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CHCI Congratulates Maria Contreras-Sweet on Nomination to Lead the U.S. Small Business Administration

CHCI is proud to congratulate former board member and longtime supporter, Maria Contreras-Sweet, on her recent nomination by President Barack Obama to lead the U.S. Small Business Administration. As the founder of ProAmérica Bank -- a Latino-owned community bank in Los Angeles -- and a former California cabinet secretary, Contreras-Sweet has an outstanding track record in administration and a clear grasp of what it means to be a small business owner.

“CHCI is thrilled to see Maria Contreras-Sweet as a nominee for such an important position for our nation,” said Esther Aguilera, CHCI President & CEO. “With the growing U.S. Latino community playing an active role in the country’s economic future, it’s crucial to have smart and capable Latinas such as Maria at the forefront of small business development.”

Ms. Contreras-Sweet is the founding chairwoman of ProAmérica Bank, the first Latino-owned business bank in California in over 35 years, which serves small to mid-sized businesses with a focus on the Latino business community. Prior to founding ProAmérica Bank, Contreras-Sweet served for five years (longest ever) as the Secretary of Business, Transportation and Housing Agency for the State of California, where she managed a $14 billion budget and a workforce of over 42,000. She is also the recipient of numerous awards, including The Spirit of California from the California State Legislature and Entrepreneur of the Year from the U.S. Hispanic Congressional Caucus.

About Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute
Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), a nonprofit and nonpartisan 501(c) (3) organization, provides leadership development programs and educational services to students and young emerging leaders. The CHCI Board of Directors is comprised of Hispanic Members of Congress, nonprofit, union and corporate leaders. For more information call CHCI at (202) 543-1771 or visit www.chci.org.

Media Contact:
Scott Gunderson Rosa: (202) 548-5876