The Honorable Hector V. Barreto is the President of the Hispanic Business Roundtable Institute, a non-partisan, non-profit grassroots organization seeking to promote and advocate economic advancement and U.S. job growth in America. Launched in 2014 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., the institute supports national and regional-based programs and studies that result in measurable social, economic and educational opportunities for those seeking and building the American Dream.
Barreto is internationally recognized for his successful business ventures, community leadership, government service and as a leading voice for Latinos across the country. He is a frequent public speaker, media guest, panelist and commentator on business, politics and the Latino community.
Barreto served five years as the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration after being unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate on July 25, 2001. During his tenure, Barreto led the SBA to record heights of support for small-businesses, especially minority and female entrepreneurs who had historically been under-served, by leveraging a loan portfolio that exceeded $60 billion.
Born into an entrepreneurial family, Barreto gained invaluable business experience during his youth by helping to run his family’s restaurants, import/export business, and construction company. After graduating from Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Mo., with a degree in Business Administration, he became the South Texas Area Manager for the Miller Brewing Company. In 1986 he moved to Southern California and formed Barreto Insurance and Financial Services, serving the needs of California’s rapidly growing population. Later he founded a securities broker/dealer specializing in retirement plans for individuals and businesses.
Barreto founded Tributo a Mi Padre Tequila in 2011 in honor of his late father, Hector Barreto Sr., an accomplished businessman and community leader. In 2013, Tributo tequila was awarded the prestigious 5 Star Diamond Award by the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences, making it the only tequila to hold this distinction.
He is also the founder of Barreto Inc., a Southern California based international business consulting firm focused on developing relationships between major corporations and entrepreneurs with an emphasis on small businesses and emerging markets.
His community service includes being the founder and former chairman of Business Matchmaking, a highly recognized non-profit that has helped small-business owners, especially women, minorities and veterans, to gain access to key procurement representatives at the federal, state and local levels, as well as many major corporations. Since its inception, Business Matchmaking has facilitated more than 90,000 in-person meetings and generated more than $80 billion in contracts for small businesses.
He is the Chairman of The Latino Coalition, one of the largest and most effective non-profit latino advocacy groups in the nation. Barreto is also a member of the board of the United States Chamber of Commerce and serves on its council for small business. He is also the former Vice Chairman of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, founded by his father Hector Barreto Sr.
Barreto has been inducted into the Minority Business Hall of Fame and recognized by many organizations including the U.S. Congress, the California State Senate and Assembly, the County of Los Angeles, the YMCA and the American Red Cross. In 2006 he was presented with the prestigious Aguila Azteca Award by President Fox of Mexico, which is bestowed for significant contributions to Mexico from a citizen of another country. He recently received the Latino Leadership Magazine Maestro Award for Entrepreneurship.
He is the author of The Engine of America, a book dedicated to motivating and inspiring entrepreneurs through real life stories and the winning formulas of successful national business leaders.
He currently resides in Southern California with his wife and three children.