Name: Haydee Caldero
Hometown: Chicago, IL
CHCI Program(s)/Year: CHCI Internship Program, Summer 1998
CHCI Program Placement(s): Rep. Charles Stenholm
Current Position/Organization: Principal/Co-Founder, Dignitas
What motivated you to apply to the CHCI program(s), and why do you think they are important for Latino youth?
My high school mentor encouraged me to apply to the CHCI internship program because of my interest in government and my leadership experience serving Chicago’s Latino community. CHCI plays a pivotal role providing future Latino leaders access and insight to the world of government and public policy in a manner they would never be able to achieve on their own.
What have you been doing since you finished the CHCI program(s)?
My journey after CHCI has encompassed a rewarding career in both the public and private sector. I am currently a Principal and Co-Founder at Dignitas, a leading multi-family office, business advisory, and investment consulting firm providing a wide range of financial services to executives and entrepreneurs.
I was previously at Eastdil Secured, a real estate investment bank, where I advised institutional investors on the disposition and recapitalization of over $5.0 billion in trophy commercial real estate. I had the opportunity to work on marquee transactions including the Sears Tower, John Hancock, and Houston Galleria.
Prior to entering the private sector I served as an advisor to the University of Illinois at Chicago's chancellor and other high-level university officials on various community relations initiatives. I've also served as a Media Director for a successful aldermanic candidate running for Chicago's City Council and as the Campaign Manager for an Illinois State Representative's re-election campaign.
I am a proud graduate of Wesleyan University with a degree in Government and Women's Studies. In addition, I have an MBA from Harvard Business School.
What impact did your CHCI experience have on your career and development as a leader?
My experience at CHCI provided me with opportunities to develop my business acumen as well as strengthen my communication and networking skills. More importantly, CHCI taught me how to be a strategic thinker by providing access to senior leaders in government and business who exposed me to the complexity and dynamism of U.S. public policy.
How do you continue to give back to the community?
I currently serve on the Board of Directors for North Branch Works a leading economic development and workforce development organization in Chicago. In addition, I am on the Governor’s Board for the Steppenwolf Theatre Auxiliary Committee, which raises funds for arts education in Chicago’s public schools. Over the past 12 years I've been involved with Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in various capacities including serving as a debate coach, mentor, and Leadership Advisory Committee member. In 2013, Dignitas was awarded the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce's business of the year for our work advising and mentoring other Latino owned businesses.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years, and what do you still want to achieve?
Today, there are over 3.1 million Hispanic owned businesses in the U.S that contribute over $468 billion to the U.S. economy. This data demonstrates that the success of Hispanic businesses is a key driver to the economic growth of the United States. Despite this growth, there are only five Hispanic owned companies in the U.S. with over $1 billion in revenue. I want to continue to be part of the growth and success of the U.S. Hispanic business community. I see my role as helping Latino entrepreneurs successfully access capital for growing their business and creating wealth creation events that can have a broader impact on the broader Latino community.
What advice would you give current and future CHCI participants?
CHCI provides its participants with an unparalleled personal and professional development experience. Participants are given access to government and business leaders, a high quality professional experience, and a peer group of outstanding young leaders that can serve as a launch pad for long-term career success. Participants should embrace this transformational experience by identifying their personal goals at the start of the program and seeking advice and feedback from their peers, program staff, and CHCI alums on how to achieve their goals. In addition, participants should remember that they can continue to benefit from CHCI's program by giving back to the organization as a volunteer, donor or alumni leader.
Past Alumni of the Month
Nathaly Arriola - April 2015 Alumnus of the Month
Miguel A. Blancarte, Jr. - March 2015 Alumni of the Month
Martha L. Bahamón - February 2015 Alumni of the Month
2013-14 CHCI Alumni Executive Board - January 2015 Alumni of the Month
Mariana Kihuen - December 2014 Alumnus of the Month
Henry Fernandez - November 2014 Alumnus of the Month
Ricardo Zavala - September 2014 Alumnus of the Month
Miryam Catherine Granthon-Gerdine - August 2014 Alumnus of the Month
Angelica Reza Wind - July 2014 Alumna of the Month
Ray Mateo - June 2014 Alumni of the Month
Hayde Calderon - May 2014 Alumni of the Month
Arnoldo Avalos - April 2014 Alumni of the Month
Elizabeth Cedillo - March 2014 Alumni of the Month
Marvin Figueroa - February 2014 Alumnus of the Month
Cris Garza - January 2014 Alumnus of the Month
Jaden Felix - December 2013 Alumni of the Month
2013 Distinguished Alumni - October/November 2013 Alumni of the Month
Fabiola Carrion - September 2013 Alumnus of the Month
Juan C. Otero- August 2013 Alumnus of the Month
Norma Dominguez - July 2013 Alumni of the Month
Francisco Heredia - June 2013 - Alumnus of the Month
Raymond Rico - May 2013 Alumnus of the Month
Alejandra Castillo - April 2013 Alumnus of the Month
Yara Lorenzo - March 2013 Alumnus of the Month
Antonio E. Sandoval & Milagros “Mimi” Aledo-Sandoval - Alumni Couple of the Month
Abel Herrero - January 2013
Jessie Mosqueda - December 2012
Kenia Seoane Lopez - CHCI Alumnus November 2012
Hon. Liza Rodriguez - 2012 Distinguished Alumnus & October 2012 Alumnus
Melissa Chabran - CHCI Alumnus June 2012
Jessie Ulibarri - CHCI Alumnus May 2012
Congressional Staff-CHCI Alumni April 2012
Anthony Alcoser-CHCI Alumnus March 2012
Diana Mendoza-CHCI Alumnus February 2012
Betsaida Alcantara-CHCI Alumnus December 2011
Orson Aguilar - CHCI 2011 Distinguished Alumnus & September 2011 Alumnus
Cynthia T. Cruz-CHCI Alumnus August 2011
Miguel Lopez - CHCI Alumnus July 2011
Alejandro Becerra - CHCI Alumnus June 2011
Staff Members for the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy - CHCI Alumnus May 2011
Happy 30th Anniversary CHCI Fellowship Program!
Raul Magdaleno - CHCI Alumnus March 2011
Carlos Elizondo -- CHCI Alumnus December 2010
Ana M. Polanco -- CHCI Alumnus April 2010
Sami Hamed -- CHCI Alumnus March 2010
Couple Edition -- CHCI Alumnus February 2010
CHCI Alumni Association Chapters' Special Edition - October 2009
Edith Rocío Robles -- CHCI Alumnus August 2009
Silvia Inéz Salazar--CHCI Alumnus July 2009
Francisco J. Uribe CHCI Alumnus June 2009
Heidy Servin-Baez CHCI Alumnus April 2009
March 2009: White House Edition
William (Bill) Arce CHCI Alumnus February 2009
Stephanie Valencia CHCI Alumnus January 2009
Miguel Ayala CHCI Alumnus December 2008
Eric Rodriguez-CHCI Alumnus November 2008
Sonia Ramirez CHCI Alumnus October 2008
Mildred Otero CHCI Alumnus September 2008
Juan Ciscomani CHCI Alumus August 2008
Leo Prieto CHCI Alumnus July 2008
Octavio Saenz CHCI Alumnus June 2008