Bernal receives the 25 over 50 Award

Bernal receives the 25 over 50 Award

Luis Bernal MPP was one of the honorees of the 25 over 50 Awards presented by the Naples Daily News on April 22, 2015 at the  Hilton Naples.

“The annual 25 over 50 Awards Program salutes Collier and southern Lee counties’ accomplished and exceptional leaders who continue to leave an imprint on our thriving community through their achievements, leadership abilities, philanthropic efforts, and dedication to the betterment of Collier and southern Lee counties,” said Robin Lankton, regional marketing director for the Naples Daily News.

“Citizens and peers nominated 70 people during a two-month process that a committee of civic and newspaper leaders whittled down to the eventual list of 25 winners.

Lankton said winners’ names would be featured in a Daily News special section April 26.

“These people are from all walks of life, from those who have lived here a long time to those who have moved here in the last couple of years,” she said. “What they all share in common is that they are accomplished leaders who continue to make an impact on the community through their professional achievement and leadership abilities.”

Honorees receive a plaque laminated with a full-page, tabloid-sized write-up from the special section. The plaque reads:

Luis Bernal says giving back to the community in Southwest Florida comes down to one simple thing.

“I’m thankful. It is my responsibility to give back.”

Bernal has turned his abundance of gratitude into 10 years of volunteer work spanning everything from economic development to education. Bernal came to the United States from his native Colombia when he was 37, and lived for a time in Broward County.

He moved to Collier County in 2005 and immediately felt welcomed. He also saw places where he could help.

With his background in international economic development, he helped start the Council of Hispanic Business Professionals. He’s also involved with the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce and Opportunity Naples, a group dedicated to economic growth in Collier.

Bernal, who ran for a School Board seat in 2014, also volunteers at local schools, and has served on the school advisory council at Veterans Memorial Elementary and North Naples Middle, where his son attends classes.

He says his love for Collier County makes him passionate about economic growth, promoting diversity and bolstering education.

“When you’re in the cemetery, you have nothing to give back,” he said. “But I have time to give, and to me that is how I can make the best investment in the community that has been so good to me.”


Where and when were you happiest?

“The last 15 years of my life, which I have lived in Florida, have been my happiest years as they have revolved around family-building. My family is happy, I am happy.”

Which word or phrase do you most overuse?

“My wife says that it is: ‘Let me ask you something.’ ”

What was your most embarrassing/worst job?

“Through my career as a researcher, consultant, business association leader, top level government adviser, and even volunteer, I have been fortunate to work always doing what I most like to do. I believe what is embarrassing is not having a job.”

If you could meet anyone living or dead who would it be?

“I would like to meet somebody who is both living and dead: Jesus Christ. It would be quite interesting to hear what he would personally say about today’s religions, values, faith, churches, and my own spiritual journey.”

What is your favorite invention?

“Being the author of the first-ever law promoting small business in Colombia.”

What are you most proud of accomplishing?

“Almost 10 years of volunteer service to Collier County during, which this generous community has allowed me to serve in areas such as economic development, diversity, civics and education.”

Who is your real-life hero?

“My real life hero is that multitude of anonymous, dedicated, and enthusiastic women and men who on a daily basis transform people’s lives forever, for good: Our teachers.”

What is your biggest pet peeve?

“People poking my arm to get my attention while they talk to me. Wait, wait, seriously: It is disrespectful people, disrespectful attitudes and disrespectful words.”




Workforce Inclusiveness Program For People with Disabilities (aka “Pacto de Productividad”).

Workforce Inclusiveness Program For People with Disabilities (aka “Pacto de Productividad”).

Funded by IDB’s Multilateral Investment Fund, with a number of other Colombian partners, and executed by Fundación Corona, the Program of Workforce Inclusion for People with Disabilities, also called Pacto de Productividad” was a $3.2 million, five year-long project aimed to improve workforce inclusiveness for people with disabilities as a mean to increase their social and economic opportunities. The project was carried out in the Colombian cities of Bogotá, Medellín, Cali, and Pereira.

Luis Bernal, working as an independent, individual evaluation consultant was charged with carrying out the Program’s Final/Impact evaluation which comprised a quantitative and qualitative assessment of its relevance, effectiveness, impact on its beneficiaries, and future sustainability. Likewise the evaluation assessed the extent in which the program achieved its social and economic objectives.

Carried out between September and November, 2014, the evaluation is based on an extensive document review, traveling, site visit, case studying, benchmarking, quantitative data analysis, as well as focus groups and interviews with near 200 people including people with all kinds of disabilities, business owners and staff, institutions working on people with disabilities inclusion, as well as policy makers and other program stakeholders at local and national levels.

Beyond analyzing past performance, the evaluation also included a comprehensive analysis of project’s financial, technical, organizational, and political sustainability.

For Luis Bernal working on this final evaluation was kind of a privilege as he has known the program for years since he was charged of its mid-term evaluation back in 2011.

A presentation of the program’s evaluation results was scheduled to be made by the evaluator at a large international conference on workforce inclusion for people with disabilities to be held in April 2015 in Bogotá, Colombia.




Programa de Inclusión Laboral para Personas con Discapacidad: “Pacto de Productividad”

Programa de Inclusión Laboral para Personas con Discapacidad: “Pacto de Productividad”

Financiado por el Fondo Multilateral de Inversiones del Banco Inter-Americano de Desarrollo junto con otros socios colombianos y ejecutado por la Fundación Corona, el Programa de Inclusión Laboral de Personas con Discapacidad, también conocido como “Pacto de Productividad” fue un programa de más de cinco años, con un presupuesto superior a los US $3.2 millones, dirigido a mejorar las opciones de empleo productivo para las personas con discapacidad y por lo tanto sus oportunidades sociales y económicas en las ciudades colombianas de Bogotá, Medellín, Cali y Pereira.

Luis Bernal MPP, trabajando como consultor independiente especializado en evaluación de programas, fue contratado para realizar la evaluación final y de impacto del programa, la cual incluyó el análisis cuantitativo y cualitativo de su pertinencia, efectividad, impacto en sus beneficiarios; así como su futura sostenibilidad. De igual manera, la evaluación determinó el grado en que “Pacto de Productividad” logro sus objetivos de desarrollo social y económico.

Realizada entre septiembre y noviembre de 2014, la evaluación se basa en un extenso trabajo de revisión de documentos, viajes, visitas, estudio de casos, benchmarking, análisis cuantitativo; así como Grupos-foco y entrevistas con casi 200 personas incluyendo personas con toda clase de discapacidades, propietarios y funcionarios de empresas, organizaciones de rehabilitación e inclusión laboral, tanto como funcionarios públicos y otros actores interesados local y nacionalmente.

Más allá de analizar el desempeño pasado del programa, la evaluación también se ocupó en determinar su grado de sostenibilidad financiera, técnica, organizacional y política.

Para Luis Bernal fue un privilegio trabajar en esta evaluación pues se trata de un programa que ha podido conocer detalladamente por años, ya que en 2011 estuvo a cargo de la evaluación intermedia del mismo.

Una presentación de los resultados de la evaluación final de Pacto de Productividad fue programada para Abril de 2015 en una conferencia internacional sobre inclusión laboral de personas con discpacidad que tendrá lugar en la ciudad de Bogotá.