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Hispanic Heritage Awards 2009: Ruben Barrales

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PIERRE HABIS (Union Bank):Hello, I'm Pierre Habis of Union Bank. Diversity is one of Union Bank's most closely held values. This is why we are proud to honor local heroes in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. Now, let's meet one of our honorees. RUBEN BARRALES (CEO, San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce) My name is Ruben Barrales. I'm the president and CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber of Commerce works to ensure that we help small business people here in the San Diego region, reach their potential, and create an environment to grow jobs and economic opportunity. We're comprised of small and large businesses, understanding that most people are employed in small businesses, and small businesses are really the driving force in our economy here. For me, being the president of the Chamber of Commerce really is a natural progression. My family -- my mother and father – immigrated from Mexico and came to California, and they both were laborers. They worked with their hands and, over time, they both ended up building small businesses out of our garage, a corner restaurant in our neighborhood. So as a child I grew up in a very entrepreneurial family. I always had an affinity towards small business people, understanding the challenges that they face, and also understanding the need for us to do a better job being better advocates for small business. ANNOUNCER: This moment is made possible by Union Bank, in partnership with KPBS.