Jesse Martinez to speak at CGI 2016!

 

Cultura Ambassador & Silicon Valley Latino Advisory Board Member, Jesse Martinez, has been invited to present at this year’s CGI 2016 in Atlanta along with several dignitaries, Corporate & Non Profit Executives and past Presidents of the United States.  We congratulate him and all of the work he leads!

See article here ==> https://www.clintonfoundation.org/clinton-global-initiative/meetings/cgi-america/2016/speakers

Jose Armando Perez Vega – SVL Collegiate Cultura Ambassador

 

Jose grew up in Northern California in a small town called Windsor where he along with his parents and two older brothers emigrated from Mexico in 1994. He is a first generation college student and thanks his parents and both brothers for his success; if it weren’t for them he wouldn’t be where he is today. He strives to one day repay them for all of the sacrifice they have done for him.

Jose Armando Perez Vega - SVL Cultura AmbassadorHe enjoys playing soccer on his down time, as he used to play competitively before college, also a four-year varsity soccer player in high school. He enjoys running and staying in shape and enjoys spending time with his family, watching sports like soccer and basketball, and exploring San Francisco and the cities surrounding it.

He is an active member of two organizations Hermanos Unidos de SFSU and ALPFA at SF State. However, he is currently studying abroad in Madrid, Spain taking Business Administration classes.

Hermanos Unidos – a non-profit organization that engages in events like community service, academic, and social networking with the intention to break social Latino stereotypes. He took the leadership role of Community Service Chair during the academic year 2014-2015 where he planned community service events benefitting the Latino community in San Francisco.

ALPFA – a non-profit organization where he participates in workshops that improve skills in public speaking, networking, resume building and professionalism. He has taken various leadership roles, Director of Social Affairs Fall 2015, and currently the Director of Corporate Partnership.

action 1With the help of ALPFA he interviewed and was offered an internship with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for summer 2015 to join their Start Internship program. After completion he was offered and accepted an extension for this upcoming summer of 2016 where he will join the Start Master Internship. He also served as an informal liaison to PwC in bringing new talent from San Francisco State to join the firm. Two of his ALPFA referrals who are now members will be joining him at PwC in the summer.

He aspires to become a CPA (Certified Public Accounting) after graduation and towards the end of his career payback by first obtaining a master or PhD in education and teach High Schools students in his hometown of Windsor, CA.

 

Cornershop App shops 6.7 Million USD from Investors!

 

Silicon Valley Latino is proud to share the news that this Chilean-Mexican-Swedish startup Cornershop App for raising USD 6.7 million this past week from some big players here in the valley and overseas for their operation in Chile & Mexico.
We ask where do you see more money going to in the near future? Latino Startups who focus on all of America seems to be the growing trend as Latin America hosts more than 500 mm people. That is a big market!!

2016 Academy Awards – A turning point for cultural diversity?

 

Guest blog by Omar Mendoza:

The 2016 Academy Awards were a turning point for the culture surrounding Hollywood diversity – or lack thereof. The overarching theme of the night was addressed through comedy, music, and the occasional serious speech. Individuals see this high-profile event as an opportunity to really speak to the masses. With millions of people tuning in, it’s difficult but necessary to turn the spotlight away from the individual and onto the bigger issues.

 

Diversity is not only about ethnicity and race. People from all walks of life can come together to create a masterpiece – within the film industry and beyond. If everyone in a team was the same age, sex, and socioeconomic status – the product would be a one-dimensional disaster. To create a masterpiece, you need the perspectives of multiple people from different backgrounds. Below are moments where diversity was highlighted at the Oscars through visibility and awareness.

 

Sexual Abuse Diversity

Lady Gaga may not have won an Oscar, but she won the Oscars with her performance of “Till It Happens to You”, an anthem from the film The Hunting Ground. Lady Gaga, herself a victim of sexual abuse, was introduced by current vice president Joe Biden. Biden used this moment to bring awareness to his #ItsOnUs campaign, a movement that encourages people to come together to support victims of sexual assault regardless of their background or situation.

2016 Oscars Diversity

As usual, Lady Gaga delivered a powerhouse performance that ended with 50 sexual assault victims joining her on stage, hand in hand. Looking at the stage, it is evident that sexual abuse is not confined to a specific gender or race. Bringing awareness to this issue was in itself an accomplishment almost as powerful as winning an Oscar.

 

Racial Diversity

We went into Oscars expecting a discussion on the lack of diversity in Hollywood, and we sure didn’t leave disappointed. The elephant in the room was addressed right away by host Chris rock through his opening dialogue:

2016 Oscars Diversity

Throughout the show, countless presenters and awardees mentioned the lack of Diversity in Hollywood. Although the focus was on the lack of African-American nominees, Hispanics and Asians are also among minorities who do not have the opportunity to share their voice and perspective on film. As we saw at the Oscars, a film doesn’t start when filming – it begins early on during screenwriting. To be successful, diversity has to start in the writing room not the marketing room.

 

LGBT Diversity

The LGBT community got a shout out from Sam Smith, who dedicated his Oscar for “Best Original Song” to the community. Although he wasn’t the first openly gay person to win an Oscar, the problem is you can count the actual number of gay winners in two hands.

LGBT Diversity 2016 Oscars

Gay artists are insecure that coming out would ruin their personal brand and hold them back from the accomplishments a straight person can achieve. As more of these openly gay artists win awards, more people will be inspired to authentically express themselves through art.

—————–

The point of bringing awareness to diversity and the lack of minority representation is not a plea to hire more “colored” actors. Minorities are not begging to get hired – they are simply asking for the same opportunities that their white counterparts get.

 

In the end, it’s not about diversity – it’s about comfort. Imagine walking into a job interview and realizing you are the only person of your race at the company? Would you feel uncomfortable? Compelled to turn back? Now imagine this happened to you everywhere you went. That’s how minorities feel, and many of them are here. If we want to continue growing as a nation, it’s crucial for us to include the voices that have been quiet for so long. Diversity may not have been nominated for an Oscar, but it sure did win the night.

 

Share your thoughts and opinions here or on our social media pages.

To read more articles from Omar on Technology, Diversity & Creativity visit his blog page

Don’t just look for a Mentor: Develop your Personal Board of Advisors!

Article originally posted on LinkedIn by Cultura Ambassador Leandro Margulis

In this series, professionals thank those who helped them reach where they are today. Read the posts here, then write your own. Use #ThankYourMentor and @mention your mentor when sharing.

“You need a mentor.”

 

If you’re like most working professionals, this is one of the first pieces of advice you heard around college graduation or upon landing your first job.  (Stressed out at work? Get a mentor. Not sure how to navigate office politics? Get a mentor. Want to know whether going to grad school or switching careers is the right option for you? Get a mentor. Ad nauseum.)

But whether you received this advice from one of your professors, your mom, your neighbor, or a co-worker, finding a mentor is a lot easier said than done. (It’s not only hard to locate someone with the professional chops and time to help you out, it can be even harder for some people to ask for help in the first place.) And how do you know whether the mentor you do eventually hook up with is the right person to help you with your current challenges, let alone professional issues you encounter five or ten years from now?

Here’s the thing—you don’t.

The reality is that we need more than one mentor throughout our careers. We need many different mentors for many different things. We not only need different mentors over time as our careers grow and change, we also need different mentors at the same time.

Again, easier said than done, right? Well, not if you play your cards right.

You probably aren’t close friends with the all the people you spent every weekend with in high school anymore. Why not? Because you’ve changed a lot since high school, that’s why—you have an adult life with adult responsibilities. And just like you’ve moved on from several of your old high school friends, the close confidants you have at your current job or career stage may not be able to relate to you a decade down the road when you’re navigating the complex issues a top manager or executive faces, either.

Mentors are human—they have their own strengths and weaknesses, just like you do. They grow and change, just like you do. And the people you look up to as role models now might not be the role model you want a decade or even a year from now. Or you may find yourself needing help in a pinch for a unique business or personal situation that your current mentor has no concept of.

You Need a Team

This is where having a team of mentors, rather than just one, can come in handy. Take it from me—I once relied on only one professional mentor. But I soon found I needed more than that. So I eventually evolved past having just one mentor to having what I like to call a Personal Board of Advisors.

My advisors come from many different walks of life. Some are young—even students—while some are my age or older. Some work in my field, and some come from other fields. Some are still working, and some are retired. In all cases, though, they have a certain type of expertise or experience that I’m lacking—whether it’s a deep trove of professional contacts, financial acumen, the ability to speak frankly about difficult topics, or wisdom gained from many years of experience. (Or in the cases of my young/student advisors, it’s often youthful energy and a better understanding of new technologies like Snapchat, Periscope, or other emerging social-media platforms.) This allows me to have a variety of people I can choose from when I need specific advice about different topics at different times.

