Entrepreneur Laura Balverde-Sanchez earlier this month became the first Latina to become a director of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.
Balverde-Sanchez's election is part of a push by Chamber President Ray Remy to break the business group's long history of electing only Anglo male directors. When Remy took over the top staff job at the chamber in 1984, only 5% of the board's 65 members were minorities. Now 15% are.
"We look forward to having a person with her energy, her interest and her ability on the board," Remy said. "I start off from the basis that we try to find the best leaders that we can, and it's very encouraging to find such strong leaders in the minority business community who are interested in being on the board."