To serve as the President of the Hispanic Business Association and to work with this capable and dedicated group of people is not only an honor but is somewhat humbling. We come together from a variety of business backgrounds and lifestyles but with one common goal and mindset that our community and the citizens of this great state deserve the best in educational opportunities. We believe that the only way for future generation to gain success is through education.
We coined a slogan: “Success through Business and Education,” and it cannot be truer today with all the struggles that our youth are being challenged with economically and socially. It appears that their struggles are getting deeper and that the need for a commitment from a community of mentors that can not only bring to them a kind word but just maybe that voice of reason that is otherwise missing in their lives can be most valuable. It also serves as a catalyst for their staying the course to higher education in their chosen profession which again may not fit the traditional mold but will fulfill their goal which is more necessary now than ever before.
What so many seem to forget is that we have pigeon holed so many and forgotten those who didn’t meet what society wanted, but as a society we need to find worth in all education. There is a place and a need for all of us in this circle in which we live; we just need to be part of that circle and not allow anyone to fall off their path.
Alice Mondragón Whitney is HBA’s Board President and the Diverse Markets Community Relations Banker for Zions Bank. . Before joining Zions Bank, Alice was Director of the Small Business Development Department for SAGE Community Resources. She worked with women, minority and working poor entrepreneurs to help them develop the necessary skills to be successful in business. Her bilingual abilities have helped her to successfully target Hispanic communities that are traditionally under served. Previously, Alice was a commercial and residential banker with Southland Financial and Far West Mortgage. She was also the founding president and owner of the first woman-owned aviation instrument facility on the west coast.
Alice’s community involvement has included; Board President during planning and construction of the Hispanic Cultural Center of Idaho, past Advisory Board member for the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO), a founding member of the Hispanic Financial Education Coalition and was instrumental in the formation of the Idaho Individual Development Account program for the State of Idaho. Currently Alice sits on the Boards of the Idaho Hispanic Chamber, College of Western Idaho Foundation Board, Mayor of Nampa Hispanic Business Coalition, Meridian Chamber. She has been instrumental in creating a partnership with MicroEnterprise Training & Assistance program which provides bilingual business training classes.
Ken Cortez was born in 1962 in San Jose, California, 12 years later relocated to Idaho with his father, Richard Cortez, founder of Metalcraft, Inc. Ken grew up in Meridian, graduated from Meridian High School, and attended Boise State University.
He is currently the President and owner of Metalcraft, Inc. Ken has a uniquely diverse involvement in our community. He volunteers his time as a Little League Umpire at youth baseball and softball games, and is also the Tournament Director for the Jalapeno Open which raises scholarship money for Hispanic students. Ken currently is a member of the Selland College Advisory Board. He also has been appointed to the Commission of Hispanic affairs by Governor Butch Otter as well as a Board Member of Hispanic Business Association.
He is a passionate American who wants to have a positive impact on our youth and community. Ken is bless with an incredible wife and children, and is thankful every day for the opportunity to live watch his family grow in the GREAT STATE OF IDAHO.
Sam Haws was appointed by Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter to serve as the Administrator of the Idaho Commission on Aging (ICOA) on July 11 2011. The ICOA is an agency in the Division of the Executive Office of the Governor. She reports directly to the Governor. The mission of the ICOA is to assist persons 60 years of age or older and vulnerable adults retain their independence by providing the options and resources for them to remain in their homes and communities for as long as they choose. Prior to leading the ICOA, Sam was appointed by Governor Dirk Kempthorne to serve as a commissioner with the Idaho State Tax Commission. She served two terms. Sam was employed in the private sector for almost twenty years in the banking industry, where she enjoyed a wide variety of opportunities, concluding her career as a vice-president.
Governor Kempthorne also appointed Sam to the Idaho State Board of Education in 2000. A highlight of her career. Besides her involvement with the Hispanic Business Association, Sam currently serves as the vice-chairman of the St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center Board of Trustees. She is a member of the College of Western Idaho Advisory Council.
John Edwards was raised in Heyburn, Idaho and graduated from Minidoka High School in 1974. After graduation, he went to work for the J.R. Simplot Company at the Heyburn plant and entered the electrical maintenance training program. John has been an electrician for almost 33 years. He started Edwards Electric Inc., an electrical contracting and service company, in 1993. Edwards has been an active member of the Hispanic Business Association (HBA) since 1997 and most recently served as President.
John Edwards also serves on the Boise City Electrical Board. He has been married to his wife, Mary, for 29 years and has two grown children.
Kirby Ortiz is the Co-owner and General Manager of Gem State Communications, a Motorola Two–Way Radio and Wireless Communications dealer.
For over 30 years Gem State has provided wireless communications sales and support to the Public Safety, Healthcare, Industrial and Service Industries of Southwest Idaho and Eastern Oregon.
He was born and spent his formative years in Raton, New Mexico. Upon graduation from Madison Memorial High School in Madison, Ohio, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and served a tour in Vietnam in 1969 as a field radio operator. He graduated from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio in 1976 with a B.S. in Business Administration. From 1983 to 1993 he worked as a sales executive for Motorola Communications and Electronics.
Kirby has served on the board of directors of the HBA since 1992 and has chaired the Scholarship Committee since its first award in 1993.
He also serves on the board of Idaho Council of Governments.
Kirby and his wife Sara have been married 33 years, have three grown children and have lived in Boise for 33 years. In his spare time his passions are racquetball, reading non-fiction history and spending time in the great Idaho outdoors.
Freddy Rosario was born in Brooklyn, New York and grew up in Naguabo, Puerto Rico. Upon graduation from High School there, he enlisted in the United States Air Force and served for 10 years. For his last duty station, he came to Idaho in April 1994 to serve at Mountain Home AFB until separating in Mar 1995. At which time he and his wife decided to stay and make Idaho their home. They moved to Boise, ID in 1998, and finally settled in Meridian, ID in their present home. Freddy has been an employee for the Federal Government since 1998, and works at the Centennial Job Corps Center in Nampa, ID as a Computer Services Technical Instructor.
On his spare time, he also runs R. I. Enterprises, a successful Computer Consulting, Service and Sales business. His business also develops and hosts web sites for small businesses and non-profit organizations, to include web design, development and hosting from informational to complete e-commerce web sites for local and out of state clients. His company has expanded and now brokers a plethora of telecommunication and home services to include; local and long distance services, high speed Internet, major wireless carriers with the latest handsets and devices, top satellite TV services, home security services, the latest in digital phone services with video phone technology and now energy services (electricity and gas) throughout the United States, Canada, and 23 other countries on 4 continents throughout the world.
Freddy and his wife Sonya will be celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary in July 2012.
Freddy has been serving on the board of directors for the HBA since 1999. He has also served on several other boards, such as; IMAGE de Idaho and Treasure Valley Community Television, and has been associated with many other organizations in the area.
For more information:
Hispanic Business Association
12123 W. Tio Leo Ct.
Boise, ID 83709 US