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 email@example.com.
Dwight L. Hulse, MBA, MPA, CPA/CITP, CGMA
Founder and Chair of Executive Committee, LABA
President, D.L. Hulse Consulting, LLC
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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
Dr. Paula Viveros
Edward Lavagnino, Gift Certificates and More, LLC
Zac Zedalis, Zac for Sherriff
Tony Espetia, MM Parrish
Jorge Vera, Non-Profit Consultant
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to get on our mailing list or check our Facebook page regularly for updates.
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.
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.
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.
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.
None currently, but we will soon implement a subscription-based model as well as identify other sponsorship opportunities to cover our operational expenses.