In this way, my personal board of advisors is similar to the boards of directors that advise CEOs at major corporations. Corporations make a point to build advisory boards where each member contributes according to a different specialty or strength. Why not have the same kind of board for your professional and personal development?

As my own personal board of advisors illustrates, not all mentors are gray-haired businessmen in drab suits. They are young and old, male and female, working and retired, in your industry and outside it.

Your own Personal Board of Advisors is out there, waiting to help you. You just need to go out and find them, and build those relationships. (Be prepared to mentor them in return, too—a big part of relationship-building is reciprocity.)

Ivan Reyes & Gabriel Lomeli guiding Latino youth!

 

We are delighted to feature the work and involvement of two Silicon Valley Latino Cultura Ambassadors, Ivan Reyes Martinez and Gabriel Lomeli. We are very proud of how Ivan has dedicated his career to supporting and empowering our local Latino youth through the work he leads as the Director of MACLA’s Digital Media Academy and of course Gabriel is often here offering his expertise and support to the program’s youth. Nicely done gentlemen, please continue to inspire the next generations of creative Latinos, we will continue to feature your collective work.

Modern Latina presents Fashion Fights Back Event

 

A runway event benefiting Latinas Contra Cancer

 

It will be a night of fashion, culture, and community honoring and celebrating breast cancer survivors. Guests will have a great time as they enjoy wine and hors d’oeuvres, while viewing the latest fashion, including the reveal of the finished looks from our Frida Kahlo Inspired Look contest. Guests will have the opportunity to shop from our participating local artists, crafters and small businesses and have the opportunity to bid on the many unique silent auction items!

Latinas Contra CancerVIP reception includes some pre-festivity pampering, networking and VIP treatment with an exclusive gift bag, drawings and a sneak peek at the silent auction items. At the VIP reception, guests will meet Modern Latina’s Commemorative 10th Anniversary Edition Featured Latina, Tina Aldatz. Tina is a self-made, successful Latina entrepreneur who founded Foot Petals and is now the CEO of Savvy Travel. She will be sharing her compelling and heartwarming personal story of success against all odds from her book, “From Stilettos to the Stock Exchange.” Books will be available for sale and book signing.

All proceeds from the ticket sales and silent auction benefit Latinas Contra Cancer, a nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness about cancer in the Latino community, increasing access to quality care, working to decrease mortality and improving the quality of the health care experience. Latinas Contra Cancer provides support services and resources for the Latino cancer patient and their family; collaborate with other small agencies to provide education and outreach services; partner with health care institutions to bridge the gap through culturally competent outreach and medical care.

This wonderful program will be emceed by community leader Mrs. Guisselle Nuñez, Director of Marketing, Public and Government Relations for the Chabot-Las Positas Community College District. Fashion will be featured from local Latina designer Sindy Hernandez de Cornejo who will debuting her 2015 #SINDYCollection as well as styles from Banana Republic and Dress Barn. The looks will be modeled by members of Latina Coalition Silicon Valley.

Enjoy a fun evening out while helping to raise awareness and funds for the fight against breast cancer.

 

Location: San Jose Woman’s Club, 75 South 11th Street, San Jose, CA 95112

Date: Thursday, October 1, 2015 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM (PDT) ; 6:00 VIP entrance

 

General Admission $35 (After 9/23/15 $45) Entrance at 7pm

General admission includes entrance to fashion show with wine tasting and hors d’oeuvres. Entry at 7 pm.

 

VIP Reception Admission $55 (After 9/23/15 $65) Entrance at 6pm

VIP Reception Admission includes early entrance at 6 pm to enjoy some pre-festivity pampering, networking and VIP treatment that includes an exclusive gift bag, drawings and sneak peak at the silent auction items.

 

Purchase Tickets: http://bit.ly/1dzzsRp

 

 

Cultura Ambassador Isabel Valdés appointed to U.S. SBA

 

We are excited to share that SVL Cultura Ambassador Isabel Valdés has been appointed to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Region IX Regulatory Fairness Board by SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet.

