Fireside Chat with Dr Lopez & Bob Nuñez

 

On May 12th, San Jose City College – Milpitas Extension and Silicon Valley Latino were honored to host another intimate and insightful Fireside Chat, this time it was conducted in an Iconoclast style. The featured guests were Dr. David Lopez and City of Milpitas Councilmember, Bob Nuñez.  Both shared various aspects of their life’s journeys in a very open and even vulnerable manner that was truly inspiring for those in attendance.

Jorge Escobar Vice President of San Jose City College welcomed the audience. He also spoke very passionately about both featured guests as he transitioned to introducing the theme of the event and the tone was set. From that point on, the Iconoclast style, Fireside Chat was underway and the dual interview began as casual conversation centered on their journeys. Both shared stories about their humble beginnings, early childhood memories that shaped their view of the world, trials and tribulations, key moments and lessons learned. Both men also shared in a very vulnerable manner how specific interactions with key people propelled them on the paths they took without necessarily knowing what lied ahead of them. Throughout the conversation, a clear theme related to the value of mentors and finding key people that believe in you prevailed.

Dr. Lopez specifically cited an instance when he wanted to move to San Francisco to live with his older sister to attend a community college as he was about to graduate from high school but how his mother interfered and strategically arranged a meeting with a family friend and attorney who was a key influence in having him be admitted to the University of New Mexico. That turned out to be a pivotal moment in his life that led him on a path toward earning his doctorate in Education and ultimately leading a career in higher education. Throughout his time in higher education, he has been passionate about helping, guiding and mentoring Latino students and paying it forward.

Council member Nuñez also shared about how he had a significant meeting early on in his career where he was asked: “what do you do here?”  That somewhat innocent question turned a pivotal moment where he learned about the power of his position, his influence and how it would impact people’s lives in a positive or negative manner. He took that lesson to heart and from that point on he was on a mission to empower the students he was responsible for as a key administrator to various school districts. He has now taken that approach to city government and looking out for his constituents.

By the end of the interview, it was very clear that both men have had and continue to have a very positive influence in our community and at an age where most people spend their time traveling, playing golf or engaged in other retiree activities, both of these gentlemen show no signs of slowing down.

We thank you both for all that you have done for our communities and continue to do. Thank you for believing in, us, our potential and the possibilities of an educated and empowered community.

At the conclusion of the program, San Jose City College and Silicon Valley Latino had the pleasure of presenting them both with the Creo En Ti Champion Award.

 

#CreoEnTi #CulturaAmbassador

 

 

Laura Fernández – SVL Collegiate Cultura Ambassador

 

Laura Fernández is currently completing her third year at San Francisco State with a major in Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts and a minor in Criminal Justice. She was born and raised in El Salvador until she was 10 years old. Her experience as a first-generation immigrant and all the recent events occurring in the country led her to choose a career in media that allows her to help the Latino community stay informed about the events that are affecting them, events that benefit them and to provide a way in which they can share their stories with the world. Her ultimate goal is to help them take action and stay engaged in conversations and decisions that affect their communities through documentaries, stories, and other media content.
Laura has volunteered as a photographer for the Resist documentary premier, a story about two undocumented students at SF State, and with Silicon Valley Latino as a media sponsor to BeVisible’s “BeWokeSF” event. She was inspired by Cultura Ambassador, Andrea Guendelman’s vision, signature event and how she created a platform inviting key leaders to dialogue and share insights to under-represented groups about diversity, inclusion, and career success.
She is eager to expand her knowledge and expertise in media, thus she is currently looking for job or internship opportunities for this summer and her last year at SF State. In the future, she looks forward to continuing to learn and serve her Latino community by providing a service in which they can share their stories.
Laura keep up the great work!  We look forward to keeping an eye on you and collaborating with you more in the future!  #CreoEnTi

Fireside Chat with Cisco CIO Guillermo Diaz Jr.

 

On February 24th, Silicon Valley Latino through a strategic partnership with San Jose City College, Milpitas Extension was honored to host an intimate and insightful interview with Cisco Chief Information Officer, Guillermo Diaz Jr. This was the second Latino Leaders Fireside Chat in its series.

Guillermo Diaz, Jr., is the Chief Information Officer responsible for Cisco’s global Information Technology organization, along with its strategy and services. His focus is on driving the business outcomes critical to the secure digital transformation of Cisco, and its customers and partners. Together with his team, Guillermo is responsible for strengthening Cisco’s foundational business capabilities, enabling new business models, and building the digital skills and talent that the organization will need in the future IT.

Since joining the company in 2000, Guillermo has been a major driver in the development of Cisco’s world-class IT organization. He has led initiatives that transformed significant business foundations, from the Cisco IT Networked infrastructure to primary business IT application areas. These application areas include Cisco’s $45B+ electronic commerce, technical services, professional services, service sales and marketing, customer service, Cisco Capital, and cloud/SaaS platforms.

