JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — This Women's History Month First Coast News is introducing you to influential women on the First Coast.
Monica Hernandez is known for her many accolades, but at the heart of her story is her mother. Let's meet Hernandez.
"Hard-working, committed, family-oriented," Hernandez said when asked to describe herself. "I can be perceived very serious but I think in my downtime I'm extremely the opposite."
The top businesswoman's resume stands alone.
"I'm a vice president of Bank of America," Hernandez said. "I am the president for the First Coast Hispanic Chamber of Commerce."
But to understand her story this Women's History Month, we go back to Colombia and Ocala, where Hernandez grew up.
"When we first moved here to the U.S., my mom and I did struggle," Hernandez said. "I remember that when we first moved here, she wanted to open a business. When we had it on a small scale it was very successful, but when we wanted to expand, we weren't able to. We didn't know how to."
Flash forward and Hernandez is a mentor to many Hispanic entrepreneurs as the president of the First Coast Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, she can write "Harvard" on her resume, and she was recognized by the Jacksonville Business Journal's 2019 'Top 40 Under 40.'
Hernandez says her mother lives in the Jacksonville area.
"She must be really proud," First Coast News said.
"She is," said Hernandez. "If you see me at an event, she'll be with me."
Hernandez's mother is at the heart of her story. She's the woman who made sacrifices and needed guidance growing her business as a young Hernandez watched and grew up to be the woman her mother needed.
"I've always prided myself in making sure that if I say I'm going to do something, I deliver with it," Hernandez said. "My parents, my mom, did not make the sacrifice that she made and me not being able to deliver, right? To make her proud, to make my family proud."
Personally and professionally for Hernandez, she says succeeding is a team effort.
"This is a ship," she said. "We all have our roles, but we all have to do them together to be able to continue to make the ship move."
And the key person on Monica's ship: her mom.