Calendar of Events
Loading...
GHCC Leadership Team 2021-06-10T17:33:00+00:00

The GHCC Leadership Team

Veronica Maldonado Torres
Veronica Maldonado TorresPresident and CEO
Aisah (Ish) Gayle
Aisah (Ish) GayleSenior Director of Operations
Norma Zúñiga-Cardoza, MPA, CNP
Norma Zúñiga-Cardoza, MPA, CNPSenior Director of Program Development
Juanita Rivera
Juanita RiveraAccounts Receivable & Payable
Julia Pavón Rojas
Julia Pavón RojasProgram Development Intern
Edwar Aviles-Mercedes
Edwar Aviles-MercedesAdministrative Coordinator

GHCC Contractors

Fabiola Rios
Fabiola RiosSales and Business Development
Alejandra Peláez
Alejandra PeláezMarketing Director, UP Advertising
Jimmy McDonald
Jimmy McDonaldGeneral Counsel and Director of Government Affairs
Gina Espinosa-Meltzer
Gina Espinosa-MeltzerPrincipal. G Public Relations

GHCC Division Leadership

Alex VillanuevaPresident
HYPE
Ana Camila UrregoVice President
HYPE
Janet SevillaPresident
EME Advisory Committee
Jorge ValenciaNorth Fulton Segment
Business Groups
Alberto SapoznikTeam Chair
Ambassadors Program

Veronica Maldonado-Torres is the newly appointed President and CEO of the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. As a highly versatile and visionary Latina business owner and community leader, Veronica brings her entrepreneurial spirt and tenacity, born from over 60 years of generational entrepreneurship on both sides of her family, to the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GHCC). With over a decade of experience as a small business champion and supplier diversity advocate, Veronica is a catalyst of growth for both small businesses and large corporations, bringing thought-leadership and innovation to the supplier development space. She has also been an avid champion for diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout her career.

Known as the people and business accelerator, Veronica excels at building strategic alliances andfostering win-win relationships between small businesses and corporate America. Prior to joining the GHCC, Veronica successfully guided the development and growth of more than 150 firms across multiple industries ranging from $1M-$100M in annual revenue in her role as Program Director for the Georgia Mentor Protégé Connection (MPC). There, she fostered over 131 Fortune 500 corporate  relationships, supported the supplier development efforts of more than 41 corporations, as well as created  and produced over 85 small- to large-scale business conferences and events including the Georgia Innovation Summit. Before MPC, Veronica served as the Director of Strategic Alliances and Partnerships for the Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council (GMSDC) where she fostered partnerships among GMSDC, Minority Business Associations, chambers, and organizations focused on minority small business development in Georgia.

Veronica is also CEO and founder of VMT Consulting and creator of the DRIVEN TO THRIVE™ mindset, model, and way of living where she empowers professionals and businesses to grow, transform and thrive. Through VMT Consulting, Veronica enables small businesses to increase sales, secure long-term contracts, and maximize their growth potential by unleashing the value proposition they bring to corporate America. VMT Consulting also supports large corporations with the creation and implementation of supplier development programs, diversity and inclusion initiatives, cultural mastery trainings, and leadership development programs, with a special emphasis on women and multicultural professionals.

A passionate community leader with a desire to serve, Veronica serves as a board member for the American Heart Association, board director for “The Assembly” Community Improvement District (CID) appointed by DeKalb County, Board member of the Technology Association of Atlanta’s Business Process Management Group, board member of the Hispanic Corporate Council of Atlanta (HCCA). She is a 2016 Graduate of Leadership DeKalb’s Class of 2016.

Veronica has earned several accolades for her leadership in championing small business growth and creating community impact. She received the distinction of "Top 50 Most Influential Latinos in Georgia" by the GHCC in 2018, “Diversity Star of Atlanta’ by the Diversity Professional Magazine among Fortune 500 diversity leaders, "40Under40 Atl Mover and Shaker” by the Atlanta Business Chronicle in 2017, “Keep it Moving Forward-Raising Generations” awardee by the Mary Parker Foundation in 2016, “Top 15 Georgia Latina of Excellence-Rising Star Award” recipient by LISTA in 2016, and, Community Builder Awardee - Business Sector” by GHCA in 2015, among other recognitions.

Veronica is also a highly sought-after public speaker, moderator, and frequent radio/TV guest on the subjects of small business, diversity and inclusion, servant leadership, purpose-DRIVEN living, career advancement, work/life/balance, and women empowerment. She has appeared in media such as the Atlanta Business Chronicle, Atlanta Tech Edge, Business Radio X, CIO Magazine, The Dana Barrett Show, and Diversity Inc, among others. Veronica has presented, spoken and worked with Fortune 500s and organizations such as The Coca-Cola Company, Cox Enterprises, SunTrust, Kellogg, Unilever, SC Johnson, Verizon, Fifth Third Bank, VDART’s Global Women Leadership Initiative in India, Cornell University, Kennesaw State University, Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA), DeKalb Chamber, USPAACC, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Mujeres de HACE (Hispanic Alliance for Career Advancement), GMSDC, Georgia Chamber of Commerce, University of Georgia’s Small Business Development Center’s (SBDC) Women Expo, ENRICHER Conference, 100 Female Entrepreneurs, She Leads Conference, the Avanzar Program, the Women’s Multicultural Conference, and countless others.

