UPDATE: Carlos Velasquez is of Colombian and Puerto Rico descent.
Last Friday night on CNN Latino, Madelyn Lugo, Chairperson of the non-profit National Puerto Rican Day Parade, Inc. (NPRDP), gave a nine-minute interview defending her organization surrounding the recent developments of an official Coors Light parade beer can that has generated controversy in the Puerto Rican community.
One of the issues she addressed pertained to the business and marketing relationship NPRPD has with GALOS Corp., the company responsible for finding sponsors and brands to help support the parade. When CNN’s Fernando Del Rincón asked Lugo about the current state attorney general investigation regarding the relationship NPRDP has with Coors Light, Lugo shared some general details:
[Lugo] said the parade’s marketing agency is the “person that negotiates with these corporations the money that comes to the parade.” This marketing agency is GALOS Corp. Lugo said that NPRPD has a contract with the company and that this contract has been “approved by the New York inspector general, and that agency earns a percentage of the funds that they bring for the parade.”
These documents also include a financial audit for 2010 and 2011 where it lists specific details about GALOS and the commission it earns. According to the filings, GALOS was earning 27% in commissions up to December 31, 2011 and currently earns 33% of the “total funds collected on behalf of the Organization thereafter through the end of the contract term.” The document does not state when the contract term expires.
An DNAInfo May 31 article included comments from Carlos Velasquez, GALOS’ president, who is of Colombian descent:
Carlos Velasquez, president of the Galos Corporation, which was paid $85,919 for its fundraising activities for the group in 2011, according to tax documents, said the company has been working with the parade’s board for 20 years. The fees his company charged the group depend on the size and scope of the event and the number of personnel needed to organize the function, he said.
In its 2011 tax documents, the National Puerto Rican Day Parade, Inc. wrote that it wanted the Galos Corporation to “focus efforts to raise more funding, to reduce the outstanding accounts payable, and decrease expenses.”
Velasquez said his company plans to fully cooperate with the attorney general’s office and that any marketing decisions were made at the direction of the parade board.
The relationship between GALOS and NPRDP is one that several New York City politicians and community activists have raised during the past week.
DNA Info also included a quote from New York City councilor Melissa Mark-Viverito: “Accountability and transparency is important for any nonprofit, especially a parade of this size and magnitude where sponsorship and revenue is generated.”
GALOS, according to its website, markets the Puerto Rican Day Parade as follows:
A National Event with Television Exposure
The Sunday Parade along Fifth Avenue is the highlight of the National Puerto Rican Parade events. It has also become a major television event with viewership in the tri-state area, Puerto Rico, and soon in many other states, with well over 2 million viewers and over 3 million spectators. Our forum for this type of product exposure is provided by a major network during a 3-hour live, entertainment packed telecast. Spanish television stations also provide delayed telecast for the Sunday Parade. Spanish and English radio stations and newspapers participate as official representatives within their medium for the Parade as well as covering related events.
The Sunday Parade along Fifth Avenue is the highlight of the National Puerto Rican Parade events. Parade participants number over 2 million and parade spectators exceed 3 million. There is extensive media coverage by way of live and delayed telecast on English and Spanish television, and live radio coverage. There is an impressive number of community contingencies, floats, marching bands, and musical groups which provide a festive and lively mood to the Parade.
Be A Part Of Our Success
We invite you to come join us and enjoy the rich, colorful and multicultural event – the National Puerto Rican Day Parade. We look forward to adding your company’s name as a proud sponsor of this year’s exciting Parade celebration.