Wendy is also the co-founder of Jovenes por Nicaragua, a non-profit that provides financial resources to low-income, academically talented Nicaraguan students interested in pursuing an education abroad. Ms. Martinez earned a bachelor's degree in International Studies from the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College of Florida Atlantic University and a Master's in Latin American Studies from Georgetown.
"Thank you to the generous support of our sponsors, partners, founding members, board members and corporate advisory council members for celebrating 10 years of service with us," expressed Mary Ann Gomez, CHLI Executive Director.
CHLI Alumni Luncheon
By Irene Castro
CHLI Global Leaders Program Alumnus
Fall 2013 Class
On May 8th, the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI) hosted the CHLI Alumni Luncheon. As a member of the CHLI Fall 2013 class, and a new alumnus, it was a great opportunity for me and others to celebrate and gather together for CHLI's 10thAnnual Gala.
I was excited to meet the other alumni and learn about their experience in the various programs, in particular what CHLI has meant and done for them. Being a CHLI fellow last year enabled me to explore career sectors that I had an interest in but would have not have otherwise been able to access, if not for the program. I also learned a great deal from my course at the George Washington University with Professor Greg Lebel and was able to apply my new knowledge to responsibilities at my placement office.
The stories I heard from Alumni were heartwarming and impressive, and their accounts further confirmed that CHLI's vision, "Advancing the Hispanic Community's Diversity of Thought", was moving forward through each and every one of us.I was honored to be amongst so much talent in the room and share my experiences with them. Having members of the different classes present exemplified the new leaders being created who will continue to advance Hispanic interests and make a difference in our respective communities.
After networking with new and familiar faces, the luncheon included an excellent and informative panel comprised of Michael Montelongo, Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Office of Sodexo, Inc.; Raquel "Rocky" Egusquiza, Vice President of Community Affairs, Comcast NBCUniversal; and Stephen Halloway, Chairman of the CHLI Corporate Advisory Committee and Director of the Center for Comparative Legislative Management at the International Law Institute.
Each of them spoke to us about their experiences and career decisions. It came as no surprise that a CHLI event would also include an opportunity to learn and interact with leaders from multiple fields, as I often experienced during my fellowship. Of all the speakers, I closely identified with Ms. Egusquiza and her insight of working in a male dominated field. I learned from her approach to facing obstacles in her way. She answered many of the questions and concerns that I had about my career path.I gathered from all of their stories that getting to where they are now required a lot of tenacity and changes in direction. They also emphasized tapping into one's network and the importance of having a mentor and sponsor, whom were able to help them with their objectives.
The panel, as the many speakers and leaders we have met via CHLI, continued to not only pave the way for us and serve as role models, but they inspired us to go out and do the same.
I am very fortunate to have served as a CHLI fellow and to have participated in the alumni luncheon to celebrate CHLI's 10thAnnual Gala. CHLI has given me lifelong friends and a new family in Washington, D.C. and for that I will always be grateful.
The Stephen D. Vermillion, III Congressional Staff Appreciation Award
The Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute's (CHLI) Stephen D. Vermillion, III Congressional Staff Appreciation Award is presented to two Congressional Staff Members who support the advancement of the Hispanic Community in the United States, have demonstrated support for CHLI's programs and activities and share CHLI's dedication to bipartisan leadership. These staff members are proven advocates of CHLI's mission and values.
The award is given to a current staff member from the Republican Party and a staff member of the Democratic Party who are committed to our democratic process, engage in meaningful bipartisan dialogue, and foment the Hispanic community's economic development, political involvement, and educational opportunities.
We are honored to announce the 2014 award recipients: