Herman J. Hernandez believes that it is important to give back to the community. He seems to have an unlimited capacity for public meetings and events, meeting community needs large and small through his Rotary group and engagement with local government. A realtor by trade, Herman has served on the board of the Russian River Park and Recreation District since 1975 and is current Chairman of the Board, serves as Regional Parks Commissioner Fifth District, and is Chairman and founder of Los Cien Sonoma County.
In 2009, Los Cien Sonoma County’s precursor, the Sonoma County Latino Leaders, formed as the result of a discussion among nine local Latino leaders who were concerned with the economic and social disparities among the Latino and non-Latino communities in Sonoma County. Determined to make changes and increase awareness on these issues, Herman began to convene the nine as a small group of local Latino community members that shared similar concerns. Through these early conversations, Herman’s intention was to ensure that the Latino community would “be at the table instead of on the menu.”
Over the next eight and a half years, these early conversations grew from nine friends meeting for lunch in the back room of Mary’s Pizza Shack in Downtown Santa Rosa to inclusive, sold-out monthly convenings of 300 participants in The Flamingo Hotel ballroom. In fact, this past year’s State of the Latino Community was one of the largest gatherings Los Cien has had to date, assembling well over 650 guests including Sonoma County students, community leaders and elected officials.
Los Cien, reaches out to well over 1,500 members and supporters wanting to stay informed on all Latino issues. The organization also helps empower Latino youth by teaching leadership skills that help them become more active participants in our community.
“Yes, change is very difficult, but with our vision that all are welcome, we work united to create solutions that will make a difference for all,” says Mr. Hernandez. “It is not easy but working to educate and inform our whole community, we will take the steps needed to make Sonoma County and the North Bay a great place to live. Los Cien strives to build bridges, make connections and be considered a resource for support and understanding. And our whole community is welcomed to the Los Cien casa as mi casa es tu casa!”
Mr. Hernandez has run a successful family owned real estate office, Zephyr Real Estate Russian River, for over 45 years. He is also past director of the Russian River Chamber, a founding board member of the Family Justice Center, past president and current community projects and fundraising director for the Russian River Rotary Club, and past treasurer and director of the North Bay Association of Realtors. Herman and his wife, Guillermina, have been married for 35 years, and they have two children, Herman G. and Daniela.
Herman’s love and hard work for our community is an inspiration to all. “Having the commitment and sincerity in heart does move mountains!” he says. The Santa Rosa Metro Chamber is proud to honor Herman J. Hernandez as our Citizen of the Year.
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