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Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando



Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando

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685 S. Ronald Reagan Blvd., Ste 1001, Longwood, FL 32750 Phone: 407.332.8320

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2015/16 Board Members Executive Board

Diana Bolívar President

José Nido

Peter A. Hilera

Ana Bello Director of Marketing & Business Development

Lourdes M. Mola

Juan C. Lopez-Campillo, Esq.

Christine Aponte Events Coordinator

Karla Muñiz

Maria S. García de la Noceda Director of Events and Operations

Diego Rodríguez Corredór Graphic Design & Social Media Coordinator Elda Rivera Marketing & Sales Coordinator Nelson Camargo Business Development Specialist

Chair Wyndham Worldwide Corp. Vice-Chair  Lourdes Mola Solutions Vice-Chair Elect Florida Hospital

Ovelyn Beaudoin Membership Services Specialist Luisa Garcia Administrative Assistant Sebastian Sánchez Project Specialist Valentina Madinabeitia Graphic Design Intern Desia Martin Velazquez Events Intern Brigitte Snedeker Marketing Intern

Legal Advisor Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP

Kari Conley

Secretary Orlando Health

Board of Directors Dr. Giorgina Pinedo-Rolón Ex-Officio Gio Communications

Modesto Alcala

Director Universal Orlando

Manuela Restrepo Staff Accountant

Treasurer Vestal & Wiler, CPAs

Malcolm Barnes Director Duke Energy

Dick J. Batchelor

Director Dick Batchelor Management Group, Inc.

Cindy Bowman LaFronz Director Rollins College

Rick Corral Director UPS Florida

Tanya Easterling

Yanet Herrero

Director King Service Solutions

Christina Pinto

HBIF Representative Moreno Peelen Pinto & Clark

Ricardo Pesquera, Esq. Director Of Counsel Pesquera Cerrud & Birmingham, P.A.

Keith J. Raymond

Director Harbor Community Bank

Irma E. Stenman

EDC Representative Metro Orlando EDC

Pedro Zorrilla Director Ventana Al Jazz

Director Florida Blue

HCCMO Trustees



Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando




Editor’s Note... Editorial Team

Greetings! ¡Saludos!

Cyndia Morales Muñiz, Ed.D. Editor-in-Chief UCF

We are half way through the year and the HCCMO is in high gear! Well, when are they not? So many great accomplishments up until this point, and so much more to look forward to!

Diego Rodríguez Corredór Art Director Ana Bello HCCMO Nelson Camargo HCCMO George Fournier Freelance Writer Elisha González-Bonnewitz Valencia College Cindy Bowman LaFronz Rollins College Tony Lagos Contributor Miguel Rivera MegaTV Gonzalo Loayza Proof Reader Vincent Giannoni GGM & Associates Euribiades Cerrud II Pesquera, Cerrud & Birmingham, P.A.

First and foremost, I want to congratulate the HCCMO on a successful 2015 Hispanic Business Conference and Expo! Diana Bolívar and her team work tirelessly year around to create opportunities that support our business community in Central Florida. To them, I say: Thank you! Your hard work is very much appreciated. We begin this issue by highlighting the small island of Puerto Rico that is filled with BIG economic opportunities. The article outlines current regulations in place that create business opportunities for both Central Florida and the island, as well as provides examples of successful initiatives that have had a positive impact for all involved. With the Puerto Rican community being as large as it is in Central Florida, a successful Puerto Rican community is a successful Latino community, resulting in a successful Central Florida community. In a global economy, business owners must truly make a genuine effort to understand the inner workings and the impact of international trade. The Central Florida International Trade Office (CFITO) does an outstanding job pointing out the various resources available to educate our community on thinking globally and ways to take your business to the next level- this may be your next step! Even though many of us have adopted Central Florida as home, it is nice to know that Orlando International Airport continues to expand their offerings to our homes in Latin America. This article highlights the history of the various airline expansions and provides us with a preview of what additional expansions are to come during the remainder of the year. Whether you can and/or choose to go back home or not, it is comforting to know that we have places right here in Central Florida that make you feel like you are en tu tierra (homeland). Pio Pio Latin Cuisine is one of those places! Make sure to check out this article highlighting their fabulous dishes served in a family setting. Just close your eyes and let the flavors take you back a tu patria (homeland). As always- the editorial board wants to hear from you! Let us know how we can make Visión even better! You might even have the opportunity to contribute to the magazine! Let’s chat! Until next time! ¡Hasta la próxima!

