Luis E. Velazquez
A native of Arecibo, Puerto Rico, Luis Enrique Velázquez came to Knoxville to work as a Civil Engineer with the Department of Energy. As a Latino, he was interested in community building and immediately began to plan activities that would bring together the Latino community. The Department of Energy gave him a second responsibility as a minority recruiter and sponsored trips to Puerto Rico and to universities educating Latinos and now many of the Latinos employed by DOE are there through his efforts in recruitment.
After 25 years of service, he retired from DOE but could not sit still. A project sponsored by Knoxville Legal Aid gave him the opportunity to create a directory of Latino owned businesses throughout East Tennessee. A meeting of these business owners at the end of the project gave birth to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of East Tennessee. He then became its first Director and CEO, a position he held for 10 years and only left when he was stricken by terminal cancer.
Luis graduated from Leadership Knoxville in 2006. His active role in the community gave him the opportunity to serve in many Boards and Committees. His belief that education was the key for the improvement of our community was recognized by the University of Tennessee who made him a Chancellor’s Associate. The scholarship on his name sponsored by Hola Hora Latina is an appropriate recognition and his family is very grateful and proud.
Luis E. Velazquez Scholarship Description