By Roger Caldwell
Last week, over 500 members, supporters, and sponsors of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando packed the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel with an amazing show of pride and partnership. The Chairmen of the board Paul Roldan stated,” Success is normal and it will be expected in the country, and in this community.”
The Hispanic community is constantly growing and at the luncheon, it was stated by President Gaby Ortigoni in the last 2 decades, the community has grown by 180%. The leaders of the Hispanic community are committed that they will surpass all other groups, to become one of the major economic forces in this nation.
With over 1,700 members, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando is the largest chamber of commerce in Central Florida providing an array of services and opportunities for economic development to its members. Their numbers are impressive, and in the federal Congress this year, there are 46 Hispanic members, and they plan to increase these numbers in the future.
Times are changing and major companies are focusing their marketing plans on the Hispanic community. They are the largest and fastest growing population in Central Florida, and the chamber’s goal is to be a driver of the social, business, and political culture in Florida.
“We have to be looking at not only 2019, but also 2020 and beyond. So right now, we are focusing on what we are going to do in 2019. Making sure we stay strong, our businesses are more profitable, and keep growing in a sustainable way,” says Gaby Ortigoni to the Florida National News.
The Hispanic community is vibrant, and the numbers will continue to grow. Politically and economically, the African American and the Hispanic community must begin to build bridges and work together. There are more registered Hispanic voters on the Florida polls than African Americans, and together we must help and support each other on issues that we agree on.
There was very little discussion in the room about the “White Elephant” which is racism, which impacts both the African American and Hispanic community. Everyone would like to believe that every corporation and industry practices diversity and inclusion, but discrimination is a reality that very few want to talk about. When the president calls Hispanic’s criminals, and drug dealers, we have a long way to go in America in terms of respect.
Divide and conquer is the reason many minorities do not reach their full potential and are successful. The Hispanic community is learning to work together, and accept each other no matter what country you were born in. African Americans must also learn to work together, build coalitions, and collaborate with Hispanics.
Congratulation to all the new leaders in the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando, and please reach out to the African American community.