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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Governor Rick Scott provided an update on resources being deployed to Puerto Rico to assist with recovery and response efforts following Hurricane Maria. On October 11, 2017, in News Releases
Standing L-R: Hon. Tony Ortiz, Commissioner, City of Orlando; Hon. Wanda Rentas, Commissioner, City of Kissimmee; Luis De Rosa; Hon. Darren Soto, US Congressman; Olga Aymat, News Anchor, Telemundo;
Sitting L-R: Julio R. Benitez-Torres Esq., Deputy Secretary, Puerto Rico Industrial Development Co. (PRIDCO); Hon. Carmelo J. Rios Santiago, Senator, Majority Speaker, Puerto Rico Senate; David Rodriguez-Ortiz, President, Cámara de Comercio de Puerto Rico, San Juan; Carlos Mercader, Esq.; Executive Director, PRFAA, Washington D.C..
Pic 1 L-R : Luis DeRosa; FL State Senator Victor Torres; FL House Representative John Cortes; Norma Asencio, East Florida Sales Manager Wellcare Health Plans; Puerto Rico Senator Carmelo Rios-Santiago; and US Congressman Darren Soto.
Pic 2 L-R: Gilbert Colon, District Deputy Director, SBA; Jesse Gonzalez, Pres., Comelco; Hernand Gonzalez, President, Integrated Marketing Group; Patricia Bonilla, Pres.; Lunacom Construction Group; Gabriel Ruiz, President, Advanced IT Concepts; and Jose E. Ramos, Senior Area Manager, SBA
SUMMIT 2017 PROMOTES ECONOMIC & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
On Friday May 12, 2017, the eighth annual Puerto Rican Summit was held at the DoubleTree Hilton at Seaworld. The Summit hosted speakers and guests from all regions of Florida, Washington DC, New York and Puerto Rico. The Summit featured four workshops and a Business Luncheon entitled “Florida – Puerto Rico: Two Markets that Work for You”. As in past years, Dynamic Community Development Corporation (CDC), a 501 (c) 3 community and economic development corporation, was the principal sponsor and organizer of the event.
The Summit is held annually in Central Florida. In 2014, Florida’s Puerto Rican population surpassed the one million mark. Since then, the state’s Puerto Rican community has continued to grow, with Central Florida as the destination of for the many new residents arriving from the Island.
On Thursday evening, May 11th, a special VIP Reception honoring sponsors and members of the Summit Organizing Committee, was held with the sponsorship of Rums of Puerto Rico and Boricua & Taino Beers. The newly elected Florida State Senator Hon. Victor Torres was acknowledged, and Mr. Brendan Ramirez, Executive Director of Pan American Behavioral Services of Florida, received a special award for the annual support of the Summit.
Friday May 12th began with “Café con Leche with your Legislators” – a meeting with local federal and state legislators. Present were: US Congressman Hon. Darren Soto, Hon. Victor Torres, FL State Senator; and Florida State Representatives Hon. Amy Mercado, Hon. John Cortes, and Hon. Carlos Guillermo-Smith. These lawmakers discussed issues of importance to the Central Florida community, especially the bills presented during the most recent Florida State Legislative session.
The second workshop “Increasing Entrepreneurship in our Community” was presented in partnership with the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA). It began with Opening Remarks by Mr. Jose E. Ramos, SBA Senior Area Manager, who provided an overview of SBA activities and programs. The panel moderator was Mr. Gilbert Colon, SBA Deputy District Director for North and Central Florida, who interviewed four entrepreneurs who achieved business growth and success through participation in SBA’s 8a program - a program designed to help small, disadvantaged businesses compete in the federal marketplace. The discussion centered on encouraging business people to “think big” and to seek to qualify for SBA business programs. (see picture for panel members)
The third panel “Healthcare & Community Development” was moderated by Mr. Eduardo Arroyo, President, Arroyo & Associates, San Juan, Puerto Rico. The panel members discussed the important roles their organizations play in supporting ongoing physical and mental community health care initiatives, as well as their work following the Pulse Night Club shooting in June 2016. On this panel were: Mr. Brendan Ramirez, Executive Director, Pan American Behavioral Services of Florida; Ms. Stephanie Pineiro, Community Health Manager, Proyecto Somos Orlando, Hispanic Federation; Ms. Norma Asencio, East Florida Sales Manager, Wellcare Health Plans; and Ms. Gaby Ortigoni, Regional Vice President, PROSPERA.