Isabel has been a long time supporter of not only our small business but many others and this comes as a result of all her hard work and dedication to the Latino Community throughout the country.

 

 

News Release

Untitled

 

 

Release Date:

Contact: Marlow Schindler (415) 744-6771
Release Number: Internet Address: http://www.sba.gov/news

 

California Small Business Owner Isabel Valdés Appointed to Federal Advisory Board

 

SAN FRANCISCO – San Francisco small business owner Maria Isabel Valdés has been appointed to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Region IX Regulatory Fairness Board by SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet.

Regional Regulatory Fairness Boards in all 10 of SBA’s regions represent the voice of small business on regulatory fairness issues. Each Board is comprised of five small business owners who serve as a resource and point of contact for small business owners who feel they have experienced excessive federal regulatory enforcement and compliance actions.

Regional Regulatory Fairness Board members advise the Acting National Ombudsman, Yolanda Swift. Together, The National Ombudsman and Board members host regulatory fairness hearings and outreach events nationwide where small business owners report concerns about burdensome federal regulations.

“With extensive multi-cultural communications and marketing experience working with Fortune 50 as well as 1000 companies, across business categories such as retail, healthcare, financial services and insurance, as well as entertainment and media, Ms. Valdés is uniquely positioned to understand and advocate for small businesses,” Swift said. “As a member of the Region IX Regulatory Fairness Board, she will play a vital role in insuring that the voice of small business is heard by federal regulators, while facilitating regulatory solutions that save small business owners time and money.”

As a Region IX Regulatory Fairness Board member, Valdés will serve as a local resource for small businesses and will work with small business trade groups and other entities to address regional concerns about federal regulatory enforcement and compliance issues. SBA Region IX includes California, Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii, and Guam.

Valdés is the president of IVC, a boutique marketing consulting firm. Valdés is also a VP of the Chile California Council (CCC) and is the Chair of the Center for Multi-Cultural Sciences, with previous positions with PepsiCO/Frito-Lay’s Advisory Board; The National Hispana Leadership Institute (NHLI); and The Latino Community Foundation (LCF) San Francisco. Valdés can be reached by email at isabel@isabelvaldes.com or by phone at (650) 444-3924.

The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA), created five-member Regulatory Fairness Boards in each of SBA’s 10 regions. As representatives of their local and regional small business communities, Board members provide insights and recommendations on regulatory challenges facing the small business owners they represent – perspectives that are critical to eliminating ineffective, duplicative, or outmoded regulatory business barriers to small business success. For more information about the Office of the National Ombudsman and the Regional Regulatory Fairness Boards, visit www.sba.gov/ombudsman.###

What’s the Secret to Great Networking? Become the Missing Link!

 

Article originally posted on LinkedIn by Leandro Margulis

Networking can be intimidating even to the most seasoned business people. It’s especially daunting when you don’t know anyone at the beginning of your career, or you’re starting out in a new industry (or country!) completely from scratch. But in today’s competitive business environment, the best opportunities often come to us from the people who already know and trust us. Without a solid professional network in place, you could miss out on these opportunities.

But how do you start building that professional network?

Let me tell you what’s worked for me. My name is Leandro Margulis and I am originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina. I moved to the United States twelve years ago to attend school and pursue business interests, and, at that point, did not know many people in the United States.

Like many working professionals, I did not have a strong network.

As time went by, I discovered that interacting with other people energized me, and I wanted more of that. I enjoyed bouncing around ideas with others, as well as learning about other people’s customs and culture.

I also discovered that not everyone felt the same way about networking as I did. Some people preferred to avoid interaction with others altogether. Some were shy, some feared rejection, and some had other reasons not to connect, like family obligations that took up a lot of their time. These people had even more difficulty building networks than most—but I’ve found that everyone has networking challenges to some degree.

This discovery showed me that I could add value to both individuals and organizations by helping to connect people I met in different places and through different sources. Sometimes one person I met was looking for what another person I knew could offer. But these two people would not have met unless I made the connection, because they frequent different circles.

In other words, I became their “missing link.”

The Missing Link As Snowball Effect
Everyone in the professional world should constantly be asking themselves this question: how do I add value? When I was thinking about what tagline to use on my LinkedIn profile, I realized that the best way to describe my personal business value is to show how I can connect people in ways that can benefit both them and their businesses.

