Ex-Army officer finds second career helping Latino businesses grow

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For Jorge Yinat, business management and military operations go hand in hand. (Courtesy Dr. Jorge Yinat)
For Jorge Yinat, business management and military operations go hand in hand. (Courtesy Dr. Jorge Yinat)

Dr. Jorge Yinat hopes to use his business background to help other Latino business owners succeed. That’s why he decided to serve on the Virginia Latino Advisory Board.

Yinat, a business and management consultant and founder of James/Williams/York & Co., was appointed by the governor’s office to a four-year term on the board in December.

He is one of 22 members of the VLAB, which was created by former Gov. Mark Warner to provide resources and assistance to the state’s growing Hispanic population.

“I wanted to get involved with government in helping the Latino community of Virginia,” said Yinat, who is from Puerto Rico. “So far, it’s been a great opportunity to reach out to the community.”

Appointment to the board is competitive, according to Aida Lupe Pacheco, VLAB chairperson. Yinat was chosen based on his business experience and his time served in the U.S. Army, among other reasons.

“Dr. Yinat came highly recommended,” she said. “He was a top candidate. We look for someone who has a reputation for being committed, and for being a strong advocate for the Latino community. He’s been very active. We are pleased to have him on the board.”

VLAB members offer expertise on issues related to health, education, business and economic development, legislative initiatives and other concerns to Virginians of Hispanic heritage. Yinat works on the VLAB business subcommittee to develop business opportunities and proposed policy for the governor.

His goal is to work with small business owners to help them gain better access to business loans; government assistance; locations for their businesses; fair treatment on business opportunities; and expansion in the business market for overall economic development in Virginia.

“Latinos want what everybody else wants: good housing, business opportunities, access to medical care, and to ultimately succeed as part of the fabric of Virginians,” Yinat said.

Yinat grew up in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He earned a degree in business administration from the University of Puerto Rico while in the Army Reserves Officers’ Training Corp (ROTC) program, and then served nearly three decades in the Army. His last assignment with the Army was as at Fort Lee, near Petersburg.

“I drove through Williamsburg a lot for meetings at Fort Eustis and Fort Monroe,” he recalled. “I always thought it was a nice town, and wanted to live here.”

After retiring from the Army in 2008, Yinat and his family settled in Williamsburg. Yinat, who also holds a master’s degree in business management and a doctorate degree in business organization and management, consults frequently with local small business owners.

His specialties are business research and analytics, general management consulting and commercial insurance advisory. In addition to founding James/Williams/York & Co., Yinat developed a proprietary Work@Vantage System designed to streamline business operations and to increase virtual organizational performance.

“My military career included a wide exposure to a diversified background in assignments all over the world,” Yinat said. “Business management is not different from military operations. I am blessed for the opportunities given to me, to have had the honor to serve the nation’s military, and to now be in the position to give back and contribute to the fabric of America, the business ownership dreams of many Americans.”

Yinat is also a mentor and collaborator for Launchpad, a business incubator for entrepreneurs in Greater Williamsburg, and teaches workshops and business courses at the University of Phoenix and Saint Leo University, in addition to business course development at colleges and universities nationwide.

He also likes to stay true to his Latino roots, and travels frequently to Puerto Rico, Central America, and South America.

“Travel is my vice,” he said. “I like to get on a plane and go, to experience other cultures and learn other ways to do business.”

Beyond VLAB, Yinat has also volunteered with the economic development initiatives in Williamsburg, Newport News and Richmond as well as with the Knights of Columbus, Literacy for Life, and the Williamsburg Youth Baseball League.

“I feel a duty to serve, to give back to the community,” Yinat said. “My goal is to help business owners grow, and especially help the Latino business communities grow. I want to help the government implement policies to help the Latino business community succeed. I want to help in any way I can.”

Read more profiles of local residents in WYDaily’s section In Our Hometown