About

Founded in 2021, the Pilsen Chamber of Commerce has been dedicated to nurturing and supporting local businesses that make Pilsen a special place to live, work, and visit. Our mission is to promote economic growth, provide networking opportunities, and champion the endeavors of our community.

Why Pilsen

Pilsen, with its vibrant murals, historic landmarks, and fusion of Latin American and European cultures, is a destination in its own right. Visitors are drawn to its eclectic mix of boutiques, art galleries, coffee shops, and authentic eateries, making it an ideal location for both new and seasoned entrepreneurs.

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businesses operating in the Pilsen neighborhood

Our Four Pillars Of Focus

“Our 4 pillars are the foundation of the Pilsen Chamber of Commerce’s vision for a prosperous, inclusive, and collaborative business community.”

Jose Perez, Board President, Pilsen Chamber of Commerce

Collaborative Business Community

The Pilsen Chamber of Commerce is committed to providing platforms for dialogue, cooperation, and shared vision among local businesses. Through community engagements and partnership initiatives, we strive to build a collaborative spirit that contributes positively to the family-centric fabric of the Pilsen neighborhood.

Young Entrepreneur Development

Young, aspiring entrepreneurs hold the key to Pilsen’s vibrant business future. Our Young Entrepreneur Development pillar works to nurture the entrepreneurial spirit in Pilsen’s younger population. We offer mentorship programs and resources to empower the next generation of business leaders who will continue Pilsen’s legacy of innovation, resilience, and cultural richness.

Financial Literacy Development

Our Financial Literacy Resource pillar provides essential tools for all Pilsen entrepreneurs. We provide services and resources like workshops, seminars, and consultations to improve financial knowledge and skills, helping business owners make informed decisions for growth and stability.

Women-Led Business Development

Latinas are shaping businesses and the U.S. economy. Over 62 million Latinos in the U.S., more than 31 million are female. Latinas are the driving force behind household choices, making 86% of the household purchasing decisions. 

Our Women-Led Businesses Development pillar backs and boosts their efforts. We provide tailored support, including funding access, training, networking, and mentorship. Addressing challenges unique to women in business, we support an environment where women-led businesses can thrive and inspire the community. 

Our Four Pillars Of Focus

“Our 4 pillars are the foundation of the Pilsen Chamber of Commerce’s vision for a prosperous, inclusive, and collaborative business community.”

Yadira Enriquez, Board President, Pilsen Chamber of Commerce

Collaborative Business Community

The Pilsen Chamber of Commerce is committed to providing platforms for dialogue, cooperation, and shared vision among local businesses. Through community engagements and partnership initiatives, we strive to build a collaborative spirit that contributes positively to the family-centric fabric of the Pilsen neighborhood.

Young Entrepreneur Development

Young, aspiring entrepreneurs hold the key to Pilsen’s vibrant business future. Our Young Entrepreneur Development pillar works to nurture the entrepreneurial spirit in Pilsen’s younger population. We offer mentorship programs and resources to empower the next generation of business leaders who will continue Pilsen’s legacy of innovation, resilience, and cultural richness.

Financial Literacy Development

Our Financial Literacy Resource pillar provides essential tools for all Pilsen entrepreneurs. We provide services and resources like workshops, seminars, and consultations to improve financial knowledge and skills, helping business owners make informed decisions for growth and stability.

Women-Led Business Development

Latinas are shaping businesses and the U.S. economy. Over 62 million Latinos in the U.S., more than 31 million are female. Latinas are the driving force behind household choices, making 86% of the household purchasing decisions. 

Our Women-Led Businesses Development pillar backs and boosts their efforts. We provide tailored support, including funding access, training, networking, and mentorship. Addressing challenges unique to women in business, we support an environment where women-led businesses can thrive and inspire the community. 

Meet the Board of Directors

Our team, comprised of experienced professionals and enthusiastic community advocates, works tirelessly to support, represent, and foster the growth of businesses in the vibrant Pilsen neighborhood.

Each member brings a unique set of skills, expertise, and deep understanding of both the challenges and opportunities within our community, ensuring that our members receive top-notch support and resources to succeed.

