Since 2009, our board of directors, in coordination with our national staff of volunteers and paid employees, has played an intricate role in our organization's overall direction, mission, and success. Please do not hesitate to contact us with requests for more detailed information on any of the following.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The members of our national board of directors, along with our strategic advisory board, come from a variety of fields, hold various positions, and have extensive small business to large corporation and governmental experience including: former high level officials from the Government of Puerto Rico, Executive Branch senior government officials, senior executives and CEOs of mid-to-large corporations, academic researchers and administrators, and successful small business owners. Feel free to email us for a full list of current board members and officers: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Justin Vélez-Hagan, PhD (ABD), MBA
National Executive Director
Justin founded The National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce as a means for filling a void in services catered to helping budding entrepreneurs. Within a very short time, The NPRChamber has quickly become the fastest growing and largest Puerto Rican organization in the United States, as well as one of the fastest growing Hispanic organizations, and has established Local Leadership Councils (LLCs) in New York City, Charlotte, NC, San Juan, PR, and Washington, D.C., with more expected to open soon. Justin also works as a professor, writer, and researcher and previously developed senior care facilities internationally. Previously, Justin founded D.C. Concrete Technologies, which became known as the dominant producer and service provider of new concrete technologies in the Southeastern U.S. and select international locations. D.C. Concrete Technologies was a frequent guest on HGTV’s Curb Appeal, NBC’s House Smarts, and in several national and local magazines and newspapers. A true believer in the necessity of entrepreneurship as a means for supporting a strong economy, Justin has volunteered to teach entrepreneurship and economics with Junior Achievement, has been requested as a guest lecturer at several universities in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, co-authored Blueprint for Universal Economic Inclusion, and is the author of the forthcoming book The Common Sense behind Basic Economics (Lexington Books, 2015). Justin has studied Commercial Law at Cardozo Law School and the University of Barcelona, Entrepreneurship at The George Washington University’s Graduate School of Business, International Business at the University of Puerto Rico, completed his MBA at Arizona State University, and is working on his Ph.D. at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Justin is also a combat veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
Verónica Colón-Rosario, MA
National Director of Development and Political Affairs
Verónica joined The National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce in February 2011, inspired by its mission and driven by an interest in working for an organization that helps minorities in the United States. As the National Director for Development and Political Affairs, Verónica facilitates the growth of the organization at the national level by supporting the development of Local Leadership Chapters. She also maintains organizational outreach to government officials and organizations whose interests match those of The NPRChamber. She currently works for Telefónica International USA, in Washington, D.C., and dedicates her time at Telefónica to studying the relationship between telecommunications, development, and democracy. Veronica completed a B.A. in Psychology at the University of Puerto Rico and, due to her exemplary academic achievements, she was subsequently awarded a fellowship at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). While at NIH, she developed a passion for supporting the Hispanic community in the United States, compelling her to study Latin American Studies, resulting in a Master of Arts degree from Georgetown University’s prestigious School of Foreign Service. A fond believer in continued education, Verónica recently completed a certificate in International Business Development from Georgetown University.
Edward Cruz, MBA
Edward joined The NPRChamber with the intent of analyzing and providing research analyses in the areas of small business development and corporate tax policy. In order to contribute best to The NPRChamber, Edward devotes his time to maintaining awareness of legislative proposals that affect the U.S. economy and provides analysis and feedback to our partner organizations as well as to members of Congress. Through his current position as a Research Analyst at Babson College, his research and opinions have been published in numerous business journals, including the Boston Business Journal and the Harvard Business Review, and he is quickly becoming well-known as an expert in his field. Edward received his undergraduate degree with a concentration in Economics from Harvard University and his MBA from Babson College, the nation’s #1 graduate school for entrepreneurship.
Octavio del Valle
National Director of Entrepreneurial Programs
As the National Director of Entrepreneurial Programs, Octavio has helped to establish and implement programs that allow The NPRChamber to better serve its members and constituency with valuable services that promote new venture and entrepreneurial development and education. Most recently, Octavio was responsible for creating partnerships with Acción, one of the largest and most successful microlenders in the world today, as well as with LegalZoom, the nation’s fastest growing provider of online small business legal services. In addition, Octavio is responsible for addressing the needs of our members who have questions regarding starting a small business, marketing a business, and complying with local rules and regulations. Octavio also runs several online websites and, through his expertise, has helped to setup and run The Minority Business and Economic Report, The NPRChamber’s online publication. Octavio received a BS in Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico in Mayaguez, and is working on his MBA at the University of Florida.