Michael L. Barrera
President & CEO, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Michael L. Barrera was named President and CEO of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on June 19, 2005, following an extensive nationwide search.
In this leadership role, he is responsible for increasing business opportunities for Hispanic entrepreneurs; delivering benefits and value-added services to member Chambers and corporate partners; maximizing effectiveness and efficiency of Chamber operations while aligning USHCC's strategic objectives in support of the organization's continued path to grow and success.
Prior to his selection, Mr. Barrera was the National Ombudsman for the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) having been appointed to the position by President Bush in 2001. In his role, Mr. Barrera led the national effort on behalf of the country's small businesses to ensure fairness in the enforcement of Federal regulations. In addition to being National Ombudsman, Mr. Barrera also spearheaded the Office of Capital Access, which oversees a $76 billion dollar loan portfolio, the Office of Government Contracting/Business Development, the Office of Entrepreneurial Development and, the SBA's highly successful Business Matchmaking contracting program.
Barrera is an accomplished lawyer and business leader with strong Federal Government experience, extensive Hispanic Chamber experience, a corporate background, proven credentials in managing national programs and a well-cultivated entrepreneurial spirit.
A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Mr. Barrera received his law degree from the University of Texas School Of Law in 1989 and a bachelor's degree from Kansas State University in 1982. He is former member of the Missouri Bar Association, Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association, Texas Bar Association and Co-founder and past President of the Kansas City Hispanic Bar Association.
In private practice, Mr. Barrera co-founded two law firms in Kansas City focusing on general civil litigation, small business startups, workers' compensation, criminal defense, and personal injury. Barrera's legal experience includes service as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for Jackson County, Missouri.
Prior to studying law, Mr. Barrera was a marketing representative and area manager for the Miller Brewing Co. from 1982-1986 in Atlanta, GA and Corpus Christi, TX, respectively. Mr. Barrera's small business experience includes the management of two family-owned restaurants in the Kansas City area. Barrera's ties to the USHCC run deep. He is the former Chairman and President of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City. Additionally, when the USHCC was based in Kansas City, Barrera would volunteer time assisting his father, Richard Barrera, a founding member of the USHCC as well as its first convention coordinator and a former Board member.