The Wisconsin Latino Chamber of Commerce (WLCC) has announced that Victor Villacrez is the organization’s newly appointed board chair. Villacrez has been heavily involved in Madison’s Latino community for decades and is the former chair of the board of directors for Centro Hispano of Dane County.
Villacrez currently works as the commercial manager for Hovde Properties. He has started the Madison Cusco Sister City Project and formed Mundo Esperanza, a nonprofit organization with a humanitarian and sustainable mission acting on a local and global level. Villacrez says is honored and excited to be working with the WLCC and is eager to focus on the needs of Latino businesses throughout Dane County and Wisconsin.
“In a sense, now the emphasis is on small businesses, Latino small businesses, and startups,” said Villacrez. “I was more than happy to become a member of the board. They asked if I would chair it for a few years, and we are transitioning. I’m familiar with those types of dynamics and can hopefully execute a vision that will help the small businesses in the Latino or Hispanic business community thrive.”
The WLCC was founded in 2003 with a mission to maximize economic development and job creation through advocacy and programs that generate success and value for Latino and non-Latino business communities. Since then, they have been working to support Latino businesses and the community in Dane County.
“I think building capacity within the chamber is important to us right now,” said Villacrez. “To build the house within so we can serve more effectively outside. “So that’s a big push for us right now. Working with other nonprofits to help leverage each other, and help to learn from each other, and to kind of piggyback on some of the efforts that we’re doing.
“No reason to reinvent the wheel, if something works for one community then let’s share and hopefully it’ll work for another community,” he added. “That goes with grant writing, that goes with other funding sources and the like. That is kind of a higher picture of some of these strategic initiatives. I’m somewhat new and we are having more strategic talks and those kinds of meetings in the next couple of months, too.”
The WLCC also recently announced that its 501©3 arm, the Wisconsin Latino Economic Development Foundation (WLEDF), has elected Dr. Ramon Ortiz, dean of the school of business at Madison College, as its board chair. In addition, WLCC is introducing Allison Aguilar Bultman, a graduate of Edgewood College, as its associate director.
“We recognize that our young adults have so much potential and desire to give back to our economy. They bring innovation, enthusiasm, and optimism to our organizations and understand future trends to create solutions. Young leaders simply see things differently. Allison is an excellent example of a young adult who is a natural leader, and we look forward to the impact she will make,” said Jessica Cavazos, CEO of the Latino Chamber, in a statement.
While working diligently to continue its efforts in supporting Latino businesses in the community the WLCC is also working on expanding the Chamber beyond Dane County.
“The Latino Chamber of Commerce is going from the Dane County to the statewide level and statewide presence,” said Villacrez. “That, again, is outreach. That will certainly be a different chamber when we are on that type of level, and we will learn how to grow into that. It seems like that’s kind of one of the challenges that takes courage, to grow and step up to the plate. And with that, supporting our staff and supporting our leadership within the chamber is very important and very vital. It’s an honor to serve in this position. I’m thankful for this opportunity to serve with the knowledge that I have.”
For more information about the Wisconsin Latino Chamber of Commerce, visit: https://lccmadison.org/.