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THE HAMPTON ROADS HISPANIC CHAMBER OF COMMERCE is the principal resource and advocate for the joint promotion of Hispanic Businesses, Consumers and Organizations.  Since 2003, we have served as a gateway to the Hampton Roads Hispanic market.                              


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Chamber News

Friday, July 11, 2014 HRHCC Partners with Festevents for 14th Annual Latino Music Festival

14th Annual Latino Music Festival

Brings the Rhythm and Heritage of Latin and

Hispanic culture to the

Norfolk Waterfront

Town Point Park, Downtown Norfolk, VA

Free & Open to the Public

NORFOLK, VA – July 9, 2014.   Norfolk Festevents and the Hampton Roads Hispanic Chamber of Commerce team up to present the 14thAnnual Norfolk Latino Music Festival on Saturday August 16, 2014 from 5pm to 10pm at Town Point Park in Downtown Norfolk Waterfront, Virginia.  


This popular annual community celebration will feature many new authentic Latino/Hispanic attractions including traditional games and contests, authentic food and beverage menus plus 5 hours of traditional and contemporary Latin music and dancing. 


Festival features include:


Family Fun from 5 pm- 8pm :

Youth Soccer – open play for ages 8 – 16, boys and girls, (no cleats, please)

Dominoes Tournament- Open play for ages 16 and older.

Giant Festive Flower Making Workshop- for all ages.


Music and Dancing featuring Zumba, Salsa, Merengue, and Bachata  from 5pm – 10 pm

·   Latin Jazz Conspiracy  7 pm – 10 pm  

·   DJ Mangu 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm  

·   Dance Instructions 5 pm – 8:30 pm

Rosa the Zumba Queen & Marilyn Castro

Authentic Food and Beverages:

            Local Latin/Hispanic Chefs and Restaurants:

·    Mi Hogar

·    Paraiso

·    El Morro Delicias y Algo Mas

·    Bilu’s

·    De Rican Chef

·    Summer Sangrias and Latino Beers


   Hampton Roads Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Business Expo from 5pm – 10 pm

·   Meet local Hispanic owned businesses and learn about what’s new in the community


“The Hampton Roads Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is excited to be partnering with Festevents on such a unique event for the City of Norfolk” explains Hampton Roads Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President Olga Torres.  She adds “The Latino Music Festival is a great opportunity for us to bring together and celebrate the wonderful variety of Latino cultures, as well as create an environment to showcase some of our amazing talents right here in the Hampton Roads Area”.


A portion of the proceeds to benefit scholarships for local Hispanic students.


What:                         14th Annual Norfolk Latino Music Festival

When:                        Saturday, August 16, 2014

Time:                         5pm – 10pm

Where:                      Town Point Park on the Downtown Norfolk Waterfront, Virginia

Admission:               Free & Open to the Public

Special Note:           Lawn Chairs and blankets are welcome.  Coolers, food and soft drinks are permitted.  No Alcohol or glass is permitted;   food and alcohol will be available for purchase during the festival.


For more information please visit, call 757-441-2345 or find us on Facebook, Twitter,  and Instagram


The 14th Annual Norfolk Latino Music Festival is produced by Norfolk Festevents in partnership with the Hampton Roads Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and presented with the City of Norfolk.  The event is sponsored by Norfolk Marriott, CFE Equipment Corporation and PEOPLExpress.


Norfolk Festevents, Ltd. is a private not-for-profit organization dedicated to producing premier concerts, festivals, ship visits and special events and city celebrations for residents and guests of Hampton Roads.  Celebrating its 32nd season, Norfolk Festevents has garnered international acclaim for its outstanding quality programming.  Norfolk Festevents is the official event marketing and production agency for the City of Norfolk.

