Norman Bristol Colón

Norman Bristol Colón, born and raised in Guayama, Puerto Rico, is currently the president and CEO of The Progreso Group, a multifaceted, results-oriented and visionary organization combining uncommon areas of business and services.

Through his consulting services, he continues to provide leadership and professional development, diversity and inclusion strategies, youth leadership development, government relations and expertise on political campaigns and elections, cultural competence training, marketing and public relations.  The Progreso Group is the premier firm on Latino affairs in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with expertise at the state, national and international level.

Previously, he was appointed by Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell to serve as executive director of the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs (GACLA).  He was the youngest-appointed and longest-serving executive director in GACLA’s history, serving under two governors – Governor Rendell and Governor Corbett.

Nationally, Bristol Colón was one of the founders and first-elected national chair of the United States Council on Latino Affairs.  He was also elected national chair of the Interstate Migrant Education Council, the national policy organization advocating for the nation’s migrant children and families based in Washington, D.C.

As a political strategist and campaign manager, Bristol Colón served as state Latino political director for the “Rendell for Governor Campaign” in 2006.  He also served as state Latino political director for the “Bob Casey for U.S. Senate Campaign,” an unprecedented historic campaign that caught national attention due to the big margin of victory.  He has served as campaign manager, campaign strategist, political consultant and staff for school board, city council, judicial, mayoral, county, congressional, gubernatorial and presidential campaigns.

He serves on the board of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Central PA.  He is a founding member and co-chair of Adelante Latino Education Committee.  Founder of the First Thursday Latino, a monthly networking gathering for diverse professionals in the Susquehanna Valley, he also serves on the Capital Campaign Committee for Harrisburg Area Community College, Lancaster Campus, Board of HOPE Ministries and Community Services and Advisory Board of The Ware Center at Millersville University Downtown Lancaster.

Bristol Colón is the founder and manager of the All Star Community Project, a project to investigate and analyze the status of the Latino community of Lancaster.  The All Star Community Project is the first of its kind trying to enhance the status of Latinos in Lancaster City and Lancaster County, combining information and resources while addressing an array of issues impacting the community.

In 2009, he was elected as the first national chair of the United States Council on Latino Affairs, a council of state councils and commissions created by governors or legislators to advance the status of the Latino community in their respective states, based in Chicago.  He served until February 2010.  He works with the top national organizations to advance the status of the more than 50 million Latinos in the United States and Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

For over 10 years, Bristol Colón has been an organizer, activist and an active voice in Pennsylvania on social justice issues.  He is an avid and passionate writer on topics related to our social dynamics.

He states, “As we continue our strategic efforts to build a community worthy of the sacrifices of all those before us and worthy of the promise of all those after us, we must never lose sight of the enormous responsibility to embrace values worthy of our existence.”

Ali Waxman

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