CYNDIA MORALES MUÑIZ, Ed.D. Editor-in-Chief University of Central Florida

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando



Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando

The Visión 8 It Takes a Village 10

The Challenges with Supplier Diversity


New Air Service Brings the World Closer to Orlando


Net Neutrality & Small Business


Accelerating International Trade in Central Florida


The Puerto Rican Diaspora Orlando Edition


Making LinkedIn Work for You


The Role of Advocacy in a Representative Democracy

26 Cultural Corner: Pio Pio Latin Cuisine

To millions of visitors every year, the island is their favorite vacation spot. For many of us, Puerto Rico will always be home.

Antonio Muñiz-Olán Muñiz & Associates


You Are Scaring Your Customers


ConGRADulations But Not For All... Yet




Young Professionals Committee


HCCMO Update

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando


Feature Story

VILLAGE or more than 10 years, a classic TV show called Cheers began with a theme song about a place where everybody knows your name. The cast included an assortment of diverse characters who shared a chemistry that turned a neighborhood bar into an inviting gathering place. In downtown Orlando on the 68-acre site where the former Amway Arena once stood, a new gathering place is becoming a reality. It is a place where people will come together to “live, learn, work and play.” Its ultimate success will be measured by the degree to which people are glad they came. Its name is Creative Village.

Building a Community Centuries ago life in Europe was transformed by the emergence of great cities. In these cities, commerce and the specialization of skills and knowledge made people’s lives richer and more vibrant. However, with growth and specialization came the challenge of maintaining community and identity. Today, the challenge is much the same. Can we have the advantages of both community and growth at the same time? Craig Ustler is the owner and president of Ustler Development, Inc. and president of Creative Village Development, LLC. He thinks the plan for our cities should not be an “either-or” choice. “A village is not a real estate project - it is community building,” says Ustler. “At Creative Village, we want to build a place that is connected, diverse and innovative.” By the Numbers What will this 68-acre village in downtown Orlando look like? The numbers offer part of the picture: 1.2 million square feet of office/creative space, half a million square feet of education space, 150,000 square feet of retail/commercial space, 1,500 residential units, 220 hotel rooms - with a price tag of $1 billion. 8 | VISIÓN

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando

Also important are the 6,500 temporary construction jobs and the more than 8,000 permanent jobs that will be added to the economy. It Starts with a Vision Sound data and smart analysis are needed for setting realistic goals. Additionally, a clear vision is an essential driver for achieving those goals. According to Ustler, the Creative Village’s vision is based on a belief that successful 21st century economies will be built on “proximity, collaboration and place-making.” Similar conclusions were expressed by the Metropolitan Policy Program of the Brookings Institution in its 2014 report, The Rise of Innovation Districts. Regarding these innovation districts, the report states, “They are physically compact, transit-accessible, technically-wired and offer mixed-use housing, office, and retail.” Public/Private Partnership Collaboration is also a key element in the DNA of the Creative Village. It is a public/partnership in which the City of Orlando is a key player. According to Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer collaboration is an important aspect of his city’s identity. “Orlando is the City

Beautiful. . . but I think we are also the City of Partnerships and Collaboration, ” says Dyer. The Mayor further elaborates by saying our community has achieved success through “strong collaboration with our residents, our business community, our faith-based organizations, our arts organizations, our tourism industry, our educational institutions and other local governments.” Planning for the Future The current vision for the Creative Village corresponds closely to the themes found in Orlando’s various planning initiatives. In 2000, the Downtown Orlando Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) issued a Redevelopment Plan followed by later amendments that encouraged integrated land use, transportation connectivity, and a pedestrian orientation. In 2006, the Orlando Community Venues Master Plan took note of plans for a Creative Village that would be “a community where high-tech, digital media-related businesses are located together with residential uses, retail uses and academia.” This year, Project Downtown Orlando (Project DTO) produced a comprehensive rewrite of the original CRA Redevelopment Plan with a vision to “connect people to place emotionally, and differentiate Orlando as a vibrant place for people to live, work, grow a business and visit.” It is in this forward-looking environment that the Creative Village is poised to play a role.   Recent Developments

will be a place ”Itwhere opportunity, innovation and community come together. It will be a place where people will be glad they came.