Monday, January 20, 2014 Featured HRHCC Member Benefit - Optima Health Association Program
Featured Member Benefit 
HRHCC Optima Health
Association Program
Please help us welcome Susan Furlough Harris of the Harris Insurance Agency/Farmers Insurance as the managing agent of this great member benefit group health program. To learn more about the program please visit/ click on the following link:  Preferred membership with Optima Health  
At the Harris insurance Agency you can expect to receive prompt and professional service from Susan Harris and Melissa Bartoldus who is also able to help our HRHCC members in Spanish, if needed.  They also offer a wide range of insurance products; please give them  call.  
Susan Furlough Harris 
Farmers Insurance 
3115 Western Branch Blvd Ste 124 
Chesapeake, VA 23321-5528 
757-484-4700 (Office) 
757-484-1248 (Fax) 

"Join the Chamber...come and do good business!"  
"¡Únete a la Cámara...ven a hacer buenos negocios!"
Friday, March 08, 2013 Our Virginia non-English speakers case mentioned in Disparate Impact article by National Fair Housin

Effects Matter: Disparate Impact Standard for Fair Housing Ratified

Fair housing advocates celebrated a major milestone last month when HUD issued final regulations ratifying that "disparate impact analysis" can in fact be used to assess compliance with the federal Fair Housing Act.

There are still some in the housing industry who state outright that they will not rent, sell, or lend to certain groups of people. But these days, the barriers that people face in their search for housing more often are rooted in policies or practices that may appear neutral on their face, but disproportionately harm families, people of color, people with disabilities, etc.  Such policies, when they are allowed to stand unchallenged, affect us all.

Under HUD’s new rule, such policies and practices can be challenged with statistics showing a disparate impact or by otherwise showing that they cause or would predictably cause a disproportionately harmful impact on members of a class that is protected under the Fair Housing Act. 

Take, for example, the infamous “blood relative” ordinance adopted by St. Bernard Parish after Hurricane Katrina.  

The ordinance required owners of single family properties in the Parish to get special permission from the Parish before they could rent those homes to someone other than a blood relative.  Some 93 percent of the residents of St. Bernard Parish are white.  Until the blood relative ordinance was challenged by the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center and overturned by the court, this policy effectively barred access to people of color.

Similarly, Yorktown, New York’s “local preference” policy meant that first dibs on affordable rental housing in that predominantly white community in Westchester County went to people who already lived there, limiting access for people of color who came from other parts of the county or region.  This policy was also overturned after the Fair Housing Justice Center challenged it in court.

A number of lending discrimination cases brought by the US Department of Justice in the last few years have relied on the disparate impact doctrine.  The defendants included some of the country’s largest lenders, such as Wells Fargo and Countrywide, as well as smaller and mid-sized lenders like SunTrust, Prime Lending and GFI Mortgage Bankers.  In each of these cases, the lender engaged in policies or practices that led to borrowers of color, most frequently African-American and Latino borrowers, paying higher costs than similarly situated white borrowers.  In some of the cases, the companies also steered borrowers of color into risky, high priced subprime loans while providing comparable white borrowers with less risky, less expensive prime mortgages.

Or look at the case recently settled by HUD, overturning a Virginia landlord’s policy of not providing rental applications to prospective tenants who couldn’t communicate effectively in English, even if they brought their own translator into the rental office.  Nor could prospective tenants take rental applications home to get help with translation. This policy was very effective in keeping out immigrants from non-English speaking countries or others with limited proficiency in English.

Then there are the landlords who refuse to consider income from any source other than a full-time job.  That policy slams the door in the face of people with disabilities, whose income would sufficient to cover the rent, but comes in whole or in part from disability payments.  As more veterans come home with disabling injuries from our wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, such policies harm more and more of us.

Land use policies that exclude multi-family housing, rental policies that limit the number of people per room and exclude families with children, lending policies that discount income earned by women on maternity leave or require them to prove they’ll return to work after the birth of their children – there are many, many examples of policies and practices that prevent particular groups of people from living in the communities of their choice, and prevent other residents in those communities from enjoying the benefits of diversity.

