Hispanic Center names executive director


Roberto Torres. Courtesy Hispanic Center of Western Michigan

A nonprofit that promotes and supports the Hispanic business community in West Michigan has a new executive director.

Roberto Torres, director of economic development for the city of Canton, Ohio, will officially join the Hispanic Center of Western Michigan on Jan. 20. Torres, who has more than 20 years experience working in public service, previously served in a number of administration roles for the city of Toledo, including as manager, developer and specialist for Economic Development, director of the Office for Latino Affairs, director of the Toledo Youth Commission and director of the Board of Community Relations.

“We are tremendously excited about Roberto and the breadth of experience that he will bring to the center,” said Franco Silva, chair of the center’s board of directors. “His experience addressing both the social service needs and the economic development needs of the Hispanic community that we serve are both key tenets of the center’s vision.”

Torres, a Desert Storm veteran, holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and public administration from Bowling Green State University.

“Grand Rapids is a growing, vibrant community and I feel that I can add value to all the good things going on here in this important capacity,” Torres said. “And I grew up in the Lansing area, and still have family there, so this is somewhat of a homecoming for me. I am grateful for the opportunity to come back to Michigan and to be part of the Grand Rapids community.”

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