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!

SVL Inspire Higher Tour 2017 @ Cristo Rey High School

 

Silicon Valley Latino’s Inspire Higher Tour engages numerous successful and inspiring Latino professionals and asks them to share their stories via various platforms but primarily through moderated panel discussions with an end goal to inspire Latino youth throughout Silicon Valley to prepare for careers in STEAM.

The primary component of the Inspire Higher Initiative is the “The Inspire Higher Tour,” a high touch/high impact element comprised of a touring and rotating panel of Latino professionals visiting numerous schools where the student body is predominantly Latino.

This semester the Inspire Higher Tour is visiting four schools and will conduct five panel discussions. The schools include: Cristo Rey High School, Luis Valdez Leadership Academy, ACE Franklin McKinley Middle School and ACE High School.

The moderated panel discussions are scheduled for 40 to 45 minutes to be followed by a 15 to 20 minute “meet & greet” segment where “high-touch” connections allow for the magic to happen.

We believe that having STEAM programs is a very good option for our Latino youth. However, the true challenge is that no matter how great a program may be if the student does not have the self-esteem, ambition, aspiration and confidence to attempt the program the student will fail to capitalize on the opportunity at hand. We further believe that if we create an environment and opportunities for our students where they connect with successful Latino professionals they will be inspired to engage in STEAM programs and succeed in them. Through our initial Inspire Higher Tour we witnessed the immediate inspirational effect our program had with participating students.

Adelante!

#InspireHigherTour

Interested in becoming an SVL Cultura Ambassador?  Reach out to us so that we can give you all the details on joining this growing community of professional latin@s.  email us info@svlatino.com

SVL Inspire Higher Tour 2017 @ Cristo Rey High School

Images of SVL Inspire Higher Tour at Cristo Rey High School

SVL Inspire Higher Tour 2017 @ Cristo Rey
SVL Inspire Higher Tour 2017 @ Cristo Rey
SVL Inspire Higher Tour 2017 @ Cristo Rey
SVL Inspire Higher Tour 2017 @ Cristo Rey
SVL Inspire Higher Tour 2017 @ Cristo Rey
SVL Inspire Higher Tour 2017 @ Cristo Rey
SVL Inspire Higher Tour 2017 @ Cristo Rey
SVL Inspire Higher Tour 2017 @ Cristo Rey
SVL Inspire Higher Tour 2017 @ Cristo Rey
SVL Inspire Higher Tour 2017 @ Cristo Rey
SVL Inspire Higher Tour 2017 @ Cristo Rey
SVL Inspire Higher Tour 2017 @ Cristo Rey
SVL Inspire Higher Tour 2017 @ Cristo Rey
SVL Inspire Higher Tour 2017 @ Cristo Rey
SVL Inspire Higher Tour 2017 @ Cristo Rey
SVL Inspire Higher Tour 2017 @ Cristo Rey

Guillermo Diaz Jr. “G” video interview

 

Silicon Valley Latino is delighted to share Connected Futures Magazine’s interview of Cultura Ambassador and Cisco CIO, Guillermo Diaz. Guillermo or “G” as his friends refer to him, has been a tech leader that we at Silicon Valley Latino have been following for the past few years and it gives us great pleasure to share this interview where he talks about his first year as Cisco’s CIO.  In signature G fashion he talks about engaging others and creating a culture that inspires innovation. He further discusses some of the challenges in this first year, his approach towards solving problems, some of the accomplishments, opportunities and what lies ahead. We are also proud to note that Guillermo isn’t just a tech leader at a Silicon Valley company, he’s also a champion in the community as he makes time to inspire the next generation of innovators on a regular basis. We encourage you to take a moment and learn about how this successful Fortune 500 executive drives a successful approach to innovation, engagement and building a thriving culture at Cisco and beyond.

 

Cisco’s “Conexion” – High Impact, Inclusion & Collaboration!

 

Silicon Valley Latino was a media partner to Cisco’s Hispanic Heritage Month event a few months ago. While there, we had the opportunity to interview several Conexion (Cisco’s Latino Employee Resource Organization) Board Members about the group’s purpose, strategies and impact.