Late last year University of Central Florida President John Hitt announced his university’s commitment to locating a new campus in the Creative Village. It is a campus that will ultimately serve 10,000 to 13,000 UCF and Valencia College students. Over the years, the total investment will be over $200 million. In another education-related development, in January of this year Orange County Public Schools announced a first-of-its-kind, $41 million preschool through 8th grade facility that will open in the Parramore neighborhood adjacent to the Creative Village in the year 2017. Throughout this current year, Creative Village site work will include construction of roads, infrastructure and an expansion of the LYNX LYMMO bus circulator system to serve the Creative Village and Parramore.

Promise for the Future For people who live or work in Orlando, the Creative Village will offer new parks and green spaces, places to eat and shop, and a unique platform to attract new businesses. It will be a place where opportunity, innovation and community come together. It will be a place where people will be glad they came.


Frelance Writer

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando


The Challenges

With Supplier Diversity

ike everything, supplier diversity has its pros and cons. This article will highlight some of the challenges diverse suppliers experience and must learn to manage in order to be successful. The Small Business Act of 1958 required that government subcontractors place a fair portion of their business with small and disadvantaged businesses. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 stated that federal agencies and their subs could not discriminate based on race, color or national origin, and was later amended to include gender. These were the seeds of supplier diversity, as well as the weeds that have taken control. Today, most federally funded programs count only SBE and DBE spend. The parameter of what qualifies a small or disadvantaged business does not specify ethnicity or sex. This is why the goals of a project like the Ultimate I-4 are not as elaborate, as those for the Amway Center or the Performing Arts Center. For those that have supplier diversity areas in Corporate America, the accounting process for supplier diversity is encompassing of several challenges. To start, the system must be credible, so a certification is required for each diverse supplier. This expense is the supplier’s responsibility and must be renewed each year, yet it does not guarantee an opportunity to bid. Non-diverse suppliers do not incur these costs. Next, the diverse supplier must register within a corporation’s supplier diversity database and upload their certificate. This too, must be done each year and for each corporation that the supplier wishes to do business with; It also does not guarantee an opportunity to bid. Non-diverse suppliers do not have to register each year in multiple databases. While corporations often promote the use of diverse suppliers, the system is place seems costly and discriminatory. Consequently, most supplier diversity teams within corporations are small and are made responsible for justifying their existence each year. This means they spend much of their time trying to


Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando

” For those that

have supplier diversity areas in Corporate America, the accounting process for supplier diversity is encompassing of several challenges

find out what their future corporate needs will be, influencing both buyers and decision makers on utilizing new suppliers and pulling together numbers on how much was spent over a period of time. Most of their budget is often spent on exhibiting opportunities at national conferences. So, what is it about supplier diversity that makes a supplier want to participate? The way communities come together to identify ways in which to improve and enhance the process- An example being, the way Orlando addressed the construction projects for the Amway Center and the Performing Arts Center via the Orlando Blueprint Program. Achieving high diversity spend (32% and 26%) has set the bar for other local projects. One of the biggest challenges is getting noticed. Successful suppliers focus their efforts on a small group of potential corporations and become known through multiple networking engagements. Events like the recent matchmaker by the HCCMO facilitate opportunities for suppliers to explain their capabilities and have the potential to mend the shortcomings of supplier diversity.



D a r D e n I s ProuD t o suPPort th e Hispanic cHamber of commerce of metro orlando ConferenCe and expo

celebrating diversity and

investing in Tomorrow’s leaders


olive Garden | lonGHorn STeaKHoUSe | BaHama Breeze

© 2015 Darden Concepts, Inc. 191716

SeaSonS 52 | THe capiTal Grille | eddie v’S | Yard HoUSe

w w w. d a r d e n . c o m Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando


Feature Story

New Air Service Brings


rowing up in Orlando, it used to take more than 24 hours to endure our annual trip to see family and grandparents in Medellin, Colombia. The trip began the day before, driving more than four hours to Miami, spending the night at a hotel near the airport, and then flying the next day to Medellin. Fast forward fifty years. My parents are now retired in Medellin and thanks to airlines serving Orlando International Airport (MCO), like Avianca and Copa Airlines, I can now fly to Medellin in six hours. The world is much closer, because of better airline connections, and new nonstop flights that are launching all of the time. Air service today is big business. The economic impact of international flights into Orlando has soared to $2.6 billion annually, and it continues to grow every year. International links to Orlando began just 30 years ago in 1985, when Bahamasair launched the only scheduled Caribbean nonstop flight out of Orlando International to Nassau. Although, there were periodic charter flights from Latin America to MCO during the 1980’s, the only other scheduled nonstop service available was through Transbrasil to Sao Paulo and Lasca to Costa Rica. It was November 1995, when American Trans Air launched new nonstop scheduled flights to San Juan, Puerto Rico. Nineteen months later, in 1997, AeroMexico launched twice a week scheduled flights to Mexico City. Today, AeroMexico flies seventeen scheduled weekly flights between Orlando and Mexico City, which has also been served by Volaris since July 2012. More recently, Volaris expanded service with new flights to Guadalajara late last year. There are now three airlines providing non-stop flights to Puerto Rico – jetBlue, Spirit and Southwest. In addition to San Juan, jetBlue also serves Aguadilla and Ponce 12 | VISIÓN

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando

non-stop, from Orlando International Airport. Orlando International Airport’s strategy for international air service, involves building long-term relationships with airlines, in order to become a ‘spoke’ for the airline’s international hub, or to establish direct service from a U.S. airline, since MCO is not a hub for any of the U.S. “legacy” airlines. One of the best examples of Orlando’s international air service growth began in February 2000, when access to Latin America forever changed with the arrival of Copa Airlines from Panama. Initially, Copa planned to operate from Panama four times per week and only seasonally. That changed as more Central Floridians discovered that Copa offered easier connections to many points in Latin America. Copa now flies 32 weekly nonstop flights (4 to 5 flights per day) between MCO and Panama- offering connections to 78 Latin American and Caribbean markets. Central Florida now has multiple efficient options via international hubs, when traveling to Latin America from Orlando International. Some of these include: Avianca from Colombia via Bogotá, TAM from Brazil via São Paulo/Guarulhos, AeroMexico via Mexico City, Azul via São Paulo/Campinas hub, and Caribbean Airlines via Port of Spain. From the U.S. airline side, jetBlue, Southwest and Silver Airways serve several nonstop Latin American markets from Orlando, including jetBlue to Bogotá, Santo Domingo, San José, and Cancún, as well as newly announced Orlando-Mexico City ,which commences October 1st 2015. New non-stops from MCO to Latin America are now available as of June 12th with TAM’s flights to Brazil’s capital Brasilia, a growing TAM hub. Then, on June 20, LAN Perú launched nonstop flights from its main Lima hub to Orlando. In the last 10 years, the number of seats from Orlando International Airport to Latin America has grown a stunning 135%, despite the 2008-2011 recession. This increase in flights,

The World Closer To


” In the last 10 years, the number of seats from Orlando International Airport to Latin America has grown a stunning 135%, despite the 2008-2011 recession.

seats, airlines, and destinations, not only allows more business travelers and visitors to come to Central Florida, but also gives our residents more choices and more efficient travel options as well. These flights aren’t launched on a whim. Air service development is a process that often takes many years and involves many community stakeholders. Orlando competes for every airline’s attention with many other U.S. cities, including Miami, Atlanta, New York and Dallas. Knowing that there are still many more markets to which we would like air service, Orlando International is constantly working with airlines to build the business case for new route opportunities. Success breeds success. More flights– and the economic benefits they bring–will be possible only if the Central Florida community continues to support the routes we succeed in attracting, and the long-term vision of Orlando International Airport.

