Hispanic-American Floridian Honored as `Outstanding Business Leader’ and Youngest Recipient in 24...

Hispanic-American Floridian Honored as `Outstanding Business Leader’ and Youngest Recipient in 24 Year History of National Award


PALM BEACH, Fla.–(HISPANIC PR WIRE – BUSINESS WIRE)–Jan. 16, 2004–Forty-two year old Charles Patrick Garcia, Chairman and CEO of Sterling Financial Group of Companies, is honored by Northwood University will recognize Charles Garcia, as one of six nationally known business men and women at its 24th annual Outstanding Business Leader (OBL) Awards Ceremony being held at the Breaker’s Hotel in Palm Beach County during the weekend of January 17th.

“We are honored to have Charles Garcia as part of the Outstanding Business Leader program because of the example they set for our students, as they pursue their goals in the industries of business,” said Ben Starling III, executive director of the OBL program. “Each recipient has risen to professional prominence and earned the respect of the business community through the choices they’ve made and the leadership they’ve demonstrated,” says Starling, “we at Northwood are inspired by their journeys.”

The six business leaders being honored this year are:

— DeLight E. Breidegam, Jr., Chairman & Owner, East Penn Manufacturing of Lyon Station, Pennsylvania

— Valerie Daniels-Carter, President & CEO, V & J Holding Companies, Inc. of Milwaukee, Wisconsin

— Richard E. Dauch, Co-Founder, Chairman of the Board & CEO, American Axle & Manufacturing of Detroit, Michigan

— Charles Patrick Garcia, Chairman & CEO, Sterling Financial

Investment Group of Boca Raton, Florida

— Lloyd G. “Buzz” Waterhouse, CEO, Chairman & President, The

Reynolds and Reynolds Company of Dayton, Ohio

— Albert Zehnder, Chairman and CEO, Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth of

Frankenmuth, Michigan

Prior recipients include such icons of business as Gordon M. Bethune, Chairman and CEO of Continental Airlines, John Y. Brown, Jr., Former Governor of Kentucky and Co-Founder and Owner, Kentucky Friend Chicken Corp., John. L. Clendin, Chairman and CEO, BellSouth Corporation, Mary K. Ash, Founder of Mary K. Cosmetics, Dave Thomas, Chairman and CEO, Wendy’s, Lowell W. “Bud” Paxson, Chairman and Founder of Paxson Communications and Richard M. DeVos, President, Amway Corporation and Owner of the Orlando Magic, and scores of other of the nation’s most prominent business leaders.

Garcia founded Sterling Financial Group of Companies in 1997 with three people in the cleaned out broom closet of another firm. Today, Sterling Financial is a full service global financial services organization with more than 50 offices in 6 countries. Both Garcia and his firm have earned national and international recognition for its extraordinary growth including being named the number 1 fastest growing privately held Hispanic-owned business in 2002 by Hispanic Business magazine and was identified as the number 8 fastest growing privately held company in the United States in 2002 in Inc. Magazine’s prestigious annual Top 500 ranking.

Northwood University is a private institution specializing in business, management and entrepreneurship that emphasizes through its study the importance of free enterprise, creativity and the arts, global business, and ethics. With residential campuses’ in Midland, Michigan; Cedar Hill, Texas; and West Palm Beach, Florida, Northwood University (NU) annually recognizes a select group of men and women for their business achievements as well as for their support and exemplary leadership of the communities in which they live and work. These individuals serve as role models for NU students, all of whom are engaged in the study of business management and who aspire to business careers. In the 24 years since the program’s founding, more than 200 of the nation’s most prominent business leaders from more than 30 states, representing dozens of industries and fields of business expertise, have received the Outstanding Business Leader Award.

Community involvement and philanthropic contributions is an critical component in the decision making process. Garcia devotes more than twenty percent of his time in the education arena on both a state-wide and national level. He served as a leader and national policy adviser to President George Bush as an presidential appointee to the Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic American’s with 20 of this nation’s top business, governmental and educational leaders to craft a nationwide strategy to close the education gap for Hispanic Americans. Garcia is also serving a four-year term as the only Hispanic appointed to the State Board of Education, responsible for education policy throughout Florida and an annual budget exceeding $16 billion.

For his success across many fields, he has been identified as one of the nation’s “Top 100 Most Influential Hispanics.” Univision Television featured him as an “Orgullo Hispano” a series that spotlights “Hispanic role models that have made an extraordinary contribution to American society.” Panamanian President Mireya Moscoco honored Garcia with a private reception at the Presidential Palace for his accomplishments as a Panamanian-American businessman and he has received the key to the City of Panama from Juan Carlos Navarro, a honor previously bestowed to visiting heads of state. Garcia recently was presented the Key to the City of Tampa.

Charles Garcia has recently had his first book published, A Message From Garcia: Yes, You Can Succeed, that became an Amazon and Barnes and Noble.com top 5 best seller within 48 hours of being released. By end of week 2, the book on success, leadership and motivation that is published by John Wiley & Sons, had hit the Wall Street Journal Best Seller list at number 6. The book is now in its second printing.



Sterling Financial Invest. Group of Companies, Palm Beach

Jeff Mustard, 561-886-2288

Hispanic-American Floridian Honored as `Outstanding Business Leader’ and Youngest Recipient in 24 Year History of National Award