The Summit Business Luncheon – always popular and
well-attended – was hosted by Master of Ceremonies Ms. Olga Aymat, on-air talent,
news anchor and reporter with Telemundo. The Summit organizer, Dynamic
CDC, together with Hon. Wanda Rentas, Vice Mayor of the City of Kissimmee,
presented a check to the Borinqueneers - the 65th Infantry Regiment
of the United States Army – received by a Borinqueneer who served in the Korean
War. Also present was Mr. Oscar Gonzalez of Clean the World – an
organization dedicated to distribution of soap and other hygiene products
internationally – who, with the help of Summit attendees, prepared two hundred
health kits for donation to Proyecto Somos Orlando. Welcoming Remarks
were presented by Hon. Tony Ortiz, Commissioner, City of Orlando and Hon. Wanda
Rentas. Special Remarks were made by Hon. Darren Soto and Mr. Julio
Benitez-Torres, Esq., Deputy Secretary of the Puerto Rico Industrial
Development Co. (PRIDCO). The Keynote speaker was Hon. Carmelo
Rios-Santiago Esq., Majority Speaker of the Puerto Rico Senate and Vice
President, National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators.
The Puerto Rican Chamber held the first Quarterly Luncheon meeting of 2017 to honor several Florida State Legislators as well provide business related information to the membership and guest. The Following Legislators were recognized: Hon. Daphne Campbell, Florida State Senator, Dist. 38; Hon Daisy Baez, FL House Representative, Dist. 114; and Hon. Robert Asencio, FL House Rep., Dist. 118. And receiving the award on behalf of FL State House of Representatives Hon. Jose Felix Diaz, Dist. 116, Current Chairman of the Miami Dade Delegation was Erica Chanti, Delegation Director. The concept was to allow the membership and guest to meet their local legislators, hopefully develop an understanding how legislation can affect their daily lives and business activities. Also, in attendance also were: Eleazar David Melendez, Chief of Staff, Office of Commissioner, Ken Russell, City of Miami; Hon. Migna-Sanchez – Llores, Circuit Judge. Miami Dade County; Representing the private sectors were; Dylan Fingers, Manager Director, and Andrew Suarez, Government Affairs, Mana Wynwood ; Juan Martinez, Dir., Events/Promotions and Jeffery Gutierrez Miami Marlins; Etiony Aldarondo, PHD Provost, Albizu University; Robert Linder, President/CEO, and Eva Perez, chair, BOD, Borinquen Medical Center of Miami Dade; John Rivera, President, Miami Dade County Police Benevolent Association; Nilsa Velazquez, President/CEO Kidco Child Care; Also representing the Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce were Board Members Rosie Hernandez, Owner, Real Estate Broker, Gold Rose Realty Inc. and Victor T. Gutierrez, Esq. Attorney at law.
The Following sponsors help provide support for the event. Lillian Garzon, Sales Director USA & Latin America AZUL Esj. Collection, Hotel Resort in San Juan, Puerto Rico who awarded 2 nights in Puerto Rico to Blanca Torrents Greenwood, Esq. PBA and David Santiago, Proprietor, Coquito by things nibble, who provided a coquito arrangement to new Chamber Victor Torres, Financial Services at National Life Group. Mark Soto, Representing Rivera Imports who provided free gifts to the attendees. A special thank you to Janitza T. Kaplan, Executive Director, The New World Center Foundation for her support throughout the years.
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