President/Founder, South Carolina Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
As the President and founder of the first Hispanic chamber in South Carolina, Mrs. Lugo
came from Puerto Rico after deciding, along with her husband, that Greenville, South
Carolina would be the perfect place to continue raising their two sons, college and high
school students at that time.
It was shortly after she started working for a local credit card processing company that
she found many Hispanic business owners experiencing problems interacting and doing
business with the rest of the business community. Looking for ways to help the business
community, Mrs. Lugo found that there was no Hispanic Chamber in South Carolina.
Her search put her in contact with the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in
Washington where she was informed that there was no Hispanic chamber in SC. After
explaining the purpose of the call, the USHCC asked her if she wanted to start a chamber
in the area. With a background in business administration; experience in working with
big corporations such as Eastman Kodak, Abbott Pharmaceutical, and 3M; and the
experience of starting a campus bookstore at her Church ministry in Puerto Rico, Lugo
knew that the task would not be an easy one. But the need was clear, and the burden
was increasing every time she would get in contact with local and statewide business
Six months later, in August 2007 the South Carolina Hispanic Chamber of Commerce was
incorporated. The Chamber was designated a 501(c) 6 non-profit organization in June
2009 by the IRS.
Lugo says the pinnacle of her career has been making an impact on the Hispanic
population of South Carolina. “Putting together the SC Hispanic Chamber was a
challenge, but it is so rewarding getting to meet and help so many people. I want to be
an example to those around me, not by what I say, but by what I do.” She hopes her
legacy will be an inspiration for people to see the importance of getting involved in the
community and realizing that no matter how small the job, the impact can be
Hispanic/Latino Outreach Coordinator, American Cancer Society
For 10 years, Evelyn worked in the community as the Hispanic/Latino Outreach
Coordinator for the American Cancer Society. In her primary role she educated the
public about the different cancers and was the liaison with different organizations
working with the Hispanic population throughout the state of South Carolina. As a two-
time cancer survivor this made her job personal and rewarding.
Palms and Pastries | Authentic Puerto Rican Confections
Evelyn founded Palms and Pastries in 2015 to continue the legacy of the quesito.
Making quesitos is an art. Evelyn does everything by hand, from selecting ingredients
and locating the specialty glaze unique to Puerto Rico to carefully filling and wrapping
She recognized the value of knowing how to make a product exclusive to her homeland
of Puerto Rico. Since quesitos are a specialty pastry, she took classes to learn how to
make them and finally perfected the art. Through Palms and Pastries, she hopes to
preserve the quality of these sinfully sweet confections.
As a business owner, she knows first-hand the process of starting a business. Her
pastries are going all over the nation, bringing a piece of our homeland to those that
miss our culture and food.
Former member of: Michelin Development Advisory Board, Ten at the Top Board, South
Carolina Cancer Alliance Council, the Greer Chamber of Commerce Board, Children’s
Hospital Council, First Choice Community Council, and the Blue Ridge Boys Scout Board.
Currently serving, as board president, at Casa Cultura International, a non-profit
organization whose vision is to turn strangers into neighbors by connecting, immersing,
promoting and empowering newcomers to the Greenville-Upstate (South Carolina)
Honorable discharge, Puerto Rico Army National Guard – Rank: SP4 Military Police
Awards: Visionary Award 2012 given by the SCHCC Board; Dream Achiever 2012 given
by the YWCA; and 2014 Community Outreach Finalist Health Care Heroes given by GSA
"The South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs had the privilege of serving on the Board of the SC Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. I have seen this organization flourish over the years and grow in its capacity to meet the needs of the business community across our state. Evelyn Lugo, Founder and Director, has reached out to businesses across the state and has implemented new and innovative programs to help new business owners as well as those already in operation. We are proud of her hard work and dedication to assist the business community." - Lee Serralta McElveen