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.