Carmen Muñoz Crites 1936 – 2020
Carmen Muñoz Crites was born and raised in Southwest Detroit, the fifteenth of sixteen children to Simon and Maria Muñoz. A strong and tenacious woman, Carmen decided early in life that her fate and the opportunity for success and failure would rest in her hands. That determination led Carmen to an entrepreneurial path that included building her company, Muñoz Machine Products, into a leading automotive supplier that was recognized throughout the industry for quality and service.
Although she became an accomplished businesswoman, Carmen believed true success as achieved by improving the lives of others and giving back to the community where she was raised. She was an advocate for the Hispanic community and served as Chairperson for the State of Michigan Commission on Spanish Speaking Affairs and sat on many boards including Latin Americans for Social & Economic Development (LA SED), the Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Michigan Minority Business Development Council. In 1992, she received a Presidential Appointment as Commissioner of the White House Conference on Small Business.
While she felt privileged to serve with these organizations (and many others), she also felt that it was important to support and encourage those who were least privileged in her community. She provided pathways for gang members who wanted an alternative to the violence of gang life to find to pursue their education, find jobs and become contributing citizens to the community.
The Carmen Muñoz Entrepreneurship Scholarship Program was created to honor Carmen’s life and encourage Latina Women to continue her legacy of entrepreneurism and community engagement.