Among other endeavors, Diaz is the executive sponsor of Conexión, Cisco’s Hispanic/Latino employee resource network, and a key leader on Cisco’s Diversity Council. His relationship building talent is what led him down the path of success, a path he was thrilled to share with our community.

Attendees were riveted by Guillermo’s story. Raised in the gritty east side of Pueblo Colorado, the Diaz family faced challenges early on with the death of Guillermo’s father at the age of 1 ½.  Diaz sites his mother as his hero in a town known as the “City of Heroes” due to the unusually large rate of Military icons born and raised in Pueblo. The hard work and determination of his mother coupled with the vision and encouragement of his grandmother guided “G” to excel in Martial Arts where he became a national champion in his division at the age of 14.  That same Diaz determination inspired Guillermo to enlist in the Navy with plans to leverage the GI Bill towards a college education. Through his mother’s guidance Diaz signed-up for the the Navy’s telecommunication networking job and just as he excelled with his black belt in Tae Kwon Do, he excelled in his new job.

Guillermo Diaz is a focused and determined man who never really sees obstacles, so much as assignments on a checklist of life’s “to do”.  As Diaz discussed his career moves, one thing was clear and not lost on his audience. Guillermo Diaz wakes up every morning determined to do his best, always steadfast in the resolve to make a difference. That is what makes him a great leader of people. At an early age, teachers pointed out how he possessed something clearly exceptional and it was then that he started his path towards being an effective leader.

So how does one go from setting up communication systems on an aircraft carrier of 5000 service men and woman to leading over 10,000 employees worldwide at CISCO?  Through effectively establishing and managing successful relationships.  Diaz possesses that humble confidence that makes each individual feel unique and empowered. He makes his team better. He makes those around him better. He’s making our community better.

Diaz shared a series of quotes and visual messages that spoke volumes about the keys to his success. One that resonated with most was a quote from North Carolina Basketball Coach Roy Williams, “It’s amazing what can be accomplished when no one cares who takes the credit”. A stark contrast to the “look at me” climate we seem to be so bombarded with on social media today. It’s so refreshing to hear one of the most powerful individuals in the IT world speak of truly connecting one on one with people and the beauty of each individual relationship. The audience was able to learn firsthand how empowering others empowers all.  And it’s for this reason that at the conclusion of the program, Diaz was presented Silicon Valley Latino’s inaugural “Creo En Ti” Champion Award.

As the audience gathered for Q and A, Diaz eloquently and patiently answered all questions and posed for photographs with attendees, a further testament to the selfless leadership that is Guillermo Diaz. We thank all those who took the time out of there busy lives on a Saturday morning to attend this heartfelt presentation. I know we are better for taking the time, that little extra time to learn from greatness. And as Diaz explained as he did during our inaugural Inspire Higher Tour, he was once in our shoes. He’s faced hardships and rose to prominence by never wavering, never giving up. We could not have said it any better. Creo En Ti!

Welcome Daniela Alcaraz!

 

We want to welcome Daniela Alcaraz to our team as our new intern.  If you get a chance to meet her giver her a warm welcome.

Daniela Alcaraz was born in Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico, but has lived in Fremont California for most of her life. She is a recent graduate of Fremont’s Washington High School and is currently studying at Ohlone College. Her goal is to transfer to UC Berkeley where she wants to major in Psychology.

Daniela is the middle child of three siblings and one of the first in her family to pursue higher education. She enjoys life and where she is and what she is doing, she especially enjoys the vibrancy about her culture and being a 21st Century Latina.

Daniela is passionate about helping others and making a difference in people’s lives. She’s also excited about her new role as a Silicon Valley Latino Intern and is ready to roll-up her sleeves and contribute to the work the Silicon Valley Latino team leads.

Jorge Escobar recognized at HITEC 100 Awards Ceremony

 

Silicon Valley Latino is delighted to announce, SVL Cultura Ambassador and education champion Jorge Escobar, Vice President for San Jose City College, was recently recognized as one of the HITEC 100 Corporate Award Honorees.

For many years now, Silicon Valley Latino has enjoyed covering this special annual awards presentation where many of our Cultura Ambassadors are regularly recognized. Current and past recipients include Guillermo Diaz Jr. -CIO at Cisco, Jorge Titinger – Founder & CEO of Titinger Consulting, Diana Albarran-Chicas – GEO Product Line Manager at Spac Systems Loral to name a few.

Jorge Escobar currently serves as Vice President of Administrative Services at San Jose City College (SJCC). As a member of the Presidential cabinet, his portfolio includes the following strategic areas: bond program for facilities development and operations; campus buildings and grounds management; financial services; business services; technology; campus police and safety; and operational performance of the 55-acre campus.