I also realized that the more I connected people, the more events I was invited to. Each connection led to many more connections, snowballing upward and outward at a rapid pace. People started coming to me for referrals when they had trouble finding the expertise they needed. Not only that, people from my network began to call me for advice on an array of different issues.

In other words, I had not only managed to grow my network on a grand scale, I had also become a trusted advisor to my network. My personal brand as a connector of people continued to grow, too—attracting even more professional connections.

By leveraging my personal interest in meeting and socializing with new people and places, I became an essential business asset to my network. Being resourceful earned me access to contacts I did not have before. It also helped me enhance my reputation among different clusters of people. I became the “go-to” person for finding talent and ideas across wide groups—and the more people who consulted me, the more my credibility grew.

It didn’t happen overnight, of course—but networking is something that tends to build upon itself over time. You get out of it what you put in.

The Weakest Link Is Also The Strongest Link
Another term for “the missing link” is “the weakest link” Think of the person in your cluster of contacts who seems the least engaged. Maybe that person is only someone you run into occasionally at the coffee shop or gym. Maybe it’s the person on your work team who is the most reserved and least outgoing. Maybe it’s a person you worked with several years ago and liked, but have since lost touch with.

That person might seem like the weakest link in your network. But if you take the time to reach out to this person and find out more about what makes him or her tick, you might discover he or she has hidden talents, interests, or contacts that are exactly what you or someone else you know is looking for. By exploring the weakest links in your network, you might discover stronger links in their network. Or you might even find that the so-called weakest link can do something someone in your own network is dying to find.

For example, what if the shy software developer who never speaks up in weekly department meetings has a great idea for a new product or service one of your other contacts might be interested in? What if your former secretary who retired last year has relatives in the venture-capital world that could fund a startup? What if the intern who makes your coffee and organizes your files knows something about the sharing economy in Brazil because she backpacked there last summer?

The possibilities are endless. You never know until you ask.

Believe it or not, there is science supporting this theory. When I was a student at the Yale School of Management I learned about learning to leverage the weakest links in our networks  from Joel Podolny, who is now Dean of Apple University. (Talk about building great connections!)

During his research on the subject, Podolny created a graph similar to the one below to illustrate how the weakest link in one social cluster could be the strongest link between two or more social clusters:
Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 9.15.43 AM

The so-called “weakest” link might even be you! Contrary to its name, it’s a very strategic position to be in, both personally and professionally.

Do you want to become the missing link that could solve other peoples’ business problems? It’s easier than you think. Start out by learning to hang out in many different crowds across both your personal and professional lives. Keep your eyes open for new contacts—even unusual or shy ones—and actively listen to what people are saying. More than that, learn to read between the lines. (Your best friend’s rant at the bar last night about what a hard time he’s been having at work might be a clue that his business needs a smart consultant to help them solve a problem!)

And most of all, become the “go to” person everyone wants to invite to their meetings, parties, and social gatherings. Have the information and insight that people are looking for. Make introductions, and also seek them out. And never turn a blind eye to someone with an interesting story to tell, even if it’s not work-related. You never know where these contacts might lead you!

Share your thoughts with us and tell us how you become the missing link!

Leandro Margulis – Cultura Ambassador

 

Leandro Margulis is the Director of Global Strategic Partnerships at Quixey. Prior to that, Leandro opened and grew the Impulsa Business Accelerator’s California office, helping small and medium sized companies with market entry and revenue growth.

Leandro Profile 3 072015Leandro also worked as a Senior Consultant with Deloitte Consulting, where he coordinated international project management efforts and executive relationships between the United States and Eastern Europe. He then worked in the Strategy & Operations practice in Corporate Development / M&A, due diligence and post-merger integration in the United States and emerging markets.

These experiences position Leandro to pursue a career aimed at building companies and capacity through strategic business development and partnerships while leveraging financial capabilities and innovating around emerging market opportunities.

Leandro holds an MBA from the Yale School of Management and an Industrial and Systems Engineering degree from Florida International University (FIU), where he graduated Summa Cum Laude.

Specialties: Corporate Strategy, Business Development, Corporate Development, Partnerships, Contingent Contract Negotiations, Sales, Management, Business Case Development, Business Process Improvement and Project Management.

Leandro is originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, loves to travel and learn about other cultures through stories, food and exploring. He also loves hiking and  biking in his spare time.