Raul Espinosa

Raul Espinosa

Managing Partner at The Umbrella Initiative

Jacksonville, Florida Area
Public Policy

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Raul Espinosa's Overview

  • President at FITNET
  • Mount Assumption Institute (MAI)
  • Colegio de Belen (Belen Jesuit Prep)

500+ connections


Raul Espinosa's Summary

'Diversity and Inclusion' for minority, women and veteran-owned businesses (DBE) in public procurement, a $3 Trillion marketplace, has become a LEGACY for Raul Espinosa. His work is embodied in the UMBRELLA INITIATIVE whose mission is “to double the number of disadvantaged businesses contracting with the federal, state and local government by 2020.”

P.L. 95-507 requires that small businesses owned by individuals from groups under-represented and under-served in public procurement receive 'maximum practicable utilization' (MPU.) With support from a Think Tank of University and Law professors he manages, Raul helped develop a technology driven UPS portal with a matrix, which measures participation and results while building DBE capacity. Management guru, Peter Druker, had put Raul's legacy into perspective once when he said, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”

Raul has been acknowledged, by his peers, as "One of the Nation Top Diversity Champions." The small business community in NE Florida has recognized him as “One of its 50 Most Influential Leaders.’ Business leaders in FL have honored him with their 'Builder of Community' Award.for his legacy of community service.

Raul success - at bringing 'inclusion and diversity' to public procurement - set up in motion a process which will free up $64 Billion (in annual contracts) - formally excluded through regulations - for the small business statutory 23 % reservation. His success also inspired the 'Fast Pay Executive Order' which now allows small businesses to get pay within 15 days.

Raul is currently focused on helping the state of Florida become a model for diversity & inclusion. He does it by building coalitions to create 'community' and effectively support the solutions his Think Tank conceives to end barriers and abusive practices.

Raul is a senior adviser to NaFCA, MBRT, FSHCC, FCHCC, MBELDEF and FMCRC. He is a published author, public speaker & lecturer on public policy.

Raul Espinosa's Experience

Managing Partner

The Umbrella Initiative

Nonprofit; 11-50 employees; Government Relations industry

September 2010Present (4 years 1 month)

The Umbrella Initiative is a technology-driven public-private procurement initiative, developed by an academic Think Tank, for the State of Florida to affect policies, regulations and cooperation between the public and private sector. Its vision is to bring about 'diversity and inclusion' and to involve University and Law professors and their students in policy changes and commercial sustainable projects with contracting potential to specifically create jobs in under-served communities. The mission of the Umbrella Initiative is "to double the number of disadvantaged businesses (SDB) who contract with federal, state and local government by the year 2020."


FPA Think Tank

Educational Institution; 11-50 employees; Research industry

January 2010Present (4 years 9 months)

The FPA Think Tank is comprised of university and Law School professors and students interested in public procurement. It started with the involvement of the University of North Florida (UNF). The Think Tank now includes professors and students from other campuses including Florida Atlantic University (FAU), Florida International University (FIU) and Florida Coastal School of Law (FCSL). The FPA Think Tank focuses on the objectives of P.L. 95-507 to offer 'maximum practicable utilization' (MPU) to disadvantaged business enterprises (SDB) in public procurement, a $600 Billion federal marketplace, but a $3 Trillion dollar marketplace when states and local governments are included. The Think Tank's flagship is The Umbrella Initiative whose mission is "to double the number of disadvantaged businesses (SDB) contracting with the government by the year 2020."

Educational Institution; 11-50 employees; Research industry

April 2005Present (9 years 6 months)

FPA is a non-profit organization, which represents the procurement interests of the disadvantaged business enterprises (DBE) for whom P.L. 95-507 was enacted, a national constituency 10 million small businesses. The FPA mission is to bring fairness to public procurement so disadvantaged businesses (DBE) can both compete and prosper in the $3 Trillion marketplace comprised of federal, state and local governments. The FPA activities are aimed at protecting and building capacity for DBE so that goals and participation can be tracked through technology and metrics. FPA relies on consultants, academicians, college and law students and volunteers in various affinity areas.

FPA has opportunities for professors, college students, lawyers, IT engineers and procurement experts to work on research, legal and advocacy issues and traininga, Contact FPA if you wish to participate in one of these opportunities.



April 1995Present (19 years 6 months)

FITNET is a purchasing and consulting group which specializes in niche marketing consulting. FITNET also conducts need assessments and offers advocacy representation to trade groups and private industry.

Raul Espinosa's Projects

  • The Umbrella Initiative (Procurement) Portal

    • February 2010 to Present

    A Portal which would host ALL the essential procurement services (i.e., registration, certification, training, bid searching, an auction engine, contract funding, contract tracking plus a database for reporting procurement abuse. This Portal will feature procurement opportunities for the state and for local agencies not to mention federal opportunities as well. The portal will allow participating entities to aggregate current data sources into a single system without the requirement to replace their own stand-alone system.

  • C.E.L. (Container Refurbishing) Project)

    • June 2010 to Present

    A project to transform - with the help of university students and non-profits - recycled containers into distance learning centers and FEMA Disaster Units (letrines and temporary housing) for developing countries and for undeserved communities. The project trains and employ youngsters on trade jobs (e.g., carpentry, welding, electricians) and then markets the resulting units. Currently one pilot project in underway in the Dominican Republic.

  • DBE Leaders Coalitions

    • June 2013 to Present
    Team Members: Raul Espinosa, Pam Arnold

    The FPA Leaders Coalitions is a project whose goal is to unite minorities (MBE) and women-owned businesses (WBE) leaders - so they can speak with one voice on issues affecting their organizations members. FPA helps create DBE coalitions for regions (i.e., Florida First Coast) and for states. The FPA Coalitions rely on the UCC (unite, convince and conquer) strategy to pursue pre-defined results. Chambers of Commerce, non-profits and and business groups involved benefit directly from various 'benefit packages' that help the groups increase their memberships.

Raul Espinosa's Languages

  • Spanish

    (Native or bilingual proficiency)
  • English

    (Full professional proficiency)

Raul Espinosa's Skills & Expertise

  1. Government Contracting
  2. Diversity
  3. Public Policy
  4. Public Relations
  5. Public Awareness Campaigns
  6. Regulatory Affairs
  7. Journalism
  8. Trade Facilitation
  9. Government
  10. Public Speaking
  11. Small Business
  12. Negotiation
  13. Research
  14. Government Relations
  15. Awareness Raising
  16. Lobbying
  17. Policy
  18. Strategic Communications
  19. Entrepreneurship
  20. Strategic Planning
  21. Business Development
  22. Leadership Development
  23. Politics
  24. Start-ups
  25. Non-profits
  26. Fundraising
  27. Business Strategy
  28. Media Relations
  29. Organizational Development
  30. Policy Analysis
  31. Strategy
  32. Social Media Marketing
  33. International Relations
  34. Management Consulting
  35. Marketing Strategy
  36. Community Development
  37. Economic Development
  38. Social Media
  39. Strategic Partnerships
  40. Community Outreach
  41. Training
  42. Public Affairs
  43. Proposal Writing
  44. Team Building
  45. Leadership
  46. Nonprofits
  47. Corporate Communications
  48. Executive Management
  49. Program Management
  50. Social Networking

View All (50) Skills View Fewer Skills

Raul Espinosa's Education

New York University

MC, Public Relations Management


The University of Texas at Austin

MA, Latin American Studies/Communications


Texas Christian University

BA, International Business


Mount Assumption Institute (MAI)

High School


Colegio de Belen (Belen Jesuit Prep)


Raul Espinosa's Additional Information


small business advocacy; forming 'business coalitions' ' and playing competitive tennis and softball;

Groups and Associations:

Fairness in Procurement Alliance (FPA); Minority Business Round Table (MBRT); American Small Business League (ASBL); Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (FSHCC); First Coast Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (FHCC);Florida Hispanic Construction Association (FHCA); MBELDEF

Honors and Awards:

FMCRC 2013 'Builder of Community and Country' Award; 2013 Jacksonville Business Journal 'Diversity Champion'; Diversity Business Magazine 2012 National Diversity Champion; Director of FPA Think Tank at UNF (2010 - present); Palencia Home Owners Association (PAC), Founder and President 2003-2005; Businessman of the Year Award; Business Council, 2003; Customer Service Award, Int’l. Customer Service Association, 1999; Outstanding Industry Contribution Award, Aerobic Pipeline, 1998; National Board of Directors, Zero Population Growth (ZPG) 1982-1985; Hispanic Who’s Who in America, 1979; Who’s Who Among Latin Americans, 1976; Who’s Who in Public Relations, 1975; Outstanding Alumnus Award, Univ. of Texas Ex-Students Ass. 1971; Distinguished Service Award, Publicity Club of New York, 1970

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