The Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama will have a new leader at the top beginning next year. Isabel Rubio, founder and CEO for 20 years, is stepping aside on Dec. 31, 2021. Carlos Alemán, current chief operating officer, will step into the chief executive role starting Jan. 1, 2022.
“I am proud of our accomplishments, especially creating a place that welcomes, embraces and empowers our Latino community to achieve their dreams and aspirations,” said Rubio.
Since founding the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama in 1999, Rubio has grown the organization from a staff of one to 26 bilingual professionals who now serve more than 5,000 people each year. She has raised more than $19 million to support Latinos with college access, citizenship and access to capital, including small business development, entrepreneurship and home ownership. In 2021, that work culminated in the Community Development Financial Institution designation for the Camino Loan Fund of HICA, which will allow the organization even more financial resources for the Latino community.
Rubio, after a brief respite, plans to continue service to the community in the areas of strategy, community development and engagement, philanthropy, social justice and equity.
Alemán, a first-generation emigrant from Nicaragua, began serving Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama as a board member before becoming deputy director in 2018. Prior to joining the HICA staff, he was an assistant professor of history at Samford University, a position he began after completing his doctorate in history at Michigan State University, with an emphasis on Latin America, immigration and race.
Alemán current serves as a member of the Homewood City Council and is on the board of the National Partnership for New Americans, the Alabama Business Charitable Trust Fund, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Red Mountain Park and the Literacy Council of Central Alabama. He is also a graduate of Leadership Birmingham.
“As an immigrant who came to this country as a child, I have been able to realize many opportunities because my family relied on organizations like HICA. I feel a deep sense of responsibility and gratitude to every person who walks through HICA’s doors because I know first-hand what it means to be welcomed,” Alemán said.