Perennial Collaboration for Learning, Economic Development and Prosperity

Harold Torrence
Harold Torrence

Business Management Instructor Harold Torrence building long-term relationship with LEDC

Harold Torrence, Ed.D, a business management and multicultural supervision instructor at Dakota County Technical College, is advancing a long-range, civic-outreach strategy that focuses on small business development in the Latino community. Harold began articulating his strategy some years ago when he met Ramón León, founding executive director of the Latino Economic Development Center, and Mario Hernández, LEDC vice president and COO.

Harold is currently working with the LEDC on a project that helps the center achieve its mission to transform the Latino community through economic development. Harold’s goal is to expand collaborations between DCTC and organizations like LEDC to create more opportunities to deliver advanced business training to small business owners and entrepreneurs in diverse communities.

“Collaborations between colleges and communities need to be ongoing and long-term,” said Harold, whose volunteer work includes teaching LEDC staffers how to better engage with members of their communities. “Building relationships is the key. I am working with the LEDC on a project that unites Latino restaurant owners on Lake Street. The upcoming Lake Street Taco Tour is a perfect example of how competing businesses can work together for a mutual goal—in this case transforming Lake Street into a go-to destination for Latino food.”

Harold recently met with more than a dozen business owners at one of the two LEDC locations on Lake Street. “We had an hour of intense concentration, covering such topics as getting to know your customers, enhancing customer loyalty by exceeding expectations, and creating sustainability through repeat business,” he said. “I was impressed by the knowledge sharing between the business owners. Learning from each other is essential.”

Earlier in May 2013, LEDC Vice President Mario Hernández attended the Multicultural Student Leadership Association Cinco de Mayo celebration in the college’s Student Life Center. Mario spoke about how the college and Latino communities can collaborate to expand higher education opportunities while advancing diversity on campus. He later met with DCTC administrators, including Mike Opp, interim vice president of academic and student affairs, and Gayle Larson, dean of business, technology and general education.

“Harold Torrence has been supporting LEDC in multiple capacity building roles,” Mario said. “He’s advised us on how to design trainings so they can count for college credit and has provided trainings for staff and LEDC business members on topics such as sales and customer service. Harold is a vital connection for us and our members to DCTC.”

Harold is excited about continuing his work with the LEDC. “Collaborations between colleges like DCTC and economic development organizations like the LEDC are mutually beneficial,” he said. “The ultimate benefactors are our students as well as businesses and individuals in our communities.”

Collaboration with LEDC

The Art of Persuasion Seminar
More about Harold Torrence

Harold Torrence, Ed.D, is an instructor in the Business Management department at Dakota County Technical College. He is the college’s new Business & Services chair and also chairs the DCTC Diversity Council. He serves as faculty advisor to the Multicultural Student Leadership Association, or MSLA. Harold’s areas of focus are:

Harold holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from UNITEC, or Universidad Tecnológica del Centro. He also holds both a Masters of Arts in Management and a Master in Public Administration from Hamline University. In 2012, he earned a Doctorate in Education from Hamline University.

Bringing an extensive background in international business to his teaching position, Harold has a passion for thoroughly understanding the multicultural dimensions of today’s organizations. He began his career in Venezuela, where he spent several years supporting the consumer sales and marketing departments for a large oil corporation. In the United States, Harold spent three years developing an international distribution network with a human resources consulting firm. He sold software, training and consulting products throughout 13 Latin American countries.

Harold joined DCTC in early 2005. He enjoys working with businesses and individuals by applying his experience and passion for business and education through his role as a DCTC instructor. Over the last nine years, he has taught the following courses at DCTC:

  • International Business
  • Managing Diversity
  • Multicultural Mentoring
  • Multicultural Conflict Resolutions
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Management Effectiveness
  • Foundations of Management
  • Quality Management
  • Effective Business Communication
  • Project Management
  • Spanish

In 2009, Harold was named to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Minnesota 25 on the Rise, an award that recognizes 25 Latino men and women under the age of 40 from around the state who have contributed immensely to their communities across a wide range of areas, including business, government, law, finance, entrepreneurship and education. He resides with his wife, Liliana, in Woodbury, Minn. Both are both musicians. Harold sings and plays guitar; Liliana sings and plays piano. They have two children, Jonathan, 12, and Susana, 7.

For more information about Business Management programs at DCTC, contact: