by: Eric Elliot
The next Robert G. Hisaoka Speaker Series takes place on April 17 at 6 p.m. in Frank Auditorium and will feature UMD alumnus Raul Fernandez ’90, the current Vice Chairman of Monumental Sports & Entertainment. Click here to register for the event and read on for some interesting facts about this successful entrepreneur and philanthropist!
1) Raul J. Fernandez was born in 1967 and grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland with his family. He is a first generation Cuban American being the son of a Cuban father and Ecuadorian mother.
2) As the Vice Chairman of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, Raul works with teams such as the NBA’s Washington Wizards, the NHL’s Washington Capitals and the WNBA’s Washington Mystics.
3) He also serves as a special advisor to General Atlantic Partners. a growth equity firm that has more than $8 billion under management.
4) Prior to his position with Monumental Sports & Entertainment, Raul served as Chairman and CEO of ObjectVideo, an intelligent video surveillance software company which he sold to Alarm.com in March 2017.
5) Raul is still highly involved in the technology industry, investing in a multitude of disruptive companies. One such company is Cloud 9 eSports, a successful American eSports organization that fields teams in competitive games such as League of Legends, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, Super Smash Bros. Melee and more.
6) A native Washingtonian, Raul is well known for his philanthropy efforts around the area, particularly in regard to educational reform. He co-founded philanthropic investment organization Venture Philanthropy Partners in 2000, and he launched the Fernandez Foundation with his wife to provide needy children in D.C. with healthcare, education and other resources.
7) Additionally, Raul has been the chairman of the board of Fight for Children since 2016, an organization that combines effective programs with strategic partnerships to build a foundation that enables children in D.C. to achieve success. Every year, the organization hosts Fight Night, an illustrious event that features championship boxing and draws more than 2,000 high-profile attendees a year.
8) Raul is a University of Maryland alumnus, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1990.
9) Raul served on the board of advisors for famous fashion company Kate Spade & Company (formerly known as Liz Claiborne) for 16 years before it was sold in July 2017.
10) Raul met Congressman Jack Kemp when he was in high school through attending a Capitol Hill fundraiser for Hispanic Republicans. This led to a part-time internship translating Spanish documents for Kemp, and Raul continued to work under Kemp on tax legislation and issues involving Central America while he attended the University of Maryland. Raul developed valuable spreadsheets and programs to simulate the effects that tax plans would have on different income groups.