1 Episode results for "Hecker Baretto"
Hector Barreto - Entrepreneurship and Immigrants
"Hecker Baretto grew up an entrepreneurial immigrant family that believed in hard work. His father even had him in his quote. Unquote executive training program which early on consisted of waiting tables in the family restaurant, and that training must have taken hold because that zeal for hard work carried through Hector's life. He eventually headed up the small business administration and the Bush administration from two thousand one to thousand and five, and now serves as chairman of the Latino coalition and through those life experiences. Hector has remained grounded in thinking. Thinking of America the land of opportunity, it is like no other country in the world. There's something very very special. We should never take that for granted for those of us that opportunity travel we. We understand that we have something really really special here, and we should always serve to protect it. We'll discuss entrepreneurship and the policies that encourage it and hector shares what he's learned about the Latino community throughout his career I mean Andrew Kaufman, and this is the strategic presented by the George Bush Presidential Center. This conversation was recorded earlier this year in person at the Bush Center. Welcomed or guest today, Hector Baretto Hector form headed up the United States. Small Business Administration today. He's the chairman of the Latino Coalition. Thanks for waking up early with us. Do this actor thank you in our Co host Laura Collins, once again. Welcome back, Laura. She's the director in the Bush. Institute smu Economic Growth Initiative thank you. Thank Santa I. Only wake up early for this I know we. To Peel back the curtain we're here at about seven thirty in the morning in Dallas and Lauren I were comparing notes and turns out that one of us are morning. People so hector. We're looking. We're looking at you. Demand on. West Coast time. It's like five thirty in your body clock Oh. That's rough. Hector's here for our SME Economic Growth Advisory Council where he is one of them. Is that help guide the policy work that we do at the Bush Institute, because both of his expertise is the forty first administrator, the small business, and because his work with the Latino Coalition. Let's start with the former when you were with the small business administration. What was the goal of that department? What were you? You, all working on the small business. Administration was actually started in one, thousand, nine, hundred, fifty, three by President Eisenhower and there were some small business programs before that, but they unified those all into one agency, and it's really the agency that supports and advocates for America's small businesses, and that role has become even more important over the years when they formed the SBA. There probably weren't thinking that was going to be over thirty million small businesses in the united. United States and I like to say nothing small about small business. They really are the engine of America, the engine that fuels the economy of America not only are there a lot of them, but they represent over fifty two percent of the gross output of the economy. It's the place that two-thirds the net new jobs of our economy comes from, and it's also the place that a lot of our innovation comes from. That makes us the envy of the world. World in terms of our economy so very very important agency. A lot of people have heard of it, but they oftentimes don't know everything it does. Where does your passion for Small Business? Come from a well? That's easy. I was fortunate to be born into an entrepreneurial family, so the first business owners I ever met where my mother and father and my father was especially a serial entrepreneur. He loved business. He loves starting businesses. I'm not saying he loved running. My mother ran the business ideas, man yeah, but I learned a lot about a small business I used to joke that everything I learned about business. I learned in a Mexican restaurant because that's why I worked when I was a little kid. What jobs is you? Hold with your parents Oh, a lot of them, you know we were an immigrant family and. There was five children. My mother had five children six years. I have four younger sisters, and so we were all recruited to my father's executive training program very early on, so we all had to work I remember waiting tables when I was nine years old. So And then I. as I got older, I got more responsibility and help run some of those businesses and start some of those businesses, and my father had a number of different businesses. We started off with the restaurant business, because that's an easy business to access, but then later on at a little import export business, a little construction business, none of those businesses wherever really large, but they were very important to our family helps support us. They helped educate, and we learned a lot about being in business and working with the community and customers, and so your father came to America start these businesses. He actually didn't. My father was an immigrant to the United States in the late nineteen fifties. I don't think he was planning on staying that long. But he met my mother. My mother is also from immigrant parents from Mexico they've shown love, and and of all places they started their journey in Kansas City Missouri that's where I was born. I grew up in Kansas City Missouri and my father. He had a lot of different jobs as a lot of immigrants do when they