Charles P. Garcia,
In June 2014, Charlie Garcia was selected to lead the Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA). ALPFA’s purpose is connecting Latino leaders for impact – in their homes, in their careers, and in their communities. It’s many programs empower and develop Latino men and women as leaders of character for the nation. With 85,000+ members assembled in 45 professional chapters and over 160 student chapters, ALPFA is the nation’s largest Latino professional organization focused on the business, finance, accounting and technology sector.
In 2017, Charlie was elected to the Board of Directors of the Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA), which governs the preeminent girl leadership development program. He is one of four men on the 30-member national board responsible for the governance of the Girl Scout Movement. He was also elected by 1,300 National Council delegates to the seven-member National Board Development Committee (NBDC). The delegates voted to keep the NBDC as an independent board to oversee the GSUSA board development and effectiveness, and plan for leadership succession. In 2015, he joined the national Board of Directors of Junior Achievement USA, the world's largest organization dedicated to educating students on workforce readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy.
Charlie’s purpose is to inspire and connect others to achieve extraordinary things. Known as someone who thrives on building relationships, he was profiled by the Huffington Post as being one of the Top 20 most connected individuals in the world on LinkedIn which he leverages for the benefits of others.
Charles Garcia’s professional career spans a broad spectrum of industries: banking, financial services, investment management, insurance, defense, and nonprofit. He is the Chairman of the 70-member TIGER 21 South Florida Chapter, which helps members improve their investment acumen, manage ultra-high net worth family-related challenges, and philanthropic endeavors. TIGER 21 has over 600 members that collectively manage over $60 billion in personal assets.
Charlie served for six years on the Board of Directors of Winn-Dixie Stores, a Fortune 500 supermarket (acquired in 2012). He served on the Audit Committee, as a financial expert under SEC rules, and on the Nominating and Corporate Governance committee. From 2013-2015, he served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Empire Avenue Inc., a digital cryptocurrency and social media company in over 200 countries (acquired in 2015). From 2007-2011, he Chaired an Advisory Board for Aetna Inc. reporting to its CEO, focused on growing the Hispanic market share of this diversified Fortune 100 healthcare company.
In 2009, he co-founded Garcia Trujillo LLC, a merchant banking firm with renowned businessman Sol Trujillo, who was the CEO of three $50 billion market cap companies. In 1997, Charlie launched Sterling Financial Group of Companies, a financial services firm that grew to 60 offices in seven countries, and $2 billion in assets prior to selling it in 2005. The firm was named by Inc. magazine as the #8 fastest-growing company in the U.S. and Charlie as Entrepreneur of the Year by three national organizations.
In 1994, he co-founded and served as Chief Investment Officer of the Thrift Value Fund LLC, a long only hedge fund focused on the bank and thrift industry. During this time, he also teamed up with legendary trader Marty Schwartz who was featured in the classic Market Wizards to form Leatherneck Partners LLC. An avid investor, in January 2014, he competed in a yearlong investment competition sponsored by the Young President Organization’s Personal Investing Network. Each person started with $1 million of virtual currency. Charlie won the competition by turning $1 million into $120 million. His absolute return was higher than the combined assets of all of the other 70 contestants and the results of the competition was profiled by CNN Money.
Charlie has worked for four Presidents, both Democrat and Republican. This trajectory began when President Ronald Reagan awarded him a White House Fellowship. He went on to serve in various federal and state government boards, receiving the Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez Public Service and Integrity award. For his work on a congressionally mandated oversight panel, he was awarded the Director of National Intelligence Medallion for his leadership within the Intelligence Community.
From 2006-2011, he was appointed as the Chairman of the Board of Visitors of the U.S. Air Force Academy, by both President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama, to oversee all operations at the U.S. Air Force Academy. The fifteen-member board is composed of four U.S. Senators, four U.S. Congressmen, and seven Presidential appointees. The members elected him Chairman of the Board for five consecutive years. In December 2011, the Secretary of the Air Force awarded him the Distinguished Public Service Medal for leading “a historic transformation of the Board of Visitors to ensure it operates more like a corporate board of directors and … for increasing candidate diversity at all the nation’s service academies.” In June 2013, the world’s largest nonprofit educational association awarded him the Ernest T. Stewart Award for Alumni Volunteer Involvement for his 30-year record serving the U.S. Air Force Academy - the first time an individual nominated by the U.S. military has won this award.
From 2001-2005, Florida Governor Jeb Bush appointed him to the State Board of Education, overseeing all public education in Florida with an annual budget of $15 billion. He led the strategic planning process on behalf of the board, and the Governor’s state-wide reading taskforce. In the next ten years, Florida’s ranking in reading for low-income fourth graders on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, better known as “the nation’s report card,” moved from the national cellar to first in the nation.
In the mid-1980s, Charlie was assigned to war torn Central America where he served as a military trainer in the region. General John R. Galvin, the Commander of the U.S. Southern Command in the Republic of Panama, who later became NATO Supreme Allied Commander, chose him as one of his key advisors. He wrote a major study on Cuba's efforts to destabilize the region that was published as a cover story by U.S. News and World Report magazine. For his counterinsurgency training of Latin American militaries and his analysis of sensitive geopolitical matters, he was awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, one of the highest peacetime awards bestowed upon members of the armed forces by the Department of Defense.
Charlie graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy where he rose to become the fourth highest ranking cadet. 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 Deputy Cadet Wing Commander. He was awarded the Class of 1983 Honor and Ethics Trophy given to the graduate who “most personified the ideals of personal integrity.” Charlie earned a J.D. from Columbia Law School where he was the first person in his class to publish an article in Columbia Law Review, which was cited as a must read in three legal categories by the National Law Journal. The Florida Supreme Court extensively cited his scholarship in a landmark Fourth Amendment case ending the abusive police practice of making unannounced forcible entries into the private homes of Florida citizens when searching for small amounts of narcotics. He also earned an M.P.A. from the University of Oklahoma.
Charlie has extensive public speaking and media experience, and writes regularly for CNN, CNN Money, Fox News, and the Huffington Post. He has authored two best-selling leadership books which are in over ten languages: A Message from Garcia (John Wiley, 2003) and Leadership Lessons of the White House Fellows (McGraw Hill, 2009).
Hispanic Today magazine featured Charlie in a cover story "Committing to Hispanic America" and Univision selected him for their series "Orgullo Hispano," a feature that spotlights Latinos who have made "an exceptional impact on the culture and life of American society." He is profiled in four recent books: Think and Grow Rich: A Latino Choice; Auténtico: The Definitive Guide to Latino Career Success; Building the Latino Future; and Hispanics in the USA: Making History -- where he was chosen as one of fourteen Hispanic role models for the nation.