TELACUThe East Los Angeles Community Union (California)
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He argues that TELACU, was an example by which an ethnic group secured both cultural self-determination and socioeconomic "reconciliation with the `system."' The irony in this history is that for most of its short history TELACU was federally funded as a "community development corporation," but at the same time asserted its legitimacy in American society as a Chicano institution.
Why He Made the List: Lizarraga has served as TELACU's president since 1973, during which the CDC has grown into the largest in the country.
Why he made the list: His TELACU Education Foundation, which he started to prepare the Latino leaders of the future, annually serves 600 full-time college students in California, Illinois, Texas and New York, as well as 2,000 elementary, middle and high school students and veterans.
This smart businessman, who grew TELACU'S assets to about $550 million, has based his whole career on the premise of serving and bettering lives, He has devoted his life to building hundreds of high-quality affordable homes, creating jobs, and lending millions of dollars to families and small business entrepreneurs.
Under his guidance, TELACU's assets grew to nearly $550 million.
President and CEO, TELACU Industries & Chairman of the Board, United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
He brought together a dedicated group of community leaders and founded The East Los Angeles Community Union, TELACU, a non-profit community development corporation.
Lizarraga is a dynamic and visionary leader who has dedicated his life to rebuilding communities through his company, TELACU. He is an advocate of empowering people so that they may improve their quality of life, and he has worked tirelessly to assist economically challenged families and young people in the Latino community in the US.
Today he is CEO of TELACU, a non-profit organization with hundreds of millions of dollars invested in community development and social programs that prove there is nothing contradictory in respecting the bottom line and following your heart.
Under Lizarraga's direction, one of TELACU's first steps was to buy up 50 acres of land, the site of an old factory that had closed, laying off 2000 workers, and convert it into an industrial park.
Through community outreach and a smooth sales pitch, however, TELACU was able to assure investors that the park would be a sad place to open shop, and employees quickly followed.