Reyneri, USHCC helping to facilitate hopes and aspirations

By Tonya McMurray

Nelson Reyneri Jr. sees the role of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, or USHCC, as facilitat-ing the hopes and aspirations of the nation’s 5 million Hispanic-owned businesses. As incoming chair of USHCC, he will focus on navigating an evolving business environment in which federal, state and local governments as well as the private sector are embracing equity and social justice along with economic and business development. 

For Reyneri, having significant aspirations is an essential part of life.

Born in Cuba, he came to the United States as a young child when his family was forced to flee the country. The family settled in New York City, which gave Reyneri his first introduction to a diverse environment. 

“It was a wonderful experience because of the mix of different cultures and backgrounds,” he said. “I saw it as a strength for me to learn with curiosity about other cultures and other people. And that turned into a passion.”

Later, the family moved to Miami, Florida, where he saw Cubans, other Hispanics, Jamaicans, Haitians and Russians all living in a diverse community that celebrated its differences.

Entering public service

After graduating with honors from Boston University with degrees in psychology, philosophy and political science, Reyneri worked as a mutual fund accountant for the Boston Mutual Fund Co.

Later, Reyneri jumped at an opportunity to work for then Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, an experience that fueled an interest in public service. He earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and later earned another master’s degree in business administration from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

His hard work began to pay off. Reyneri held several senior leadership positions in the Clinton administration, including a position in the Office of the Chief of Staff to the President and later as chief of staff of the Overseas Private Investment Corp. During the 2004 election cycle, Reyneri served as a senior advisor to Senator John Kerry and as senior advisor to the chairman of the Democratic National Committee and the DNC director of Hispanic Outreach. In 2016, President Barack Obama nominated him to serve on the board of directors of his previous place of employment, the OPIC.

“I love public service because I came from a country where civil society and the government really broke down. It was always front and center to me that a democracy is fragile,” Reyneri said. “I wanted to learn how to lead, manage and transform organizations in the public sector because I believed that doing so would benefit others.”

After several public sector roles, Reyneri joined Liberty Power Corp. LLC, a retail energy provider where he held multiple leadership roles as the company grew from a four-person staff to one of the largest minority-owned energy companies with a national footprint. Under his leadership, Liberty Power grew from serving a dozen companies to more than 100 of the Fortune 500. 

“A key reason for our ability to serve these companies is that most had strong [diversity, equity and inclusion] and supplier diversity leaders, which was instrumental in helping us introduce ourselves to these companies,” Reyneri said. 

Reyneri is now a principal of environmental, social and governance, or ESG, at Point B Inc., a global consulting firm that brings together industry expertise and technology to give organizations a clear path to an inclusive and sustainable future. In that role, he advises clients on ESG initiatives across markets. 

Taking on USHCC leadership

Reyneri joined the USHCC board of directors four years ago during a period of significant reorganization. He said the Chamber has made remarkable gains since that time.

“We’ve rebuilt the trust and earned the confidence of those we serve,” Reyneri said. “We’ve done that by leading with integrity, focus and good governance and by being clear around what we are doing, so every day we ask ourselves how we are performing on key measures. Our challenge now is to take it to the next level.”

USHCC President and CEO Ramiro Cavazos said Reyneri is in a good position to help the Chamber move to that next level.

“We are excited about Nelson becoming our chair,” he said. “He has been a long-time advocate for minority business and is very familiar with the mission of the Chamber. He is going to be a great bridge builder for us. We look forward to his service and his leadership.”

Reyneri recognizes that much of the Chamber’s strength lies in the commitment and influence of the current board of directors coupled with a talented and dedicated management team and staff. He believes that the Chamber is able to expand its focus and service to members.

“Our job is to continue building an ecosystem of equity and an infrastructure of opportunity,” he said. “We are eager to listen and to learn and to translate that into tangible actions that support our stakeholders. We want to stay in our lane, but it’s a very wide lane that can carry a lot of hopes and aspirations quite far.”

Reyneri said one goal for the Chamber is to unite strategies and programs that support different Hispanic business segments. As an example, he cited USHCC’s recent energy summit, the chamber’s first industry-specific gathering. Reyneri said it is likely the chamber will look to do more industry-specific events to help demonstrate the need for diversity throughout business segments. 

“We plan on building on our proven ability to serve as effective advocates for Hispanic-owned business by introducing strategies and programs that increase the ability for these businesses to work with corporations and government agencies,” he said.

At the same time, Reyneri plans to increase the existing relationship with the more than 100 corporate sponsors by demonstrating the Chamber‘s ability to serve as a best-in-class partner.

“I’m humbled and privileged that a little kid who came from Cuba with nothing but the dreams and support of his family, fueled by a belief in our country, now gets to be in a position of advocacy for the hopes and dreams of the fastest growing segment of our country,” Reyneri said. 

To learn more about USHCC, visit

About Nelson Reyneri 

First job:  Part of the garbage cleaning crew of the Miami-Dade County Youth Fair

Hobbies: Guitar, biking, audiobooks and podcasts, spending time with family

Most recent business book read and why:  Net Positive: How Courageous Companies Thrive by Giving More Than They Take” [by Paul Polman and Andrew Winston]. It makes a compelling case on the ‘how and why’ companies can view environmental and societal challenges from the lens of opportunity.

Favorite leadership quote: “Begin with the end in mind” [by] Steven Covey

Best career advice received and from whom: “Process matters,” from Sylvia Mathews Burwell, who was President [Bill] Clinton’s deputy chief of staff; I was her special assistant.

Nelson Reyneri Jr., chair-elect, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Ramiro Cavazos, president and CEO, USHCC 

Reyneri (left) in Cuba with his mother and brother shortly before they immigrated to the United States  

Reyneri (left) began his interest in public service as an aide on Michael Dukakis’ presidential campaign.  

Reyneri (right) held several senior leadership positions in President Bill Clinton’s administration, including chief of staff for the Overseas Private Investment Corp.  

While at Liberty Power LLC, Reyneri (with award) and Angelina Mariani (left of Reyneri) accept the 2013 Northwest Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council Supplier of the Year award from Council President and CEO Fernando Martinez (far left), and Shay Reed (far right) of Wholesale Corp., which nominated the electricity company.


USHCC U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Nelson Reyneri Jr. the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Boston Mutual Fund Co. Gov. Michael Dukakis Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management Senator John Kerry President Barack Obama Democratic National Committee OPIC Liberty Power Corp. LLC Liberty Power ESG environmental social and governance

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