HF Makes Two Key Hires to Lead Florida Efforts
Hispanic Federation opened its Florida state office in Orlando in 2015. In the nearly two years since then, the organization has become a critical provider of services and advocacy for the state’s Latino communities. In order to build on that work, Hispanic Federation announced two important additions to its team. Rafael Palacio Deternoz and Iza Montalvo join us as the new Florida State Director and Deputy State Director, respectively.
Palacio joins Hispanic Federation from El Sentinel, the Orlando Sentinel’s Spanish-language weekly newspaper, where he served as Editor. Mr. Palacio has a diverse administrative and strategic communications background, including experience at the Associated Press and at the global public relations firm Burson-Marsteller. In his new role, he will bring his deep ties to the Latino community in Central Florida to oversee operations and strengthen the Federation’s relationships with leaders and allies to serve and uplift Latinos. He will also be responsible for bridging HF’s Florida operations with the national offices in New York and Washington, D.C.
Montalvo joins HF from Congressman Darren Soto’s office, where she served as Press Secretary. She brings to the team in-depth knowledge of issues and experience in effective messaging and raising issue-awareness as both a journalist and political advisor. Her expertise in local and national politics will be an asset to HF’s Florida operations in her capacity as Deputy to Mr. Palacio. Ms. Montalvo will also spearhead the organization’s civic engagement efforts, which in 2016 helped turn out an unprecedented number of Puerto Rican voters in the Sunshine State.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Rafael and Iza to the HF familia,” said Jose Calderon, President, Hispanic Federation. “Their combined expertise and strong relationships in Central Florida will be an undeniable asset as we expand our portfolio and increase our impact. They are accomplished leaders and highly regarded professionals who will guide us forward on a path of continued success in this region.”
Mr. Palacio and Ms. Montalvo join a team of three staff members in Orlando, and will also be overseeing the Federation’s Proyecto Somos Orlando initiative, which serves those affected by the Pulse Nightclub tragedy.