The Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has appointed Gloria Lara as its new CEO. She replaces Camilo Suero, who stepped down as the chamber’s executive director in August to pursue other opportunities.
“With Hispanic-owned business enterprises being one of the fastest growing business segments in the state of Michigan, increasing by 85 percent from 11,000 in 2007 to nearly 20,000 businesses in 2012, I am focused on helping our members thrive on the state, national, and global business stage,” Lara says. “I am honored and thrilled to have been named the CEO of the Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.”
Lara has experience in finance, marketing, sales, and project management from executive positions at IBM, Chrysler Corp., Jervis B. Webb Co., Delphi Corp., United Technologies Automotive, and TRW.
As CEO of the Girl Scout Council for nearly six years, Lara served as advocate and chief spokesperson for girl scouting in all sectors of the council’s jurisdiction, including to the general public, the corporate community, and government. She also drove fund development efforts, and contributions and grants grew more than 60 percent during her tenure.
She is a member of the board of trustees and serves on the finance committee for Spectrum Health Hospital Group of Grand Rapids, and is a member of the board of directors for the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids. The West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce also honored her as the Hispanic Businessperson of the Year in 2013.
Lara earned a Bachelor of Arts in business administration with a concentration in accounting from California State University in Fullerton, Calif., and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School in Boston.