first get here. His first jobs were picking. Picking potatoes for fifty cents an hour in rural Missouri and later on, he worked at a railroad, a literally pounding the spikes into the ground, but in the winter it got too cold, so he moved into He started working in the livestock business, and it was very difficult. dirty work. He was cleaning out stalls, but at least it was warmer than being outside. When he was working at the railroad later on he, he was a janitor at the school that I would eventually go to, but my father used to always say that he was a business owner, and I would say dad. You have these jobs. You're not a business owners. They know what I have to do right now, but eventually alone my own business, so he was very passionate about that. He always wanted to work for himself, so he starts so then he starts these businesses and his career trajectory starts trending too so far up that start happening. Yeah, my father was a very visionary leader very. Very charismatic you know he when he's grown up used to say know. I came here with nothing I didn't know anybody. I didn't speak the language. I had no money I had no power, but I believed in myself I was willing to work hard, and this is such a great country that affords us the opportunity to go as far as we WANNA go. We're only limited by our own imagination our own commitment, so he he's. We started these businesses, but later on my father was kind of an organizer as well, and he wanted to belong to the Chamber of Commerce. This is in Kansas City. Number of others spanning businesses. There were there at the time, and my father started asking. Where's the Hispanic Chamber? And they said well. There isn't an Hispanic Chamber. My Dad said well there should be, and if nobody else is going to start it, I will so my father was one of the founders of the Kansas City Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, that was in the mid seventies, and later on, he said well. You know there are a lot of Hispanic business all around the country I'd like to be part of a National Chamber of Commerce, and his friend said there is no National Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. My Dad's well. That's not right. There should be so if nobody else is going to do it. I'll try to do it, so he started organizing with other leaders around the country, and they formed the United States. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce now. That was in the late seventies, and we're getting ready to get into a presidential election and my father didn't really know anything about politics and not so much. Much about policy, either and he started asking around, and his friend said well. We're panic and we're Democrats, so you should work with the existing administration. which was the Carter Administration? My Dad said that's fine, so he tried to reach out to the campaign, and they really weren't interested they were focused on other things and my father didn't wasn't upset. He didn't get mad. He just said I really. Really. Don't WanNA. Work with anybody doesn't WanNa work with me. And just as it happened, he reached out to by the Reagan campaign. My Dad didn't know much about Ronald Reagan. He heard that he was the governor of California, but a really convinced him that they were very focused on the small business piece. They wanted to do better in the aesthetic market. My father started working with the Reagan campaign. Campaign obviously Ronald Reagan won that election and later on my father was asked to be part of the transition team to advise on spa of all things later on to be a surrogate for him, internationally, especially in Latin America and the chamber just took off to during those years that the eighties and they had a very good close working relationship. It just so happens that at that time, my father. Started working with the vice president, because the president could go to all the conventions and all the meetings, so dad started working with Vice President George Herbert Walker Bush, and they hit it off as well. They became good friends. My father also. George Herbert Walker Bush when he decided to run for president, and then just a little a point of privilege here years years later I was in California was working in a business organization called Latin Business Association and I had worked my way up because I didn't know anybody in California and my father said best place for you to meet people. Is that this chamber this organization that works with US SO I. I worked my way up and family became the chairman of the board. This is in one, thousand, nine, hundred, ninety nine. My father called me up and he said Hey. I know you're getting ready to have your big convention out in Los. Angeles. Why don't you invite the governor of Texas to come and speak and I? Of course I was a smart Aleck and I said Dad. WHO's the governor of Texas? And why would I invite the governor of Texas? Speak at my event. California says well. The Governor of Texas is George W Bush and I think he's going to run for president. And you ought to meet him, and you ought to invite him out to your vet so I did. This is nineteen, ninety nine, and ironically initially the campaign was getting going and they. You Know California is are. We going to get any support, so I had to kind of talk them into it right, so they came out in late nineteen, thousand nine, this would have been about September October of one, thousand, nine, hundred and nine, and they didn't know if there was going to be anybody there. We had three thousand business owners at