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How We Were Born…

The Hispanic Students Business Association (HSBA) of California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) was founded in the spring of 1981.

Many calls were being redirected to the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) from the Career Planning and Placement Center, now known as the Student Center for Professional Development. The main concern was that Hispanic students were not utilizing the center and, in turn, companies were not able to seek out qualified individuals.

Mary and Carmen Lizarraga-Rangel, two students employed by EOP, attended a Latino Business Conference in Downtown Los Angeles at the Security Pacific Bank Facilities. There, Carmen met Sam Mendoza, the Student Advisor for California State University, Fullerton’s (CSUF) Personnel Management Association of Aztlan, now known as the Latino Business Students Association. Sam asked, “Why don’t you create a business organization for Latinos?” He then introduced Mary and Carmen to Tony Huerta, a representative of Pacific Bell, who became the group’s corporate advisor and key player in making this organization a reality.

Mary and Carmen gathered their friends, Art Corrales and Jose Carlos, whom they both knew from their high school days at Garfield, to discuss the purpose and plan on making such an organization.

Sam and Tony both spoke with Dean Moustafam, the Dean of the School of Business at the time, trying to persuade him of the need of such an organization. Then in the spring of 1981, the Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) finally recognized HSBA as an affiliated organization. HSBA’s founding Executive Board were: President, Mary Rodela; Vice President, Art Corrales; Treasurer, Jose Carlos; and Public Relations, Carmen Lizarraga-Rangel.

While the organization had struggled to become officially recognized, HSBA still held meetings.

Leah Nieto, an EOP advisor, arranged for the group to meet in the EOP counseling offices on Fridays from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. HSBA held its first general meeting with guest speaker, Ms. Virginia Oaxaca from ARCO. Other speakers and major supporters who helped that first year were Ms. Chris Fuentes from Bank of California, Ms. Chris Equilla from Union Bank, and Marvin Gonzalez from IBM.

Decades later, HSBA continues to strive and is now being recognized in much larger scales. We owe our success to the founders of this organization, because without them, we will not be who we are today.