Latin American Market

Airlines with Non-stop Flights

Mexico City

AeroMexico, Volaris, jetBlue*

Panama City


San Juan

jetBlue, Spirit, Southwest






jetBlue, Delta

Santo Domingo


Sao Paulo/GRU



Avianca, jetBlue

San José




Sao Paulo/VCP


Punta Cana







Island Travel & Tours**

Belo Horizonte


*Service starts October 1, 2015 **Service starts July 8, 2015 ***Service starts November 16, 2015

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando




Advanced IT Concepts (AITC) Inc. AITC is a proven, capable, and dynamicInformation Technology (IT) Systems Integrator, Value-Added Reseller (VAR), and Professional Service Provider focused on supporting the Federal, State and Local Governments, in particular the Department of Defense (DoD). AITC was founded and is managed by former Military IT, Acquisition, and Logistics personnel with significant experience an expertise in all areas of Program Management, Information Technology (IT), Information Assurance (IA), and Professional Services. AITC’s mission is to deliver innovative, costeffective, and proven solutions and services to enhance our customer’s capabilities, efficiencies, effectiveness, and overall success AITC has a vast and proven track record of designing, procuring, receiving, inspecting, integrating, delivering and installing effective and secure IT solutions in support of many government agencies to include Secret and Top-Secret classified networks. Some of our related highlights include:

  

 


Extensive experience conducting IT system studies, design, testing, integration, fielding, and support. Extensive expertise in designing and implementing Continuous Technology Refresh programs to minimize factors contributing to Technology Obsolescence Former Army Lieutenant Colonel Program Manager (PM) and current AITC CEO responsible for modernizing the IT Infrastructure at all US-based Army installations under a $1.6 Billion dollar program. Detailed understanding and expertise in meeting stringent Army Information Assurance (IA) requirements to ensure network security and availability.

Value-Added Reseller for over 1,200 IT and related brands including most wireless vendors (Cisco, Aruba, Brocade, Harris, Dell, Juniper, Lucent, etc.) Vast experience in designing and implementing secure Wireless systems to include US Army FT Buchanan, P.R., Joint Task Force Civil Defense, FT Eustis VA, US Army Medical Simulation Program Office, Orlando, FL, US Army MedicalCenter and School, FT Sam Houston, TX, US

Army Research, Development & Engineering Command, and others. Existing Teaming relationships with Industry Northrup Grumman, General Dynamics IT (GDIT), Boeing, Lockheed Martin (and others as required).

Founded in 2006 by former Military IT professionals with Telcommunications, Information Technology and Information Security expertise, AITC is committed to assisting our customers through the design and implementation of innovative IT solutions. AITC draws on exceptional and practical Telecommunications and Information Technology experence to ensure your goals are met. Let AITC partner with you to increase your organization's productivity and efficiency by designing and delivering proven and reliable IT solutions. AITC is both Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) and Small Business Admnistration (SBA) 8(a) and Florida Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) certified small business with a Top Secret facility clearance.


Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando

Technology t the core of the net neutrality discussion lies the question: ‘Is the internet an information service or a telecommunications service?’ It is quite easy to see how the internet has become as relevant and necessary to small business everyday life as the telephone. Initially, the internet was designed to be an information service. However, with the increasing amount of telecommunications via the internet, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) made the determination that the internet would now be classified as a telecommunications service. Because of this classification, the internet now comes under the purview of Title II of the Communications Act of 1934 and Section 706 of the Telecommunications act of 1996. Therefore, the FCC is now able to promulgate Net Neutrality regulations, published April 13, 2015, which are applicable to both broadband and mobile services. Net neutrality regulations are laws promulgated by the FCC which attempt to give people and businesses, the freedom to internet content access without restrictions, boundaries, or tiered levels of access (slow down and fast internet lanes). The regulation prohibits the blocking, acceleration, and requirement of compensation to prioritize certain data. In other words, as with a telecommunications company, internet service providers are required to provide telecommunication services to users, because it is now considered a necessity that should be available in equal terms to all consumers. FCC Chairman, Tom Wheeler compared Net Neutrality to the First Amendment. To small businesses, this is a very important regulation because, small businesses depend greatly on “Retail Internet” to engage consumers and clients. However, this is where the debate begins; Opponents of net neutrality regulations argue the following: 1. Service providers must not be regulated, so as to ensure that all customers receive better service. 2. The regulation will stifle innovation and investment in internet service. 3. Restrictions and/or prioritization is necessary to develop a better internet service. 4. The regulation is more government intrusion in the commerce place. In response to its opposition, the FCC stands by their ruling, claiming that it benefits small businesses by making the internet fully open and unbiased. Additionally, businesses would not have to negotiate with internet service providers to get their content online. According to the FCC, net neutrality would exclude internet providers from setting their own terms on their networks. However, many are concerned about additional regulations and rules in the future. The effect of the regulation remains to be seen. The true measure - the way small businesses continue to thrive under the regulation and the costs of growth and development in the modern world; how much will it cost for small businesses to reach their clients and customers; and whether the innovation of the internet will slow-down. For now, we will continue to search the web and see.

