Gale Castillo, president and one of the founders of the Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber in Portland and a 1973 graduate of Linfield College, will deliver the commencement address to the Linfield class of 2015.
Commencement will be held Sunday, May 31, at 10 a.m. in the Oak Grove at Linfield.
The Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber, a local chapter of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber in Washington, D.C., is the largest Hispanic chamber in the Northwest and the fifth largest chamber of any kind in Oregon. Its mission is to work with all members of the community to increase the economic advancement of the Latino community. Programs include technical assistance to Latino and other small businesses, scholarships for students, a year-long leadership program, annual trade show and monthly member luncheons and networking events.
Castillo is also the co-owner of Cascade Centers Inc., one of the largest privately held companies that provide Employee Assistant Program services and staff development throughout the U.S.
Castillo has experience in both the public and private sectors, having served as the manager of the Oregon Economic Development Department’s Job Training Administration, and having worked for AT&T, Pacific Northwest Bell and RESTOR Communications.
She’s been recognized numerous times for her leadership and her community service. Last October, she received the Legacy Award for Lifetime Achievement for the Minority Enterprise Development Week by the Business Development Institute for the integral role she played in minority business development. She also received a civic award from the Center for Women’s Leadership and was recognized by the Daily Journal of Commerce as one of the 2012 Newsmakers.
Castillo was one of two Oregon delegates selected for America’s Conversation about Women and Leadership in 2010, a congress of national delegates held in 2010 to discuss how to realize equity in opportunity and representation in top positions. In 2009 she was one of 22 Latinas in the U.S. selected to participate in the National Hispana Leadership Institute because of her commitment and community service to the Hispanic community.
She has received numerous awards and honors including the Coretta Scott King Drum Major Award, was named Oregon’s 2004 Minority Small Business Advocate of the year and was one of the top Women Executives of the Year for Nonprofit Organizations. She has also been honored by the Oregon Women’s Political Caucus, Oregon Business Magazine and by the Oregon Human Development Corporation for outstanding leadership and community service.
Castillo serves on numerous boards and committees, including the Linfield College Board of Trustees, Portland State University Board of Trustees, Wells Fargo Community Bank, Portland Trail Blazers Business Advisory Board and Statuary Hall Study Commission, among others.
Castillo, raised in Oakland, Calif., is the first in her family to graduate from college. In addition to receiving her bachelor’s degree from Linfield, she has a master’s from Portland State University and completed the executive education program at the Harvard Kennedy School and the leadership development program at the Center for Creative Leadership.