Hispanic chamber promotes manager to director of programs and strategy

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Jessica Ledesma. Courtesy West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

The West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (WMHCC) promoted its program manager to director of programs and strategy.

Guillermo Cisneros, president and CEO of the Grand Rapids-based WMHCC, said Monday, Jan. 17, the organization promoted Jessica Ledesma to the newly created role.

Cisneros said the promotion was based on Ledesma’s “outstanding performance” in her role during the past three years. At the beginning of 2019, Ledesma joined the Hispanic chamber to spearhead Building Bridges Through Education (BBTE), a first-of-its-kind talent pipeline initiative to advance Michigan’s Latinx talent by bridging college and career through career connections and development.

Ledesma led the establishment of BBTE by creating “Get Focused” signature events and the BBTE statewide fellowship. She has grown partnerships by 500% and fund development to create career pathways for a full-time staff. Under her tenure, BBTE served 400 Latinx college students statewide and became one of only 21 programs in the U.S. to be recognized by Excelencia in Education, a national organization dedicated to accelerating Latinx student success in higher education.

According to Cisneros, Ledesma’s skill set and expertise “to not only develop but also implement successful new programs” qualifies her to lead the three signature programs of the WMHCC — Transformando West Michigan, Building Bridges Through Education and the Accounting Initiative.

Founded in 2003, the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to working with all members of the community to increase the economic advancement of Hispanic-owned businesses and to assist the professional growth of Hispanic business leaders in West Michigan.

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