Human Resources pro and Charlotte LGBT Chamber of Commerce Director of Communications Gerardo Madrid has come a long way, literally and figuratively, to where he is today. Born in Mexico and raised in a small town in Georgia, he headed north to the Queen City as a young man to hone his skills in the art of turning out delectable desserts.
Instead, the prestigious Johnson & Wales University, and in particular its Campus LGBT Pride organization, became the place where he’d discover his talent for leading, motivating, and empowering the community to work towards a common goal. In this chat with qnotes, Madrid reveals the common thread that runs through all his endeavors: whether he’s helping an animal in need, whipping up a batch of feel-good pastries for a friend, or striving to ensure that the voices of LGBTQ+ individuals are heard throughout our city and far beyond, he’s always been the guy who’s there to lend a hand.
Which of your achievements are you most proud of?
Being the first person in my family to graduate from college.
What are you passionate about?
Being involved. Whether it’s volunteering in the community, being on a board, or just helping out friends and family.
What helps you relax when you’re feeling stressed?
Running and exercising. It keeps my mind off of whatever is stressing me out.
What cheers you up when you’re feeling down?
Talking with my close friends.
Are you an early bird or a night owl?
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“Surround yourself with people that reflect who you want to be and how you want to feel; energies are contagious” — Rachel Wolchin
How do you spend your free time?
Running with the Charlotte Runners group, hanging out with my good friends, or traveling somewhere new.
We’ve all heard that smell is the sense most strongly tied to memory. What scents do you find most evocative?
Coffee. I love walking into a coffee shop and smelling fresh coffee.
If you won a multi-million-dollar jackpot, what would you do with the money?
Tell my parents they can quit their job, take care of as many people as I can, then travel the world.
What household chore do you avoid at all costs?
What possessions do you cherish most?
Pictures and videos of my experiences throughout my life.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
If you could live in any time, past or future, anywhere in the world, what would you choose?
Future and Paris.
What do you like most about yourself?
Having a diverse group of friends from all walks of life.
What aspect of yourself would you like to change?
Hold myself more accountable to reach my fitness goals.
You can read only five books for the rest of your life. Which do you choose?
Culinarian books. I studied baking and pastry arts at Johnson & Wales University, and I still love to learn, practice, and enjoy great food.
Imagine traveling somewhere incredibly remote, with no way of contacting the outside world. Are you more thrilled or petrified?
Depends on the location, but most likely petrified in case of emergencies.
If you met yourself, do you think you’d be your friend?
Sure — I am always open to new friends.
What have you always wanted to do, be, or learn, but never gotten around to?
Make homemade sushi.
And finally, how would you like to be remembered?
Somebody who is always willing to help others. : :