The Hispanic American Construction Association (HACIA) says that Jacqueline Gomez, a seasoned leader and expert in business diversity and inclusion programs, has been named HACIA’s new executive director. Gomez brings 15 years of experience and strong commitment to business development and supplier diversity, the Chicago-based association says in a statement.
“HACIA is fortunate to now have Ms. Gomez leading HACIA,” HACIA Ivan Solis said in a March 16 statement. “The vision and leadership she brings along with her experience and expertise, is precisely what HACIA needs as we enter this next chapter of growth and change. There is no one more suited to take the helm of this organization.”
Earlier in the week, Jorge Perez announced that he is stepping down from his role as HACIA’s executive director.
HACIA, a professional membership-based organization, works to ensure the equitable participation of its members in the construction industry. For more than 40 years, HACIA has advocated for diversity in the construction field to continue to increase opportunity for minority and woman-owned businesses. HACIA advocates for public policy, providing the necessary tools and resources for Latinos, and other diverse firms, to develop and succeed in construction-related businesses.
“I am honored to be HACIA’s next executive director at this important moment,” said Gomez said. “I look forward to expanding the technical assistance and capacity building we provide our members to ensure that they are represented across all industry sectors. It is critical that HACIA continue to grow our reach and impact on behalf of our members. I am delighted to return to HACIA to lead the organization, it feels like returning home. I am looking forward to working with HACIA’s talented and passionate members, staff, and board.”
Gomez comes to HACIA with a wealth of experience. She has assisted hundreds of small businesses meet their business objectives. She has experience in all levels of government including local, state and federal and specializes in contract compliance, diverse business certification, small business development programs and access to capital. As Director of Supplier of Workforce Diversity for the Obama Foundation, she was responsible for managing the diversity, equity and inclusion programming and ensuring the Foundation achieves transformative diversity and inclusion initiatives related to the construction of the Obama Presidential Center. During her tenure at the Obama Foundation, Gomez, created and launched a construction workforce initiative for the Obama Presidential Center aimed at reducing barriers to entry for Black and Brown communities.
Earlier, she served as the Director of Cook County’s Office of Contract Compliance, where she was responsible for the administration, implementation and development of the county’s diverse business program.
Gomez previously worked at HACIA as program director, in which she was responsible for the outreach efforts covering the Great Lakes region on behalf of the U.S. Department of Transportation. She also provided technical assistance and business training to over 1,000 small businesses.
Gomez holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Illinois-Chicago and a master’s degree in business administration from National Louis University.