the Convention Center to listen to the governor of Texas, and it was my fortunate that Governor Bush at that time decided to basically give his campaign speech at my event. Little speech call leave no child behind. Behind which ended up becoming the education initiative, and obviously one thing led to another got to know the governor. He asked me to join the campaign. I'd never been involved in a campaign before, and so I became one of the Co. chairs and California and ended up being a surrogate for him during the campaign for Hispanic groups, especially business groups, and then after the campaign I was honored and privileged, that president asked me to come back and run the SBA, so it was pretty good piece of advice that your dad gave. You see what you can do about the governor of Texas I'll my father always gave me the best advice that I've luckily followed most of it. Isn't that's the beauty of of America's that this man who was picking potatoes and a janitor becomes an adviser to the president. His son becomes an adviser to the president. Like that's. That's America. It is, and it's one of the things that makes this so grateful and proud that we are part of this country. It is like no other country in the world. There is something very very special we should. Should never take that for granted for those of us. That have had an opportunity to travel we. We understand that We have something really really special here, and we should always serve to protect it. You talked before about small businesses, really being the engines of America, and you know obviously with your work with the SBA Dads with Hispanic Chamber and now your work with Latino coalition you're working with. A lot of small business owners and a lot of people who are very entrepreneurial, most of America's not like that. So, what do you think are the things that we could do to sort of jump? Start the entrepreneurial spirit in America and. What are the barriers that you see to? Some of the business owners in your coalition requests in law. That's why she's here. She's grains. Great Question. I agree with you know not. Everybody's going to go into small business, but you know we have thirty million small businesses in the United States, women are starting businesses faster than any other group, especially at Latina women five times faster, and it is one of the things that is enabled us to be the powerhouse that we are other countries used to come and visit me at the ESPN and say how do you do it? How do you do? We want to do what you guys do because they saw how this grew the middle class and all of. Of the opportunities and innovation that was created by these small businesses, but many times, those countries don't have the kind of well first of all. They don't have the environment. They also don't incent the small businesses, and it's not something that is actually promoted. In fact, sometimes, the opposite is promoted. Don't go into business too risky. If it doesn't work out, you're going to be ruined forever and I used to tell these countries who said we're not like that you know. A lot of our folks is the most successful people that we have have tried multiple times before they were. Able to succeed, we try to support them. Also most everybody knows the small business owner there in their family. They worked at a small business. The small businesses that they are in their neighborhoods, so that should not change. Some years back. We noticed that less people were starting small businesses and that. was somewhat of a byproduct product of what happened during the financial meltdown, the two thousand eight, where people got very very risk averse especially young people. You need young people to want to be able to go out and create something from scratch with no guarantees. We're starting to see that change. especially as the economy is starting to grow, but a critically important our future and I meant what I said. We are the envy of the world because we're able to do things that no other countries able to. And we should never lose sight of that and forget how we got here. And we kind of doubled down on creating some of those opportunities opportunities that come from organizations or government agencies like the SBA Chambers of Commerce local government state governments. There's so much that we can do to help small businesses because fifty percent of small businesses fail in the first four years, and it's not because they don't have a good idea they simply don't. Don't know what they don't know. And usually when they start, figuring out might be too late so if you can help a small business in those first four years, their chances of success grows exponentially. You said you're saying younger people start businesses more. Do you see that more as you know? My cohort, the millennial sort of the mid thirties on up, or are you seeing that you know with? The generation is generation Z. that even younger. you know it kind of runs across the board and I'm not an expert on this, but some young people have said you know we don't want to do what our parents did. We think they were focused on the wrong things. We WanNA WE WANNA be focused more on on things that are in our minds more meaningful for the future and Dif-. Different issues don't want to take the risk and also don't feel like they want to go into dead and buy a house, and and all of those things, so you see some of that as you know very well. Immigrants are great entrepreneurs. They are so excited they. They're like I. could work as much as I want to. Keep most of the