Hispanic Immigrants Who are Giving Back
Born in Spain, where he learned to cook in the family kitchen and then in Ferran Adria’s renowned restaurant elBulli, José Andrés arrived in the United States in 1991. Since then, he has adopted a dual identity. He is both an immigrant and an American citizen who is intent on representing both nations as a self-proclaimed culinary ambassador.
More importantly, José Andrés is a humanitarian committed to giving back to communities in need. In 2010, following the earthquake in Haiti, he founded the non-profit organization World Central Kitchen (WCK) with the mission of feeding communities, offering training programs, empowering local businesses, and leading relief efforts following global and national disasters.
In the last three years alone, José Andrés and his World Central Kitchen (WCK) have helped Floridians in the state’s panhandle following Hurricane Michael in 2018 and most recently residents of southwest Florida following the destruction left by Hurricane Ian.
Ready to lend a hand, the organization set up headquarters in Tampa prior to the storm, making its way down to Lee County as Ian changed course. With a team of volunteers, WCK set out to deliver free meals to residents in the areas of Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Port Charlotte, North Port, and Englewood. Everyone was welcome to partake in a hot meal - evacuees, construction workers, linemen, and first responders alike.
In addition, and true to the mission, José Andrés and his organization teamed up with local food trucks and restaurant partners in the area to feed those in need.
Empowering the community, WCK will continue to provide support as needed, scaling back as the businesses in the area become operational once again.
José Andrés is an example of how Hispanics have embraced their immigrant status while honoring the United States by giving back. Among his many recognitions, we find him on the list of 100 Most Influential People in 2012 and 2018. He also holds two Michelin stars for his minibar in Washington, D.C., and was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2015 by President Obama.
During this season of Thanksgiving, we are proud of and grateful for José Andrés and other Hispanic immigrant entrepreneurs, who have worked hard to shape the America we call home.
Visa Business Plans is led by Marco Scanu, a certified coach from the University of Miami with a globally-based practice coaching Fortune 1000 company executives, entrepreneurs, as well as professionals in 4 different continents. Mr. Scanu advises clients on turnaround strategies and crisis management.
Mr. Scanu received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (Cum Laude) from the University of Florida and an MBA in Management from Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. Mr. Scanu was also a Visiting Scholar at Michigan State University under the prestigious H. Humphrey Fellowship (Fulbright program) with a focus on Entrepreneurship, Venture Capital, and high-growth enterprises.
At present, Mr. Scanu is the managing partner and CEO at Visa Business Plans, a Miami-based boutique consulting firm providing attorneys and investors with business planning services in the areas of U.S. and Canadian immigration, SBA loans, and others.