Jose R. Perez

Vice-President

Juan Soto

Board Member

Javier Yanez

Co-Founder

Miguel Torres

Treasurer & Co-Founder

Meet the Staff

With backgrounds spanning various sectors and industries, they come together with a shared mission: to foster growth, promote collaboration, and champion the unique culture and spirit of Pilsen. From organizing impactful events to providing valuable resources, our staff is ever-present, working tirelessly to ensure that every member receives the support and opportunities they need to thrive.

Pedro Guerra

Executive Director

Nellie Quintana

Special Events Coordinator
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Unafraid of taking risks, Miguel has embodied what it means to be an avid entrepreneur.  Born and raised in the Southwest side of Chicago, Miguel carries all the qualities of a true Chicagoan. He began his interest in business during his role as the youngest Vice President of then Archer Bank. Miguel became T-Mobile’s first Latino franchisee at age twenty-four and while growing his businesses he has never forgotten where he comes from. Miguel has founded a number of businesses over the years in Pilsen, the Southwest Side and the Midwest. Most recently, Miguel operates a retail and wholesale medical uniform company; Scrub Depot.

Having integral family ties in Pilsen, Miguel is reminded that commitment to his community must be part of his ethos as it’s reflected through his dedication and thoughtful pursuit of not only growing his businesses, but his community alike. Miguel is a founding member and City of Chicago Commissioner of the SSA-39 in Archer Heights and Brighton Park for the past 15 yrs. He brings layers of experience in e-commerce, sales, small business development and planning. Miguel is a proud husband and father of three and enjoys coaching baseball in his spare time while spending time with his family.  Miguel honors his fathers past work of fighting for workers rights through community building and modernizing traditions.  We are grateful to have him as a board member. 

Nellie Quintana is a Chicago native and a long-time resident of the vibrant neighborhood of Pilsen. Her educational journey began at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she earned her Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Sciences degree in Psychology. In 2005, she furthered her education by joining an alternative certification program at Northwestern University, obtaining her teaching licensure in elementary education. Nellie’s passion for education led her to teach 5th grade at Pilsen Academy, where she made a positive impact on her students’ lives.

Aside from her dedication to education, Nellie is also deeply involved in the Pilsen community. She holds the esteemed position of lead coordinator for the Pilsen Via Crucis, an annual procession that has been a cherished tradition in Pilsen since 1977. Nellie’s connection to the Pilsen Via Crucis dates back to her childhood when she first participated in the event at the age of 10. Her unwavering passion for this iconic event has been the driving force behind its success and continued significance in the community.

With over 20 years of experience in not-for-profit work in education, Nellie has collaborated closely with educators from various school districts across the state of Illinois. Her expertise and dedication have made her a trusted and respected figure in the field. Nellie’s commitment to improving educational opportunities for all students has been a guiding principle throughout her career.

In addition to her professional endeavors, Nellie is a proud advocate for the Pilsen community. She actively engages in initiatives that promote the well-being and growth of the neighborhood, working alongside community leaders and organizations to create positive change.

Nellie Quintana’s deep roots in Pilsen, her passion for education, and her commitment to community involvement make her an invaluable asset to both the neighborhood and the field of education. Her tireless efforts and unwavering dedication continue to make a lasting impact on the lives of those she serves.

Juan F. Soto, a Mexican immigrant from Durango, Mexico who came to Chicago at 5 years of age with his parents and siblings.  Juan is married to Veronica and has two daughters Sabrina and Raquel.

He has a B.A. in Business Marketing from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies / Certificate in Hispanic Theology and Ministry from Catholic Theological Union.

Juan F. Soto is presently Organizing Director of Gamaliel Network as well as Director of the Gamaliel of Metro Chicago. As Organizing Director, he trains and invests in the development of first year organizers in the network and has developed the Gamaliel Organizers Guild.

In l991 Juan F. Soto was hired as an organizer at Pilsen Neighbors Community Council (PNCC).  PNCC is an organization on the Southwest Side of Chicago serving a predominantly Mexican/Mexican American population. As Director of Gamaliel of Metro Chicago, he created and founded a statewide organization that is Gamaliel of Illinois/Iowa, which has affiliates in the East Metro area of St. Louis, Springfield and the Quad Cities area and the greater metropolitan region of Chicago. Juan is also a senior trainer for the Gamaliel Network.  He trains future leaders in both English and Spanish at Gamaliel’s National Seven Day Leadership Training Program.

