West Michigan Hispanic Chamber Awards readied

April 5, 2010
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April 12 marks the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Banquet. The banquet recognizes business leaders and organizations that have made considerable contributions to the Hispanic business community. The event, which will be held at the Pinnacle Center in Hudsonville, will host Cid Wilson as the keynote speaker.

Wilson is a Wall Street financial analyst for Kern, Suslow Securities Inc. and holds numerous positions on for-profit and nonprofit boards. Most recently, he was appointed by President Obama to the National Museum of the American Latino Study Commission. He will be responsible for reporting to the president on the feasibility of building a national museum dedicated to celebrating Latino heritage and history.

Between 2004 and 2007, Wilson served as national president for the Dominican American National Roundtable, during which time he traveled the country. Those trips brought Wilson to Grand Rapids in 2006.

“I actually came up and met with the mayor and city council to talk about the importance of keeping close ties and communications with the Latino community that’s growing in Grand Rapids,” said Wilson. “Over the years, (the relationship) blossomed really well and I’ve grown to really admire the entrepreneurial spirit of the Latino community in Grand Rapids.”

As for his topic for April 12, Wilson said: “My goal is really to motivate and inspire current business owners and potential entrepreneurs in the future. This is a very tough economic environment, and certainly I know Michigan understands how tough this economy has been,” he said. “I also think that in some of these tough economic climates comes some of the greatest business stories.”

Wilson said that many people and businesses miss out on opportunities by delaying action.

“This could be a great entrepreneurial opportunity for businesses to position themselves for the next period of economic growth, but you need to be in position to prepare for that growth as soon as possible,” said Wilson. “You don’t want to be watching the news, hearing about somebody else that made a decision today and now they’re a success. You want to be the person on the news.”

Wilson believes the Latino community has an opportunity to capitalize on this recession because of the culture found within the community.

“The Latino community is a very hard-working, entrepreneurial and caring community that has a history of giving back to its community. This is an opportunity for the state of Michigan to capture that entrepreneurial spirit so Michigan can help lift itself out of this recession and into a period of prosperity,” said Wilson.

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