Board of directors
Zayed Rodriguez – MsC, ChFC, RICP – is a Small Business Consultant and a Wealth Management Advisor focused on helping individuals and business owners to achieve their financial goals.
Before working as a Financial Advisor on Wall Street, Zayed ran his own company for more than 7 years, and helped small businesses close multi-million-dollar contracts.
Originally from Mexico, graduated from UConn, and with a master’s degree from KEDGE Business School in France, Zayed is involved with organizations that help the growth and success of the Hispanic community.
Cesar Pineda is the owner of the Farmers Insurance-Cesar Pineda Agency – located in South Norwalk CT – that provides a top quality experience focusing on excellent customer service, knowledge and amazing rates.
Cesar has been in the insurance industry since 2012 and started his own Agency in 2018. Today, Farmers Insurance-Cesar Pineda Agency is becoming one of The Top Farmers Insurance Agencies in CT.
Born and raised in Colombia, Cesar has always strived to give back to his community and help whenever he can. As the new Vice-President of the GNHCC he’s committed to serve and support local businesses and community initiatives to make the Great Norwalk Area a better place for everyone.
As the Founder and CEO of IZ Social Enterprises DBA A Better Story Coaching, Ivonne’s mission is to support individuals and companies in their development efforts and help unlock the potential everyone has within. Her unique set of aptitudes in analytical thinking and foresight, generate creative solutions to organizational challenges and long-term projects. Easily translates ideas into actionable plans connecting missions to programs. Ivonne has extensive business management experience, which includes four years as a small business owner and several positions in business administration that range from law to finance businesses plus twelve years of combined experience in the social service industry.
Throughout her career, Ivonne has been responsible for the entire organization’s strategy and operations. She has created programs, evaluated outcomes, developed budgets, managed finances, mentored, and developed staff, and originated marketing campaigns and grassroots initiatives. Additionally, she has developed and grown relevant job and soft skills training that focuses on mindset, transitions, and leadership.
Ivonne holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Sacred Heart University and a Master in Business Administration from the University of New Haven, and a Professional Coaching Certification from the Institute for Professional Coaching Excellency (iPEC)
Edgar R. Abreu Jr., CPA
Edgar Rodrigues Abreu Jr., is a CPA as well as an auditing and accounting professional. Since starting his career with ERNST & YOUNG over 25 years ago, Edgar has been working as an auditor providing his expertise in financial, operational and compliance audits to companies such as Warnaco, Texaco, Pitney Bowes, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, US Tobacco, GE Capital and Synchrony Financial.
Starting in 2005, Edgar also owned and operated his own tax service company, Abreu Tax Services, providing tax preparation and financial services through Primerica to his clients. Most recently he started a new full service tax and accounting company called Abreu & Affiliates, LLC dba Abreu CPA and has continued working with Primerica to offer tax preparation, accounting and financial services to his clients.
Fermin is a proud member of the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England & Westchester Properties teams, being a dual licensed Real Estate Broker in Connecticut and New York. Fermin has been in the real estate field for around ten years; within that time, he has worked from an appraiser’s assistant to a licensed salesperson and achieved his Brokers license in 2020.
During his tenure as a director in the local board of realtors, Fermin launched a Young Professionals Network where a new generation of realtors could come together, working to help the community with charity and volunteer opportunities.
As a Latino agent and native to Puebla, Mexico, Fermin thrives in helping the community achieve homeownership through his bilingual background, extensive knowledge of the market and his practical negotiating skills. Fermin has been a key panelist for several homeownership forums for aspiring first-time home buyers. The events offered the opportunity for positive change in those in the local community, stressing the importance of setting long-term goals to achieve change.
Robert Vargas is a Coach, Entrepreneur and Author (@robertvargascoach). He helps individuals who are struggling with lack of confidence, lack of clarity and lack of skills succeed in today’s professional and business environment. He is a certified as a high performance coach and he offers high performance coaching to help people improve their mindset and habits, business coaching to help entrepreneurs and business owners make more money, and public speaking coaching to help people have massive confidence.
He owns Vargas Strategic Management, LLC which helps business owners, who feel stuck in making more money, create successful online sales funnels to grow their businesses.
He is the President of Calasanz Karate & Kung Fu System, Inc which helps individuals learn martial arts skills to go to the next level of fitness, lifestyle and mental health.
