The Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (IHCC) appointed Jacob Perez as the new Director of the USDOT Small Business Transportation Resource Center for the Great Lakes Region at the IHCC effective March 8, 2021.
Jacob will immediately assume responsibility for all the duties for which Gabriela Garcia, former Program Director, was accountable for. Gabriela has recently taken a step forward in her professional career outside the IHCC.
“I have known Jacob for many years and know of his work and commitment to small businesses. His long experience, professional ethics, and commitment will allow this program to continue to grow – generating new business opportunities for our community.,” said Jaime di Paulo, President & CEO of the IHCC.
The USDOT Small Business Transportation Resource Center for the Great Lakes Region at the Illinois Chamber of Commerce (IHCC) mission is to increase the participation of small and disadvantaged businesses to compete for transportation-related prime and subcontract opportunities.
Jacob will focus on creating business development and matchmaking opportunities for clients and customers, provide development and quality of the Center’s outreach, work closely with partner organizations designed to assist MBEs and DBEs to access resources, tools and technical expertise to access contracts and procurement opportunities in the Great Lakes region, which includes the states of: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
Born and raised in the Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood, Jacob Perez has an undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois, in Champaign-Urbana, and most recently, an M.B.A from Dominican University.
For the past 20 years, Jacob has dedicated his professional career to working within the business, academic and non-profit world, from opening a charter school in post-Katrina New Orleans to serving as a start-up non-profits incubator.
Most recently, he served as Outreach Director for UNAM Chicago. In that position, he collaborated with local universities and community-based organizations offering courses in small business development to entrepreneurs looking to start or grow their businesses.