CHICAGO — More than 1,000 Latino professionals, diversity and inclusion thought-leaders, industry representatives and hi-potential candidates gathered for the Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement (HACE)’s 35th Annual National Leadership Summit and Gala in Chicago April 27-28,. The happening provided an unparalleled platform for attendees to share D&I successes and discuss insights and strategies for building the workforce of the future.

The largest gathering of Latino professionals in the Midwest featured a career summit with companies and organizations seeking to hire diverse talent, professional skills development sessions, powerful networking and unique opportunities to connect with mentors and sponsors. For HACE partners, this signature gathering offered a platform to recruit high-potential candidates, learn and share about good practices, and an opportunity to showcase their organization’s dedication to a diverse workforce.

Founded in 1982, HACE has been serving as a resource for Latinos in the workplace and as a source of expertise and insight for corporations seeking to access this growing community of professionals. The 35-year milestone was celebrated at the Sembrando el Futuro/Planting the Seeds of the Future Gala, HACE’s annual fundraiser and awards ceremony that honors the accomplishments of its members and the generosity of its partners.

“HACE serves as an active, visible champion for quality career opportunities for Latino professionals and aspiring professionals,” said Patrcia Mota, HACE’s President. “The organization works with corporations, academic institutions, researchers, and other nonprofits to document and promote best practices, examine trends, and build powerful partnerships.”

Highlights of HACE’s 35th Annual Summit and Gala included:

  • More than 40 experts and thought-leaders participated as moderators, speakers, and panelist.
  • The state of diversity in the workplace is still a major concern. There is significant underrepresentation of Latinos in law, finance, healthcare and insurance. These were major topics amongst the panelist at the Latino Executive Breakfast Forum: Innovative & Inspirational Leadership, which included Jose R. Sanchez, President and CEO, Norwegian American Hospital; Miriam Martínez, Chief Investment Officer, City of Chicago; Paul Rodriguez, Vice President and Chief IP Counsel, RR Donnelley; and Karl G Gouverneur, Vice President, Chief Technology Officer, Northwestern Mutual.
  • Companies and organizations must be able to embrace the nation’s ever-changing demographics in order to remain current and reap the economic benefits. By hiring Hispanic employees, and other diverse candidates, they will further develop themselves as an inclusive entity that is able to evolve with the changing world, was heard in the Chief Diversity Officer Roundtable.
  • The Mujeres de HACE Leadership Program has proven to help close the wage and opportunity gaps, with over 80% of women reporting a raise, promotion or both within a year of participating in the program. After completing the program, many participants join leadership boards, fundraise for program scholarships to support other women and even start their own businesses. Some of the successes shared at the Mujeres de HACE Alumnae Breakfasts.
  • Over 500 people attended the Sembrando el Futuro/Planting the Seeds of the Future Gala.
  • Moving tribute for Dr. Erwin “Vinny” Caraballo, HACE’s 2017 Servant Leadership Award recipient. The award was presented In Memoriam and accepted by his daughter. Other HACE National Awards recipients included Phillips 66 as this year’s Corporate Champion Award; Latinos @ Hyatt was recognized with the Latino Resource Group Award; and Angelique Sina (The World Bank), Mary Helen Cavazo (M.H. Cavazos and Associates), Anthony Izzo (NBCUniversal) and Linda Martinez (UIC Student) received the Redefining Leaders/Innovator Leadership Awards.
  • ADP, Allstate, Aon, Art Institute, Barilla, Blue Cross Blue Shield of IL, BMO, CIA, City of Chicago, The Coca-Cola Company, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Grainger, Groupon, MB Financial, Nicor Gas, Nielsen, Northern Trust, Omnicom Media Group, Phillips66, Sodexo, University of Notre Dame, US Cellular, USG, Walgreens, Ropes & Gray LLP, and Wintrust participated in the Career Summit.

The 35th Annual National Leadership Summit and Gala in Chicago sponsors included Phillips66, Barilla, ADP, Ommicom Media Group, McDonald’s, Nielsen, Sodexo, University of Notre Dame, Northern Trust, MB Financial, Aon, Allsate, BMO Harris, Walgreens, Gieco, USG, US Cellular, Copa Airlines, Spectra Energy, Nicor Gas, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, Wintrust, Grainger, Art Institute of Chicago, SAIC, Ropes & Gray, JLL, The Coca-Cola Company, Steptoe, CIA, City of Chicago, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Groupon, MillerCoors, Diageo, Constellation Brands, Blossom Social, Comcast, Telemundo Chicago, and NBC Chicago.

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