De Luz earned a BA in humanities from the University of Hawaii West Oahu in 1990 and in 2010, received an MBA from Ashford University, which was located in Clinton, Iowa.
Her ancestry on the Big Island dates back to the mid-1800s, and her late father, David, who grew up in an entrepreneurial ranching family, founded his first used car dealership in Hilo in 1958. He soon moved into new car sales and opened dealerships throughout Hawaii.
De Luz worked in the family business throughout high school and college, and joined her father’s team full-time in human resources and risk management in 1990. In 2013, she was named president and general manager of Big Island Toyota and De Luz Chevrolet, also in Hilo.
An active member of the Hawaii Automobile Dealers Association (HADA), De Luz served as director of the group from 2014 to 2018. “I believe being a member and past director of HADA has given me a better understanding of how we can best serve our industry, our state and our communities,” she said.
De Luz encourages her employees to support community initiatives and has set up a committee of team members to consider all donation requests. “Our requirement is that the program or organization serve our community specifically in the area of children, the elderly and the advancement of our industry/business with preference given to employees and customers,” she said. “We give 5% of our profits back to the community and in the past have supported disaster efforts due to local hurricanes and storms, as well as held golf tournaments to support agencies chosen by our team to receive all proceeds.”
And De Luz directly contributes her time and talent to numerous organizations, including Junior Achievement of Hawaii and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Hawaii Chapter. “I have volunteered for both organizations for almost 20 years to encourage ‘real-world’ experiences for junior high and high school students in volunteering, mentoring, shadowing, interning – both paid and unpaid – and ‘test driving’ their interests in specific fields or careers,” she said.
An avid fundraiser and valued leader, De Luz focuses her energy on groups to which she can make meaningful contributions and further their missions and goals. To that end, she supports Hawaii Island United Way; Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce; Hawaii Island Portuguese Chamber of Commerce; Waiakea High School Foundation (Hilo) and the American Heart Association Hawaii (Hilo Heart Walk).
“I volunteer my time and resources to organizations that I feel a connection to or that resonate with me or my own experiences,” she said.
De Luz was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Dave Rolf, executive director of the Hawaii Automobile Dealers Association. She has two children.