LABA Members and Supporters

Thank you for visiting our website. Our special thanks to Jessica Foster for bringing it to reality.  I trust that we provide you with enough information for you to get a brief idea of what LABA is all about and motivate you to join our initiative.

When I first came to Gainesville, as an international person starting a business, my search for a local mentor was unsuccessful. It is my hope is that LABA can be the place where you can find a mentor who will guide you along the entrepreneurial journey to avoid some of the mistakes I made early on in my business.

It is one of my goals for LABA to create a robust mentoring program from its membership to help entrepreneurs and small business owners (SBO) like you succeed.  Our focus group confirmed that entrepreneurs and SBOs wanted to learn how to start, run, and continually grow their businesses.

I encourage you to not only join us but to actively participate in one of our committees or become a mentor.

If you need additional information on LABA, please feel free to contact me at latinbusinessalliance@gmail.com.

Dwight L. Hulse, MBA, MPA, CPA/CITP, CGMA
Founder and Chair of Executive Committee, LABA
President, D.L. Hulse Consulting, LLC

D.L. Hulse Consulting

Executive Committee Members

LABA’s governance structure is made up of an Executive Committee that provides the strategic direction for the initiative. It creates and directs other committees as needed to accomplish its goals and objectives. All committee members are volunteers who give freely of their time, money, and expertise to make LABA succeed.

LABA Executive Committee
LABA Executive Committee: Dwight L. Hulse, Arielina Camacho, David Flores, Yolanda Castillo-Baron (resigned August 2016), Jorge Villalobos.

Dwight L. Hulse

Founder / Champion / Chair

Provides leadership and strategic direction.

Dwight L. Hulse, President of D.L. Hulse Consulting, LLC, is an experienced business advisor who migrated to the US over 15 years ago from Guatemala, but he is originally from Belize. He has a heart for serving the community in which he lives and always is looking for unique ways to serve it. The LABA initiative is one such project.

He saw many expats in the different countries he lived in created support groups to successfully connect, understand, and integrate into the culture of their adopted home countries. The LABA idea came to fruition after a project proposal he wrote when he applied for Leadership Gainesville 41 program.

Jorge Villalobos

Industry/Business Rep

Liaison with the business community.

Jorge Villalobos, President of The Best Restoration, LLC, is a retired banker from Colombia, and has been working in his own business since 2006.

Jorge saw that Latinos were not represented locally and fully supports LABA’s mission. He believes LABA can provide a voice for Hispanics concerns to the local and regional governments. His hope is that LABA can help Hispanics network, work together, and tell each other’s story because we all have one and we need to understand where we came from.

Arielina Camacho

Industry/Business Rep

Liaison with the business community.

Arielina Camacho, Account Executive and long-time employee of COX Business, is from the Dominican Republic.

She has been an active supporter of LABA since its inception, as well as an initial participant of our focus group session in May 2015. Arielina leads and assists LABA with marketing and new member recruitment efforts.

Yolanda Castillo-Baron (resigned August 2016)

Country Representative

Liaison with the member countries.

Yolanda Castillo-Baron, Vice-President of Marketing for LifeNet Systems, Inc., is from Yopal, Casanare, Colombia. She and her family migrated to the US about 15 years ago. She is a graduate of the Startup Quest program and one of the officers leading the LifeNet Systems startup venture on its way to commercialization.

Yolanda is very community-oriented and when she heard about the LABA initiative she was immediately on board offering to serve in whatever capacity needed.

She is a well-respected attorney from her country. Dwight had the privilege of celebrating Yopal’s 100th anniversary in July 2015 at the Swamp Restaurant with Yolanda and a group of her Colombian friends.

David Flores

Small Business/Startup Rep

Liaison with small business startup community

David Flores, Founder of Onward Development, LLC, is an IT Project Manager from Ecuador. He is an Adjunct Professor at Santa Fe College teaching entrepreneurship.

When Dwight approached David on the idea for LABA at a Startup Quest mentor’s reception, he was all in from day one. He is very involved in the tech startup community downtown being affiliated with a couple tech initiatives, and most recently with the 1 Million Cups program.

Follow us on Facebook for announcements on upcoming meeting, the monthly newsletter, and other important information.