 

We are proud to have many of our Cultura Ambassadors lead Conexion’s efforts and impact in the community through many programs such as “Escuela” and “High School Career Fairs”.  Additionally, this featured video showcases Conexion’s multiple values, from an innovative relationships, products, and culture perspective, as well as through talent pipeline and strategic community outreach.

 

“Conexion plays an integral part in Cisco’s Inclusion and Collaboration strategy. It’s about creating an incubator for innovation, best practices, and collaboration across the globe” says Maria Medrano, Inclusion and Collaboration Strategist, Cisco.

 

We would also like to thank Anne-Marie Azzi and Beatriz Medina Pratt for their exemplary leadership to Conexion for the past two and a half years.  During their tenure, Conexion received numerous awards and recognition, such as Silicon Valley Latino ERG of the Year 2014, Top ERG Award by Latina Style and HITEC, the Hispanic IT Executive Council in 2014. Would also like to give a special thanks to Conexion Executive Sponsors, Guillermo Diaz Jr, Senior Vice President and CIO and Yvette Kanouff, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Cloud Solutions. Silicon Valley Latino would also like to give a warm welcome to the new Conexion co-presidents, Juan Del Villar and Oscar Gomez, we look forward to collaborating with them as they step into their new roles.

 

From a personal perspective it’s been a true pleasure to see so many of our Cultura Ambassadors grow professionally and climb the corporate ladder.  A few we would like to recognize today are Guillermo Diaz Jr., Ileana Rivera, Anne-Marie Azzi, Beatriz Medina Pratt, Katty Coulson, Esmeralda Barriga, and Francisco Espana.

 

We look forward to following Conexion and featuring more of their work in 2016!

 

 

Cisco’s 2015 Hispanic Heritage Month

 

Silicon Valley Latino had the pleasure of covering Cisco’s 2015 Hispanic Heritage Month .

Impacto Latino! That was the theme of Cisco’s first annual Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration  held on October 21, 2015 at its San Jose campus. Hosted by Conexión, Cisco’s Latino ERO, the event showcased the contributions made by Latinos, both at Cisco and across the globe, and also celebrated the unique Latino culture with food, music, art and dancing. The event coincides with the U.S. observation of HHM which is recognized from September 15 – October 15, the anniversary of independence for several Latin American countries.

Cisco Hispanic Heritage Month 2015Over 200 attendees joined locally and from remotes sites in Mexico City, Brussels, Raleigh, NC, Austin, TX, and Boxborough, MA to hear from the great line up of speakers, network with their peers and celebrate. The agenda featured several Cisco leaders including Guillermo Diaz, Jr., SVP & CIO and Executive Sponsor of Conexion, Shari Slate, VP, Chief Inclusion & Collaboration, and Maria Dincel, Director, Sponsor Marketing and Head of Olympic Games.  In addition, a professional development component was offered and Gina Rudan, leadership coach and author of Practical Genius, delivered a keynote.

Event speakers:

Guillermo shared the impact Conexión has made over the past 17 years and highlighted the continued efforts to develop the next generation of Latino leaders at Cisco. He also shared the impact that Conexion had on his career and encouraged the audience to disrupt themselves and inspire exponentially.

Maria shared Cisco’s sponsorship plans for the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics and the efforts Cisco is making in Brazil around country transformation.

Gina Rudan shared her 5 steps to leveraging your practical geniusand the importance of marrying the heart and the mind to create your genius.

Shari highlighted the power of partnerships to help unleash the power of our talent. She also shared the progress made by the Office of Inclusion and Collaboration to transform the company.

Following the main event, attendees in San Jose had the opportunity to network with their peers, learn Zumba, and connect with local Latino owned businesses – PONDL Winery, Vino Latino, Voces Wine, Tico Coffee Roasters, Teatro Vision, Ventana de Flores and Latino Art Expressions.  Conexión

Silicon Valley Latino looks forward to covering Cisco’s 2016 Hispanic Heritage Month event.

If you were a part of this event share your experience with the Silicon Valley Latino community.

