latina style logoLATINA Style, the premier company addressing the needs of the Latina professional and business owner in the U.S., will honor Mr. Wilfredo J. Gonzalez, director of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) North Florida District Office, with the “Founders Award” in recognition for his vision and support in the creation of this most prestigious development and educational program.  This year LATINA Style is celebrating 16 Years of the LATINA Style Business Series (LSBS). The conference will be held in Orlando, Florida on May 15, 2014, from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. at Disney’s BoardWalk Resort.

The LATINA Style Business Series is part of the largest and most successful business development program for Latina entrepreneurs in the nation. Since its launching in 1998, the program has visited over 110 cities across the nation with over 31,000 Latina entrepreneurs participating. The program’s emphasis is on creating a solid business foundation for the Latina entrepreneur.

Wilfredo J. Gonzalez was appointed director of the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) North Florida District Office in December 1996. As district director, Mr. Gonzalez is responsible for directing the activities of a federal government staff in support of small businesses in a 43 county area of northern Florida. Before accepting his position at the North Florida District Office, Mr. Gonzalez was district director of the SBA's Washington, D.C. district. Prior to joining the SBA in May 1994, he held the position of regional director with the Department of Commerce's Minority Business Development Agency in Atlanta, Georgia. He has also served as director of business development and as a government marketing consultant in the private sector, as the staff director with the U. S. Commission on Civil Rights, and as associate director of EEO and Civil Rights with the U. S. Department of State. Mr. Gonzalez is a Veteran of the United States Navy. He and his wife, Rocelia, are the parents of three children and reside in Jacksonville.

The Business Series will exhibit expert presenters to speak and interact with the audience on several topics such as: Accessing Capital: Building Strong Businesses: moderated by J. E Ramos, Senior Area Manager, SBA; Women Empowerment through Technology: moderated by Jenny Castillo, Radio Personality, Rumba 100.3; Latina Entrepreneurs Spotlight: Lessons Learned: moderated by Magda Ivette Torres, Journalist, News Analyst, En Agenda News Talk Sow, WPRD 1440 AM.

The event co-chairs are outstanding Latina leaders in the state of Florida. Lourdes M. Mola, manager of the Minority Business Development team for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, and Giorgina Pinedo-Rolon, president & CEO of Gio Communications. "Their leadership will ensure that we have a fabulous and successful conference," says Mr. Robert E. Bard, president and CEO, LATINA Style, Inc.

The Business Series is honored to have amazing Latina talent to serve as emcees: Valezka Gil, Anchor, Multimedia Journalist of Telemundo Orlando, will host the opening ceremony, and Nancy Alvarez,Reporter and Anchor, Channel 9 Eyewitness News, WFTV, will conduct the awards luncheon.

During the LATINA Entrepreneur Awards Luncheon Dr. Antonia Coello Novello will deliver the keynote messageDr. Novello became the first woman and the first Hispanic to be appointed Surgeon General of the United States, in 1990. A native of Fajardo, Puerto Rico, Dr. Novello became interested in medicine at an early age, and by when she reached her teen years she had already decided to become a doctor in order to help sick children. With an extensive academic and professional background that includes the University of Puerto Rico, the University of Michigan and Georgetown University, in addition to more than 20 years in the public service arena as part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Dr. Novello is currently the vice president of Women and Children Health and Policy at the Florida Hospital in Orlando.

Title sponsor: Allied Insurance, a Nationwide Insurance Company. Host Sponsor: Walt Disney Parks & Resorts. Official Airline Carrier: Southwest Airlines. Lead PR Sponsor: Gio Communications. National Media Partners: Telemundo, and CapitalWirePR . Local Media Partners: Tres Communications.

For more information or to register for the Orlando Business Series, visit www.bs.latinastyle.com, contact Tania Davila at [email protected] or call 703-531-1424.

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