Tracy Hernandez is the Founding Chief Executive Officer of the Los Angeles County Business Federation (BizFed), a nonprofit, massive grassroots alliance of 150 top business networks that counts among its more than 275,000 business members a diverse demographic, industry sector, and geographic array of small and large employers of nearly 3 million people in Southern California.
The bold action, timely intelligence sharing, and empowerment through organizing existing chambers of commerce, trade groups, ethnic business associations, and business improvement districts create a force multiplier effect that strengthens the voice of business to intersect with government at every level to advance a shared agenda critical for economic vitality.
BizFed works to advocate for positive public policy, legislation, manageable regulations, taxes and fees, and foster business owner civic and social engagement. Mrs. Hernandez also oversees the BizFed Institute – A Project of Community Partners, the educational, information, research, polling, and convening arm of BizFed. To round out all aspects of impact, she founded the BizFed Political Action Committee (PAC), which seeks to elect public officials with job creating focus and ability.
In addition, Mrs. Hernandez is President of IMPOWER, Inc., a business advisory company specializing in startups or strategic transition utilizing unlikely partnerships to achieve greater impact.
In 2003, Mrs. Hernandez served as the first female publisher of the Los Angeles Daily News in the paper’s nearly 100 year history. As a 20-year veteran of the newspaper business, she has held chief executive positions in a variety of major markets across the country, including over a decade with the Journal Register Company of Trenton, New Jersey, where she served as Publisher and CEO of four award-winning newspapers in Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. Ms. Rafter also formerly owned and operated a group of newspapers and websites in Walla Walla, Washington.
During the past 12 years in California, Mrs. Hernandez has given back to the Los Angeles community by contributing her time, talents, and expertise to a broad range of local civic, educational, and charity organizations. She serves on the Board of Directors of MEND (Meeting Each Need with Dignity), LA’s Best after school program, the Valley Economic Alliance, Valley Presbyterian Hospital, Woodbury University, The American Institute of Architects, and Project Grad.
In 2014, she was awarded the prestigious Valley of the Stars award for Leadership by the Valley Economic Alliance. In 2012, she received the honor of being named the Mujeres Del Año (Woman of the Year) from the Regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. In 2006, she was named the Woman of the Honor for Haven Hills, a battered women’s and children’s shelter. In 2005, she was named Business Woman of The Year by the San Fernando Valley Business Journal “in recognition of her entrepreneurial spirit, commitment to excellence and leadership within the community.”
A native of Twin Falls, Idaho, Mrs. Hernandez began her media career while still in high school at the Times News. She is a graduate of the College of Southern Idaho. Mrs. Hernandez resides in Seal Beach, California, with her two teenage daughters, Hailey and Hannah.