Before SJCC, he served as Vice President of Campus Operations and as Executive Director of Operations at Laureate International Universities (LIU), at the National Hispanic University (NHU) in San Jose, CA, and St. Augustine Universities, respectively.   At different times during his trajectory, he was responsible for multiple teams at the campus and functional expert in areas of Bursar, Financial Aid, Operations, AP, Facilities, Real Estate, Risk Management, and Information Technology. As a Sr. Leader in the organization, he supported the attainment of University goals and objectives in accordance with the institutional mission and strategic vision.

Prior to joining LIU, Jorge worked for Princeton University, where he served as senior associate director of planning and operations for the Office of Development creating a resource request to launch the Aspire capital campaign. The $1.75 billion campaign required the development of strategies relating to the allocation of resources in support of strategic plans (short and long-term).

Throughout his career, Escobar, a certified Six Sigma Black Belt, has applied his broad expertise in operations and technology at large institutions worldwide. For almost 10 years at Merrill Lynch, he performed global business reviews in Toronto, Tokyo, and London and became Vice President of Global Business Strategies and Solutions managing initiatives in data strategy, systems integration, performance metrics, and cost savings.

Escobar is an advisor to the International Commission of Science and Technology in the Dominican Republic and works with SENACYT (Secretaría Nacional de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación) evaluating research and development projects funded by the Panama government and the Inter-American Development Bank.

Escobar has led the National Hispanic Employee Network at Merrill Lynch and volunteered for AARP, Habitat for Humanity, and other community-focused organizations. In addition, he is a board member for HISPA (Hispanics Inspiring Student’s Performance Achievement) a non-profit organization providing role models to students in middle school. Finally, Jorge spearheaded Latino Princetonians, an employee resource group at Princeton University.

Educationally, Jorge has achieved a Master of Education with a concentration in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment from Walden University; Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration, Thomas Edison State College; Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from Rider University, New Jersey.

Additionally, Escobar is bilingual in Spanish-English, he is highly trained and proficient in multiple technology applications and has completed relevant professional seminars and conferences including the Looking Glass Experience, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, Enterprise Architecture Modeling, Financial Reporting, Conflict Resolution, Advancement Services, Leadership Through People Skills, Results-Oriented Communication, and Market Data Management.

Jorge has also received numerous awards and commendations including a Special Recognition Award from Princeton University (2011), the Donald Griffin ’23 Management Award, Princeton University (2010), and the Special Achievement Award, Merrill Lynch (1997).

We would like to congratulate Jorge once again for being recognized as one of the HITEC 100.

 

 

Latino Leaders Fireside Chat Series Launch with Tony Quintero

 

Silicon Valley Latino and San Jose City College had the distinct pleasure of bringing together the community to become part of our inaugural Latino Leaders Fireside Chat Series featuring Tony Quintero at the new Milpitas Extension campus.

We were challenged with the task of condensing this man’s amazing accomplishments and adventures in the two hour talk. We could have gone all afternoon. Certainly those in attendance wanted more.

Tony awed and inspired the participants with his unique life story. Starting out as a humble transfer student at San Jose State University to leading The La Raza National Law Students Association, to teaching at different universities statewide.  He also became a commercial real estate all-star, the first Latino to own a chain of regional malls to now becoming a Latino industry champion. All with a focus to support and inspire Latinas/Latinos, never losing site of the rage burning inside of him. As a child, Tony witnessed first hand how our community was treated back in the 1960’s. Refusing to come to grips with the question haunting him from an early childhood experience. “Why does God let us be second class citizens?”

What attendees learned was that Tony was able to harness that independent spirit and align himself with those values early on. Tony has always worked as an independent agent.

When posed the question of why he never sought to run for office Tony, answers, “because he did not want to participate in the money in politics bureaucracy or red tape.” This has allowed him to make the kind of changes and have the impact he has had in his career.

A child of a WWII veteran and a warm, nurturing mother, growing up in Redwood City, Tony experienced poverty at a young age as his father struggled to find work in the post WWII bay area. After serving and becoming citizens after the war, many families struggled and often questioned what they were fighting for. Tony’s experience was a lot like many Latinos in that era, trying to find identity, while facing racial injustice and lack of opportunities in school and in the workplace. Even to the point, as Tony recalls, of Mexican children segregated in schools and forced to share classrooms in horse stables. Until in 1947 the case of Mendez v. Westminster in which the Federal Court ruled this type of segregation as unconstitutional. Tony knew early on that college was his path. He found refuge in books, became a book worm. Bullied more for this, Tony focused even more, and fueled by the discrimination and misunderstandings around him, fought to make a difference.