Net neutrality regulations are laws promulgated by the FCC which attempt to give people and businesses, the freedom to internet content access without restrictions

” EURIBIADES CERRUD II, ESQ Pesquera, Cerrud & Birmingham P.A.

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando


Feature Story

he benefits of international trade are very well known. Companies engaged in international trade pay their employees better, create new jobs, and withstand economic downturns better than purely domestic companies. For the average American, trade helps lower the costs of goods, provides a greater selection of goods, and provides good paying, stable jobs. With such clear benefits, the following statistics become difficult to explain: 1. 95% of the world’s consumers live outside the United States 2. Less than 1% of America’s 30 million companies export So the question arises, “As a community, how do we close the statistics gap and help more companies accelerate international trade that will improve their business as well as the Central Florida economy?” In March 2014, the Central Florida International Trade Office (CFITO) opened an office at the National Entrepreneur Center. Since then, the office has been hard at work providing trade 16 | VISIÓN

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando

connections, hosting educational seminars and trade delegations, and creating a database of Central Florida companies engaged in international trade. In the first year of operation, the CFITO assisted the trade community by providing over 1,200 connections through direct inquiries and educational events. Inquiries to the office range from “How to import “XYZ” from Belize?” to “How do I expand my foreign business to Central Florida?” The CFITO can answer many of these questions, while others are directed to various organizations in the community. Angel Gil, originally from Spain, visited the CFITO in hopes of exporting his product to new overseas markets. Gil remarked that the CFITO “has developed a real team-work approach with the other organizations at the NEC, which enables them to be very resourceful when finding answers and gathering information for their users.” The CFITO has also established the “Friends of International Trade” group for people interested or already engaged in international trade. This group is a great way to network with others engaged in the international trade community and learn

” Companies engaged in

international trade pay their employees better, create new jobs, and withstand economic downturns better than purely domestic companies.

from some experts in the field. In 2014, the office hosted eight educational events with over 440 attendees. These seminars ranged from “International Business Etiquette” to “How do I finance my exports?” to “How can a Foreign Trade Zone be beneficial to my company?” Deborah Moon, Director of International Operations for Bell Performance remarked, “The relevant topics the office has provided this first year have proven invaluable to us. We have taken advantage of several events, and the education we have received has greatly impacted our exporting arm.” The CFITO also hosted four inbound international missions from Cali, Colombia; Chengdu, China; Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and Tekirdag, Turkey. These missions included two inbound trade expos at the National Entrepreneur Center, where Central Florida companies had the opportunity to showcase their products to a delegation from China and a delegation from Brazil. In 2015, the CFITO has already hosted delegations from Japan and from Russia. Today, the CFITO regional database consists of over 5,600 companies engaged in international trade, detailing the name, location, commodity traded, country of origin, destination, and the primary U.S. port used for shipping. The database is especially useful in finding buyers of products, shipping partners, or understanding competitors. Thanks to the investment made by Orange County

and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., the future of the Central Florida International Trade Office is bright. “The response to the pilot program has been overwhelming,” Jerry Ross, Executive Director of the NEC, stated. “CFITO is providing a unique and valued service for our entire region.” Deborah Moon agrees, “We greatly appreciate the funding supplied by the Orange County Government and JP Morgan Chase & Co. This type of trade office was desperately needed for companies in Central Florida to be able to compete internationally. Bell Performance applauds both entities for recognizing the need and fulfilling the gap.” For any business that has the capacity and the persistence to engage in international trade, the CFITO is ready and willing to help. If you would like to learn more about international trade or upcoming international trade events, please connect with the Central Florida International Trade Office at or by calling 407-420-4860.


Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando



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Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando


uerto Rico, La Isla del Encanto, Borinquen, Borikén. To millions of visitors every year, the island is their favorite vacation spot. For many of us, Puerto Rico will always be home. Regardless of one’s ties to The Enchanted Island, it is an undeniable fact that Puerto Rico is going through very difficult times. Economic growth remains stagnant, unemployment rate is high, the tax system is in need of a major overhaul, and there is a constant population shift.