Members, Supporters, and Past Meeting Attendees

Dwight L. Hulse, D.L. Hulse Consulting, LLC

Victor Martinez, Retired

John A. Sanchez, Bank of America

Evelyn Ortiz, Capital City Bank

Debbie Rost, Capital City Bank

Ivan Ramos, Santa Fe College

Dolores Pampillo, Accountant

Alba Henesy, Ace Appliance Repairs & Maintenance

Jorge Villalobos, The Best Restoration, LLC

Susie Ulloa, The Best Restoration, LLC

Todd Hurlburt, The Best Restoration, LLC

Carlos Pinillo, Math Tutor

Irma Villacorta

Zilfina Rubio

Dr. Paula Viveros

Edward Lavagnino, Gift Certificates and More, LLC

Zac Zedalis, Zac for Sherriff

Moralo Molina-Martinez

Jose Martinez

Marco Masias

Tony Espetia, MM Parrish

Jorge Vera, Non-Profit Consultant

Gavin Wilson

Dug Jones, SF CIED

Ridel Napoles, Napoles Translation Services

Luis Giraldo, VeneAuto Cars

Joshua Vasquez, VeneAuto Cars

Luis Rojas, Best Water Solutions

Hiram Velez, Business Optimization

Ileana McCray, Latina Women’s League, Inc.

Charlotte Mendez, Your Cleaning Genie

Rita Puentes, Alachua County Special Olympics

Gabriel Arraiz, Alpha2Omega Business

 

Rolando Ramos III, NextGen Support

Chuck Hernandez, Keller Williams

Yolanda Castillo-Baron, LifeNet Systems, Inc./Fundación Uniendo el Mundo

David Flores, Onward Development, LLC

Susan Merrill, SLM Enterprises, Inc.

Dr. Emilia Hodge, EWS Enterprises/University of Florida

Dr. Warren Hodge, Human Potential Development/University of North Florida

Arielina Camacho, COX Business

Dr. Gabriel Nossa, Nossa & Ankrim General Dentistry

Monica Pozo, Customized Apparels

Cathy Aull, Edward Jones

Alvaro Toledo, Gainesville Acupuncture

Victor Perez, WGOT 94.7FM/Radio Kuva

Donna Thompson, Schneider and Associates Insurance Agencies, Inc.

Dagna Galarza, Galarza Productions, Inc.

Ramón Galarza, Galarza Productions, Inc.

Marino M. Ortiz, Transformational Life Coaching

Sergio Lugo

Michelle Bloom-Lugo, University of Florida

Andres E. Varela, Architect

Charlotte Herman-Millsap, NCF-SCORE

Juan Vega, Action Management of Gainesville, Inc.

Francis Ortiz, The Haircut Place

David Arreola, Democratic Hispanic Caucus of Florida

Tatiana Castillo, Freeman Realty, Inc.

Nilka Valenzuela, Bonnie Valenzuela Photography

Ami McClay, Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce

Adrian Taylor, Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce

Cory Wise, Dust Duo

Luigi Rodriguez, Dust Duo

Leanna Lacobellis, Regis HR Group

Georgina Gonzales

General Information

When is the next meeting?

We normally meet the 3rd Tuesday of the month. It could be an 11:30am to 1:00pm lunch or a 5:30pm to 7:00pm evening meeting. To be notified email latinbusinessalliance@gmail.com to get on our mailing list or check our Facebook page regularly for updates.

How often do you meet?

We normally meet formally monthly for a professional development or social mixer. We also try to have informal meet-ups Friday every two or three weeks for lunch at a restaurant around town. At the informal lunch each person buys their own lunch. Check out our Facebook page regularly for updates.

Where are meetings held?

We have the option to meet at several locations around town: SF CIED, St. Leo's University at Magnolia Parke, to name a couple places. We try to vary the meeting location. Get on our mailing list or check our Facebook page for updates.

Who can attend events?

While we are targeting Hispanic/Latino business owners, entrepreneurs, and professionals, anyone who feels comfortable where Spanish may be spoken is welcome to attend. Official events are in English as a norm but we plan to pilot a few all Spanish event sometime in the near future.  Meeting posting will state clearly the language change for that meeting.

I would like to support LABA, how do I help?

1) We are always looking for volunteers for different activities (e.g. social media, event planning, project management, graphic design, marketing, fundraising, administration, legal advising, etc.). When you contact us please let us know what you are good at or interested in doing and we will consider your request against available tasks.  We also have a few committees that are welcoming volunteers. 

2) Want to spotlight your business? For each event or lunch, we seek four to six sponsors of $50 each to cover meals, snacks, and drinks. Event sponsors get to share with attendees about your business and we mention them on our Facebook page.

Is there a fee to join LABA?

None currently, but we will soon implement a subscription-based model as well as identify other sponsorship opportunities to cover our operational expenses.