Rocio Gonzalez – Executive Director
Rocio Gonzalez-Zornosa was born in New York City from Colombian parents and grew up in Bogota Colombia from the age of 2. Rocio always dreamed of returning back to the United States which to her was the land of opportunity for education and progress. After she graduated from High School, she arrived in the US in Alabama, lived there for one year and later on lived in Hanau, Germany for three years. She had the opportunity to learn the many differences and similarities of the Latino, the American and European cultures. Rocio worked and studied full time and was able to earn an Associate’s Degree in Computer Science from the University of Maryland European Campus-Germany. She returned to the US and lived in Pennsylvania where she completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Hotel Management from East Stroudsburg University, Pennsylvania. During this period of 1984 to 1998, while achieving her higher education degrees, Rocio worked as a waitress, an Accounts Payable Manager, a Direct Care Advisor for mentally handicapped adults, and was a Child Abuse Investigator in Chester County, Pennsylvania.
Rocio relocated to the Charlotte area in 1998 where she began a very successful Real Estate Career and became a multi-million dollar producer with one of the number one real estate companies in the area. Her focus was on helping Latino families achieve the American dream of homeownership. She was promoted as a Broker-In Charge and was instrumental in developing the company’s Latino Service Division. Her involvement in the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association (CRRA) included 3 years of service to form the Latin American Diversity Sub-Council which was first introduced in 2004. In 2014, she received the “Hispanic Real Estate Agent Pioneer Award” from the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP), for her constant support to the industry and the Latin American community in the Charlotte Metro Area.
Rocio has been providing support and service to the Latin community through the Latin American Chamber of Commerce of Charlotte since 2004 as an active member, and as the Board of Director’s Secretary 2010 and 2011. She became a full-time Director of Membership and Resource Development in 2012, and promoted to her current role as the Executive Director in January 2015.
Rocio’s initial years of employment with the Latin American Chamber of Commerce of Charlotte were instrumental in the growth of their membership by 300%. The implementation of Social media, overall management of their events, redevelopment of their platform of services, and the impact of these services in the community, resulted in their “2014 Hispanic Chamber of the Year Award” presented to the organization by the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC). Rocio has always looked for opportunities to provide services in Spanish as well as in English to increase and strengthen the relationships among the Latinos and Non-Latinos in the business community. With Rocio’s leadership, the organization has created more employment opportunities, serves as a host agency for the Senior Employment program as well as the Mayor’s Youth Employment Program and provides volunteer and internship opportunities. Because of her constant involvement and positive impact on the Latino community, she was awarded the “Community Service Person of the Year 2016” presented at the “Exelente Awards” by the La Noticia Spanish Newspaper, the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award in 2016, the Charlotte Business Journal “Women in Business 2017”, the LatinaStyle Magazine, “Advocate of the Year 2017”, the “WC15 Power” Award 2018, and most recently the “Charlotte Women to Watch 2019”.
Rocio has served on the City Advisory Board of M&F Bank and is serving in the Board of Directors of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, the Business Advisory Board for the City of Charlotte, the Western NC Advisory Committee for Duke Energy, the Clinical Ethics Committee for Novant Health and the Workforce Committee for myFutureNC created by the Belk Endowment.
Rocio’s family lives in Bogota, Colombia and throughout the United States. She is very happy to have been calling Charlotte her home since 1998.