Juan Carlos Lopez – Cultura Ambassador

 

Juan Carlos “JC” Lopez is a marketing manager on the Seller Acceleration team within Cisco System’s Product Solutions Marketing organization. As a project manager, he coordinates marketing campaigns and activities across physical and digital channels to support product launches as well as to amplify and create awareness for top priority solutions. He is also responsible for coordinating market research and developing sales analysis for identifying strategic seller opportunities to enhance sales and productivity while driving migration to encourage product refresh within Cisco’s install base. Most recently, his team drove the Meraki Challenge, an online marketing campaign designed to showcase the simplicity of cloud managed networking and to raise awareness of Cisco Meraki as a full Enterprise class IT solution for security, routing, switching, and wireless.

Juan Carlos LopezPrior to joining Cisco, he worked as a field marketing manager at SAP. In this role, he was responsible for the planning and execution of integrated marketing campaigns to drive demand generation and brand awareness for SAP’s analytics, cloud, platform and mobility solutions for the West region.

JC’s motto is “Work Smarter, Not Harder,” as he fully embraces new technologies and develops best practices in the marketing process to develop and execute breakthrough ideas and innovative campaigns for buyers and stakeholders while turning solution goals and objectives into scalable, actionable integrated marketing plans that deliver results.

Since his arrival to the high tech industry, JC has given back to the community through his support of various non-profits including the Foundation for a College Education and East side Prep in Palo Alto. He also holds an executive leadership position on the San Francisco board of the National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA).

Born in East Oakland, JC is an ardent fan of the Oakland Raiders. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Davis and earned his MBA degree with honors from the University of San Francisco, concentrating in marketing and finance.

 

Five Cisco executives extend a hand to Cristo Rey San José students

 

Article originally posted on Hispanic Executive

Cisco partners with Silicon Valley high school to build the pipeline for Latino STEM leaders

Five Cisco executives extend a hand to Cristo Rey San José students

By Olivia N. Castañeda

 

Cristo Rey San José High School, founded in the fall of 2014 and located in the Silicon Valley area, is on a mission to end the cycle of poverty. The school’s founders believe the key to prosperity is education. It is affiliated with 28 other urban Cristo Rey Network education institutions that span the country, and unlike the average high school, an admissions prerequisite is that the student comes from a low-income family. Each school’s curriculum includes an adjunct to their academic studies called the Corporate Work Study Program (CWSP), in which four students team up to alternate daily at an assigned nine-to-five job, Monday through Friday.

In its first year of operation, 129 freshman-level pupils make up the entire student body at Cristo Rey High School in San José; 92 percent are Hispanic and eight percent are Asian and black. Currently, there are 28 different corporate sponsors in collaboration with the high school for CWSP.

Cisco Executive VP Randy Pond

Randypond

 

These corporate sponsors hire one team of students for the school year: September through June. Cisco, one of the school’s corporate sponsors, has exemplified what the program hopes to achieve. “Cisco has been very different from the typical experience. Their level of engagement and support of our students has been truly remarkable,” says Matt Bell, the school’s director of the Work Study Program.

The global IT company with 70,000-plus employees has the following vision statement: “changing the way we work, live, play, and learn.”

 

Anne-Marie Azzi, marketing manager at Cisco, says that the company’s interest in participating in CWSP is to share a passion for revolutionizing the world through technology with younger generations. CWSP is a STEM initiative with a goal of building the pipeline for Latino leadership in STEM. By sparking interest at an early age, companies will more likely to be able to recruit from this talented and passionate pool. Photo: Mauricio PalomarAnnemarie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cisco Senior VP of IT Guillermo Diaz, Jr.

Practicing what they preach, Cisco’s executive vice president Randy Pond sponsors two teams, contributing $30,000 per student. Pond has also smartly linked the program to Cisco’s Latino employee resource group,

Guillermo
Conexión.

“[The corporate sponsorship] is not a charitable contribution. This is a business expense for our corporate sponsors,” says the Rev. Peter Pabst, Society of Jesus, who is the president of the high school. The business pays 50 percent of each student’s tuition, the school contributes another 40 percent through grants and fundraising, and the families pay the remaining 10 percent of the total $15,000 balance.

Cisco Senior Manager of Latin America IT Katty Coulson

KattyAnother huge supporter of the collaboration is Cisco’s Guillermo Diaz Jr., senior vice president of IT. “Guillermo has just been the champion of this program,” Pabst says.

Diaz helps the students make connections with other Cisco employees; building their confidence in the process and creating mentor-mentee situations.