On More Solid Footing

It is just these types of policies and practices that the disparate impact doctrine is designed to dismantle.  Under the regulations, the company (landlord, lender, real estate agency, etc.) or jurisdiction using the contested policy then has the opportunity to show that it is tied to a substantial, legitimate, non-discriminatory interest.  If it can demonstrate that, the burden shifts back to the complainant or plaintiff to show that the legitimate interest can be served through another effective means that is less discriminatory in its impact.  Readers who are interested in more detail about the new rule can find it here, or look out for an article by Scott Chang, of the civil rights law firm Relman, Dane and Colfax in an upcoming issue of the Housing Law Bulletin.

The disparate impact doctrine is not new.  It has been in use for decades and has been upheld by all 11 US Courts of Appeal that have considered its validity.  It has also come under attack from some in the industry who would rather not take the time to make sure their policies and practices do not disadvantage particular groups of people. (See Greg Squires on "4 Ways Critics of the Disparate Impact Doctrine Have Got It Wrong.") HUD, by issuing the regulation, has taken an important step to protect and preserve disparate impact as a tool for expanding access to housing. 

We all know that where you live has an enormous impact on your success in life:  your access to education, jobs, transportation, health care, recreation, healthy food, and even your life expectancy.  The idea that everyone should get a fair shake is a basic American value, and it means that what you look like, where you come from, what religion you observe or whether you have children should not determine where you can live.  Diverse, thriving communities are a source of strength for our country as the world becomes increasingly interconnected.  Barriers that restrict access and housing choice based on race, religion, national origin, family status, disability or any of the other factors protected under the Fair Housing Act undermine that strength and our shared prosperity.  In enacting the disparate impact rules, HUD has taken a critically important, common sense step to help guarantee that prosperity.

All of us in the affordable housing, community development and civil rights fields who are trying to expand housing choice should celebrate HUD’s action in issuing a final rule.  Perhaps the best way to celebrate is to put this rule to work whenever we encounter discriminatory policies or practices that unfairly limit access to housing opportunities.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012 HRHCC Announces Newly Elected President and Board Members

Hampton Roads Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Elects New Board Members

HAMPTON ROADS - July 31, 2012 – Founding members of the Hampton Roads Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and current board members met at One of a Kind Landscapes and Home Remodeling in Yorktown to account for available ‘Board of Directors' seats and elect new board members to the chamber.

May 10 & 15, 2012 – The Nominating Committee for the Hampton Roads Hispanic Chamber of Commerce met to interview prospective board members that were nominated for potential positions. The long process, in accordance with the chamber’s “By-Laws”, was held in Virginia Beach and Newport News.

Nominating Committee Chair and former HRHCC President Al Guerra of Kelvin International Corporation went thru due process in counting available board of director seats being vacated. Former members Gaby Rengifo of One of a Kind Landscape and Home Remodeling, Hugo Valverde of Valverde and Powell, P.C. , now former President Carlos Espinoza of Silverchair Information Systems, and administrator/Business After Hours Director Gloria Day, vacated their board member seats.

After establishing a necessary quorum earlier, Mr. Guerra began the motion of electing the new members including new President Olga Torres of Taína Consulting, Vice President, Southside Jaime Barón of Bryant and Stratton College, Financial Counsel Guisela Torres of ABNB, Education Director Madeline Diaz of Wells Fargo Bank, and Media/Internet Coordinator Sergio Sanchez of Grillo’s Photography.  New board members are expected to occupy their seat for three years, or one term, and may serve for no more than two consecutive terms.

Continuing on the board will be Al Guerra of Kelvin International Corporation, Vice President, Peninsula Andres Arellano Garrido of Farmers Insurance, and Carlos Tricoche of Network Designs.  Founding members in attendance included Jazmin Davidson., Gaby Rengifo, Alejandra Lee, Awilda Rivera, and Gloria Day.  The founding members commented on the growth of the chamber in its nearly 10th years of existence.

The newly appointed and continuing board members met August 15, 2012 in Hampton to discuss previous, current, and new business. Some events on the horizon include “Nuestra Feria 2013”, new local business events, upcoming Hispanic Heritage Month events, networking events such as business after/before hours, and next year's Hampton Roads Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 10th Anniversary.  This is a very exciting time for the HRHCC Board members as the Hispanic population continues to grow.  