These challenges, however, are also creating new opportunities and even gave genesis to the new Puerto Rican Diaspora– Orlando Edition. Diaspora is defined as the movement of a large group of people from their home country to other countries in the world. While in the past, Puerto Ricans mainly relocated to New York, a third of the Puerto Ricans relocating now are moving to Florida, and a great majority of those now call Central Florida home. This Diaspora dynamic is creating opportunities both in Orlando and Puerto Rico. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando


Bayamón Bucks the Trend The City of Bayamón is a shining example of sustainable economic development. The Bayamón mayor, the Honorable Ramón Luis Rivera, Jr., has kept his city focused on economic development and job creation, amid the nearly decade-long economic recession that is still felt throughout Puerto Rico. His fiscal discipline is evidenced by a $17 million budget surplus and an annual debt repayment of $20 million from a healthy $35 million debtrepayment fund; all of which are supported by a strong tax base.

On February 27, 2015, the Chamber had the honor of welcoming a delegation of City Officials from Bayamón, Puerto Rico. This delegation included Vice Mayor Rurico Pintado, as well as Directors from the Department of Culture, Department of Citizen Support, among others. The conversation centered on the importance of building strong ties between Puerto Rico and Orlando through culture, tourism, and commerce. The dignitaries highlighted how Bayamón continues to be one of the most progressive cities in Puerto Rico; From the development activity in the City’s urban core, to its renown Parque de las Ciencias and the Museo de Arte de Bayamón, to the new Río Bayamón Golf Course- Bayamón, much like Orlando, is creating a great city to work, live, and play. To showcase a mutual continued collaboration, HCCMO Trustee Ventana al Jazz Orlando, under the leadership of Pedro Zorrilla, dedicated its May 21, 2015 event to the City of Bayamón. HCCMO President Diana Bolivar and City of Bayamon Vice Mayor Pintado, also committed to collaborate in both the Hispanic Business Conference & Expo in June and the Trade Mission to Puerto Rico in August.

Act 22, the Individual Investors Act, was designed to primarily attract high net worth investors to Puerto Rico, by providing complete tax exemptions on dividends, interest and capital gains, so long as the individual is present for at least 183 days a year in Puerto Rico. The key to all this, of course, is Puerto Rico’s unique status, compared to other tax havens. Natives of the island are considered US citizens, even though they are subject to different tax laws. Therefore, Americans do not have to renounce their citizenship or pay an exit tax of 23.8% on unrealized capital gains when they move to Puerto Rico. Approximately 250 high net worth individuals took advantage of Act 22 in 2014, according to Puerto Rico’s Department of Economic Development and Commerce. Though no predictions have been made for 2015, interest continues to rise. The 2015 Puerto Rico Investment Summit, a private event for foreign investors, was held in February and attracted over 300 investors and entrepreneurs.

”El Meson Sandwiches,

a large, fast-growing chain from Puerto Rico, chose to open its first U.S. restaurant on June 1st, in Orlando. Company President, Felipe Pérez Grajales, plans to open a total of five locations in the Orlando area.

Puerto Rico’s Acts 20 & 22, tax incentive laws aimed at luring wealthy American investors to move there and bring life again to the island’s economy, recently celebrated their third anniversary, and Puerto Rico’s reputation as a tax haven is beginning to catch on.

Act 20, the Export Services Act, offers incentives to certain service businesses, including investment and hedge fund managers, to relocate to Puerto Rico and export their services. It does so, by taxing their corporate profits at a flat 4%, while making the dividends paid from profits on exported services 100% tax exempt to individual recipients. 20 | VISIÓN

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando

Puerto Rico Senate Bill 864 increases the potential impact of Act 22 by expanding eligibility to Puerto Ricans who left the island prior to 2006 – 6 years away vs. the original 15 years away. Meanwhile, Senate Bill 1020, also signed into law in December 2014, expands the type of businesses eligible to take advantage of Act 20. The amendment includes goodsbased businesses and expands the definition of eligible service-based businesses. The government is banking that the investments of these large businesses and wealthy individuals will ripple through the wider economy and create jobs in infrastructure, tourism and other services. Tax expert Raul Vidal refers to this as a “multiplier effect.” Puerto Rico’s Economic Development & Commerce Department Secretary Alberto Bacó Bagué has stated that he expects the influx of entrepreneurs to invest $10 billion in the economy by 2017.