Mr. Soto believes in carrying out one’s faith and values in the public arena and views his work as a ministry rather than a job. As an immigrant in this country, which has shaped him to address the racial and economic injustices, he is determined to lift up others to claim a powerful life.

Pedro Guerra is a dedicated professional who has spent over a decade making meaningful contributions in the business, education, and non-profit sectors. Currently, he holds the position of Executive Director at the Pilsen Chamber of Commerce, where he brings his expertise to support local businesses.

Pedro’s diverse background includes working in the financial industry and serving as an instructor focusing on career pathways at an alternative high school. Additionally, he is a proud entrepreneur and co-founder of the Business Technology Educational Center (BTEC). BTEC is an organization that is committed to providing educational opportunities at Chicago Public Schools, particularly in underserved communities. Pedro’s passion for activism led him to become a founding member of Rise and Organize, where he actively works towards positive social change.

With a strong commitment to education, Pedro served as the communications director on the board of the Hispanic Business Network (HBN). HBN is a non-profit organization dedicated to granting scholarships to first-generation students. Pedro’s dedication to community involvement is further evident through his service on the local school council at Curie High School and the board of the Berwyn Township 708 Community Mental Health Board.

In his previous role as the Director of the Illinois Latino Small Business Partnership at the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Pedro successfully oversaw nine Hispanic Chambers, coalitions, and collectives through the DCEO Navigator Program. This experience equipped him with valuable insights into the needs of businesses and enabled him to find innovative and tailored solutions to benefit his clients.

Outside of his professional pursuits, Pedro finds joy in playing sports, attending live sporting events, and watching movies. His well-rounded interests reflect his commitment to a balanced and fulfilling life.

Hello, I’m Jose R Perez, a seasoned Farmers Insurance agent with over 25 years of experience in the industry. Specializing in both commercial and personal policies, I have developed a deep understanding of the insurance landscape.

Throughout my career, I have been recognized for my expertise and dedication. My agency has been honored with prestigious awards such as the 2020 and 2022 Agency of the Year, as well as being a three-time recipient of the Toppers Club distinction. These accolades reflect my commitment to providing exceptional service to my clients.

With licenses in property, casualty, life, health, and NNML loans, I possess a comprehensive skill set to address a wide range of insurance needs. I take pride in educating and supporting my policyholders, ensuring they have a clear understanding of their coverage and feel confident in their choices.

Beyond my professional endeavors, I am deeply involved in our community as the Vice President of the PILSEN Chamber of Commerce. This role allows me to contribute to the growth and prosperity of local businesses and foster meaningful connections.

When I’m not assisting clients or engaging with the community, I cherish quality time spent with my loved ones. Whether it’s enjoying outdoor activities or simply sharing laughter and stories, family and friends hold a special place in my heart.

I am truly passionate about delivering the highest level of service to each and every one of my clients, regardless of the size of their policy. Contact me today to experience personalized insurance solutions tailored to your unique needs.

Yadira Enriquez is the Chief Financial Officer of Enriquez Produce, Inc., a wholesale produce distribution company named one of the 50 Most Powerful Hispanic Businesses in Illinois in 2022. She brings a wealth of knowledge in human resources, team-building, communication, problem solving and business management.

Enriquez was recently honored to have been selected in the Negocios Now Latinos 40 Under 40, Class of 2021. She holds a bachelor’s degree in International Commerce specializing in Agricultural Business from ITESM (Tec de Monterrey) in Mexico, a certification from the Stanford GSB: Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative Program and is currently earning her MBA at EGADE Business School of Tec de Monterrey.

She is proud to have grown up in Pilsen, her upbringing offering a unique perspective of the resilience and grit of the Mexican community in Chicago. These are foundational values she carries with her today, committed to development and growth not only for herself but for those around her, the organization and most importantly her team.

As a first-generation Latina, Yadira shares a commonality with others who grew up in family entrepreneurial ventures: it takes boundless dedication, sound work ethics, persistence and resourcefulness to bootstrap your company into a successful organization. Seeing her parents start out with an outdoor food stand in the Maxwell Street Market now leading a company with over 100,000 square feet of availability to supply the needs of their customers is the best education in entrepreneurship she could have ever received.