LATINO GROUP’S NEW CEO EYES FUTURE WORKFORCE
The Palm Beach Post l Monday, July 28, 2014 palmbeachpost.comLatino group’s new CEO eyes future workforceFinance Professional takes helm of ALPFA, aiming to build Latino Leaders.By Linda SantacruzPalm Beach Post Staff WriterLast month, ALPFA, one of the nation’s largest Latino professional organizations, selected Charles P. Garcia as its new chief executive officer.
Garcia has served in the administrations of four presidents of both parties. Most recently, he served as CEO of Garcia Trujillo Holdings LLC, a merchant banking, private equity, and consulting firm.
Last month, the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting, one of the nation’s largest Latino professional organizations, selected Charles P. Garcia as its new chief executive officer.
Garcia has served in the administration of four presidents of both parties. Most recently, he served as CEO of Garcia Trujillo Holdings LLC, a merchant banking, private equity, and consulting firm.
Garcia is also a U.S. Air Force Academy graduate and military officer who was appointed to oversee all Air Force Academy operations as chairman of the board of visitors. He is a Columbia Law School graduate, a former White House Fellow and the author of two books on leadership.
“After an extensive search, we are thrilled to welcome Charlie, who is passionate about our mission of developing Latino business leaders and driving value to our constituency,” said ALPFA’s National Chairwoman Yvonne Garcia in a statement.
Age: 53Hometown: Panama City, PanamaMONDAY MEETING | A Q&A WITH … | Charles P. Garcia, CEO of ALPFAAbout your organization: ALPFA (pronounced “alpha”) is a national nonprofit with 23,000 members, 42 professional chapters and 128 student chapters (offices in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago and now South Florida)
How your business has changed: I became CEO of ALPFA because our country is at a key inflection point. We have over 10,000 mostly older white baby boomers retiring every day for the next 18 years. If they want to retire with their Social Security benefits, and that means we need young people to become workers and pay taxes into the system.
One in four people under the age of 18 in America is Latino, and more than 1 million Latinos turn 18 every year. The workforce in some of our larger states is 40 percent Latino. Our country depends on this vibrant workforce for its future, and ALPFA’s mission is to empower and develop these Latino men and women into leaders of character for our nation, in every sector of the American economy.
First paying job and what you learned from it: I rode horses competitively when I was young, and my first job was to cut long grass, which I stacked in a wheelbarrow to feed up to 25 horses, along with mucking out their stalls every day.
It was hard work. It taught me the value of a full day’s work and especially humility, because there are a lot of unglamorous jobs someone just has to do, and their self-worth is so much more than that.First break in the business: My family and friends stepped up to fund my first big business idea, starting a financial firm based in Boca Raton to serve the booming Hispanic market in the United States and Latin America. The firm grew to 60 offices in eight countries with $2 billion in assets, and they all got their loans paid off with interest.
Best business book: “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill.
Best piece of business advice you ever received: The world is not coming at you, it’s coming from within you.What you tell young people about your business: I tell them to master the language of business by studying accounting and sales.
What do you see ahead for Palm Beach County? I’m very positive about our economic outlook. We have a great workforce and also a huge influx of businesses moving out of the Northeast, especially hedge funds and other financial services firms because there’s no state income tax in Florida.
Compare that to New York, where the state and local governments took $14.71 of every $100 earned in 2010. It doesn’t hurt that it doesn’t snow here, and we have 45 miles of pristine coastline in Palm Beach. And our schools are graded based on student achievement, and those in Palm Beach County are among the highest-rated in the state.
Power lunch spot: Abe & Louie’s steakhouse in Boca Raton.
Favorite smartphone app: iBridgeBaron (I am an avid bridge player)
What is the most important trait you look for when hiring?As a CEO, I’m hiring mostly senior leaders, and I’m looking for authenticity and self-awareness of their life’s calling.Authentic leaders demonstrate a passion for their purpose, practice their values consistently, and lead with their hearts as well as their heads. They establish long-term, meaningful relationships and have the self-discipline to get results. They know who they are. And that’s what is most important to me.