Hispanic Chamber president to step down
It's been a day full of changes for Philly leadership.
After a decade of service to the regional business community, Varsovia Fernandez announced that she will step down as president the CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The announcement came just hours after Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey announced he would retire at the end of the year.
Fernandez isn't calling it quits, though. She has accepted a position with a financial services company, and will remain in Philadelphia and stay involved with the Chamber in some capacity. She said her departure is on good terms.
"I am proud to have gathered Latino leadership [over the years] and to have identified this community of Latino business owners," Fernandez told AL DÍA.
When Fernandez took the helm, the Chamber had fewer than 50 members. It now has more than 600, and grew from representing 5,300 Latino-owned businesses to more than 18,000 across the five counties. Today, the organization’s annual budget is just under $1 million.
"Beyond her work on behalf of GPHCC, Varsovia has been a great colleague to those of us who've worked with her. Her insights, collaborative spirit and dedication will be truly missed, as we look forward to starting a new chapter in GPHCC history," Louis Rodriguez, the chairman of the chamber's board, said in a statement.
As for challenges ahead, Fernandez says they will be the same as they've always been: educating Latinos businesses and growing the chamber's brand.
"Work hard, maintain the brand, and just do what's best for the future of the organization," she says, giving advice to the next president.
Fernandez will remain onboard until next year. The Chamber has opened up applications for Fernandez's successor. Interested parties can view the job description here.