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Beginnings

A native of Colombia in South America, Luis graduated from a public high school in 1979. While in high school, he volunteered with the Red Cross, the Civil Defense, and was very involved in his church. At age 17, he moved to Bogota, the country’s capital, to study Business Administration and Law. Luis completed his legal studies at University Externado de Colombia, and graduated from the same university’s Business School.

Personal and Family Life

After graduation, Luis spent the next 15 years building a successful career as a business consultant and government advisor. He moved to Florida to be with Betty, the love of his life, who had been working in the United States as a physical therapist since 1993. Betty and Luis celebrated their fifteenth wedding anniversary in 2014.

Matteo, Luis and Betty’s son and only child, was born in Pembroke Pines in 2001. The family moved to Naples in 2005. Matteo attended elementary public school and now middle school in Collier County.

Luis became a citizen of the United States of America in 2005.

Luis’ family enjoys traveling, reading, crafts, cooking, movies, and helping others. Luis’ native language is Spanish. He is fluent in English and can manage the basics of Portuguese.

Professional Record

Luis started his professional career at age 23 working as an advisor for the president of a national small business association. Later, he co-founded a research and business development center for small firms where he served as a  Board member for several years. Luis then started his own practice as an individual consultant for business and international development organizations, ultimately becoming a top-level advisor for the Ministry of Economic Development (Industry, Commerce and Tourism) in Colombia.

Upon moving to the USA, Luis reinforced his career as an international development consultant by becoming specialized in Project/Program/Policy Monitoring and Evaluation with training by the World Bank and Carleton University in Canada in 2003. He received his certification as a Project Management Professional in 2005 from the Project Management Institute (PMI) and a certification in Hispanic Marketing Communications from FSU in 2008. Luis will graduate with his Master’s Degree in Public Policy with an emphasis in Educational Policy at the University of Massachusetts.

Luis has worked for foreign governments, international organizations including USAID, the United Nations, the Organization of American States (OAS), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and several European development foundations. Luis has led and participated in many multi-country regional projects in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as projects in Barbados, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Chile, Spain and the USA.

Luis is always willing to share his knowledge and expertise. He has written articles on a number of topics, and has been published in Business Currents, the monthly publication of the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce, and D’Latinos Magazine, the largest Spanish Language magazine in Southwest Florida. Luis has appeared on local TV stations Univision and Telemundo, and the Radio Program “Mi Voz” broadcast by ESPN Radio AM 770 in Naples.

Luis is a proud graduate of the Leadership Institute, class of 2007, and has applied for Leadership Collier 2015.

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    Paid for by Luis Bernal for Collier County School Board, District 3