President & CEO
A native New Yorker, Nick Lugo is a graduate of the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico in San German where he majored in Business Administration with a minor in Political Science.
He entered the travel and publishing businesses at a young age as an apprentice to his father, the founder of Cophresi Travel Agencies and Temas Magazine, where Nick served as Associate Publisher.
In 1970 he was appointed by then Governor of Puerto Rico, the Honorable Luis A. Ferre, to serve as the National Executive Director for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico offices in the United States. At the same time he headed the Commonwealth’s Migration Division offices for the Puerto Rico Government’s Department of Labor.
He founded Casa Publications, Corporation, parent company of the Spanish-language weekly newspaper, La Voz Hispana, in 1980. Nick Lugo also took over the family travel business and in memory of his father and mentor, changed the name from Cophresi to Nick Lugo Travel, a name that has become synonymous with air travel in New York’s Hispanic communities. The same year, Nick founded the Hispanic Marketing & Advertising Group where he serves as CEO.
A key player in the economic revitalization and development of East Harlem where his businesses are based, Nick Lugo has also contracted with the New York State Empowerment Zone to publish A Taste Of East Harlem Magazine, a quarterly publication including feature stories on the significant issues of consequence to Hispanic New Yorkers as well as local restaurant reviews and calendars of events aimed at promoting tourism and shopping in El Barrio.
After serving as President of the New Bronx Chamber of Commerce for three and a half years, Nick took leave of that organization in April, 2006 to announce the establishment of the New York City Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, thus connecting the network of Hispanic Businesses and local Chambers, into a City-wide organization with much broader resources at its disposal.
During his tenure as President of the New Bronx Chamber of Commerce, Nick grew the organization from no members to near two-hundred active business-members and a financial reserve of near $125 thousand while securing an office and hiring a permanent staff to run the day to day operations for the Chamber.
Nick has served as a member of the Board of Directors for the National Economic Development Association; Ponce De Leon Federal Bank; the Governor’s Committee on the Transportation Bond Issue; the Puerto Rican Dance Theatre, Inc; as well as the South Bronx Puerto Rican Development Corporation and as a member of the Advisory Boards for the NYC Off Track Betting Corporation and Banco Popular.
Nick is active in many community causes and events including the organization and marketing support he lends the Old Timers Stick Ball League of East Harlem and has been an enthusiastic supporter of local institutions such as el museo del barrio, el taller boricua and numerous other organizations which seek to promote the cultural heritage of East Harlem and New York City’s Puerto Rican and Hispanic communities.
Nick Lugo founded and has expanded the 116th Street Festival, the single largest Hispanic feast in the country. Starting as el brazo fraternal, a brotherly embrace, for all of New York City from the residents of el barrio, the 116th Street Festival has grown to gargantuan dimensions and can now be enjoyed by Hispanics and others on television as far away as Miami, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. The Festival has been recognized as a key opportunity for businesses seeking to avail themselves of the burgeoning Hispanic market and is now sponsored by a host of businesses including Walt Disney Productions, Home Depot, la the NY Daily News and WNBC TV and Telemundo Television.
Nick Lugo has been a pioneer in the business and economic growth of New York’s Puerto Rican and Hispanic communities for decades. In establishing the New York City Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, he has stated that his goal is unify the Hispanic business community and “to represent and advocate for Hispanic businesses in New York City in a cohesive and collective manner, to assist new entrepreneurs, to vitalize existing businesses and work toward assuring the growth and success of Hispanic businesses and the communities they serve.”