Carlos Gomez began his duties with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City and with the Hispanic Collaborative (Foundation of the Chamber) on Jan. 29, 2007. Carlos’s focus for the Chamber is to ensure the Chamber is meeting the needs of the Small Business Community(in particular the Spanish Speaking Business Owner), lobbying for Small Business Legislation, Comprehensive Immigration Reform and to connect Corporate America, Government and others to the Hispanic Business Community and the Hispanic consumer.
Mr. Gomez graduated from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas with a double degree, a Bachelors of Business Administration in Marketing and a B.B.A. in Management. Carlos has extensive branding experience from the Retail Sector, working for Electronic Retail Giant Best Buy in Management for 18 years. Carlos is Credited with Best Buy’s Implementation of Latin Music throughout the company, assisting with the first test Market store for the Company. Carlos’s involvement with the community is vast, he is a former Planning Commissioner for the City of Topeka, chairing fundraisers for Our Lady of Guadalupe Grade School, volunteering with Junior Achievement, El Centro of Topeka, the west Topeka Rotary Club, The Topeka Chamber of Commerce and is on the Boards of Swope Medical Enterprises, The Kansas Business Hall of Fame, EDC Board, and Full Employment Council to name a few.
Under Carlos’s Leadership the Chamber is now the 11th Largest Chamber in the Kansas City Metro out of 40 plus Chambers/Business membership organizations according to Ingrams and is the 15th Largest Chamber in the Region according to the Kansas City Business Journal. The Hispanic Chamber has implemented a very successful Small business Contracting Program, “Procurement One on Ones” which now take place quarterly matching small businesses to Corporate, Government, Medical, & Educational buyers. Carlos also serves as the Executive Director of the Greater Kansas City Hispanic Collaborative which is the 501c3 sister organization to the Hispanic Chamber. Four programs comprise the Collaborative, KC Bizfest, the Latinos of Tomorrow, the Young Latino Professionals and The Latino Leadership Institute which was established to teach Hispanics and Women how to serve on boards and commissions. The Chamber has also launched a Series of workshops and Seminars that are facilitated in Spanish to serve the needs of the growing Spanish speaking business Community.
Carlos believes and places his focus on small business, he knows that if small business is successful than all businesses will be successful. Carlos’s philosophy for business really cultivated during his two year tenure as a City Planning Commissioner for the City of Topeka, which included rezoning, conditional use permits, street vacations, planned unit developments, and subdivision plat, comprehensive land use planning, including the creation and adoption of the development of the 2025 Land Use and Growth Management Plan for the City of Topeka, historic preservation planning, and The Topeka Parks plan. Carlos believes that Proper Planning and Zoning is essential for business and the community to thrive.
- Martin Luther King Award, City of Kansas City Human Relations Department – 2010 Community Service Award
- Martin Luther King- “Living the Dream INC” Award – 2006 for Community Service
- Mana De Topeka Award – 2005 for Community Service
- Recipient of the Kansas Army National Guard Award – Civilian Award for Supporting the Kansas Army National Guard Recruiting and Retention Command 2002, Presented by Senator Sam Brownback.
- Nominated to the U.S. Senate Hispanic Leadership Summit Washington D.C. - Nominated by U.S. Senator Pat Roberts to Participate in the first Leadership Summit for Young Hispanic Business Professionals addressing issues of Economic Growth, Securing a Competitive Edge for America in Research, Technology, Entrepreneurship, Job Creation, Affordable Health Care, and overall providing feedback to Congress focusing on Business strategies to Make the U.S.competitive in the Global World Market (2006)
- Nominated to the U.S. Hispanic Entrepreneur Summit Washington D.C. – Nominated by U.S. Senator Pat Roberts providing feedback from an Entrepreneur Viewpoint to create Economic Growth and Job Creation to name a few.(2005)
Carlos Gomez Contact Information
Yani Vazquez Cruz
Director of Membership Services
Yani Vazquez work as the Director of Membership Services for the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Her responsibilities include, creating and branding of all communications for the Chamber, maintaining and updating the membership files and contact information and assisting members with questions involving the membership benefits. Yani also assist with in the Spanish small business development programing.
Yani is the daughter of Rita Cruz and Jose Vazquez and was born and raised in Puerto Rico. Yani has a Master Degree in business Administration/Marketing of the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico and she received her undergraduate degree in Communications from the University of Puerto Rico. Yani has extensive experience in marketing and advertising in corporate America where she worked for Radio Shack as the Assistant to the Caribbean Marketing and Advertising Manager. Yani grew up in a small business family in Utuado, Puerto Rico where her family owned a restaurant helping her understand the everyday needs and challenges of small business.
Yani Vazquez Contact Information
Executive Administrator to the President
Brenda Salcedo is the Executive Administrator to the President. Her duties include assisting the President with key objectives of the Chamber, special projects and events. Brenda Salcedo is from Chihuahua, Mexico and grew up in East Los Angeles, California. With over a decade of experience working with the Chamber and the community, Brenda has been instrumental with the Chamber’s outreach and membership growth with the Spanish speaking business owners. Under her leadership the Chamber has created events, round tables and one on one programing with the Spanish speaking business community. Brenda grew up working for her parents Miguel and Manuela Gonzalez at Aguila Real boot store. Her personality, connections and having been raised in a family small business gives her an incredible perspective on how to assist and serve the Hispanic small business community.
Brenda Salcedo Contact Information
Director of Small Business Development