HRHCC is the principal resource and advocate for the joint promotion of Hispanic Businesses, Consumers and Organizations, and since 2003 has served as the gateway to the Hampton Roads Hispanic market.  For more information on HRHCC visit


Olga Torres

Phone: (757) 348-9969 / (757) 202-4204


Thursday, July 19, 2012 Radio Selecta 1050 am Makes Virginia Broadcasting History

For the first time in the Virginia Broadcasting Awards’ 75-year history, a Spanish-language station has captured honors. La Selecta 1050 WVXX radio, based in Norfolk, won second place in the “Best Public Service” category in the large-market division of the competition, which is held each year by the Virginia Association of Broadcasters to recognize outstanding achievement by radio and television stations statewide. Never before has a Hispanic broadcasting outlet earned an award in the program.

La Selecta won for “Aprendiendo Inglés con La Gringa / Learning English with La Gringa,” a Monday-through-Friday morning segment that teaches listeners English phrases. It is taught by co-host La Gringa, a non-Hispanic who learned Spanish as an adult and works alongside morning show host Ricardo Alegria.

“La Selecta should take great pride in winning this award because it demonstrates excellence in what radio does best, which is serving its community,” said Virginia Association of Broadcasters executive director Douglas Easter. “This honor demonstrates that as the Hispanic population in Virginia has grown, La Selecta is committed to providing true service to its listeners.”

The number of Hispanics in Hampton Roads nearly doubled between 2000 and 2010, according to the United States Census. Statewide, the demographic rose by 92 percent during that time. Hampton Roads is home to about 2,300 Hispanic-owned businesses, according to a 2007 study.

Olga Torres serves on the board of directors for the Hampton Roads Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “This prestigious award represents the growing impact and presence of the Hispanic culture within the greater Hampton Roads community, and we are extremely proud of this achievement as it is an historic event,” she said. “As a an active member of the local Hispanic community, I truly value La Selecta’s programming because it encompasses entertainment, education, news and the opportunity for local and national companies and organizations to reach their listeners.”

La Selecta 1050 WVXX began broadcasting in 2005, offering a mix of Spanish-language news, information and music. The station’s signal is 1050 AM and it streams live from Its studios are located at 700 Monticello Ave., Norfolk.

“We are very proud to win in the Virginia Broadcasting Awards and to be the first-ever Spanish-language station honored,” said Andy Hindlin, president and owner of Hindlin Broadcasting, which owns and operates La Selecta 1050 WVXX. “From our start, we have been dedicated to serving as a listener resource and excellent corporate citizen both within the Hispanic community and the entire Hampton Roads community.”

The award-winning feature, “Aprendiendo Inglés con La Gringa / Learning English with La Gringa,” was launched in response to audience request.

“The station had been receiving many calls from listeners asking that it help the community by offering English lessons on the air,” said La Gringa. “The segment is designed to assist our audience succeed in their daily lives by teaching phrases useful at work and in the greater community. Many listeners have told us the lessons have helped them immensely.”

The Board of Directors of the Hampton Roads Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and its members congratulate Radio Selecta 1050 am and their staff on this great honor and wish them the very best in the future.  We want to thank them for all their support to our non-profit organization, we love you all.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012 Meet Our May New Members & Renewing Members

Greitcha Quinones - A Su Preferencia Familiar Services de Funerarias y Cremaciones

                          (757) 353-0520 (Virginia Beach)

 Anthony Rivera – Edible Arrangements (757) 422-4126 (Virginia Beach)

 Elaine M Arrieta – Arrieta Construction, Inc. (757) 968-5051 (Lackey)

 Lorena Justin – Lorena’s Boutique (757) 283-4013 (Newport News)

