Former Small Business Administrator www.sba.gov
In July 2001, Hector Barreto was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the 21st administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration. In this capacity, he oversaw the delivery of financial and business development tools to Americas entrepreneurs. With a portfolio of direct and guaranteed business loans and disaster loans worth more than $45 billion, SBA is the largest single financial backer and facilitator of technical assistance and contracting opportunities for the nations small businesses.
Barretos position, and his lifetime of involvement with the small-business community, has also made him Americas highest-ranking small-business advocate. He met daily with small-business owners and the trade associations that represent them, keeping in constant touch with the needs and priorities of Americas small businesses, and sharing those priorities with the President.
President Bush has said that Barreto is a fine leader who cares deeply about the small businesses of America and "he and I know that small businesses are the backbone of our economy." The President has also pointed out that Barreto understands that the role of government is not to create wealth, but to create an environment in which entrepreneurs from all walks of life have a chance to succeed.
His own family history can be credited for that understanding. Barretos experience in the world of entrepreneurship began at a young age. He helped his parents by working in, and later co-managing, a family restaurant, an export/import business and a construction company in his home town of Kansas City, Missouri.
Immediately before being nominated to his post by the President, Barreto was himself a business owner, as well as being Vice Chairman of the board for the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
After receiving his bachelors degree in business administration from Rockhurst University, Barreto worked for the Miller Brewing Company as the South Texas Area Manager. In 1986, he moved to California and founded an employee benefits firm, responding to the need for financial services for Southern Californias rapidly growing population. He later launched an additional business as a securities broker/dealer specializing in retirement plans.
While in California, Barreto served as Chairman of the Board for the Latin Business Association in Los Angeles and also founded a small business institute that provided technical assistance, education and development opportunities to small businesses.
Barreto has received special recognition for his contributions to Americas small-business community from the U.S. Congress, the California Legislature, the American Heart Association and the American Red Cross. Recognized by Hispanic Business magazine as one of Americas 100 Most Influential Hispanics, Barreto has also been praised by the Latino Coalition for being a role model to Latino youth, and the Hispanic College Fund has commended his leadership in advancing Hispanic businesses.
Barreto and his wife, Robin, have a son and two daughters.