Sonia Garza-Monarchi has more than 19 years of senior executive experience and has held the roles of CEO, president, GM, and executive director in small to mid-size organizations.
Garza-Monarchi provides CEO advising, senior executive coaching, and C-suite consulting. She leverages her experience in international protocol, diplomacy, and event management for clients seeking strategic corporate diplomacy, community relations, distinguished visitor programs, intercultural communication training, and management of international events.
In 2004, Garza-Monarchi established Garza Protocol Associates, LLC (GPA) to help corporations, government agencies, and non-profit organizations successfully conduct business in the international arena. Prior, she was vice president and general manager of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau (GHCVB) with oversight for the organization’s 80 employees and $12M annual budget. As executive director of the Houston International Protocol Alliance, a division of the GHCVB, Garza-Monarchi also served as the city’s chief protocol officer.
Beginning her career in 1988 with the Houston International Protocol Alliance, Garza-Monarchi became executive director in 1993 and spearheaded an increase in the city’s consular representation from 53 countries to 81 in 2004. She oversaw more than 3,000 trips by distinguished visitors including numerous chiefs of state, heads of government, royalty, cabinet ministers, ambassadors, and trade delegations. She also advised four mayors and numerous city council members on all matters of protocol and international affairs and participated in various economic development missions abroad.
Garza-Monarchi played key roles in the planning and execution of major international events held in Houston such as the World Economic Summit, the World Energy Council’s world congress, and the Corporate Council on Africa Summit. She has consulted with several municipal and state governments on establishing protocol departments and has provided training for corporations including the Federal Reserve Bank, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Coca-Cola, Duke Energy, and the National Lieutenant Governors Association. Garza-Monarchi has also managed international events and coordinated head of state and other visits for clients including Cheniere Energy and Marathon Oil.
In 2008, Garza-Monarchi served as executive director of the host committee for the Latin GRAMMY® Awards, which were held in Houston. She oversaw the local fundraising and marketing efforts, facilitated travel, security, and other logistical support, and coordinated a series of events leading up to the multi-day celebration. Garza-Monarchi is the immediate past president of Protocol & Diplomacy International’s Protocol Officers Association, a national association of protocol officers. She sits on the board of the Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau and is on the advisory board of the Asia Society-Texas. Garza-Monarchi is a native Houstonian and a graduate of Rice University.