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National Director Speeches

  • Submitted on 17 June 2015

    Written Testimony of Alejandra Y. Castillo, National Director Minority Business Development Agency
    U.S. Department of Commerce Before the United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs
    “Accessing Capital in Indian Country”
    June 17, 2015


    Good Afternoon Chairman Barrasso, Vice Chairman Tester, and members of the Committee. I am Alejandra Castillo, and I serve as the National Director of the Minority Business Development Agency, also known as MBDA, at the U.S. Department of Commerce. I am pleased to be here today to discuss the topic of “Accessing Capital in Indian Country.”

  • Submitted on 21 November 2014


    November 18, 2014

    National Director Castillo

    Good Morning. A special thanks to our Mistress of Ceremonies for that warm introduction.

    I bring you greetings from Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker who is always supportive of strategic gatherings like this one that support the Commerce Department’s commitment to the growth, diversification and transformation of American business. Within the larger commercial focus of the Department, the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is specifically dedicated to the growth and global competitiveness of minority- owned businesses. 

    We are pleased to service some 5.8 million firms across this country, each contributing to the economic engine that is minority business enterprise. MBEs have created and retained more than 25,000 jobs and over $1 trillion dollars in combined gross receipts annually. Yet, there is still more we can do to grow in size and scale and build our capacity in new sectors like energy and its related industries.

  • Submitted on 20 November 2014


    November 13, 2014

    National Director Castillo

    Good afternoon and thank you Martin for that warm introduction.

    We certainly appreciate the remarks of Deputy Secretary of Commerce, Bruce Andrews.  

    I am so pleased to be here with you today. I certainly want to acknowledge the outstanding leadership of this organization:

    • Sach Takayatsu – President & CEO of ACE

    • Jimmy Ferguson – National Board Chairman

    • Bill Imada – Fmr. Chairman and the founder of ACE and the WH Initiative on AAPI Commissioner

    • Albert Shen – MBDA National Deputy Director

    It is good for us to be here – at your Second Annual National Conference & Awards Banquet. We celebrate this young, effective organization that is doing great work on behalf of the Asian American Pacific Islander community – a community that faithfully contributes billions to the national economy and to the vitality of many local communities.

    Cesar Chavez, a master organizer and coalition builder among many other things, once said – “We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community... Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.”

  • Submitted on 05 November 2014


    November 3, 2014

    National Director Castillo Good morning and welcome to what we know will be the beginning of a very important conversation among stakeholders - full of possibility and promise.

    I want to honor and acknowledge the outstanding work of Dr. May and his team here at NIST and our colleagues at the WH Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities and all our guests here who serve at Minority Serving Institutions – we greet you with gratitude and excitement for what we know will be an incredible exchange of ideas and information.

    The legendary news anchor Tom Brokaw once said: “Change does not necessarily assure progress, but progress implacably requires change. Education is essential to change…”

    We are here because the wind of change is blowing through the American marketplace demographically, socially, economically…and Mr. Brokaw is right – progress, change and education are inextricably tied together. Progress and change are secured through education. That’s why your presence here today is so important to us at MBDA.

  • Submitted on 21 October 2014

    October 21, 2014

    National Director CastilloGood afternoon.  I want to welcome you to the Minority Finance Forum Networking Lunch & Award Ceremony. While this is an inaugural event – It is my hope that it will become an annual gathering and mark the beginning of an effective and fruitful partnership.  

    As National Director of MBDA, I am particularly proud of the relationship that has been forged between ACG Chicago and our MBDA Business Center here in Chicago.  Through webinars, blogs and a peer to peer CEO group, we have been cultivating this relationship and working together for a few years now.  Our presence here today, as co-hosts of the Minority Finance Forum and participants in the 15th Annual Midwest Capital Connection is testament to this historic work - and I could not be happier with this outcome.

    These are the kinds of developments that embody Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker’s Open for Business Agenda:  trade and investment, innovation which I am sure you will see today - and data.  It’s this kind of innovative programming that puts MBDA at the center of America’s business agenda, strengthens our economy and creates American jobs.

    A special word of gratitude to ACG CEO, Craig Miller for his visionary leadership and willingness to engage MBDA and facilitate our participation in this very important business development opportunity for MBEs.

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