Jerry Apodaca was the former Governor of New Mexico when he served as HACR’s first President from 1986 – 1990.
May 2, 2023 /3BL Media/ – The Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility mourns the passing of its first Executive Director, Jerry Apodaca, on April 26, 2023. Apodaca had been Governor of New Mexico from 1975 – 1979 when he became the organization’s first President in 1986, the year of the organization’s founding.
At the time, HACR was in the throes of executing a high-profile covenant with the Colorado-based brewing company then known as Adolph Coors Company to increase Hispanic inclusion in its employment and procurement practices. The activation and seed funding from Coors in 1986 was the impetus for the formation of HACR. It was the founding coalition member organizations, with Apodaca as Executive Director, who crafted a mission and an organizational structure that would influence corporations to practice better inclusion across functions, as it related to Hispanics. The gravitas Apodaca brought as a former governor of a western state and his leadership during the early years of HACR was a significant reason for the organization’s growth and corporate influence that continues to this day.
“HACR has lost a pioneering leader, who made an enormous impact on the lives of generations of Hispanic people through his dedication to the cause of greater inclusion of Hispanics in Corporate America,” said Cid Wilson, President and CEO of HACR. “He was a true statesman who helped craft an organization that would withstand the test of time and increase in size and influence. The processes and policies he put into place have been a major factor in that success.” Apodaca was elected Governor in 1975 after serving in the New Mexico Senate from 1966 – 1974. He was the first Hispanic governor of the state since 1918. As governor, he reorganized the state’s government to create a cabinet system with 12 departments.
“We’re deeply saddened by the loss of our founding President. Jerry understood on a deep level why it is important for Hispanic businesses, our Hispanic executive workforce, and our fast-growing consumer economic base to have a vibrant Latino community at all decision-making tables across America,” said Ramiro Cavazos, Board Chair of HACR and as well as President and CEO of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC).
Apodaca remained connected and involved in the organization after his term as Executive Director and appeared at the organization’s 30th Anniversary celebration in 2016 to receive an honor and offer words of encouragement.
Founded in 1986, the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) is the nation’s leading corporate advocacy organization, representing 14 national Hispanic organizations in the United States and Puerto Rico. Its mission is to advance the inclusion of Hispanics in Corporate America in the areas of employment, procurement, philanthropy, and governance. Through our corporate leadership advancement programs, best-practice conferences, research initiatives, and public engagements, HACR is illuminating The Power of Hispanic Inclusion™ throughout Corporate America.