De La Hoz, a N.J. legend in his community and beyond, celebrates 20 years in U.S.

Statewide Hispanic Chamber chair, Valley Bank official has made it his business to help those looking to start a business

Few people in the state have been as impactful as Luis De La Hoz.

He’s the chairman of the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey and a leader at Valley Bank. The number of entrepreneurs and small business owners he mentors and assists in both roles is too high to count.

De La Hoz is someone who will help anyone at any time, especially if they are new to this country.

The reason, he said, is simple: “I just want to help people the way I wanted to be helped when I came here.”

This week marks the 20th anniversary of his arrival from Colombia. And, because of the times we’re in, we have to mention that he did come here legally. He’s been living the American Dream ever since.

The following is an article he wrote about his experience. It appeared first on his LinkedIn profile.

Luis De La Hoz’s celebratory photo.

“As I sit down to commemorate two decades since embarking on my journey from Colombia to the United States, I find myself overwhelmed with gratitude and reflection. These past 20 years have been nothing short of transformative, filled with moments of triumph, challenges and invaluable lessons that have shaped me into the person I am today.

“When I first arrived in the U.S., I embarked on a journey fueled by ambition, determination and a desire to carve out my path in this land of opportunity. Little did I know that this journey would lead me to accomplish things beyond my wildest dreams.

“One of my proudest achievements over the past two decades has been the establishment of my own business. Building a business from the ground up is no easy feat, but, through hard work, perseverance and unwavering dedication, I turned my vision into reality. From humble beginnings, my business has flourished, serving as a testament to the power of entrepreneurship and the boundless opportunities available in this great nation.

“In addition to building my business, I have had the privilege of developing a vast and diverse network of connections. Networking has been instrumental in my personal and professional growth, opening doors to new opportunities, collaborations and friendships. Through networking, I have discovered the strength and richness of community, finding support and inspiration in the vibrant tapestry of individuals I have encountered along the way.

“One of the highlights of my journey has been the creation of the Hispanic Business Expo, a platform dedicated to celebrating and empowering Hispanic entrepreneurs and professionals. The Expo has become a cornerstone of our community, bringing together individuals from all walks of life to network, learn and collaborate. It is a testament to the resilience, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit of the Hispanic community, and I am immensely proud to have played a part in its success.

“In addition to my professional endeavors, I have also come to appreciate the power of nonprofits in driving positive change and making a difference in the lives of others. Through volunteering and philanthropy, I have witnessed firsthand the profound impact that nonprofits can have on individuals, families and communities. Giving back has become a fundamental part of who I am, and I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to causes that are close to my heart.

“Furthermore, I have learned the importance of leveraging social media as a powerful tool for communication, connection and advocacy. Social media has provided me with a platform to amplify my voice, share my experiences and connect with like-minded individuals around the world. It has enabled me to build meaningful relationships, raise awareness about important issues and inspire others to pursue their passions.

“On a personal note, my journey in the U.S. has been enriched by the blessing of starting a family. My wife and I are proud parents to two beautiful daughters who are the light of our lives. They have brought immeasurable joy, love and purpose into our lives, reminding us of the importance of family, faith and gratitude.

“As I celebrate this milestone anniversary, I am filled with a profound sense of gratitude for the opportunities and blessings that have come my way. My journey in the USA has been marked by growth, resilience, and a steadfast belief in the power of dreams. I am excited to see what the future holds and look forward to continuing to make a positive impact in my community and beyond.

“Here’s to the next 20 years and beyond — may they be filled with even greater achievements, meaningful connections and endless possibilities. Thank you, USA, for embracing me as your own and for giving me the opportunity to pursue my dreams. The best is yet to come.”

With gratitude and optimism,
Luis O. De La Hoz