Mr. Merida has an extensive record of leadership and achievement combined with demonstrated commitment to business and community services with emphasis in supporting Latino advancement in the United States.
His numerous professional accomplishments have afforded him the opportunity to serve as Chairman of the Board of The Los Angeles Metropolitan Hispanic Chambers of Commerce (LAMETRO), an organization that serves 250,000 Hispanic businesses in the Los Angeles, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange County areas. At LAMETRO he oversees the daily administration, operations and programs that serve the members and the business community in Southern California. In this capacity, he has played a critical outreach role in building networks and alliances that have fostered bilateral and multilateral commerce and trade in service to international development, with a primary focus on Latin America.
Mr. Merida has served as a key officer with numerous organizations. His dedication to the business community transcends thirty-five years of experience in business administration and management, which has included work in taxation, labor, budgeting, marketing, planning and fiscal strategic representation.
He has been the Senior Executive Partner in an accounting company since 1973. This company serves to more than eighty corporate clients to whom they represent in the financial, administrative and fiscal areas. Mr.Merida specialized in Taxation defense, organization and representation of nonprofit entities.
His fluency in English, Spanish and Portuguese—has allowed him to conduct and lead workshops, conferences, forums, roundtables, and expositions in education, business management, human resources, and taxation in the United States and in many Latin American countries.
His extensive business knowledge and experience in conjunction with his international contacts allow Mr. Merida to establish business relationships with numerous insurance companies, investment bankers, credit companies, as well as private sector companies for the purpose of promoting successful investments, trade and commerce in the Latin American region.
Mr. Merida has played a key role in promoting bilateral trade in addition to sponsoring investment projects between California and Latin America. These accomplishments paved the way for the signing of several Mutual Cooperation Agreements between overseas institutions and the Chambers of Commerce he has represented.
Hispanic Business and Social Advocacy
In addition, to heading LAMETRO, Mr. Merida at present serves as:
- Operations Supervisor for LAECUADOR, the LAMETRO branch in the Republic of Ecuador (since 2008)
- Chief Operations Officer and Latin American Director for International Development Partnership Alliance, A nonprofit corporation dedicated to helping countries with their development priorities in conjunction with US private sector participation (since 2008)
- Director and Co-Chairman of Research and Polls for the Los Angeles County Business Federation. An organization consisting of more than 95 business groups with more than 150,000 members (since 2010)
- Economic and Political Strategist for the FREPAP-UCAYALI, a political party in the Peruvian Amazon (since 2010)
- Financial and Administrative Advisor for Logos Investment Group, a US-Korean financial group financing large government projects in US, New Guinea, Ecuador and Peru (since 2009)
- President of Central American Relief Foundation, a nonprofit foundation that provides housing for handicapped families in Los Angeles (since 1991)
- Director of The Guatemala Trade and information Office, a nonprofit corporation that support trade and investment to Guatemala ( since 2007 )
- Director of the Hispanic America Project Development Foundation, – a Foundation of trade support; projects investment and development in economic distress areas in Latin America.
He has previously served in the following capacities:
- President and Founder of the Guatemala California Chamber of Commerce (1998-2002)
- President of The Los Angeles Metropolitan Hispanic Chambers of Commerce (2002-2009)
- Chairman/CEO for USA-Central American Trade Expo and Conference (1999-2003)
- Vice Consul Ad Honorem in Los Angeles, appointed by the President of the Republic of Guatemala to develop business, trade and investment for Guatemala (2004-2008)
- Director of the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, Southern Region (2006-2008)
- Chairman, elected for the Southern Region of the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce (2004-2005)
- Executive Director for the Central American Chambers of Commerce in California,. an association of community chambers of commerce formed by six local business organizations (1999-2002)
Special Awards Recieved
For his dedication and work to the Hispanic communities in USA and Latin America he has received:
- Padrino ( Godfather ) of the Year Ecuadorian Independence Parades in Los Angeles. – 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009
- Mariscal ( Marshall ) of the Year Ecuadorian Parade in Los Angeles – 2010
- La llave de la Ciudad -Tournavista, Ucayali, Perú – 2009
- La llave de la Ciudad – Santa Lucia Cotz. Guatemala – 2008
- Ciudadano Distinguido – Ciudad de Los Angeles – 2005
As President of LAMETRO Mr. Merida has participated in the activities of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce of Central America and Colombia (FECAMCO), an organization formed by all national chambers of commerce of each country of the region and Bogota, Colombia, of which LAMETRO was a member.
Mr. Merida was Chairman of The International Trade Committee of the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, appointed by the Executive Board until 2008. In early March 2006, he was appointed Advisor for the City of Long Beach International Trade Committee Board.
Mr. Merida has led commercial missions to Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Brazil, Ecuador and Mexico. He organized an official institutional mission of the State of California to Central America to seek natural resources and environmentalist projects for business owners and investors ready to work and sell their related products in water management, electricity, agriculture and construction.
With the support of the City of Los Angeles and as President of Central American Chambers of Commerce, Mr. Merida was able to bring the Presidents of the Federation of Central American Chambers of Commerce to Los Angeles for the USA-CA Trade Expo and Conferences to promote trade, commerce and investment between Los Angeles and Central America from 1999 until 2003.
With the support of the International Trade Committee of the City of Los Angeles and the Department of Commercial Services, Mr. Merida presented an International Trade Conference to promote DR-CAFTA agreement approval, featuring as special guest, Mr. Antonio Saca, former President of El Salvador. He also was the key organizer of DR-CAFTA Hispanic chambers movement in California to get the passage of said treaty and presently is very active in the effort to get approval on a Free Trade Agreements (FTA) between the US and other countries. He also organized the Peru Trade Summit Conference in July 2005, with key Peruvian and US officials during a Peruvian trade mission to Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Jose, California.
Since 2004, Mr. Merida has coordinated the activities between the LAMETRO and the Ecuadorian community in Los Angeles, supporting festivals and conferences to promote business and trade with the participation of Mr. Antonio Villaraigosa and other city councilpersons. As a result, he was appointed four times Padrino ( Godfather) and one time Mariscal ( Marshall ) of the Yearly Ecuadorian Independence Parades in Los Angeles.
As a consequence of what has been expressed here before, due to the prominence of his many high level positions and his support to the Latino advancement in USA, Mr. Merida has served as a key note speaker in many conferences, seminars and expos in the US, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil. In addition, he has served as moderator, facilitator, consultant and instructor in universities, colleges, schools, community meetings and workshops; his pro activity in the social and economic defense of the Hispanic in US, he is constantly call to express his views in radio and TV business shows.
This eRsume covers only the 12 past years of the extensive international and business advocacy work of Mr. Merida. A detailed and prior year resume is available upon request.