The man of the moment: could Javier Palomarez be the national leader we have all been waiting for?

Author:Trevino, Joseph
Position:Interview - Cover story
 
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President Barack Obama invites him to board Air Force One, Joe Biden calls on his cell phone, Warren Buffet meets him on yachts and he meets with Donald Trump in private.

Yes, Javier Palomarez, Latino business leaders agree, may well be the man of the moment in the Hispanic world. The leader of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Palomarez heads the premier Latino Business advocate organization in the nation. Representing 3.2 million Latino businesses in the country, its power grows by the minute as Hispanics surpass every other ethnic group in creating new businesses.

Lately, the Chamber has been flexing its newfound political muscle. Presidential candidates from both parties have sought to meet with chamber members and Palomarez.

With the upcoming presidential election season, Palomarez is a common sight on prime-time television shows, where he is asked to comment on the State of Latino affairs. A controversial meeting with Trump, the former 1980s business tycoon and current presidential candidate, has thrust the head of the Hispanic Chamber into the spotlight.

In record time, the man has transformed the Chamber of Commerce, he has managed to gain attention from power players and has become a voice for Latinos in corporate America and beyond. In addition, he has become a voice in the immigration affairs debate that looks like it will dominate the upcoming presidential elections.

In short, he is the man.

The man of the moment, and who some look up to and would want to see as the leader of Latinos, works out of a Spartan office in Washington, D.C.'s K Street. Outside, commuters in gorgeous Vespa scooters swirl past ubiquitous cabs on this humid summer day, as pedestrians of all ages--slimmed by walking instead of driving--go about their business in a hurried pace.

Before you encounter Palomarez, you first meet his aides, who convoy their CEO to events. Unlike other gargantuan Latino non-profits, the Chamber is comprised of just 11 members; the staff is known for being more a primed SWAT team than a large but plodding army of bureaucrats.

At 54, Palomarez is a striking figure. Over his svelte build he dons a bespoke dark blue suit, black Oxford shoes, a blue cashmere tie and a crisp linen pocket square that flashes subtly from his upper jacket.

The head of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber has more charisma than many movie stars, a full set of meticulously slicked-back silver mane, a charming wit and a more extensive, elegant English vocabulary that he deftly mixes with Street curses in Spanish and English.

Raymond Arroyo, the chairman-elect of the Chamber of Commerce says he has been on business trips with Palomarez and can attest to his indefatigable aura. He has seen him working out at 5 in the morning and going to work way past midnight at full tilt.

"I have yet to meet someone as committed and...

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