Arthur R. Velasquez, ’67
Public Service Award - 2002
Chairman, President, and CEO
Azteca Foods, Inc.
Arthur R. Velasquez earned his MBA in 1967. After graduation, he and several business partners founded Azteca (formerly Azteca Corn Products Corporation), where he rose to become chairman, president, and CEO. Under his leadership, Azteca grew to become the nation's leading maker of refrigerated tortillas.
In addition to his reputation as a successful entrepreneur, Velasquez became known as one of Chicago's most active business and community leaders. He served on numerous corporate, educational, and philanthropic boards — work that he estimated occupied one-third of his time. Velasquez has been a director of Chicago Metro Board of Junior Achievement, Maryville City of Youth, Museum of Science and Industry, Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum, Catholic Charities of Chicago, and Big Shoulders Fund. A trustee of the University of Illinois from 1974 through 1980, Velasquez was the first Hispanic elected to a statewide office in Illinois.