ORLANDO, Fla – Gaby Ortigoni, President and CEO of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando (HCCMO), visited Puerto Rico to continue developing relationships with business and government leaders, as part of their mission to drive economic growth by strengthening Hispanic businesses in Central Florida.
Most of HCCMO efforts with Puerto Rico are focused on the southern region, as the recent earthquakes severely impacted this area in addition to the hurricanes, economic crisis, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thanks to the partnerships HCCMO is building with the Cámara de Comercio del Sur de Puerto Rico, Ortigoni met top business and government leaders in San Juan, Ponce, Lajas, and Juana Diaz. She also met with Pedro Zorrilla, CEO at GFR Media and former HCCMO Board Member, with whom HCCMO is also developing alliances to promote the economic relations between Puerto Rico and Central Florida.
Hispanics drive over 30 percent of Central Florida’s economy. Puerto Ricans represent more than 50 percent of this economic force in our region. The multiple daily direct flights from the Orlando International Airport to Puerto Rico, the exodus of hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans to Central Florida over the last three decades, and Central Florida’s fertile ecosystem for small business owners and professionals are some of the key factors that make Central Florida and Puerto Rico strategic business partners.
Salvador F. Rovira, President-Elect, and Jessica Fernandez, Executive Director of the Cámara de Comercio del Sur de Puerto Rico, coordinated strategic meetings to solidify the partnerships between their Chamber and HCCMO. Juan Quiroga, JCQ Services CEO, HCCMO board member; Justin Nickerson, and James Tattersall from Tavistock Development Company, organizers of the Lake Nona Flavors of Puerto Rico in partnership with HCCMO, also visited the Island with HCCMO during this business trip.
Ortigoni also met with prominent political leaders of the island like José Luis Dalmau, President of the Senate of Puerto Rico; Rafael “Tatito” Hernandez, President of the House of Representative of Puerto Rico; Jayson I. Martínez Maldonado, Mayor of the city of Lajas; Luis M. Irizarry Pabón, Mayor of Ponce; Francisco Rodríguez Alier, City Administrator; Jean Paul González, Director of Economic Development; Annette Rodríguez, Esq., Director of Legal Division and Marisaida Morales, Mayor’s Assistant; Anibal Acevedo Vilá, former Governor of Puerto Rico and host of Anibal Podcast; Luis Gierbolini, Esq., President; Cameron McKenzie, President-Elect; and Teresita Santiago, Board Member, Cámara de Comercio de Puerto Rico.
Business and cultural leaders in the meetings included Iván Rodríguez and Yashi Ruiz Bonet, Director and Regional Director of tourism company Porta Caribe; Rodroherick Correa, President, Global Mattress, one of the largest mattress manufacturers in the island with showrooms both there and in Central Florida; Oscar Misla Villalba, Owner/President, and Noris Torres Santiago, Vice-President & CFO, Ciracet Healthcare Innovation Center; Francés Torruella, founder of the Castillo Serrallés Museum; L. Derek Fleming, President, FB Property Group; Fernando J. Rodríguez, President, Prime Janitorial; Abel Misla Villalba, Architect and Vice President, Misla Villalba Engineers & Architects; Silmarie González Orengo y Juan C. Irizarry, owners of Hotel Parguera Plaza and organizers of the Festival de la Piña in La Parguera, Lajas; plastic artist Waded Alvarado, founder of Noches de Galeria in Ponce; and Yassette Rodríguez, General Manager, Hilton Ponce Golf & Casino Resort.
HCCMO will continue the strategic alliance with Puerto Rico with key events and initiatives that will be officially announced later this year.
The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando (HCCMO) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to drive economic growth by strengthening Hispanic businesses in Central Florida.
Since 1993, HCCMO The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando is an epicenter for business acceleration – and a place where commerce happens every day. Members have access to exclusive benefits, programs, and events focused on three pillars – Commerce, Coaching, and Community Building. With more than 1,450 members, it is one of the largest in the region and one of the most recognized Hispanic chambers in the nation.
For more information about the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, please visit hccmo.org or call 407-428-5870.