Those battles percolate in every turn of Tony’s career. Fighting for justice through earning a law degree from Cal Berkeley, starting the first EOP Program at San Jose State University and being Elected First National President of La Raza Law Students Association in 1970.

Tony’s ascent was rapid and clear. He wanted to give Latinos a voice. He wanted to organize and lead. Being the maverick that he is, Tony did not seek to align with red tape, he aligned with action.

The next chapter in Tony’s career lead to an interest in Commercial Real Estate. Seeking to breathe life into a downtown San Jose area that had become run down and stagnant. He saw the future of this high tech mecca. He’s quoted in the early 90’s as predicting a major corporation would call San Jose home within 5 years. His foresight was dead on, to say the least. He moved on to the buying and developing of shopping malls, and was instrumental in allowing small, minority owned businesses to share the stage with major retail players.

Tony’s latest endeavor is developing and producing films which portray Latinos in a more positive light. Latinos represent over 25% of box office ticket sales, yet are grossly under represented on film. With well under 4% of roles going to Latinos. Not only that, but often cultural biographies representing Latino figures are often cast to Anglos. Tony points out numerous examples. The audience nods in recognition.

Those who were fortunate enough to sit down with Tony at our fireside chat were allowed a glimpse of a compassionate and determined individual, who so eloquently reminded us that revolution, comes from within.

We are certainly grateful for allowing Tony to share his story and inspire so many.

 

 

 

 

Luis Villa – SVL Cultura Ambassador

 

Silicon Valley Latino is proud to feature our newest Cultura Ambassador, Luis Villa from San Luis Potosí in Mexico. Luis is driven by his latest entrepreneurial endeavor Villa C. Luis and his wife Marisol recently visited with us here in Silicon Valley and we were thrilled to visit with him at Stanford University along with some iconic Silicon Valley institutions such as the Facebook and Google campuses. While pitching potential investors for Villa C, Luis was able to visit the Bay Area and not only meet with potential investors; he was also able to meet with other Cultura Ambassadors who offered him encouragement and support. Luis was able to be inspired first hand at one of Silicon Valley’s Inspire Higher Panel Discussions.

Bringing craftsmanship and unique designs from talent around the world and giving them a global stage in the marketplace is what Villa C is all about. The idea was hatched when Luis shared software design courses with fashion designers at The Universidad Interamericana para el Desarrollo. Luis quickly realized that the genius that toiled in the classroom needed a marketing and sales platform to feature such young amazing talent. He quickly started putting together Villa C. A marketplace for International, young designers.

The idea is to take the necessary steps in finding quality, locally made garments and presenting them through their e-commerce website in a way that’s fair to market and in a way that gives merchandise a sophisticated brand look. The Villa C website coordinates taylor-made solutions for custom garments direct to customers.

Through Villa C, designers will have access to key distribution, manufacturing and collaboration tools and services normally available only in more sophisticated supply chain solutions.

Luis Villa and his start up Villa C are dedicated to offering unique designs from custom designers around the world. This revolutionary idea helps them reach an audience looking for locally made and hard to find goods in a new global market place. His venture is well underway and he certainly has bright horizons ahead as Villa C is expected to officially be launching soon, including the possibility of participating in the next Boot Camp at Manos Accelerator. Manos Accelerator is a mentorship-driven accelerator program that provides “hands-on” education, business resources, infrastructure, capital, and guidance for promising Latino led startup companies, moving them towards a fast track to success.

We are excited to share this journey with all our Cultura Ambassadors. Stay tuned for more exciting news on Luis Villa and Villa C.

 

 

Luis Noriega Tovar – SVL Cultura Ambassador

 

Luis G. Noriega Tovar is passionate about giving back to his community and being part of a movement that brings about positive change to the world. Growing up undocumented, Luis felt the pressures of being restrained from unleashing his true potential. However, after achieving a 4.0 GPA in community college, transferring to UCLA and eventually graduating with an Economics, Honors degree, he realized that the true limitations were just in his mind.

He also realized that hard work, confidence, and faith will take you a long way; especially after becoming a leader in his teams at Oracle where he did tech Sales & Marketing.  Now, Luis spends his days helping people make massive changes to improve their quality of life through his Life Coaching and Marketing Consulting business. He finally found his true calling after helping several people make massive breakthroughs in their lives & being told that he had an amazing gift of wisdom and deep understanding.

Along with Silicon Valley Latino, Luis truly believes in inspiring young Latin@s and underrepresented communities because there was always people in his life that helped him get to where he’s at today. Now it’s time to give back, now it’s time for positive and long lasting change.

Ivan Reyes – SVL Cultura Ambassador

 

We are delighted to feature Ivan Reyes as another one of our featured panelists tomorrow evening at our first open to the public Inspire Higher panel presentation.

Diana Albarrán Chicas – SVL Cultura Ambassador