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Mariano Diaz

CUNY Dominican Studies Institute

Mariano Diaz

Dominican Blue Book

Once cited in the New York Daily News as a "prototypical entrepreneur," Mariano Diaz has literally  built  his  entire  career  on  that  definition—even  before  the  term  "entrepreneur" came into common use among the Latino community. A high energy, fiscally conscious, and extremely goal-­‐driven executive, Mariano Diaz approaches each business challenge with his intrinsic  flair  for innovation,  creative  problem-­‐solving,  and measured  risk taking  to  drive consistent bottom-­‐line improvements and positive returns on all of his investments.

Mariano Diaz began his career on a path that is rare among other entrepreneurs. In 1978 he earned  his  Bachelor's  degree,  Cum  Laude  in  Romance  Languages  from  Lehman  College. Mariano knew that every learning moment, since his arrival to the United States in 1975, needed  to  translate  into  an  opportunity  that  would  later  benefit  his  future.  He  also recognized that his capacity to speak several languages would expand his reasoning and analytical thinking skills. He later discovered that being an astute entrepreneur and linking what he learned in college with business, included skills like negotiations, teambuilding, risk taking and having the true grit to succeed.

As Mariano grew in business, he focused on complimenting his humble upbringing and the people  skills  that  he  developed  in  his  birthplace—Los  Ranchos  in  Santiago,  Dominican Republic, with a strong work ethics. Like many entrepreneurs, Mariano was able to benefit from the mentorship his uncle provided while co-­‐managing his first supermarket partnership at the young age of 22. The best way to go into business, Mariano felt, was to take calculated risks and make bold decisions that would later turn into bigger successes. 

In  1978  he  found  himself  intrigued  by  the  "world"  of  start-­‐up  and  business  growth. Venturing  into  the  unknown  is  not  a  soft  spot  for  Mariano.  In  fact,  he  wholeheartedly embraces  change,  and  to  his  credit  he  has  demonstrated  this  throughout  his  illustrious career.  Leading  into  his success  as a Dominican  business  owner,  Mariano  also  attracted attention when on January 7, 1992 he was featured in an article, "Thriving Where Others Won't Go", on the front page of the business section of the New York  Times. The article represented  the  profile  of the  Dominican  supermarket  owners  and  the  value  they  have brought  to the  marketplace.  This  particular  article  drew  so  much  attention  that  leading newspapers  from several Latin American markets picked it up in  the  news  wire  and  later reproduced it in their countries. 

Recognized  as  an  established  and  seasoned  executive  by  many  of  his  colleagues  and business associations, in 1993 Mariano's career took a ten-­‐fold leap in responsibility  when he  was  elected  President   of  the  National   Supermarket   Association   (NSA),  the   same organization  he  is  a  proud  lifetime  Board  Member  of.  Through  his,  and  other  board members' leadership, the NSA has become the largest independently  owned  supermarket association the United States, of which, is composed of Latinos. The NSA, as  is  commonly referred to, continues to represent the interest of independent supermarket owners in New York and throughout the eastern seaboard from New England to Florida.  Additionally,  for more than 10 years, Mariano served as the only Latino on the Board of  Directors  for  the Food Industry Alliance (FIA). 

From  diversifying  his  business  ventures,  to opening  multiple  supermarkets  in New  York, New  Jersey  and  Florida,  Mariano  maintains  his  humility  by  understanding  that  success  in business always meant being socially responsible in the communities that afforded him the opportunity  to  succeed.  In  that  same  line  of thought,  NSA  continues  to  be  a significant player in the Latino community by donating more than two million dollars in charity in the USA and throughout  Latin America for college scholarships,  catastrophes  and relief. From taking on the first venture in his twenties, to plunging into philanthropy, Mariano continues to demonstrate that he is driven to learn new methodologies and prepared to take on entrepreneurial ventures. Whether it's for economic gains, cultural awareness, higher education, or for social change, Mariano continues to have the passion and willingness to expand   his   intellectual   and   human   capacities,   all   the   while   bringing   good   to   the communities he serves.

Today, Mariano resides in New Jersey. He's a proud father of four successful children and continues to seek the next opportunity in his evolving entrepreneurial career.   He has demonstrated time and again, that through his top-­‐notch qualifications and working across the entire spectrum of the food industry, from vendors, wholesalers, marketers, customers to employees—it  is challenging  to put his skills in a "box." Without doubt,  Mariano has a great deal of value to offer budding entrepreneurs, leaders and society at large. His years of strategic  planning,  operations,  partnership  and  development  have  made  Mariano  Diaz  a leader when referencing to becoming successful while also being socially responsible.