“Inspire exponentially” was Diaz’s phrase of the year for his students in 2014-2015 school year. “That means waking up everyday and inspiring ourselves and others through the use of technology,” he says.

The student IT team at Cisco is lead by Katty Coulson, who is the senior manager of Latin America information technology. Working in a high-energy environment amongst recently hired college graduates, the high school students assist in web-page development, blogging, and creating presentations.

Cisco Senior VP of Project Operations Ana Corrales

anacorralesThe second team leader is Ana Corrales, who is Cisco’s senior vice president of product operations. Managed by her team she calls “product operations central,” the students assist with events or product showcases that are targeted to the company. “It has been quite delightful,” Corrales says. “It’s a very rewarding experience to see [the students] grow.” She is recruiting the same students to return next year to continue building their skill sets and give them direct product experience the second time around.

In addition to students gaining work experience, there is an “unexpected by-product,” as Pabst calls it, resulting from CWSP. The students feel excitement as they look forward to working in a professional setting and stand proud as their fellow adult colleagues treat them as professionals.

They also enjoy having real-world responsibilities and having others rely on them in the office. From the beginning of the program to today, the students have developed into mature, confident, and courageous future Latino leaders.

 

Guillermo Diaz Jr. “Inspires Exponentially”

We are delighted to feature our SVL Cultura Ambassador & SVL champion in this video where he talks about his phrase of the year “Inspire Exponentially”.  He also inspired the name of our tour Inspire Higher Tour.

#InspireHigherTour

A Peak into Inspire Higher Tour Spring 2015

Here’s a peak at Silicon Valley Latino’s Inspire Higher Tour. So far we’ve Inspired and Impacted hundreds of students!

Silicon Valley Latino would like to thank the Inspire Higher Tour panelists for sharing their journeys in an authentic and inspiring manner. Guillermo Diaz Jr, Laura I. Gómez, Julissa Ramirez Lebron, Ivan Reyes, Tony Quintero, Ileana Rivera, Pepe Gomez, Nancy Rosales, Gabriel F. Lomeli Jr., Veronica Cedillos, Rich Garcia, Jessica Ruvalcaba, Salvador Xava Arciniega, Diana Albarran Chicas, Esmeralda Barriga Gonzalez, Lemuel Lebron.

We are excited to feature other amazing Latinos at our next tour stop is scheduled at Milpitas High School on April 24th.

A special thanks to our sponsors as this initiative would not be possible without your partnership and support!

Champion Sponsor: Cisco
Advocate Sponsors: Microsoft & Perezidential Homes
Amigo Sponsors: Kaiser Permanente & Oracle

John Canela – SVL Collegiate Cultura Ambassador

 

John Canela is a senior at the New Jersey Institute of Technology majoring in IT Network Security and is expected to graduate Cum Laude in May 2015. He is also the Vice President of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) at NJIT, an organization that provides opportunities for students to not only achieve their professional and academic goals but also inspire them to reach their fullest potential. In the summer of 2014, he interned as an IT Analyst at Cisco Systems in San Jose, CA where he engineered a proposed security roadmap for his team and developed a script to automate the discovery of security vulnerabilities within application source code. At the end of the summer, he was offered a full-time position to work as an IT Engineer within Cisco’s Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) and will begin working in July 2015.

John Canela - SVL Collegiate Cultura AmbassadorCanela is a first generation American and is the oldest of four siblings. His parents were both born in the Dominican Republic and immigrated to New York in the mid-1980s. He was born in Brooklyn, NY and grew up in Kearny, NJ where he attended public school. He later enrolled at NJIT where he has excelled both academically and as a campus leader. At NJIT he has worked as a Tier-2 IT Technician, Resident Assistant, and a mentor for college freshmen within the Educational Opportunity Program. As Vice President of SHPE, he has helped the group bring prominent speakers to campus and organize career workshops, as well as establish corporate relations with the goal of obtaining sponsorship for future events.

In spring 2014, Canela earned Resident Assistant of the Year and the Outstanding Student Staff Member awards for exceeding supervisor expectations and going above and beyond the required responsibilities. He is known for his “go-getter” attitude, high level of integrity, and his passion for serving others. Canela is excited to start his professional career in Silicon Valley and looks forward to one day becoming a prominent leader within the tech industry.