Kristie Velasco founded CACICA in 2004 to provide specialized business management, production, and budgeting consultancy to entrepreneurs, established companies and startups in the media and entertainment industries. As the President of CACICA, Velasco finds herself at the heart of it all, delivering a myriad of services ranging from strategic planning and business modeling, to pitch development, special event conceptualization and production, multicultural marketing and positioning, music publishing and licensing to video production, among others.
Simultaneously working as the Assistant Dean at SUNY Westchester Community College WEOC and as an Adjunct MBA Professor at MCNY’s School of Business, it is second nature for Velasco to maintain a balance in all aspects of her career – a task made easier by her passionate determination to bring about change. As someone who has dedicated her career to opposing injustice and improving the lives of those within her community, Kristie focuses greatly on her role as a teacher in the hopes of using education to change society one life at a time.
Born and raised in New York City, Kristie Velasco came from humble beginnings, learning at an early age that faith and education were the keys to escaping poverty and oppression. A child of the 60s and 70s, she quickly learned that the law and cultural values would be critical in achieving opportunities and empowerment for women and communities of color. As a result, Kristie is committed to being a voice for the Latino community, women and communities of color in advocating for opportunities or against any form of oppression or discrimination.
Velasco is extensively involved in non-profit community organizations and various advocacy groups and professional organizations within the media and entertainment industries, particularly because of the influence media has on societies. Her commitment to integrating intellectual, personal, and professional excellence in service to others can be traced back to her undergraduate days at Boston College where she learned about these Jesuit ideals and values while pursuing her BA in Psychology and Political Science.
After graduation in 1986, she moved back to New York and pursued her Juris Doctorate from New York Law School, graduating in 1989. From then onwards, Velasco embarked on a career path that led her through a diverse range of working platforms that helped her become the well-rounded activist that she is today. Initially Kristie worked as an Associate Director of Career Programs at Aspira of New York, Inc. where she oversaw the administration of citywide Legal, Advocacy, Health Careers and HIV/AIDS Prevention Programs for Puerto Rican/Latino and other students of color for four years. She takes great pride in the legacy she left in assisting hundreds of students to obtain college and postgraduate education in universities, medical and law schools around the country.
In 1994, she joined the New York City’s Office of the Mayor in the Office of Education Services in a short lived role a Senior Planner in charge of capital projects, school construction and bond financing. Within 5 months, she was promoted to the position of Executive Assistant and Deputy Chief of Staff, where for three years, Velasco provided executive, political and administrative counsel to the Deputy Mayor of Education and Human Services in her oversight of 14 NYC municipal agencies comprising 2/3 of the NYC budget. During this tenure in the Giuliani Administration, Velasco was tasked with representing the Mayor’s Office in an initiative to privatize the maintenance and operation of school facilities. Collaborating with the NYC Law Department and the Division of School Facilities on the development of an RFP, the solicitation and review of proposals, and the negotiation and award of contracts for the private maintenance of over 1 million square feet of school facilities, Velasco was successful in achieving millions of dollars of cost savings for the school districts involved.
Aware of her past experience with the Latino community, in youth advocacy and in media and entertainment law, the Deputy Mayor also assigned Kristie to handle matters involving Latino affairs throughout the City as well as all special events involving the Deputy Mayors Office. Among these events were the annual citywide events involving the Puerto Rican Day Parade, and the First Opening Ceremony of the New York Inner City Games founded by Arnold Schwarzenegger with over 15000 New York City youth in attendance, but the highlight was assisting in the NYC Welcome of President Nelson Mandela, where she was blessed with the rare opportunity to meet her hero. Finally in 1997, Kristie Velasco opened her private law practice, Velasco & Associates, PC, and dedicated several years to handling numerous entertainment and media clients as part of her general civil and criminal law practice.
Kristie takes fierce pride in her children, who she considers to be her greatest contributions to the world, followed closely by each of her students whose lives she has tried to touch through her teaching. In 2003, Velasco moved away from private practice and into something that would soon become a fulfilling passion of her life – teaching. As the Coordinator of the ACE Paralegal Studies Program at CUNY’s Medgar Evers College, she gained invaluable experience in course development, instructional design and teaching, and has, over the years, mastered an array of teaching techniques that help her approach her diverse array of traditional, international, students of color and adult learners.
Kristie Velasco remains a passionate individual and lifelong learner who is consistently dedicated to learning new things and bettering herself for the sake of those she is determined to help. She is currently completing a Master of Science in Business Management and Leadership from CUNY’s School of Professional Studies at the Graduate Center, and then hopes to begin pursuing a Doctorate in Business Administration to explore issues of Critical Race theories as they apply to the business of media and entertainment industries. A highly skilled and qualified woman, Kristie Velasco is always on the quest to acquire new skills so that she may, in turn, pass her skills and use her knowledge to bring equality to the world, in any way that she can.