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National Society of Hispanic MBA Conference & Career Expo Still a Big Draw for Sponsors and Attendees

250 corporate and academic sponsors and more than 6,200 attendees underscore need for MBA Professionals and students

DALLAS, Texas, Nov. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The floor of the Minneapolis Convention Center in downtown Minnesota thrived earlier this month at the National Society of Hispanic MBA's (NSHMBA) 2009 Conference & Career Expo as more than 6,200 MBA students and professionals capitalized on the many opportunities being offered by the 250 academic and corporate sponsors during the 3-day event.

This year's lead sponsors included Target Corporation as the Corporate Lead and Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota as the Academic Lead Sponsor, both of whom solidified the 2009 conference theme, Think Ahead, Move Forward.

"Target's partnership with NSHMBA continues to be valuable, connecting us with top diverse talent and providing professional development for Target team members," said Tim Curoe, Vice President, Talent Acquisition. "With many Hispanic team members and a large Hispanic guest base, Target was proud to be the lead corporate sponsor this year, and we look forward to continuing this valuable partnership with NSHMBA."

Widely anticipated, the 2009 NSHMBA Conference & Career Expo did not disappoint as attendees took part in resume and interview clinics, on-site interviews, networking events, a Professional Development Day, exclusive Executive and Research Forums, a Career Management Center, Corporate Networking Receptions, Company Information Sessions, and the nation's largest career expo for Hispanic MBAs. The Professional Development Day's breakout sessions included leading corporate executives and business experts, while the Executive Forum provided a venue for high-level Hispanic executives to convene and address challenges and demands many Hispanic executives face within corporate America.

The NSHMBA 2009 Conference & Career Expo officially kicked off October 9 with an official ribbon-cutting ceremony that included Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, who welcomed attendees to Minneapolis. Other guests included Isaias Zamarripa, Director of Talent Acquisition, General Mills, and Chair of NSHMBA Corporate Advisory Board; Anthony Heredia, Vice President of Corporate Risk and Responsibility, Target; Dr. Alison Davis-Blake, Dean Investors in Leadership Distinguished Chair in Organizational Behavior of Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota; Cosette Gutierrez, Chair of NSHMBA Board of Directors; and Steve Ramos, NSHMBA Interim CEO.

"There are so many things about this year's conference that should not come as a surprise, but at the same time are completely surprising," said Steve Ramos, NSHMBA Interim CEO. "NSHMBA is going into its twenty-second year and though we've dedicated our organization around the needs of the Hispanic community, the turnout of the loyal, supportive sponsors and the attendees is just incredible and really underscores the necessity of NSHMBA and its mission.

"We are thrilled and excited that despite economic obstacles, people are fighting hard to elevate their situation for the better," he said. "Without great sponsors like Target Corporation and Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota, obstacles might be insurmountable."

The NSHMBA Conference & Career Expo is also a venue within which the organization recognizes Hispanic scholarship recipients from across the country who have been awarded financial assistance through the NSHMBA Scholarship Program and the NSHMBA University Partnership Program. Each year the organization contributes to students' educations by offering opportunities that offset educational expenses. Over the years, NSHMBA has given millions in aid, further ensuring the pipeline of Hispanic talent remains abundant.

The NSHMBA Conference & Career Expo also served as the backdrop for the Ultimate Hispanic Executive award, which is a distinguished honor presented annually by NSHMBA to an outstanding Hispanic leader who consistently demonstrates strength, integrity and a relentless commitment to public service, education, and the advancement of leadership. This year's award was presented to Ms. Ophelia Basgal, Vice President of Civic Partnership and Community Initiatives for Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E). The Ultimate Hispanic Executive award is highly competitive and each candidate demonstrated wonderful achievements within the Hispanic community.

Finally, on Saturday night during NSHMBA's biggest and most prestigious evening gala, the Brillante Awards for Excellence, seven selected individuals and companies were recognized for their selfless contributions to the Hispanic community. This year's winners included Isaias Zamarripa - Corporate Executive Excellence; Richard Velazquez - Member Service Excellence; Leonor McCall-Rodriguez & Julian Posada - Entrepreneur Excellence Award; YUM! Brands Inc. - Corporate Excellence; The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business - Educational Excellence; Houston Hispanic Forum - Non-Profit Excellence. Later that evening, attendees of the event were treated to a first - a performance by Latin Grammy-winner Alejandro Fernandez, who has sold over 15 million albums in over 20 countries. The Brillante celebration, which was sponsored by Target Corporation, was epilogue to the Brillante Awards for Excellence ceremony with Maria Celeste Arraras as the events Emcee. Ms. Arraras is host and managing editor of "Al Rojo Vivo con Maria Celeste," the most talked about newsmagazine in Hispanic television, airing nationwide in the U.S. and 15 Latin American countries, and produced by Telemundo/NBC.

About NSHMBA

The National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA) was created in 1988 as a non-profit organization. Widely known as the "Premier Hispanic Organization," NSHMBA serves 32 chapters and over 8,000 members in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. It exists to foster Hispanic leadership through graduate management education and professional development. NSHMBA works to prepare Hispanics for leadership positions throughout the U.S., so that they can provide the cultural awareness and sensitivity vital in the management of the nation's diverse workforce.

SOURCE National Society of Hispanic MBAs

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