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NOVAHCC's Amazing Start

McClean, Virginia -. Northern Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce – NOVAHCC was formally launched on

August of 2017. Susana Marino is the chamber President. She is a native of Venezuela who

grew up in California and Florida. Susana is fluent in Spanish, she holds a bachelor’s degree in

International Studies from University of South Florida and graduated in 2012 with a Master’s

degree in Management from NOVA Southeastern University.

NOVAHCC was created to fill a vacuum in the level of services for the more than the 20,000

Hispanic businesses owned in Northern Virginia. She seized the opportunity to connect Latino

and other minority businesses with large buyers, so this way, the chamber assists owners of

businesses to grow, preparing them with procurement readiness training so entrepreneurs can

improve and increase their chances of succeeding in getting thousands and many times millions

of dollars in available contracts from large buyers of services, set aside for diversity suppliers.

Susana Marino has grown the chamber 60% only in a few months. With momentum going and

the new Executive Advisory Committee in place, taking oath on January 25 th , 2018 at Valo Park, Tysons Corner, Virginia. NOVAHCC current Executive Advisory Committee are leaders in areas of Government Contracting, Marketing, Business Development, Diversity Supplier, STEM and International Trade. With a full team of eleven advisors and three more members at the wheel on the Steering Committee. Susana expects to grow the chamber by at least 40% by the end of 2018.

Susana says: “We are offering a solution to buyers in the region, connecting them with our

procurement ready members, and advocacy on behalf of members is part of this common effort.

The business transactions start with the business matchmakings which are the core events at

Northern Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Less than 7% of Latino businesses enjoy the

benefit of contracting with the government and large suppliers in the private sector for not

knowing the process or the exigencies to win. Once you become the recipient of the first

contract, the chances to get a second one, increases by 80% and there is not faster way to

increase your company revenue than this.” One important benefit that is offered at NOVAHCC

is their Veteran Employment and Entrepreneurial Initiative which is a program which reaches

out to Latino Veterans to assist them to transitioning successfully into careers with strategic

workforce, matching their vast skills and/or helping them to grow their existing businesses.

Susana Marino shared with us that 25% of Hispanic Businesses in Northern Virginia are in

construction. For this reason, NOVAHCC wants to capitalize and position the chamber as a

leading source of identifying talent and contracting opportunities to prepare for the Infrastructure

Bill which has Bipartisan support from U.S Congress and Senate and it will be ready to be signed

by the Executive Branch, to revitalize the broken infrastructure nationwide. Susana states:

“Should this bill come into Act, construction in the region will be massive in our region.

Virginia is not waiting for politics and has started with major expansions of roads and highways

such as I-66 with FAM Construction and I-395 with Trans Urban from Australia which the

Primer is The Lane Construction Corporation based in Connecticut. For this reason, NOVAHCC

is aiming at become the place to go to for delivering the most number of B2B and B2G business

matchmakings per year.”

The chamber uses technology which unable Buyers to see Supplier’s scores, which indicates the

level from 1 to 100 of procurement readiness. This will save time and money allowing Buyers to

make informed decisions before making meeting appointments. The ideal score is 90%, but for

those Suppliers whom score less than 90 will have the opportunity to receive information and

training to get ready for the next matchmaking. The chamber, depending on funding intends to

deliver six face-to- face meetings per year and two more can be delivered virtually. Technology

allows the uploading of certifications and necessary documents, allowing each Primer to

corroborate capabilities before meeting potential Suppliers.

In addition, the chamber plans to have a CEO Accelerator for organizations making less than one

million dollars in revenue and a CEO Roundtable for companies that are at least 5 years old and

making at least 2 million dollars in revenue wanting to grow 70% with executive advisors.

In addition, the chamber will deliver networking events, after hours mixer, info series, seminars

and more.

In addition, Northern Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, seeks to serve as a connector

between Northern Virginia and Latin America and the Caribbean facilitating the United Nations

Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization - UNESCO with the model for Sister Cities in

Latin America and The Caribbean – SICILAC. At the present time, there is an effort by

President Manuel Santos of Colombia to solidify a peace treaty between rebels and government

leaders in Colombia. For this reason, NOVAHCC received an invitation to prepare a trade

mission to bring Virginia business leaders to travel to Colombia to explore economic

opportunities and facilitate meetings.

Mrs. Marino was vocal and shared the following: “A nation can’t achieve peace and progress,

unless economic transactions and revenue can trickle down to small towns and villages in

developing countries. For that reason, the chamber seeks to facilitate meetings that could result

in trade agreements between business leaders from two nations. The model of SICILAC

mentioned above, involves also trade between county governments in the U.S and municipal

governments from Latin America so that, they can exchange economic growth. The idea is

connecting counties in the D.C., region: DC, Maryland and Virginia to the Americas.

About Northern Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Northern Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce - NOVAHCC is headquartered at 1750

Tyson Boulevard, Suite 1500, Tysons Corner, Virginia 21202 phone (703) 468-2425 their e-mail

is the chamber foster opportunities for business and career

growth. For more information, you can visit their website at

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