[Congressional Record Volume 148, Number 74 (Friday, June 7, 2002)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E989-E990]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                            HON. MARK UDALL

                              of colorado

                    in the house of representatives

                         Thursday, June 6, 2002

  Mr. UDALL of Colorado. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the 
District Director of the Small Business Administration, SBA, in 
Colorado, Patricia Barela Rivera.
  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., once said that the true measure of a 
person's character is how they handle themselves in times of adversity. 
By this gauge, Patricia Barela Rivera's character is worthy of our 
  Ms. Barela Rivera certainly knows a great deal about overcoming 
adversity, shrugging off disappointment and competing against 
unfavorable odds. She built a successful business in Colorado when 
Latina entrepreneurs were few and far between. She volunteered 
countless hours on behalf of minority non-profits, and eventually 
became the Director of the Governor's Advocate Corps in Colorado, where 
she swiftly built a reputation for inspirational management and was 
recognized as a leading voice on behalf of diversity in the Romer 
  Tragically, just weeks ago, Ms. Rivera's condominium burned down just 
days before the SBA's biggest event of the year. Ms. Rivera lost her 
home and all of her possessions. This kind of blow would level many, 
but not Patricia Barela Rivera. She picked herself up, bought something 
to wear, attended the event and served gracefully as the Master of 
Ceremonies. That kind of dedication is worth our attention. At a time 
when many question the determination and quality of public servants, I 
find Ms. Barela Rivera's example inspiring.
  Reflecting on the fire, she reasserted her belief that ``everything 
happens for a reason and eventually shows itself to be something 
good''. On her choice of attending the event in the midst of her 
personal chaos she said simply, ``I had to be here. It's about 
strength. It's about surviving when we have devastation in our lives.''
  Particia Barela Rivera, or ``PBR'' as she is affectionately known to 
her friends, is clearly a

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dedicated public servant. She also is a remarkable human being. Mr. 
Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in honoring Ms. Barela Rivera.