Born to a Mexican National mother and a World War II Purple Heart veteran, Cadena was raised in Las Cruces, NM. Cadena is number 4 out of 5 children – with parents who only acquired a 2nd and 8th grade education. The oldest sister is a registered nurse, followed by a chemical engineer, two doctors, and Cadena an SBA director. One brother is deceased. After high school Cadena attended New Mexico State University in Las Cruces and majored in finance. He worked to pay his way through college and also participated in the co-op education program via FDIC, a hands on program that allowed Cadena to work in the banking industry. Cadena graduated in 1982 and was permanently hired by FDIC as a bank examiner whose assignments including a home base in San Francisco with travel to other cities. Later, he was promoted to a bank liquidation specialist and traveled to Las Vegas, Carmel, San Jose. His total career with FDIC totaled 18 years. Cadena married DeeAnne in 1982 and has two adult sons, Andrew, 28 and Kevin, 25. In 1997 Cadena joined SBA in Albuquerque as the Deputy District Director and was also the Acting Director for over 4 years. He later became the District Director for SBA in Las Vegas and moved to Denver a few months ago to his new position. The Cadenas like to travel, ski and spend time with their two sons.
About Small Business Administration
Cadena admires Small Business Administration (SBA) mission statement which says it helps people start businesses. Cadena enjoys working with all entrepueners, Mexican American born entrepueners, Mexican Natonals and people in general. “We help educate people and assist them to become self-sufficient. Cadena oversees 14 employees.
High School Experience
Cadena says of high school. “I had an awesome time in high school!” Cadena was active in cross-country running, was an self-proclaimed average student who loved history. Cadena was also vice president of the student body. With fondness he recalls Ms. Glover a great influence who taught him to love children, and Mr. Taylor who practiced tough love and taught Cadena a great lesson.
Message to Youth
“What you are doing right now, may not be the most important thing right now, but it is the important thing you are doing right now. Your future is up to you, not up to your parents or anyone else. Foucs, set a plan, do the best you can. Believe in yourself.”
“I am grateful for my parents and my Mexican culture. I feel very blessed and still recall my mother’s words, “adelante!” which means keep moving forward!”