Charles P. García, Advisory Board Member

Charles leads a merchant banking firm focused on the Global Hispanic Market, in the media, finance, healthcare, real estate, energy, food and beverage, and consumer products sectors in the U.S. and Latin America. In 2006, he sold his investment banking firm which he founded in 1997. At one point, his investment-banking firm had more than 60 offices in seven countries. The firm was named by Inc. magazine as the # 8 fastest growing privately held company in the country and he was named Entrepreneur of the Year by three national organizations. He received the “Outstanding Business Leader” award by Northwood University, the youngest person honored in the 24-year history of the award.

In 2006, he was named to the Board of Directors of Winn Dixie Stores, a Fortune 500 company that is one of the nation’s largest food retailers operating over 525 stores in the southeast, serving on two board committees: Audit and Nominating and Corporate Governance. Aetna, a Fortune 100 company, named him Chairman of an Advisory Council reporting directly to the Chief Executive Officer — the first time in Aetna’s history an external board of this type has been formed. The Obama administration re-appointed him to the Board of Visitors of the U.S. Air Force Academy, which oversees all operations at the military academy. The 15-member board, which includes four U.S. Senators and four members of the House of Representatives, has elected him as the Chairman of the Board, for the fourth consecutive year. In 2001, then Governor Jeb Bush appointed him to two terms on the seven member State Board of Education, responsible for all public education in Florida and an annual budget of $15 billion.

Hispanic Business magazine recognized Mr. Garcia as one of the “100 most influential Hispanics in the United States” and he received the Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez Public Service and Integrity Award for his leadership championing rights for all persons, especially Latinos. He is profiled in three recent books including Hispanics in the USA: Making History where he was chosen as one of the 14 Hispanic role models for the nation. He is a national board member of the National Society of Hispanic MBAs.

In 2003, Mr. Garcia authored his first leadership book, A Message from Garcia that was ranked # 6 on the Wall Street Journal Best Seller list and was favorably reviewed by the New York Times. In 2009, McGraw Hill published his second book, Leadership Lessons of the White House Fellows. Mr. Garcia is frequently sought by Fox, ABC, NBC, CNN, Telemundo, and Univision network, to lend his unique insights into issues of national significance. He graduated in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy achieving the rank of Deputy Wing Commander. A distinguished graduate of the skydiving program and the Army Reconnaissance Commando School, his peers elected him to serve as the Chairman of the Cadet Wing Honor Committee and he was awarded the “Class of 1983 Honor and Ethics Trophy.” In 1987, he received a Masters degree in Public Finance from the University of Oklahoma and in 1994 a law degree from Columbia Law School, where he published an article in the Columbia Law Review that was cited extensively by the Florida Supreme Court in a landmark Fourth Amendment case.