money that this is the greatest thing in the world I can't do that in my home. Country women for many years. We're not encouraged to start. Businesses and more women are creating business, and they're being very successful and their great entrepreneurs and. And they bring a total different skill set to the equation, but I think anything that we can do to educate people on what the opportunities are and again I sometimes say it's the hardest job you'll ever love because it's not you know. Sometimes people have these idealistic notions of what is going to be like to be in business. You have plenty of free time money. and. Now? And I will tell you. It's the exact opposite you'll. You'll pay everybody before you pay yourself. You'll work more hours than you've ever worked in your life, but the satisfaction that you can get from it, and the independence and freedom is just phenomenal. I WANNA. Talk a little bit about you mentioned the immigrants starting businesses, and I think the last time I checked the statistics was start businesses twice. The rate native born Americans do immigration in this country obviously very stuck in this is a conversation. You and I have had off-line conversation that this is something we talk about all the time at the Bush Institute. When you are out amongst your coalition in your business owners is a sense from them that we really do need to fix our immigration system absolutely, and it's very frustrating because we know what a great country having. We've tackled some major major problems. You know we put people on the moon. Built for? Lately can't figure that out. Yeah, that's too complicated for US unfortunately. It has become so politicized and I hate to say I've talked about this. I think both sides get what they need out of that debate, and they're almost senate not to fix it, but we need to fix it for the good of our country for the security of our country. It makes all the sense in the world. I think there's a lot of good ideas out there i. don't think that we need to reinvent the wheel. We just need to have some convictions and well. Some profiles and Kurds that we don't have right now. What is role of the Latino coalitions? You had up to Latina coalition now. We talked about immigration and talk about small business. What is the role the work you're doing now A. Latino, coalition organization it's been around for over twenty five years, and where national membership organization or an advocate for the interests of the panic community, especially small businesses we provide different tools and advocacy for them do some very high profile events or launching some some tools that we think that can help them get more business, and so I kind of think of Latino coalition like A. For the Hispanic Community and Many. People know the. For retired persons says that they're a national advocate for fifty million constituents. Their constituents are called Seniors Arkansas call Hispanics. they also get very involved in policy. they any major issue. They're on the frontlines advocating for them, they provide services for those members, and so when we want to be as successful as they aarp as and so, that's kind of the way that we structure ourselves again the. The three pillars for us which are really the three pillars in the Spanish community and they don't really change. Its economic empowerment especially is that relates to our businesses and the jobs that we need in the Economy Education K through twelve and education, but I would extend that even further education throughout your life, especially as you need to take different skills to be competitive in the changing workforce and healthcare. Hispanics are still berry under represented in terms of getting access to healthcare. They've made made lots of promises by former administration that didn't come true, and so that's still an issue that we've got to focus on and try to come up with some strategies, preferably more private sector strategies to helping them get access to the health care that they need one of the things. Things that I'm always struck by in this conversation of you know what Hispanic voters or just spanks generally really desire or believe in our want from their government. They're the exact same things everybody else does, and so it's always so funny to me that there is the sort of divide because we are all sort of pulling the direction. We all care about our families. We all care about you know how we're going to put money in the bank and food on the table, and how our kids are going to be educated, and do you find the you? You're in DC A lot. You're talking to a lot of lawmakers. Do you find that that's something that they understand? They understand when they're trying to reach out to in. They're making policy that opinion sort of we're all pulling the same direction and these are things that don't need to be necessarily divided. Completely agree and that's a an ongoing challenge. Many legislators have very few. In their districts especially in the south, you know a lot of our population, we're all fifty states and eighteen percent of the population, sixteen, million strong, two trillion dollars, purchasing power, but a lot of those lawmakers, and this is both sides they'll. All those lawmakers really don't get. you know we. One of our continuous jobs is to demystify Hispanic community and you reminded me of a story. I heard one time One of the first is S- panic. Lieutenant Governors in California was gentleman by the Cruz Bustamante, and when he got elected this many. Many years ago, the reporters