Ish is an experienced professional for over 18 years in the areas of technology administration, operations and contract management, strategic project development and regional community engagement. Aisah studied Computer Science with a specialty in Database Administration at DeVry University and her last role in local government was at the Atlanta Regional Commission as a Technology Manager for the GA Commute Options, a program of the Georgia Department of Transportation. During that time, Aisah spearheaded large technology implementation projects, she chaired a regional technology committee and supported community engagement projects throughout the entire agency.⁣⁣

Throughout the years, she has been engaged with many local organizations such as the Conference of Transportation Minority Officials (COMTO), Young Professionals in Transportation (YPT), Latinos in Information Sciences and Technology Association (LISTA), the Latin American Chamber of Commerce (LACC), the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials Leadership Council (GALEO), the Georgia Latino Film Festival (GALFF), the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GHCC) and the Latin American Association (LAA). Aisah currently serves on the board of the Center of Pan Asian Community Services (CPACS), a Federal Funded Health Care Center (COSMO), the Maestros Advisory Board (MCAC) and the GHCC’s Women Advisory Board (EME).⁣⁣

When she is not participating from civic engagement efforts, advocating for diverse communities or promoting multicultural activities, she enjoys biking, dancing and watching her two children grow: Christian and Nadia. Aisah currently lives in the City of Atlanta in Georgia, although she attributes her altruism to her mother Edith, who still lives in her country of origin, Panamá.

Norma is a native of Monterrey, Mexico. However, she was brought to the U.S. at a young age and raised in the state of Georgia. She discovered her passion for serving her community after being an instrumental member in the creation and management of CETPA, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing behavioral health services to the Latino community in Georgia. Her last role at CETPA was as Chief Operating Officer (COO), in which she was responsible in managing and directing operational and administrative functions, including information technology, finance, office management, facility and human resources.

After working there for sixteen years, Norma went back to Kennesaw State University to complete a bachelor’s degree in Human Services with a focus on Nonprofit Management and Social Innovation. Upon graduation, she began her pursuit of a Masters of Public Administration with a concentration on Nonprofit Administration and obtained it in the spring of 2020.

Norma is a Nonprofit Certified Professional (CNP) with over 19 years of experience in the nonprofit field. Her areas of expertise are in nonprofit management and administration; program development; compliance monitoring; policy development; and performance improvement.

Norma also serves as Worship Leader for a Spanish-speaking congregation in Lilburn that her husband David pastors. She is a stepmom to Nico and Bianca; and a fur-mom to a pit bull named Matty Jones.

Promoted to operations director in March 2017, Juanita handles the GHCC’s financial accounts and manages chamber events. She also oversees accounts for the GHCC affiliate Hispanic-American Center for Economic Development (HACED).

Juanita joined the GHCC in August 2002 as an administrative assistant and receptionist. Six years later, she was promoted to handle bookkeeping duties for the GHCC and HACED.

Juanita holds an associate’s degree in Business Administration from Caguas City College, in Puerto Rico. Originally from Guayama, Puerto Rico, Juanita grew up up in Caguas and her family have lived in Atlanta since 1988. Married 36 years to Isidro Rivera, she has 3 children and five grandchildren with another. She enjoys summer and watching her grandchildren play softball and baseball.

We would like to give a warm welcome to Julia Pavon Rojas, our new Program Development Intern. Julia was born in La Ceiba, Honduras and moved to Georgia when she was 8 years old. She is currently a senior at the University of Georgia studying Psychology and Criminal Justice. Julia is passionate about working with the Latino community and using all available resources to enact positive change for Latinos in Georgia and across the United States. Her hope is to become a licensed bilingual psychologist that focuses on family and child therapy. Join us in welcoming Julia to the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce!

We would like to give a warm welcome to Edwar Aviles-Mercedes, our new Administrative Coordinator. Edwar was born in La Romana, Dominican Republic, but has lived in Georgia since he was 7 years old. He is a recent graduate from Bard College and has a BA in Human Rights with a focus on Anthropology. He also holds a certificate of international affairs from BGIA (Bard Globalization and International Affairs Program). Throughout his professional career, he has worked with various organizations like Hispanic Organization Promoting Education (HOPE), Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO), and PODER LATINX to empower the Hispanic community in civic and political engagement. His interest is to continue working in uplifting Latinos' voices through leadership, civic engagement, and business strategies.

Join us in welcoming Edwar to the GHCC!

Jimmy McDonald, will be featured as the lobbyist for the GHCC leadership team. He also serves as the GHCC General Counselor and COO. McDonald is the Managing Principal for the McDonald Firm LLC, and Donnelly McDonald Group, LLC. He received his Bachelor of Science from Columbus State University, Master of Public Administration from the University of Georgia, and the Doctor of Law (J.D.) from Georgia State University.

Espinosa-Meltzer formed GPR Global a dozen years ago after a career in journalism and media relations, including serving as news editor of Mundo Hispanico and stints as a producer and correspondent for CNN, BBC and Radio Netherlands. She served as media director of the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce before founding her own public relations agency. GPR Global soon became one of the leading multi-cultural communications and public affairs agencies in the Southeast.