Julio A. Fuentes, President & CEO of Hispanic Council for Reform and Educational Options (Hispanic CREO). Mr. Fuentes’s mission is to create awareness of the educational crisis that exists within the Hispanic community nationally by empowering Hispanic parents to become advocates for their children. Hispanic CREO believes that education is a civil right for every child in this great nation and by advocating for parental and school choice, it ensures a better future for our children.
Mr. Fuentes is also the President of the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (FSHCC). In 2000, he founded the chamber in response to the tremendous growth of Florida’s Hispanic population. Today the chamber has grown to 38 chapters and manages a database of over 80,000 minority-owned businesses. The USHCC and MBE Connect Magazine ranked FSHCC in 2011 as one of the top five Hispanic chambers in the country. FSHCC is the only statewide economic development organization serving the needs of the Hispanic community.
Mr. Fuentes, of Cuban descent, received his degree in Business Administration from Iona College, located in New Rochelle, New York. After graduating, he began his career as an Investment Associate with Merrill Lynch from 1990-1992. For the next six years, Mr. Fuentes continued his career on Wall Street as an Investment Banker. Then in 1999, he joined the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce as a Membership Specialist focused on the Hispanic market. During this time, Mr. Fuentes recognized the need for an organization exclusively dedicated to the Hispanic business market, and thus, he founded the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
He currently serves on the Step Up for Students’s Governance Board, the Board of Directors for Florida Kidcare, Chairman of Latin CEO, appointed by Former Gov. Charlie Crist as the Commissioner for A Blueprint for Juvenile Justice Reform, served on Gov. Rick Scott’s Education Transition Team, and appointed to Former Gov. Mitt Romney’s Education Policy Committee. In addition, Florida Trend Magazine ranked Mr. Fuentes as one of Florida’s 100 Most Influential Leaders. Mr. Fuentes resides in Wellington, Florida with his wife and two kids, Nicholas and Gabriella.