would I'll ask him. What is the Hispanic Plan? The Hispanic Strategy? You must have this secret strategy and he was like he didn't know how to answer that. And finally he said okay. I'll tell you what the secret strategy is ready here it is, we want good jobs. We want to live in a good neighbourhood. We want to send our kids to good schools, and hopefully have higher education would like to have a little money for retirement and concerned about security, and the reporter said that's not a secret plan. Buddy wants, and he said exact spoiler alert, right? That's exactly what we want. And I think sometimes maybe lawmakers too complicated, and maybe sometimes complicated, because they think they can get a certain advantage an electoral advantage if they're saying certain things, one of the things that you know, we sometimes complain about for lack of description is that we're noticed every four years, but after. Between those four years in other words when there's a presidential election, everybody wants to talk to. And see what they want and see if they can get their votes in between time it not not so much, and so we've got to. Hispanics or mainstream where young people we will be twenty five percent of the US population in the next thirty years. Where very patriotic we love this country, but we're also bicultural. We're also bilingual and we don't want to lose that as well as many other immigrant populations have discovered and emphasized over there evolution in this country. Can you talk a little bit more about that by cultural, and I think that and having worked immigration. Immigration for for the time that have one of the broad misconceptions particularly about Hispanics is that they don't assimilate or integrate whichever word you prefer, and they don't become fully. American you and I both know that's just completely false, and that you don't have to abandon your roots in order to fully embrace your new country can talk a little bit about your experience with that and your family's experience with that sure another great question. I. Heard a demographer one time very well-known demographer in California David. Hayes about these good friends at Ucla and this is many years ago and we were doing event. Was titled Demystifying the Hispanic Market This is like going back over twenty years ago, and he said oftentimes that question is presented in the wrong way. He said it's not an either or proposition. He said the immigrant mother who is raising her us. Born children here knows that those children need to simulate need to cultivate to be successful. She loves those children. She wants them to have every opportunity, so they're going to learn English. They're going to go to school. They're going to stay out of trouble. They're. They're gonNA. They're gonNA. Do all the things that you need to do to be successful? He said that our immigration patterns are different. He said in many years past lot of our immigration came from overseas and when they got here. They knew they were never going back all right so they some of them for years with try to hold onto their. You know ethnicity and their cultural heritage number of German language newspapers that existed in the United States uncle, three world war, pre-world wine is huge. Forget that but the and many schools only taught in. Amazing but our Hispanic population, obviously first of all my father would say we didn't go anywhere. We were already here. But. He would say it's an an proposition. Hispanics are going to simulate are gonNA culturally, and they're going to onto the things that they grew up with the food that they grew up with the customs that that's a vital part of their identity and their heritage, and these things are not mutually exclusive, and they do not also diminish their love of this country because they're American, remember ninety percent plus of Hispanics have no issue with their immigration status, and yet the things that oftentimes they're asked about. Immigration and immigration can become a very polarizing issue. especially the way the both parties approach it, but I totally agree with you. You that Hispanics are over here. They're not calling anywhere. Most of the population growth now is childbirth. It's not an immigration anymore, and and we gotta get our immigration system right because in the future we will need additional skilled workers to come to this country. We're not producing enough marcel, so we better get that right. Absolutely, there's an every immigrant kids is so acutely aware of that? Every their parents made sacrifices to come here and that those parents are here because of what they want for their kids, and did you feel that pressure knowing what your parents did? The sacrifices they made wanted to be to be. I absolutely did well first of all candy was not a bastion of Hispanic culture, so we. We kinda stood out a little bit. So I knew that we were we were different there. Of course you hear all the stories from folks. Especially, your parents and some of the really challenges that they had, and as I mentioned to. My father said came here with nothing I was able to accomplish something I expected a lot more you. You didn't have any of these challenges, so you better do a lot better than I did. TRY TO WORK! That in, but yeah you. You do feel it now. I mentioned one thing many years ago. some parents felt the best thing for their children would be for them not to say that they were Spanish pretend. They were something else, and they were doing that to try to protect their children because of racism