El Meson Sandwiches, a fast-growing chain from Puerto Rico, chose to open its first U.S. restaurant on June 1st in Orlando. Company President, Felipe Pérez Grajales, plans to open a total of five locations in the Orlando area. Billionaire hedge fund investor John Paulson, Founder & President of Paulson & Co., based in New York, called Puerto Rico “the Singapore of the Caribbean.” Government officials say that he has invested $1.5 billion in the Island. According to Euri Cerrud, Senior Partner, Pesquera Cerrud & Birmingham, P. A., and HCCMO Trustee, “Act 20 and 22 are more effective when investors are involved. Businesses expanding under Act 20 to Florida, would have better chances of success if those operations are well funded (by outside investors). That is where the combination of Federal and State Laws come into play; the magic is in their interaction.”

Cover Story

In June 2014, fourteen business professionals representing 11 companies in Orlando travelled to San Juan, Puerto Rico, for the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando’s Bilateral Commercial Trade Mission. The purpose was to help participants conduct business with Puerto Rico, while also stimulating the country’s economy. Prior to their departure, the chamber held a “Doing Business with Puerto Rico” seminar, which featured Manuel Cidre, then Chairman of Puerto Rico’s Product Association. Once in San Juan, the delegates discussed ways to expand operations in the country, and the Chamber hosted a “Doing Business with Central Florida” seminar to attract more Hispanic businesses to the Orlando area. Accompanying the delegates were Chamber President Diana Bolivar, then Board Chairwoman Dr. Giorgina Pinedo-Rolón and City of Orlando Commissioner Tony Ortíz.

Given the resounding success of the original Trade Mission and to further highlight that Orlando’s relationship with the Island is a key priority for the HCCMO, a second annual trade mission to Puerto Rico is scheduled for this coming August. Several major agreements with the Puerto Rican government and private companies are going to be announced soon, and most are the result of a trip last summer to San Juan and the continuing efforts to create opportunities across the Diaspora. For additional content, please see the Vision blog:

ANTONIO MUNIZ-OLÁN Muñiz & Associates

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando




Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando

© 2013 Publix Asset Management Company.

AD There’s something important we’d like you to know about Publix: showing our appreciation to our customers is the cornerstone of our culture. It’s not just something we do when we think about it. It’s who we are. We want you to always feel good about shopping at Publix, and that everything you buy will meet your expectations. In fact, we feel so strongly about it that we’ve put it in writing. Come by and let us prove it. Publix Super Markets. Where shopping is a pleasure. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando




Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando

AD Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando

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” Regions of South America certainly

do have the same food, but not the same preparation.


Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando

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Hablamos Español


Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando


Millote The Sales Personality

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando

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Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando


” We can make a difference

locally, by using our airwaves for good and bringing people together to support the success of our next generation.

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando



5/3 Bank BAH

Stetson University BAH

Joint Leads Group Event

Cafe wit the President

The Tutoring Center Ribbon Cutting

Walton Lantaff Schroeder & Carson LLP BAH

Civic Advocacy Series

HBCE Expo 2015

HBCE Expo 2015 Ribbon Cutting

Active Dog Services Ribbon Cutting

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Arpil - June 2015

North Orlando Leads Group BAH

PDS with Constant Contact

Safety Tracker Ribbon Cutting

Reed Nissan Clermont BAH

HBCE Day 2

Orlando Citrus Bowl BAH

Vascular Vein Center BAH

Orlando Magic’s Community Leaders Business After Hours

HBCE Expo 2015

Vita Natura Ribbon Cutting

Orange County Tax Collector Ribbon Cutting




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Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando




AD When she’s not riding to raise money for charity, Missy helps customers like Orlando Harley-Davidson save money, energy and valuable time to put more of their customers behind the handlebars. With OUC’s new Business Service Center, businesses of all sizes get a personal connection to their hometown utility. Missy and her team provide one-on-one, industry expert guidance, navigating businesses on the road to energy efficiency. Learn more at Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando


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Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando

Vision Magazine #23 2015  
Vision Magazine #23 2015  

Quarterly Magazine for the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando.