The Greater Topeka Partnership (GTP/The Partnership) is proud to announce its membership in the esteemed United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC), becoming the first non-Hispanic chamber in the Midwest to apply for USHCC membership. This new partnership solidifies the GTP’s commitment to promoting diversity, fostering inclusive economic growth, and supporting Hispanic-owned businesses in the region.


The USHCC is the largest Hispanic business organization in the United States, representing more than 5 million Hispanic-owned businesses nationwide. Its partnership with USHCC will provide the Greater Topeka Partnership with valuable resources, networking opportunities, and access to a broader network of business leaders and insights, ultimately bolstering GTP efforts to advance local and regional economic prosperity.


Recent local and statewide population trends have reinforced the case for USHCC membership. Between 2010 and 2020, Topeka’s Hispanic population grew by about 24%. Hispanic children also make up close to 34% of students in Topeka Public Schools, a percentage expected to grow over the next several years. Meanwhile, the Kansas Health Institute has projected the state’s Hispanic population may increase by nearly 1 million residents by 2066, representing a growth rate of 286.9%. With these growth estimates in mind, the GTP determined USHCC membership was valuable to proactively addressing the community’s changing business needs.


“Joining the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is an important step for the Greater Topeka Partnership, as we continue to foster a diverse and vibrant business community that supports both new and established business owners,” said Matt Pivarnik, CEO of The Partnership. “We are anxious to be part of such a prestigious organization and look forward to working with them to further economic development in the region and create opportunities for Hispanic-owned businesses in our area.”


“I’m proud to be part of an organization that values diversity, equity and inclusion and is committed to ensuring those ideals are upheld through our local and regional economic-development efforts,” said Israel Sanchez, who will serve as Topeka’s liaison between the GTP and U.S. Hispanic Chamber. “These are values near and dear to my heart and shape my own passion for supporting the area’s growing number of Hispanic business owners, as well as the local Spanish-speaking community. I look forward to working with the U.S. Hispanic Chamber to create new, meaningful opportunities for economic growth.”


“The Greater Topeka Partnership’s membership in the U.S. Hispanic Chamber reflects our city’s commitment to diversity, inclusivity, and economic growth,” said Topeka Mayor Michael Padilla. “This partnership is special because it will strengthen our efforts to create a thriving business environment that encourages success and prosperity among Hispanic entrepreneurs and business owners in Topeka.”


“We are thrilled to welcome the Greater Topeka Partnership as a new member of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce,” said Ramiro Cavazos, USHCC president and CEO. “Their commitment to economic diversity and inclusion, as well as their dedication to advancing equity for all the community within their region, aligns with our mission. We look forward to working together to create a brighter future for Hispanic-owned businesses in Topeka and beyond.”


With this new partnership, the GTP joins USHCC’s network of more than 250 local chambers and business associations nationwide, becoming one of the first non-Hispanic chambers in the U.S. to join the national organization.