and bigotry, and now some of those kids have grown up and I know some of them. Them and they're kind of disappointed that they didn't learn more about the culture. They didn't learn the language. They didn't go back to the old country, and so they're trying to kind of catch up with that, so we go through these different cycles, and we're going through a cycle right now. The cycle of the other you know, but to your point, the other is us. We're the say we're. We're we're. In the same direction, but we're. We're starting to run out of time, so there's a question that we usually ask our guests at the end of our episodes, and we always ask, either what should we be talking about as a nation that we're not talking about enough, or what's the question that no one has asked you that you wish they would, and so we're I'm feeling. We're feeling magnanimous today. So which one of the two would you like to? Show off. Well I think you've touched on some of these issues and I appreciate the opportunity in the invitation. Our country's changing very quickly very very quickly, and all kinds of different ways. Technology is changing our country and we've got, and there's nothing we can do about that. It's going to continue accelerate, so we've got to understand how that works in our life, and what things that we need to do to get ready to deal with it, and it's an it's almost dizzying changes. Going on demographic changes is is changing, and we're We're all in this together, so we better find better ways to communicate and work together. Together, you know. The the environment is changing. I mean the littoral environment is changing, and we've got to figure out what we're going to be doing about that, so markets are changing around the world We can't just be so insulated. It'd be looking internally. We've got to be looking at a around the world I. Sit on the US, Chamber of Commerce Sport and Tom Donahue says ninety five percent of the consumers live outside of this country. We better figure out how to be talking to them. So those are some of the things that we need to talk more about these are not easy problems to. To solve, it's going to require a lot of policy, but it should be top of mind on the radar screen all the time all the time all the time. Other countries are thinking about those things we ought to be thinking about to and the other question that I don't get as a lot about, but it's something that I've grown up with Warr Hispanics Conservative and why do is Spanish at? Why aren't Hispanics Monolithic? And why don't they all think the same way? And of course that's almost a ridiculous question. Because nobody. No community thinks exactly the same way on every issue. We're diverse community. We think differently. Differently about a lot of issues, but my father used to say that was kind of like the rationale behind creating the US. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. There's so many more things that we agree on than the things that we don't agree on, so let's stipulate. There's some things that we're not gonNA. Agree on, and let's focus passionately on the things that we do agree on and create more solutions for everybody. President Bush offense has said Multiple Times. If you focus your energies and what you agree on, you can get a heck of a lot done Lord. We have enough time to ask him about Tequila. Yes. Heard. I've never had the privilege of sampling your Tequila we'll. We'll make sure that that changes it quickly. Try to make this quick the last project my father was working on, and I didn't realize this. Because I was in government at the time was He bought a ranch and he was planted a Gob, and so he was planning on. Making a Tequila at some point in time planted it here in the US. Only. Can only make Tequila in Mexico and the state that he was from Lico is where eighty percent of the Tequila comes from, so he bought property and he planted the governor. My father unfortunately got sick and passed away in less than a year when I went down to Mexico his Lewis said. What do you want to do with all the Gava and I was like what a governor. I Beg your pardon yeah. And he's in your father bought a large ranch, and he planted a garden, and it takes seven years for the plant to mature, so we'll just pull it out of the ground. Throw it away, said no, no, no. Don't do that so seven years later we harvested the crop, and I went to some friends of ours, which was the Beckmann family, which is the Cuervo family and they're like. What are you doing the Tequila Business? Why are you doing this? I said it's a tribute to my father. And they said Oh that's a great name for Tequila once you name it that we did and so we. We made Tequila. We sold through most of it, but I will tell you that I'm developing his land now and we're building a Tequila factory this year. Oh Man on the land, so stay tuned more to come. We got to keep him around the next time. You're in town. We expect A. WE EXPECT A sample. You'll have it. Hector thank you so much for new. This had to wake up early in your on West Coast, thank you so much, thank you. Andrew Law is always a pleasure. Look forward to the next opportunity take. You can learn more about the Latino coalition at www dot Latino coalition, dot, com, and about the Bush Institute's work in immigration at www dot bush center out org slash immigration. If you enjoyed this episode of the strategic. Please tell a friend or lever review online. You can also send us note on social media at the Bush Center on twitter facebook and Instagram. Thank you for listening.