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Meet the Author / Conoce al autor: “El Retorno” (The Comeback)

September 20, 2017 @ 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM


Meet the Author / Conoce al autor: “El Retorno: Una historia de amor, guerra y aventuras durante tiempos de exilio” (The Comeback)

Event free and open to the public.

Cover design: Lori Jackson

“El Retorno” (The Comeback) is the newly published novel by Chilean-American author Manuel Zapata. This novel, in the historical fiction genre, tells the story of a young idealist man who escapes the military forces after the Chilean coup d’état in 1973. His escape brings him adventures, love, and suffering while he travels all over the world. After all his trials, life will bring him opportunities that will end this tale in an unexpected way.

Join author Manuel Zapata for a presentation about his personal story and the stories of others that inspired him to write this wonderful novel. Copies of the book will be available for purchase throughout the event. The author will proceed to sign copies after the presentation.

Complimentary wine will be provided.


Photo credits: Lori Jackson

Manuel Zapata, President of ZAPATA GROUP, INC., was born in Santiago, Chile and immigrated to the United States as a college student in 1967. He graduated from the University of North Carolina Charlotte with his BS in Mechanical Engineering and his Master’s degree in Business Administration. Mr. Zapata is a licensed professional engineer in 10 states. In 1991, he formed his own architecture-engineering and field services company. The Company has executed projects nationwide as well as internationally including locations as diverse as Iraq, Afghanistan, and Chile. Founded on the principles of Trust, Integrity, and Quality, the Company provides services to the US Army Corps of Engineers, the US Air Force, the US Navy, the US Department of Transportation, Duke Energy, Bank of America, General Dynamics, and other regional and national companies. Mr. Zapata has served on 23 Boards of Directors in the fields of education, healthcare, banking, and civic activities. He currently serves on the Board of the Belk College of Business and on the School of Engineering at The University of North Carolina as well as the Board of the Charlotte Chamber for the third time.

Mr. Zapata is married to Karen Jarvis Zapata, and they have two sons, Brian and Malcolm, and one grandson, Cole.

He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including:

2017 Freedom Award from the United States Secretary of Defense
2017 ProPatria Award for Employer’s Support for the Guard and Reserve
Las Americas Chamber of Commerce Legacy Award
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Crowns of Enterprise Award
US Small Business Administration Choice Award
UNC Charlotte Outstanding Contribution Certificate
City of Charlotte, Commendation Certificate
Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, Entrepreneur of the Year
UNC Charlotte Alumni Hall of Fame
UNC Charlotte Distinguished Alumnus

His many civic engagements have included:

Queens University, Board of Trustees
BB&T Bank, Board of Advisors
McColl Center for Visual Art, Board of Directors
Presbyterian Hospital, Board of Trustees
Presbyterian Hospital Foundation, Board of Trustees
NovantHealth, Board of Trustees, Chairman Audit Committee
Chamber of Commerce, Foreign Investment Committee, Former Chairman
Las Americas Business Council, Board of Directors, Former Chairman
UNC Charlotte, MSEC Advisory Board, Former Chairman
B’nai Brith ParentLink, Advisory Board, Former Chairman
City of Charlotte, Sister Cities Committee, Former Chairman
UNC Charlotte Foundation, Board of Directors
Wachovia Bank, Southern Region Board of Advisors
Arts and Science Council, Board of Directors
Crisis Assistance Ministry, Board of Directors
Boy Scout Council, Board of Directors
Community Building Task Force, Leadership Board
Charlotte Rotary Club, Board of Directors
Carolinas Council on World Affairs, Board of Directors
NC Entrepreneurial Development Board

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September 20, 2017
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
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Mint Museum Randolph
2730 Randolph Rd
Charlotte, NC 28207 United States
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