Fourth Annual Gala of the Latino Chamber of
Clockwise from upper left: Ballet Folklorico Colombiano Orquideas; Members of the
Associated Bank team; Ballet Folklorico Colombiano Orquideas; Ricardo Gonzalez (l) owner
of the Cardinal Bar named the Best Latino Business of the Year and Julia Arata Fratta,
president of the Latino Chamber of Commerce; Alberto Lozado (l-r) and his wife owners of El
Bolillo Bakery, the Latino Entrepreneur of the year with Antonio Molina Rivas, vice president
of the Chamber; Madison Mayor Paul Soglin (l) with Arata Fratta; Emcees Marisol López (l)
and Juan José López; Long-time Chamber supporters City of Madison’s Michael Miller (l-r),
William Clingan and Nancy Rodriguez, Yolanda Grajalez from American Family Insurance
and Annette Miller from MG&E; Molina Rivas (l-r) with Yolanda Cruz owner of Cruz Financial
Services, Latina Entrepreneur of the Year and Arata Fratta; Glorily López from López Law
Group LLC, named Best Latino Women Owned Business of the Year, with Arata Fratta
Latino Chamber President Julia Arata-Fratta reflected on then impact of the organization.
“During 2011, we provided technical assistance to more than 97 individuals and we organized short business courses for more than 115
people,” Arata-Fratta said. “We also provide business assistance free of charge, mentoring, consulting, business plan assistance and
seminars and workshops. We created partnerships and collaborated with government agencies and other non-profit organizations to
support business growth. We have reinforced our strategic alliances with organizations such as the Wisconsin Women’s Business
Initiative Corporation, the Latino Academy of Workforce Development, Centro Hispano, Madison College, the city of Madison and the
Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce. We also launched our first discounted membership card program to accelerate and promote
commerce among Latino businesses. And we hosted 12 different networking opportunities to foster collaboration among entrepreneurs
To reflect the advances in the growth and diversification of Latino businesses, the Latino Chamber handed out several awards. Receiving
awards were Ricardo Gonzalez owner of the Cardinal Bar named the Best Latino Business of the Year, Alberto Lozado and his wife,
owners of El Bolillo Bakery, named the Latino Entrepreneur of the Year, Yolanda Cruz, owner of Cruz Financial Services, named Latina
Entrepreneur of the Year and Glorily López from López Law Group LLC, named Best Latino Women Owned Business of the Year.
In his keynote speech, Mayor Paul Soglin recognized the contribution that Gonzalez made to Madison’s future when Gonzalez was a
Madison alderman in the late 1980s.
“One idea from one person can blossom and become something spectacular,” Soglin emphasized. “In 1989, the city of Madison had
finished a controversy very unsuccessfully in regards to the idea of a convention center. Ricardo Gonzalez, newly elected to the city
council, came to me and said, ‘Have you thought of using Frank Lloyd Wright’s design for Monona Terrace as the convention center for the
city of Madison?’ And then he described his experience going to the museum and seeing the drawings and how he thought that this was a
spectacular work of art and would be so critical to making Madison a special place. He was committed to it because he represented the
district where it would be built. And I can tell you without reservation that had Ricardo not supported the Frank Lloyd Wright convention
and visitors center, we would not have it here today. He was the first of several people to suggest this idea. It is so important that every
single person who has a thought, who has a contribution to express it. It may not all end up with the success and the impact. But if we are
going to be successful as a community, I think there is something that we have to recognize in each and every one of us, which is that we
all bring a contribution to the city of Madison.
” We have to recognize the contribution that each and every one of us makes and what we take and what we give to our society. It is with
that that we will go into the challenges of the next year. And when I think about La Raza Unida, when I think about the size of the Latino
community 40 years ago, maybe it is an exaggeration and maybe it isn’t, but I don’t know if the entire Latino community would have filled
this room. The contribution over the last 45 years has been immense. It is because of people like Ricardo that Madison is so special and
we are determined to keep it that way.”
And as if to underscore the importance of the Latino Chamber, Soglin emphasized that economic activity begins and ends with the
interactions of individuals.
“With so many entrepreneurs in the room, there is not a single person who did it by themselves,” Soglin said. “They did it with family. They
did it with friends. They did it in religious institutions. They did it through the cultural connections that were brought to them by a caring and
During 2012, Arata-Fratta hopes to take the Latino Chamber to the next level.
“The next level means becoming more economically independent by diversifying our funding sources, increasing our business and
individual memberships, growing the Chamber personnel, reaching out to more Latino businesses that need our assistance and bring the
Hispanic Professional Chapter to Madison,” she said. “Gracias por apoyar esta Cámara de Comercio, que es tu Cámara!”
Expect a thriving Latino Chamber of Commerce in 2012.
By Jonathan Gramling
During the past two decades, as the Latino community has grown, so too has
the number of Latino businesses. While the most noticeable might be the
restaurants and mercados, increasingly Latinos and Latinas can be found
managing and owning businesses in many sectors of Madison’s economy.
And at the forefront of that growth and perhaps created as a result of it was
the Latino Chamber of Commerce. In just seven short years, it has grown
from a handful of members to now representing over 100 businesses due to
the assistance of city of Madison grants and private funding.
By Jonathan Gramling
During the past two decades, as the
Latino community has grown, so too
has the number of Latino businesses.
While the most noticeable might be the
restaurants and mercados,
increasingly Latinos and Latinas can
be found managing and owning
businesses in many sectors of
Madison’s economy. And at the
forefront of that growth and perhaps
created as a result of it was the Latino
Chamber of Commerce. In just seven
short years, it has grown from a
handful of members to now
representing over 100 businesses due
to the assistance of city of Madison
grants and private funding.
On December 2, the Latino Chamber
held its Fourth Annual Gala at the
Edgewater Hotel, filling to capacity its
banquet room. During the dinner,