- The Washington Times - Monday, September 17, 2007

The Hispanic Business Council, like the Hispanic population in Northern Virginia, has grown exponentially in recent years.

The group started in 2004 as a committee of the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce in Herndon. Three years later, it’s a stand-alone body with 30 members, and growing.

“It started based on the large Hispanic population that we have in the Northern Virginia area. It just became larger and larger,” said Jackie Krick, who was recently named chairwoman of the council.

Ms. Krick, a native of Colombia, is president of ECU Communications LLC, a marketing and consulting firm she founded. She was previously vice chairwoman of the council before taking the reins this summer.

“Really the mission [of the Hispanic Business Council] is to try to identify areas where we can help Hispanic businesses connect with other businesses,” said Ms. Krick, 47.

Small-business owners are often at a disadvantage when it comes to handling matters other than the core business itself, she added.

“If there’s a Hispanic business that is in marketing consulting but is not an expert in accounting or banking or taking business loans, we are able to connect them” with the appropriate resources, she said.

In her new role, Ms. Krick said she plans to continue the council’s work in addressing specific challenges facing Hispanic businesses.

“Even though we all want to integrate with one another, it’s really important to be part of a group that can understand our point of view,” she said. “Anyone starting a business has a lot of questions. It takes nerve to step up to the plate and say, ‘I have questions.’ ”

Ms. Krick earned a degree in business administration from the Catholic University of Bolivia and later received a certificate in marketing from Georgetown University’s Center for Continuing and Professional Education.

She moved to Bristow, Va., about a year and a half ago, but she has maintained her membership in the Dulles Regional Chamber and, of course, the chamber’s Hispanic Business Council, which holds meetings once a month.

The full chamber recently recognized her company, ECU, as “Outstanding New Business of the Year.”

Ms. Krick said leading a business and community service go “hand in hand.”

“It really is to me a great pleasure to help the community,” she said, citing a project she worked on to help the government of Virginia build awareness about child abuse and neglect.

Ms. Krick lives in Bristow with her husband Ken, son Anthony and stepson Kenny.

Kara Rowland

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