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Raul Danny Vargas

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Raul Danny Vargas

Raul Danny Vargas
A photograph of Raul Danny Vargas, October 2012
Born New York City, NY
Nationality American
Occupation Businessman

Raul "Danny" Vargas (born December 21, 1965) is an award-winning American businessman, media personality, U.S. Air Force veteran and political activist. He is founder and president of VARCom Solutions,[1] a D.C. area-based marketing and public relations firm. He was the National Chairman of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly from 2007 - 2009.

Early life

Danny Vargas was born in New York City,[2] New York and grew up in Brooklyn, New York. His parents were from Puerto Rico. By the age of two, his parents had divorced, leaving his mother to raise him and his three older sisters as a single parent. His mother was a poorly educated woman who grew up in Arecibo, Puerto Rico in indentured servitude, never finished the first grade and never learned to read or write. Finding herself with no means of support and ill prepared for raising children by herself, the family ended up on welfare. They repeatedly moved from one run-down apartment to another as a result of numerous evictions. Each apartment was basically the same—small, dirty and very messy since his mother was notoriously incapable of maintaining a stable household. With this instability, it is not surprising that he was a very shy youngster and had very few friends.

By the age of 11, his eldest sister had moved out, the middle sister was in a group home, and the sister closest in age was hanging out in the wrong circles.His mother’s alcoholism, sense of futility and desire to find ways to make money, led to a situation in which she would disappear for days at a time, leaving him alone on occasions without food and in dreadful fear. He vividly remembers times when he would melt down ice cubes to bite-size morsels sprinkle them with salt and munch on them so he could have the sensation of eating.[3] He also lives with images of falling asleep in fear and hunger, not knowing when his mother would come home.

To his good fortune, his isolation caused him to be very focused on his academics as an escape. His excellent grades caused him to be selected as valedictorian at his junior high school graduation. He was very responsible and even helped raise his infant niece that was born to the sister closest to him in age. However, as is too often the case, when he reached his sophomore/junior years, he started hanging out with a group of teenagers that were up to no good. He started cutting class and getting in trouble and was almost expelled in his senior year. He was given a chance to enter a special program for kids that were on the edge of expulsion or dropping out and he decided to turn his life around. He graduated not only on time but with honors from the New York City Board of Regents. He decided to join the US Air Force after graduation and scored well enough on entrance exams to choose the career field he would follow.

Professional career

He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in November 1983 and entered the intelligence career field. After being stationed in Panama for nearly five years, he spent his final year on active duty stationed in San Antonio, Texas. After his honorable discharge he landed a job with a government contractor where he worked for five years. He was transferred to Northern Virginia in 1991 and he has lived there ever since. Eventually, he earned his degree by going to school at night and on weekends. After the 1991 death of his sister closest to him in age to AIDS (resulting from drug use), he gained a renewed passion for moving forward.

In 1995 he decided to enter the telecommunications industry which was the hot place to be at the time. He worked for Sprint International which was later merged with France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom to create a joint venture called Global One. He worked in program management and later sales and marketing. After the joint venture was dissolved, he worked for France Telecom as the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the Americas region for their wholesale division.

In 2004, he started his own business called VARCom Solutions, based in Herndon, Virginia. VARCom provides strategic marketing, communications and public relations services as well as training and business consulting. VARCom’s clients include government contractors, technology/telecom firms, financial institutions, consumer-focused companies, government agencies, non-profit organizations, political campaigns, and more.

In 2006, he accepted an executive position with AOL while still operating VARCom Solutions. At AOL he served as the VP of Global Sales for Voice Services, and later as VP of Latin America.

In February 2011, the Washington Business Journal named Vargas one of its 2011 Minority Business Leaders and in May of the same year, the Small Business Administration recognized him as it Minority Business Champion for both the Washington, D.C. and Mid-Atlantic regions.

In April 2012, John Marshall Bank (one of the fastest-growing banks in the country) appointed Vargas to its Fairfax Regional Advisory Board.

Civic engagement

Vargas is on the board of directors of the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce and sits on its executive committee. He served as Chairman of the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce from 2007 - 2008 (the first Hispanic to chair a mainstream chamber in the history of Virginia); National Chairman of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly from 2007 - 2009 (a 35-year old nationwide group); member of the board of directors of Northern Virginia Family Service (a 501(c)(3) focused on empowering families): he founded the Hispanic GovCon Network; and he regularly speaks to students at various levels to encourage them to stay in school and work hard to succeed.

In September 2010, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell appointed Vargas to the Virginia Workforce Council which is a business-led board which provides strategic leadership to the state regarding the workforce development system. Vargas is currently the chair of the council's performance and accountability committee.

He served as an advisor and supporter on several high-profile political campaigns including those of Mitt Romney for President in 2012, Virginia Senator George Allen, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, Rudy Giulliani's 2008 presidential bid, and John McCain's presidential campaign. He served as a media surrogate in both English and Spanish for these campaigns and continues to appear as a Republican strategist in the media including Fox News, MSNBC, CNN en Espanol, PBS, etc.

His political viewpoints have been featured in the NBC Latino (where he is a featured contributor), MSNBC (where he is a regular commentator), Wall Street Journal[4] and Politico.com.[5]

He has been recognized by both the Virginia General Assembly [6] and the United States Congress [7] for his community efforts.

References

External links

  • http://www.varcom.com/
  • http://www.hispanicgovcon.com
  • http://www.rnha.org
  • http://www.americanlatinomuseum.gov
  • http://www.nvfs.org
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