A native of El Salvador, Fernando Quiñonez-Meza was educated at the local American School and then attended high school at La Salle Military Academy in New York from 1955 to 1959. He enrolled at Texas A&M University in 1959 and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural economics in 1964. His career accomplishments include both numerous entrepreneurial pursuits and a wealth of public service activities.
Following his graduation, Mr. Quiñonez-Meza returned to El Salvador to work in the family farm business overseeing agricultural interests in coffee production and processing. He was also involved as director of a farm equipment distributor for International Harvester Trucks and Tractors. During 1965-1979, he was a member of the Board of Directors of the local Coca Cola bottler distributor; represented the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Director of the International Trade Fair of El Salvador; was the Founding Secretary of the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM El Salvador); was a Founding Member of the Foreign Trade Promotion Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and was President of Kimai Exports International. This steamship agency dealt in transportation of bulk agricultural products and other port and ship management services (still active) having represented such companies as Seatrain Lines, Lykes Lines, Stolt Nielsen Tanker Services and others, including MARAD, U.S. Naval Transport Services, and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers.
In 1979, Mr. Quiñonez-Meza moved his family to Florida and started a steamship agency that functioned through 1986 when the Belgian Lines ceased their refrigerated fruit transport service from Florida to the European continent. In November 1994, then President Armando Calderón Sol requested Mr. Quiñonez-Meza to assist him in organizing El Salvador’s participation in the first Summit Conference of the Americas held in Miami, Florida. He was appointed Consul General with a rank of Ambassador – a post he held for 12 years until his retirement from this position in 2006. During the time he was stationed as Consul General, he reached the charge of Dean of the Consul Corps of Florida. During this period, he developed a very close personal relationship with Gov. Jeb Bush in the promotion of the Free Trade Areas of the Americas (FTAA) as well as in the successful multilateral lobbying efforts to obtain congressional approval of the Central America Free Trade Agreement. He participated in several trade promotion missions to South America and the Caribbean.
Mr. Quiñonez-Meza is presently an active member of the Board of Directors of several civic organizations which include the Salvadoran American Health Foundation of which he was founding member in 1982 and the Central American U.S. Chamber of Commerce, among others. He presently holds a diplomatic position as Trade Commissioner of El Salvador, assisting the Consulate General of El Salvador in Coral Gables, Florida in matters of foreign trade and promotion of investments in El Salvador. He also holds advisory positions in several high tech firms located in Seattle, Washington and San Diego, California.
Mr. Quiñonez-Meza is survived by his wife, Yvonne, who resides in Miami, Florida along with their four children.