Malibu resident Chris Garcia has been named a member of the U.S. Department of State’s Global Entrepreneurship Program and will represent the United States as a delegate to Greece later this month.
At 26, Garcia is the youngest delegate selected by the State Department since the Global Entrepreneurship Program’s launch in 2010.
The U.S. Department of State is sending 13 prominent U.S. investors and role-model entrepreneurs, along with several U.S. government employees, to meet with senior Greek officials and the Greek private sector to discuss key entrepreneurial opportunities and challenges for Greece. Garcia called the selection an honor.
“I believe entrepreneurship is the lifeblood of any nation’s economy,” he said.
Garcia is the first Malibu resident and the first Pepperdine alum to represent the United States on behalf of the U.S. Department of State. The Global Entrepreneurship Program is a U.S. State Department-led effort to promote and spur entrepreneurship by catalyzing and coordinating private sector and U.S. Government programs to support entrepreneurs around the world.
Garcia will be on several different panels to discuss the key entrepreneurial opportunities and challenges for Greece.
“There is an abundance of entrepreneurial passion among the young people in Greece who want to start their own business, but lack access to funding and access to the global market,” Garcia said. “A few changes in the economic policy could help jump start Greece’s economy.”
The son of working-class parents, Garcia knows the value of hard work and education.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Pepperdine University as a Bill Gates Scholar. At age 24, Garcia founded and served as CEO of Advantage Line Global (ALG), an international sustainable packaging technology company. In 2011, State Sen. Tony Strickland appointed him as District Ambassador for California’s 19th Senate District.
“We grew up very poor,” Garcia said. “But we never knew that we had it that bad. My parents taught us that no matter how bad we thought we had it, someone else had it worse.”
Garcia currently serves as a director of TransPerfect, a New York-based global business services provider. TransPerfect is the world’s largest privately held language translation services and technology company and specializes in helping clients bridge communication barriers in over 170 languages. He is also principal of Chris Garcia & Associates, a consulting firm engaged in entrepreneurship and startup advisory services.
“If you work hard and make smart decisions you can become anything,” Garcia said. “That’s the beauty of the United States. We create an environment that’s conducive to entrepreneurship.”
Garcia abides by the three “Rs” philosophy—respect, responsibility and reward. Respect for everyone, regardless of race, background, religion or beliefs; responsibility for self, actions and the world around you. And, if you perform a good job and work hard, you will be rewarded, he said.
Garcia has lived in Malibu for eight years and remains very active in the community. He served as a consultant to Mayor Skylar Peak in his successful bid for Malibu City Council in 2012. He co-created Pepperdine’s annual “Waves of Flags: Remembering 9/11” memorial to honor the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He sits on the planning committee for the City of Malibu Public Veterans Day ceremony and sat on the planning committee for the Malibu Navy Days.
“I love Malibu because becoming part of the Malibu community changed my life,” Garcia said. “I love the people, the environment and my Malibu neighbors. I think it’s important that we preserve the rural nature of Malibu.”
With a long list of accomplishments and honors, Garcia’s motivation is rooted in good morals.
“I genuinely believe it is our moral obligation to leave the next generation better off,” Garcia said. “Just as the generation before us sacrificed so much to give us opportunities, we owe our children the same and even better opportunities.”