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Richard Velazquez, MBA 03, has been honored as a “rising star“ by the National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA) for his work connecting mainstream and minority business cultures.

Velazquez, a senior product planner for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console, is the co-founder and president of the Seattle chapter of the NSHMBA. He was one of three professionals honored by the national organization.

As the chapter president, Velazquez has been instrumental in helping to raise students’ awareness of the association’s scholarships. He also has led the chapter in partnering with companies and other diversity organizations to hold recruiting events, including a large event with Microsoft at the end of April.

“In his latest book, Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell talks about how successful people owe their success not just to talent and hard work, but to opportunities,” says Velazquez, whose parents emigrated from Puerto Rico. “I credit my own success to the opportunities I was able to leverage, and I do this work so others can have opportunities they may not have had due to their circumstances.”