Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic — Tomas Elias Gonzalez, a Latin American entrepreneur and philanthropist, was recognized today as the Emerging Markets Philanthropist of the Year. The prestigious annual award was given by the Dominican Financial Roundtable, a volunteer group of international banking, financial sector and commodities business leaders.
Gonzalez has led numerous charitable giving campaigns through his company, Domar Trading. Last year, he distributed 10,000 boxes of free food to families in low-income villages throughout Panama, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic. Gonzalez has typically been modest about his philanthropic and volunteer work, shying away from media interviews. In 2000, he led an initiative in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to install 1,600 solar-powered “SolarPedalFlow” pumps and bring potable drinking water to impoverished rural communities near the Dominican Republic-Haiti border.
Gonzalez is the founder of two leading food marketing firms, active in food production and distribution markets in Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe and the United States for more than 20 years. He is chief executive and founder of Domar Trading, a leading food marketer with offices in Panama City, Chicago and Geneva, Switzerland. Domar represents the largest food producers in the world, including Bunge, Noble Group Limited, The Rice Company, Grupo Selmi, BRF Global and Marfrig Global Foods.
Gonzales is also the founder of Santo Domingo-based Productora Panorama, a specialty marketer of grain and flour products made by Grupo Bocel, one of the Dominican Republic’s largest food manufacturers.
In 2007, he founded High Hill Entertainment, a Miami-based TV and video production company that does work across Latin America and counts Univision, Telemundo, MGM, AMC Networks and the National Basketball Association (NBA) among its clients.
A native of Caracas, Venezuela, Gonzalez served as director of the Venezuelan Chamber of Franchises in 1997. He got his start in food marketing by founding a pizza restaurant chain. He studied commodities and at the Chicago Board of Trade/Chicago Mercantile Exchange and U.S. Federal Reserve.