Robert Vargas suffered from eating disorders and mental limitations in the past. Now his passion is to guide people unchain their minds from any limitation to experience more personal, professional and business growth.
He is the author of the book “The Power of Unchaining Your Mind”, a high performance athlete, father of a 4-year old girl and husband of his high school sweetheart.
Hector Pachas, a Headshot Photographer in Norwalk serving the Fairfield County and the New York City Metropolitan area entrepreneur and business community.
As a professional headshot photographer, his focus is to help professionals and businesses stand out with their images.
Hector was born in Peru and while there was a certified digital communications specialist which led him to be promoted to assistant to the regional directors. Upon moving to the states he continued his career at Norwalk Community College with a degree in Computer Science Technology and graduated from UCONN with a Focus on Information Technology and Corporate Studies.
His management and IT background allowed him to oversee day to day operations for the technology platforms as well as management of Abacus Analytics, a consulting and financial firm.
Since 2018, Hector’s entrepreneurial and service qualities turned him into a business owner and part of the Headshot Crew, Peter Hurley’s premier headshot network, with his headshots work he’s able to put people in the driver seat of their branding and marketing for social media content.
As a member of the Greater Norwalk Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GNHCC), Hector supports the empowerment of the latinx and Hispanic owned businesses as key contributors to the economic development of the city and surrounding areas.
Alejandro Restrepo is the President and Co-Owner of PuroClean of Wilton | Ridgefield. A Hispanic, family owned, and operated disaster restoration business based out of South Wilton. He was born in Colombia and moved to America at the age of 4 with his family looking for a better opportunity. He was raised in a family of business owners. Neither his mother or father spoke English, yet built a successful house cleaning company. He is a dedicated husband to his wife Jennifer and a loving dad to his 4-year-old daughter.
Prior to his current role, Alejandro spent 13.5 years in the insurance industry working for Travelers Insurance. His career started as a Property Claims Adjuster, handling claims in Westchester and Manhattan Counties. Having a calling to make a difference and a drive to help people during times of need he joined Travelers National Catastrophe Response Team. He responded to severe weather events nationally and in Canada. Later moving on and becoming a Claim Manager. Alejandro is a fluent speaker of both Spanish and English, he drives his company and team to exceed client expectations on every job. Alejandro looks to provide assistance to the local community during their time of need. As a newly elected Trustee of the GNHCC, he looks to provide guidance to the Hispanic community in their business endeavors.
Born and raised in Montevideo-Uruguay, Mariella graduated with a Bachelors in Liberal Arts and Psychology. Mariella currently works as a realtor for Berskhire Hathaway where she is highly regarded for her ability to successfully develop relationships with clients to create a loyal customer base.
With over two decades of sales experience, Mariella is recognized as a visionary with the capability to identify and build new sales channels, increase market penetration, interact effectively with foreign owners, and gain visibility while increasing profits. Prior to becoming a realtor, Mariella owned multiple businesses, both in Uruguay and the United States.
Mariella’s vision for the GNHCC is to fortify the Hispanic community by providing them with networking and educational opportunities in the greater business community.
Mariella is a resident of Norwalk for over 20 years where she raised her two daughters.
Warren A. Peña, CLTC® – Senior Vice President
Warren has been in the financial services industry since 2003. He started his career at Northwestern Mutual where he was a registered representative delivering financial security planning in the independent broker-dealer space through the Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company.
Warren is a Wealth Management Advisor with MassMutual and an Investment Advisor Representative of MML Investors Services, LLC maintaining securities Series 6, 63 and 65 registrations and his Life, Accident & Health Insurance license. He holds a Certified in Long Term Care (CLTC®) designation and a Financial Planning Certificate from Fairfield University. He is an alumni of Norwalk Community College where he received an A.S. in Business Administration.
Warren has served the community over the years in many different capacities. Most recently, he was the Founder and Vice President for the Greater Norwalk Hispanic Chamber of Commerce a 501c6 nonprofit membership organization. Warren served as President and Chairman of the Board of South Norwalk Community Center, Inc a 501c3 non-profit from 2012 through 2018.
Warren was born and raised in Norwalk, CT. He graduated from Northeastern University in Boston, MA, where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Legal Studies. Warren is married to his wife Wendi and currently resides in Norwalk, CT.