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December 20, 2012 - HSF Board Member and Alumni becomes President/CEO of the Hispanic Scholarship

December 20, 2012

GARDENA, CA- December 20, 2012. The Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) Board of Directors today announced the selection of Fidel A. Vargas as President and CEO of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund and its wholly owned subsidiary, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund Institute.  Mr. Vargas, a member of the HSF Board of Directors for the past two years, will assume the role on January 2, 2013 with the anticipated retirement of current HSF CEO, Frank Alvarez.

Mr. Vargas is taking over the helm at HSF after an outstanding career in the public and private sectors.  Most recently, Mr. Vargas was a Founding Partner with Centinela Capital Partners, a minority-owned alternative asset management firm that invested and managed nearly $1 billion. His many achievements included being appointed by President Bill Clinton to serve on the Social Security Advisory Committee and by President George W. Bush to serve on the Commission to Strengthen Social Security and the Presidential Scholars Commission.  He has been recognized for his civic and business achievements, including being named to TIME Magazine’s 40 Under 40 list and Hispanic Business Magazine’s 100 Most Influential Hispanics.  At age 23 he was elected Mayor of his hometown of Baldwin Park California, becoming the youngest elected Mayor of a major city in the US.  He has a deep commitment to the work of HSF having been a scholarship recipient himself while attending Harvard University, where he earned both a Bachelors and Masters in Business Administration.

“We are thrilled that Fidel Vargas has agreed to join HSF at this critical time for our country,” said Jim McNamara, HSF Board Chairman and President of Pantelion Films.  “We’re thankful for the outstanding leadership provided by Frank Alvarez as CEO during an exciting period of growth for the organization and as a board member for more than 15 years prior to his appointment.” “Education is the most critical issue facing the Hispanic community today and I deeply appreciate the opportunity to be aligned with the Hispanic community’s most important educational institution,” said Mr. Vargas.  “I look forward to working with Mr. Alvarez on this leadership transition over the next two months.”

Alvarez is credited with strengthening HSF and bolstering its mission through strong corporate and foundation support. As President and CEO, Alvarez successfully established a partnership with the Ad Council, creating a multi-media public service campaign that has impacted over 2 million Hispanic families to date, and elevated HSF’s brand to a national level. He also led the relocation of HSF’s corporate offices from San Francisco, CA to Gardena, CA, effectively helping the organization remain one of the most fiscally responsible non-profits by saving over $5 million dollars in operational costs and helping to keep HSF’s administrative and fundraising ratio below 7 percent. And most recently, Alvarez accomplished the strategic asset acquisition of the Hispanic College Fund (HCF), a transaction currently in its final phase, bringing together two national organizations with common goals under the stewardship of HSF for the betterment of the national Hispanic community.

“I am pleased with the many accomplishments our team has realized these past five years and consider my time at HSF to have been an honor and privilege”, said Alvarez. “Carrying on the tradition established by Archbishop Flores and Ernesto Robles has been most fulfilling and the time for transitioning is ideal.”
A long-time advocate of Latino Higher Education, Alvarez continues to serve on the board of directors of the Lumina Foundation for Education, Western Governors University and Hispanics in Philanthropy.

About HSF
Founded in 1975, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund is the nation’s leading organization working to address the barriers that keep many Latinos from earning a college degree.  HSF envisions a future where every Latino household will have at least one college graduate, creating an enduring impact on the college outlook of Latino families nationwide, and strengthening the American economy for generations to come. For more information about the Hispanic Scholarship Fund please visit:

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