Zenaida Avelar Mendoza, ALPFA, 213.243.0004,

Adrienne Watson, Rep. Loretta Sanchez (CA-47), 202.309.0825

Kay McDowell, 479.439.3772


Congresswoman Sanchez helps unveil ALPFA Institute at the Sam M. Walton College of Business


Fayetteville, Ark. – Sept. 16, 2011 – ALPFA, the largest Latino association for business professionals and students, and the University of Arkansas announced today that they are forming the ALPFA Institute at the Sam M. Walton College of Business. The institute combines ALPFA’s understanding of the Latino community with the global capacity and academic depth of Walton College.

Eight-term Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif., traveled to northwest Arkansas to help announce the institute with leaders of both Walton College and ALPFA. Walton College Dean Dan L. Worrell, Ph.D.; ALPFA CEO Manny Espinozaand other industry leaders were on hand to lend their support.

“I’m honored to stand side-by-side with the visionary leaders of ALPFA and the Sam M. Walton College of Business in the unveiling of an institute that will have a national and global impact,” said Sanchez, the most senior female member of the House Committee on Homeland Security and the House Armed Services Committee. “This institute will help our nation’s workforce maintain its competitiveness in the 21st century and beyond by advancing the capacity and the leadership opportunities for the largest minority group in our nation.”

The institute will be led by Adam Arroyos, Ph.D. As president of the institute, Dr. Arroyos will bring many of the leadership skills he honed through his senior positions in private, public and nonprofit organizations. He has had successful tenures at JCPenney, Walmart and Northwest Arkansas Community College. One of his goals for the institute is to attract Latinos from across the country to improve their leadership capabilities and inspire them to help others to reach their potential.

Northwest Arkansas has become a destination for the next generation of Latino leaders. It has a thriving business community with headquarters for more than 1,200 businesses and 60 Fortune 500 firms, including Walmart, Proctor and Gamble, J.B. Hunt and Tyson Foods. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that Arkansas is one of eight states where the Latino population has more than doubled over the past decade.

“Northwest Arkansas is poised like no other area in the country to step up and make a real difference in training and leading the next generation of Latino leaders,” said Espinoza. “Some people may assume an institute of this nature would be located in one of the nation’s major urban centers, but we strategically chose Northwest Arkansas because of its thriving, dynamic corporate community and the ability to partner with one of the top business schools in the nation.”

The ALPFA Institute will work with Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe’s office on one of its first projects.

“I’m proud that my office has engaged ALPFA as a strategic partner, and we are set to implement a six-month commission that will focus on identifying education achievement barriers for Latino students, along with recommendations on how to overcome these barriers,” said Beebe.

Leaders from ALPFA and Walton College envision the institute serving as a hub for thought leadership for the Latino business community.

“The ALPFA Institute at the Sam M. Walton College of Business will be an innovative partnership where academics and researchers work side-by-side with continuing education professionals, corporate executives and subject matter experts to develop cutting-edge programs in global leadership, global diversity and inclusion,” said Dean Worrell.

Immediately following the announcement,a town hall meeting discussing “The Current State of Latino Leadership in Corporate America and in Public Office” was conducted.  The panelists included Rep. Sanchez; Espinoza; Dr. Javier Reyes, an economist at Walton College; Rafael Jimeno, a political scientist at the University of Arkansas; and Sharon Orlopp, Walmart’s global chief diversity officer. The panel discussion was moderated by Doug Thompson, editorial page editor for Northwest Arkansas Newspapers.


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ALPFA is a nonprofit entity and the nation’s largest Latino association for business professionals and students. ALPFA is dedicated to enhancing opportunities for Latinos and building leadership and career skills. It boasts more than 16,000 members and has professional and student chapters nationwide. For more information, visit