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June 09, 2005

Greg Rodriguez Jr. (1954-2005)

Last night I received a call from Vicky Vargas about Greg's death. I went to the hospital with Roman Rendon and Robert Chavez. There we meet Vicky and saw Greg. It is sad to loss a dear friend and ally. Greg played a tremenous role in the community as the President of the Tennessee Hispanic Chamber and Assistant Commissioner of the Department of Safety. His role in these networks helped numerous people. Here is Greg's bio; Nashville lost a great friend on Wednesday evening, a well-known figure, recognized by friends everywhere he went. Greg Rodriguez, 51, born and raised in McAllen, TX, moved here in 1994, has passed away from a heart attack at his home on June 08, 2005 and subsequently passed away at the Summit Hospital, in Hermitage TN.

Greg founded the Tennessee Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in 1997 and has served as the President of the Chamber ever since. He has been a pioneer in the changing of the local landscape, and his efforts have touched the lives of Nashvillians on all levels.

His experience as a Security Management professional is well known and respected on a national level in the hospitality industry. His twenty-one year career with the Renaissance Hotel chain includes tenure in Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Nashville. He viewed the Renaissance Hotel as his home since he worked for them for twenty-one years. His co-workers there were considered his family and he referred to them often as such.

In August of 2004, Greg accepted an appointment from Governor Phil Bredesen to serve as Executive Administrative Assistant to the Commissioner of Safety. Greg's primary focus there was to supervise and coordinate community-related activities on a statewide level with special emphasis on minority and immigrant involvement. Greg often thanked the Department of Safety and Governor Bredesen for the opportunity to serve.

As the President of the Tennessee Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Greg served on various national and regional boards and commissions including; Stand for Children, the Greater Nashville Area Lodging and Hospitality Association, the Hispanic Contractors of America, the Tennessee Human Rights Commission and as Vice Chairman of the Metro Nashville Civil Service Commission.

From 1994 to 1999, Greg was also a boxing trainer in Nashville. He loved boxing, reading, music, and dancing. He always said that the most important thing for people living here is to have a good life and to simply be happy. Greg will always be known for his sense of humor and as a champion throughout Tennessee for uniting the Hispanic Community. His greatest wish was to bring his community together with a sense of respect and pride, and often asked of all Hispanics in Tennessee to work together and have pride in their community. He was also a strong advocate of more education for the Hispanic Community, and was often quoted as citing it as the most important factor for their future.

Past recognitions include the Dallas Texas "Jaycee of the Year" and he has twice been nominated for the J. Willard Marriott Award, which honors the best associate in the Marriott Corporation. Greg has won numerous other awards throughout his life, including awards from the Pan Africa Conference and the Small Business Association most recently.

Greg has also dedicated much of his time and expertise to help the community through his work at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He and the Chamber Office Director, Victoria Vargas, worked on many issues to help Hispanics and everyone else improve their lives. They worked on issues such as driving licenses, charter schools, uniting Hispanic Leaders, Daycares, Hispanic and minority Housing Development, Immigration issues, and healthcare with the TN Department of Health.

Greg is survived by his father, Greg Rodriguez Sr of McAllen, TX; one daughter, Angela of Dallas, TX; one grandson, Gabriel of Dallas, TX; three brothers; Frank Rodriguez of Mesquite, TX, Mike of Mesquite, TX, and Christopher Andrew of Mesquite, TX, and four sisters Maria Diana McEwen of Pampa, TX, Sylvia Duck of Geronimo, TX, Oma Lee Vega of Dallas, TX and Gloria Garcis of Carralton, TX and Victoria Vargas of Hermitage, TN.

He was the loving and adoring son, father and grandfather. He will be loved and missed by all those who knew him and mostly with his family, Victoria Vargas, and the Tennessee Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. He will always be in our prayers.

More information about Greg’s life will be posted on the Tennessee Hispanic Chamber of Commerce corporate website: http://www.tnhispanic.com . If you would like to leave your thoughts to Greg’s family and friends, please email chamber@tnhispanic.com .

Posted by VisaLawyer at June 9, 2005 08:37 AM

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