The Honorable Hector V. Barreto is Chairman The Latino Coalition (TLC), one of the largest and most effective latino advocacy groups in the nation. TLC’s stature in the business community and the political community has grown steadily since Barreto took the helm of the organization in 2006.
His vision for TLC is based on what he calls the “four C’s,” the issues that are the keys to success for the organization’s small-business membership, Capital, Capacity-building, Contracts and Cost control. TLC’s growing influence, membership and partnerships are all evidence of the effectiveness of his leadership approach.
Barreto is internationally recognized for his successful business ventures, community leadership, government service and as a leading voice for Latinos across the country. He is a frequent public speaker, media guest, panelist and commentator on business, politics and the Latino community.
Barreto served five years as the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration after being unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate on July 25, 2001. During his tenure, Barreto led the SBA to record heights of support for small-businesses, especially minority and female entrepreneurs who had historically been under-served, by leveraging a loan portfolio that exceeded $60 billion.
Born into an entrepreneurial family, Barreto gained invaluable business experience during his youth by helping to run his family’s restaurants, import/export business, and construction company. After graduating from Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Mo., with a degree in Business Administration, he became the South Texas Area Manager for the Miller Brewing Company. In 1986 he moved to Southern California and formed Barreto Insurance and Financial Services, serving the needs of California’s rapidly growing population. Later he founded a securities broker/dealer specializing in retirement plans for individuals and businesses.
Barreto founded Tributo a Mi Padre Tequila in 2011 in honor of his late father, Hector Barreto Sr., an accomplished businessman and community leader. In 2013, Tributo tequila was awarded the prestigious 5 Star Diamond Award by the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences, making it the only tequila to hold this distinction.
His community service includes being the founder and former chairman of Business Matchmaking, a highly recognized non-profit that has helped small-business owners, especially women, minorities and veterans, to gain access to key procurement representatives at the federal, state and local levels, as well as many major corporations. Since its inception, Business Matchmaking has facilitated more than 90,000 in-person meetings and generated more than $80 billion in contracts for small businesses.
He also serves as President of the Hispanic Business Roundtable Institute, a non-partisan, non-profit grassroots organization seeking to promote and advocate economic advancement and U.S. job growth in America.
Barreto has been inducted into the Minority Business Hall of Fame and recognized by many organizations including the U.S. Congress, the California State Senate and Assembly, the County of Los Angeles, the YMCA and the American Red Cross. In 2006 he was presented with the prestigious Aguila Azteca Award by President Fox of Mexico, which is bestowed for significant contributions to Mexico from a citizen of another country. He recently received the Latino Leadership Magazine Maestro Award for Entrepreneurship.
He is the author of The Engine of America, a book dedicated to motivating and inspiring entrepreneurs through real life stories and the winning formulas of successful national business leaders.
He currently resides in Southern California with his wife and three children.