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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Highlighting the President of NSHMBA

Name: James R. Huerta
Ethnic background: Cuban
Education: BBA & MBA
Work experience: Over three decades of middle and upper management experience in numerous sectors, including mining, media, metals trading and lending, Intellectual Property and strategic business consulting.

How and when did you join NSHMBA?
I spend much too many years not giving back to my culture what I have learned through the years. Through the encouragement of a very close friend I began looking for an organization whose mission mirrored my feelings and that would provide me the opportunity to give back. NSHMBA fit the bill. In 2000 I sought out the New York Chapter President and told him that I wanted to get involved and he put me to work right away.

Are you a member of other similar organizations?
I belong to other non-cultural organizations; the only other ethnic based organization that I belong to is NAMIC.

How, when and why did you become the President?
In 2004 I was asked to run for the chapter President but due to business complications and personal obligations I chose not to run. Prior to 2004 I had been the VP of Operations and EVP. In 2006 the President’s position was open and I decide it was my time and nominated myself for the post and the rest is history.

Have you or are you currently part of other boards? If so, which position(s) do you hold?
Yes, I hold board positions for a few other non for Profit organizations and the Executive Director of a National organization.

What are some positive aspects of being the President?
There are truly many positive aspects being the President; you get a chance to help others who look to you for opinions; you get the opportunity to make connections that will help others achieve their goals; you get to meet new friends who will last a life time and most important you get a chance to change things hopefully for the best.

What about some negatives?
Just never enough time to get everything done. A lot of emails, LOL.

What's a typical day for the President?
First thing is to come to grips that you have professional & personal responsibilities that can’t be ignored. Once you have that notion under control and you allocated the right amount of time for NSHMBA a typical day is reading emails, following up with sponsors, organizing events and trying to keep the chapter going forward on an even keel.

Can you share any funny, moving or upsetting anecdotes that you have encountered as President?
I remember going to this very important client meeting for my company and after the initial introduction as the CEO of ResearchPAYS the senior guy from the client company found out that I was the president of the local chapter for NSHMBA, he chose to only recognize me as the President of NSHMBA and the importance of this role over my corporate responsibilities. PS we got the account; you never know how people feel about what you represent.

What have you learned about being a leader during this process?
That I am a leader who doesn’t need a lot of titles to make people understand their strengths and commitments are what really matters.

What have you learned about Boards?
I had board experience before joining NSHMBA but what my current experience has made clear is the ability of consensus to achieve goals and disarm obstacles.

What have you learned about Jim?
That I should have been involved with NSHMBA many years before 2000; I love to be a part of a team and be able to influence people to contribute whatever they can.

How does this affect/compliment your personal life?
All very positive; your never to experienced or mature to learn something new. My experience with NSHMBA has made me as a whole a better person and leader.

Any words of wisdom for anyone who is undecided about getting more involved?
We as Latinos have come a long way; many other cultural groups that have preceded us have made their mark. We have the opportunity at hand to be a very powerful and influential ethnic group. It is up to us to reach out to those who will follow and provide them with the mentoring and leadership guidance to improve the lot of Hispanic Americans; we can ill afford to let this opportunity escape us. Get involved and leave your mark to improve all of us.

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