Jerry I. Porras Latino Leadership Award

2014 Jerry I. Porras Latino Leadership
Award Dinner Honored James Gutierrez, MBA '05

CEO and Co-Founder of Insikt

Questions About the March 8, 2014 Dinner?
Contact Sue Kellam at
or +1-650-723-4046

About James Gutierrez

James is CEO and Co-Founder of Insikt, a rapidly growing, venture backed financial services start-up based in San Francisco. James is also a Partner of Insikt Ventures, an early stage venture fund that invests in financial technology and media companies.

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Prior to Insikt, James founded and was CEO of Progreso Financiero, an innovative, mission driven provider of micro-loans to Hispanics in the US. As CEO from 2005-2012, James led Progreso from an idea and its first store, Mi Pueblo supermarket, in San Jose, CA to a market leader in the lending industry with over 100,000 customers and 85 stores across California and Texas. Under James’ leadership, the company made over 300,000 loans (or $400 million in capital) to Latinos who lacked credit history, grew to 600 employees and over $60 million in revenue, and successfully navigated the 2008 crisis and a challenging regulatory environment, and proved, through its low credit losses, that under-banked Latinos are credit worthy. In addition, James helped raised over $100 million in venture funding and $250 million in debt capital to fund the company’s $100 million plus loan portfolio. As an innovator in the industry, James also co-authored and helped pass two federal and state laws to increase the availability of safe and affordable small dollar loans.

During his tenure at Progreso, James served on Federal Reserve Board’s Consumer Advisory Council and was a frequent speaker on topics of financial empowerment at the FDIC, Clinton Global Initiative, and Milken Institute. In 2010, BusinessWeek selected James as one of America’s most promising social entrepreneurs. In 2012, Hispanic Business Magazine featured James as one of the “top 100 Most Influential Hispanics in America”. Most recently, Goldman Sachs named James one of America’s top 100 most intriguing entrepreneurs.

James is also an active investor in other entrepreneurs. From 2003 to 2012, James led Great Oak Ventures’ investments in Trulia, StubHub, OKCupid, and other leading technology start-ups.  Today, James serves on the boards of a Tricolor, a leading Hispanic auto finance company, Plumzi, a fast-growing media business, and Insikt. James also serves on the non-profit boards of SEO San Francisco, AEO, and the Federal Reserve’s Centennial Advisory Council.

James received his MBA from Stanford and a B.A. in Economics from Yale University. He lives in San Francisco with his wife Katja Bjorner, a 1st soloist with the Royal Swedish Ballet, and their 1-year old daughter, Amelie Maud.

About this Award

The Hispanic Business Student Association hosts an annual award banquet to both celebrate the history and presence of the Latino community at the GSB and to honor and encourage leadership in business as well as in the greater Latino community. The banquet also helps to unite alumni with current students, faculty and administrators, and fosters personal bonds critical to the success of our communities.

At this evening event faculty, alumni, and students come together to honor a GSB alumnus who has made significant contributions to the business and Latino communities.

Past Recipients



James Gutierrez, MBA '05
CEO and Co-Founder of Insikt 


Phil Pompa, MBA '82
Venture Partner, Cielo Private Equity Funds 
[icon - Video]Pompa Video (4:27 minutes)

2012 Frank Huerta, MBA '93
Co-Founder and CEO of TransLattice, Inc.

[icon - Video]Huerta Video (25:13 minutes)

2011 Mike A. Aviles, MBA '90
Former President and CEO, Vignette Corporation

[icon - Video]Aviles Video (33:13 minutes)

2010 Laura Sanchez, MBA '94
Managing Director, Goldman, Sachs & Co.

[icon - Video]Sanchez Video  (18:03 minutes)

2009 Hank Vigil, MBA '87
Senior Vice President
Strategy & Partnership, Microsoft Inc.
2008 Miriam Rivera, JD/MBA '95
Former Deputy Legal Counsel, Google

[icon - Video]Rivera Video  (25:21 minutes)

2007 James R. Cervantes, MBA '86
Managing Director, Head of Public Finance, Stone & Youngberg

[icon - Video]Cervantes Video  (15:33 minutes)

2006 Albert Chavez, MBA '85

[icon - Video]Chavez Video  (15:51 minutes)

2005 Benito C. Almanza, MBA '77
2004 Ricardo A. Navarro, MBA '75
2003 Julia Arellano Sullivan, MBA '82

Leopoldo E. Guzman, MBA '71

[icon - Leopoldo Guzman Video]Guzman Video (17:12 minutes)

2001 Fernando Oaxaca
2000 Frank R. Ramirez, MBA '83


1999 Richard L. Leza, Sr., MBA '78
1998 Victor Arias, Jr., MBA '82
1997 Fernando Inzunza, MBA '78

The 2013 Jerry Porras Award

contact us

  • Questions?
    Please email Raphe Beck in the GSB alumni relations office or phone at +1-650-725-4212.