Zoraida Velasco

Zoraida Velasco

Vice President, External Affairs

Zoraida serves as the Vice President for External Affairs at FloridaMakes; a statewide, industry-led, public-private partnership with the sole mission of strengthening and advancing Florida’s economy by improving the productivity and technological performance of its manufacturing sector, with an emphasis on small- and medium-sized firms. In her role, Zoraida works with the executive team and the Board in defining and executing the corporate strategy as it relates to advancing the FloridaMakes’ mission through traditional marketing and communications channels and by building partnerships throughout Florida’s manufacturing ecosystem.

FloridaMakes accomplishes its mission by providing services focused on three principle value streams: technology adoption, talent development, and business growth. It further leverages its impact by through collaborative efforts with industry, community and government entities that advance the state’s manufacturing ecosystem. As a National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) approved Center, FloridaMakes is the official representative of the MEP National Network in the State of Florida.

Her work experience is strongly rooted in community investment and development, spanning across the non-profit and public service industries. Prior to joining the team, Zoraida completed an M.A. in Law and Diplomacy from Tufts University and an MBA from IE (Instituto Escuela) Business School in Spain. During graduate school Zoraida spent time providing business development and government relations consulting services for PCNet, an IT solutions company in Central Florida; she worked in Johannesburg, South Africa on a social impact consulting project with the Aspen Network for Development Entrepreneurs; and served as a strategic consultant in Medford, MA for the Linked Foundation providing recommendations on an expansion strategy for a health services micro-franchise in Guatemala (Tiendas de la Salud).

Her prior work experience includes positions at the Office of the Orange County (FL) Mayor, the Executive Office of the Governor of Florida, the Orlando Economic Development Commission (currently the Orlando Economic Partnership), and the World Affairs Council.

Zoraida was born in Bogotá, Colombia, but grew up across Latin America (Colombia, Perú, and Venezuela). She attended high school in the United States and received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in international economics and a Spanish/English Translation and Interpretation Certificate from the University of Central Florida (UCF). Zoraida also holds a Bachelor in Business Administration from ICN Business School in Nancy, France.

She is married to Omar Carmona and has two daughters, Cecilia and Verónica.

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