The Chair of the Maryland Hispanic Business Conference Resigns

Violations and lack of transparency prompt resignations from María J. Zelaya chair of the MDHBC.

The 2012 Chair of the Maryland Hispanic Business Conference (MDHBC), Maria J. Zelaya of Los Taxes, has resigned from all duties as Chair of the MDHBC in light of the organization’s lack of financial transparency and its unauthorized change of status for fund raising purposes.

“I participated as a planning committee member in 2010 and served as Vice Chair in 2011.  I had all good intentions of serving as 2012 Conference Chair,” said Maria Zelaya resigning 2012 Chair.

“However, during the past five months I have patiently awaited a concrete response regarding the legal status of this organization, its Board of Directors, and its financial obligations. Instead, a hand full of self appointed members of a Board of Directors have engaged in creating an ostracizing and suppressive environment, and avoiding answering poignant questions regarding this non-profit,” concluded Zelaya.

An investigation conducted by legal counsel determined that there has been mismanagement of the non-profit organization Hispanic Business Conference Foundation of Maryland, Inc which manages the Maryland Hispanic Business Conference.

Violations include filed misleading federal income tax returns for the years 2002 thru 2008; failure to file income tax returns for the years 2009 and 2010; and filing misleading amendments to the Articles of Incorporation to allow the HBCFM to operate as a chamber of commerce for fund raising purposes.

2010 Chair Lorna Virgili also resigned from her duties as Planning Committee Member; Fundraising Committee Member and Chair of the Media/Marketing Committee.  During Virgili’s event coordination leadership in 2010 and 2011, the MDHBC was relocated to Montgomery County, increased investment from sponsors; increased attendance; and attained elevated credibility and visibility.

“I worked on a volunteer basis during the past two years believing that my  labor was benefiting the Hispanic business community in the State of Maryland, instead, a small group of greedy men was leveraging my expertise and inappropriately managing the organization, including finances,”  said Lorna Virgili, President of the National Hispanic Communications Group.

The MDHBC self appointed Board of Directors is constituted by: Julio Parra , Parra Consulting Group, Frederick, MD;  Luis Borunda of USHYEE, Baltimore, MD; and William Villanueva of Baltimore.


About Ramón Jiménez

Ramón Jiménez, actual Managing Editor de MetroLatinoUSA. Periodista que cubre eventos de las comunidades latinas en Washington D.C., Maryland y Virginia. Graduado de la Escuela de Periodismo de la Universidad del Distrito de Columbia. Galardonado en numerosas ocasiones por parte de la Asociación Nacional de Publicaciones Hispanas (NAHP) y otras organizaciones comunitarias y deportivas de la región metropolitana de esta capital. También premiado en dos ocasiones como Mejor Periodista del Año por la cobertura de la comunidad salvadoreña; premios otorgados por la Oficina de Asuntos Latinos del Alcalde de Washington (OLA) y otras organizaciones. Ha sido miembro del jurado calificador en diferentes concursos literarios, de belleza y talento en la región metropolitana. Ha visitado zonas de desastre en Nicaragua, Honduras y El Salvador e invitado a esos países por organizaciones que asisten a personas de escasos recursos económicos. Antes trabajó en otros medios de prensa de Virginia y Washington, D.C., incluyendo reportajes para una agencia noticiosa mundial.

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