Barreto is also a frequent public speaker, media guest, panelist and commentator on key issues concerning business, politics and the Latino community.
A nationally-recognized business leader, Barreto served five years as the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration after being unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate on July 25, 2001.
Born into an entrepreneurial family, Barreto gained invaluable business experience during his youth by managing his family’s restaurant, import/export business and construction company. He later moved to Southern California and started his own businesses, forming Barreto Insurance and Financial Services and a securities broker/dealer firm specializing in retirement plans. He is also the founder and former chairman of the non-profit small-business procurement program Business Matchmaking.
Barreto currently serves as a member of the board of the United States Chamber of Commerce and sits on its council for small business. He is a member of the Minority Business Hall of Fame and has been recognized by many organizations including the U.S. Congress, the California State Senate and Assembly, the County of Los Angeles, YMCA and the American Red Cross. He was honored in 2006 by President Fox of Mexico, with the prestigious Aguila Azteca Award, which is bestowed for significant contributions to Mexico from a citizen of another country.
Barreto is the author of The Engine of America – a book dedicated to motivating and inspiring entrepreneurs through real-life stories and the winning formulas of successful business leaders. He currently resides in Southern California with his wife and three children.