Monday, April 30, 2012 Meet Our New March & April Members

Willow House - Cyndi Warwick

Poncier Lynch Inc. - Poncier Lynch

Bowditch Ford - Kirsten Peterson

Vanessa Torres - FBI Community Outreach Specialist

Integrated Administration Solutions, LLC - Misty Leinberger

1st Advantage Federal Credit Union - Rosie Velasques


Monday, April 02, 2012 About HRHCC video
Wednesday, February 15, 2012 HRHCC 2012 President's Scholarship up to $2,000

Bryant & Stratton College would like to continue to show support for Virginia Beach and the Hampton Roads area by partnering with the Hampton Roads Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to offer the 2012 HRHCC President's Scholarship.  The scholarship is available to HRHCC members and their families.   You can apply online.

 read more ...
Tuesday, January 10, 2012 USCIS proposes a change of policy on illegal relatives of US Citizens

The initiative would allow spouses, parents or children of US citizens who have been illegally in the country to legalize their status without the wait abroad.

For more information or to check your eligibility:

Hugo Valverde
Valverde & Rowell, P.C.

3500 Virginia Beach Blvd, Suite 110
Virginia Beach, VA 23452
Telephone: 757-422-8472
Fax: 757-282-2502 

 read more ...
Tuesday, January 10, 2012 El Servicio de Inmigración propone cambio de política que beneficiaría a familiares ilegales de ciu

La iniciativa permitiría a cónyuges, padres e hijos de ciudadanos de EE.UU. que están ilegalmente en el país legalizar su situación sin tener que esperar un perdón en el extranjero.

Miami, Fl, 08/01/2012 -. El Servicio de Inmigración (USCIS) anunció un Aviso de Intención de cambiar su proceso de no iniciar el examen de perdón para inmigrantes ilegales que están en los EE.UU. y deben viajar a su país natal a esperar dicha acción. Eduardo Soto, presidente de Cómo un Inmigrar EE.UU., el grupo de profesionales de la inmigración, declaró: "este es un gran paso adelante en un campo en el que la Administración Obama ha hecho muy poco", dijo el abogado de inmigración en Miami.

Para más información o para verificar su elegibilidad:

Hugo Valverde
Valverde & Rowell, P.C.

3500 Virginia Beach Blvd, Suite 110
Virginia Beach, VA 23452
Telephone: 757-422-8472
Fax: 757-282-2502 

 read more ...
Tuesday, December 20, 2011 $30,000 para títulos de post-grado para Latinos ofrece The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Founda
The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, busca atraer a estudiantes Latinos a que obtengan una Maestría en educación, entregándoles una beca de $30,000.  Las aplicaciones están abiertas en

 y el plazo final para completar las solicitudes es el 10 de Enero del 2012.  Pueden aplicar a estas becas individuos que tengan un título universitario  de cuatro años con especialidad en campos relacionados con Ciencias, Tecnología, Ingeniería o Matemáticas.    

Para información más detallada por favor visite: y también puede contactar a Silvia Echeverría (609) 277-3007 o 


 read more ...
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 HRHCC receives 2011 SunTrust Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Award

For its leadership in promoting diversity and inclusion in the Hampton Roads Area

Diversity is a given in our daily lives. Inclusion is all about accepting and respecting different and unique points of view. The HRHCC promotes inclusion by helping to increase the acceptance and respect of our hispanic community and businesses in the Hampton Roads Community as a whole. Also, we work with non-hispanic businesses and organizations to gain the acceptance and respect of the Hispanic market. 

These past nine years we have worked hard to position our organization as the bridge that unites all these diverse groups. We plan to continue playing that role in the coming years. That is an important role in this global economy, we want to continue to help Hampton Roads to be seen as as place where people and businesses from all backgrounds can prosper and develop in harmony.

Receiving this award has been a great honor and a recognition of all the hard work by our Board of Directors, our volunteers,our members and our sponsors. Thank you very much to all of you!


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Norfolk Office

999 Waterside Drive,        Suite 2525
Norfolk, VA 23510
Phone: (757) 348-9969

Mailing Address

PO Box 56374
Virginia Beach, VA 23456-9374
Phone: (757) 348-9969

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