Tracy Hernandez (Rafter)
CEO, Los Angeles County Business Federation
Tracy Hernandez is the Founding Chief Executive Officer of the Los Angeles County Business Federation (BizFed), a nonprofit, massive grassroots alliance of 180 top business networks that counts among its more than 400,000 business members a diverse demographic, industry sector, and geographic array of small and large employers of over 3.5 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 community engagement. Tracy also oversees the BizFed Institute (a 501 c3), 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, Ms. Hernandez is President of IMPOWER Group, Inc., a business advisory company specializing in startups or strategic transition utilizing unlikely partnerships to achieve greater impact.
In 2003, Tracy 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. She also formerly owned and operated a group of newspapers and websites in Walla Walla, Washington.
During the past 17 years in California, Tracy 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 has served on the Board of Directors of MEND (Meeting Each Need with Dignity), LA’s Best after school program, Valley Presbyterian Hospital, The American Institute of Architects, and Project Grad. She is currently active on the Board of Directors at Woodbury University Business School, Valley Economic Alliance and the Long Beach Symphony.
In 2016, Ms. Hernandez made the LA Business Journal’s Inaugural 500 Most Influential Leaders list and made the list again in 2017 and 2018. She received the USC Dornsife/Lee Cerrell “Trailblazing Women” award, and the South Bay Assoc. of Chambers of Commerce’ “Shaun Lumachi” award for being a tireless business advocate. The Archdiocesan Youth Employment Services (AYE) of Catholic Charities awarded
her with the 2018 Business Leader Award for her efforts for job creation and equality in employment. 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 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, Ms. Hernandez began her media career while still in high school at the Times News.
She is a graduate of the College of Southern Idaho, and a happy mother and wife.