Cultura Ambassador, Jorge Escobar, named President of SJCC!

 

Appointment Approved by San Jose-Evergreen Community College Board of Trustees

During its meeting on June 12, the San Jose Evergreen Community College District (SJECCD) Board of Trustees appointed San Jose City College (SJCC) Vice President of Administrative Services Jorge Escobar as acting president of the College.
Escobar will serve as acting president while SJCC President Dr. Byron D. Clift Breland serves as SJECCD’s interim chancellor replacing Chancellor Dr. Deborah Budd, who is retiring.
“As I transition into the interim chancellor role for SJECCD, Jorge will continue to provide leadership and direction for SJCC. Over the past four years, Jorge has shown an unwavering commitment to the College as well as to our values of social justice, equity, and student success,” Breland said. “I’ve known Jorge as a strategic thought leader, who can easily apply principles, deliver value, and solve complex problems. He has consistently been instrumental in technical implementations, planning, and execution of improvements and continuous operational growth and innovation.”
Escobar is a forward-looking administrator with a proven record of progressive experience in the development and oversight of programs and initiatives across diverse industries including his work at Merrill Lynch, Princeton University, Laureate International Universities and the National Hispanic University.
“I feel blessed and grateful for yet another opportunity to serve the community with my on-going commitment to influence social change and social justice. As a Latino educator, I continue to bring my bi-cultural experiences and my bilingualism as additional assets in my toolkit,” Escobar said.
Over the past 25 years, Escobar has had extraordinary opportunities to build his knowledge in online education, strategic planning, fiscal management, business development, technology implementation, and oversight of new construction and renovation projects. His extensive history in developing and administering multimillion-dollar budgets within highly matrixed shared services organizations and managing large CAPEX budgets have shown to be unique assets to SJCC.
The campus is perhaps in the best shape in decades, and his leadership in construction and improvements are recognized by students, staff, faculty, and community members.
Escobar’s educational background includes a Master of Science in Education, from Walden University, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration-Finance from Rider University, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Management from Thomas Edison State College, an Associate degree of Applied Science in Business Administration & Accounting from County College of Morris. In addition to his education in Business Administration from the Army’s Polytechnic School of Business in Quito, Ecuador, Escobar has also earned Six Sigma Black Belt Certification from the Six Sigma Academy in Scottsdale, AZ.

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

 

 

BeVisible’s #BeWokeSF event

 

On May 17th, Silicon Valley Latino – Cultura Ambassador, Andrea Guendelman and her team at BeVisible led an unprecedented event in the Bay Area, #BeWokeSF.  The purpose and message of the event were clear challenging Silicon Valley: it is not enough to just hit certain diversity numbers. Companies must be intentional about going further than simply inclusion. They need to move towards developing a sense of belonging that leads to retention and productivity. As Andrea, co-founder of Be Visible and the event’s organizer, shared in her opening remarks, “Belonging is what we should be talking about all the time.”

#BeWokeSF, a next-gen career networking event, brought together over 500 underrepresented professionals to the Pearl in San Francisco to push the diversity and inclusion topic forward. The event was filled with razor-sharp conversations that included the power of female networks particularly in the era of #MeToo, equal pay, activism and multiculturalism in tech, and even the new frontier of dating apps.

Unique to the event was the incredibly diverse array of speakers and luminaries from Thaddeus Arroyo – CEO at AT&T Business to Beatriz Acevedo – co-founder and President at Mitú to Jesse Martinez founder at CareerForce to Sarahi Espinoza Salamanca founder & CEO at DREAMers RoadMap to 
our very own, Silicon Valley Latino, founder & CEO, Alex Ontiveros. The rather long list of equally engaged forward-thinking organizations included Pathbrite, AT&T, Airbnb, Mitú, Backstage Capital, Tinder and Lucasfilm who spoke to a similarly diverse audience. For many, it was an important and one-of-a-kind opportunity to connect directly with others who shared their experience, insights, and expertise. “It means a lot to me to be invited to speak here today because this is really the first opportunity for me to speak to an audience who may be interested in not only my perspective of working in the entertainment industry for 20 years but as a woman working in the entertainment industry, as a woman of color working in the entertainment industry, and as a woman of color who is a first generation child of immigrant parents,” shared Keynote Speaker Julie Peng, Senior Manager of Talent & Production, ILMXLAB at Lucasfilm.

With electrifying energy, the conversations evolved through a series of short discussions that packed personal stories, data, and solutions. The general message: employers in this country need to move beyond the diversity index data to develop an organizational culture that makes the underrepresented talent community feel welcomed without feeling tokenized. A creative use and synergy of culture, lifestyle, tech, and storytelling offer a direct pathway to that.

“The days of talking about diversity are long gone. It’s time to act and that entails taking courageous and untraditional stances. As underrepresented minorities we don’t connect to a ‘thing’ an‘ethereal thing’. We connect to people, so companies need to start betting on diverse leadership and putting diverse leadership forward; it will change things,” said, Andrea Guendelman, the Harvard-educated Latinx entrepreneur. “At the same time, women, people of color, the LGBTQ community–we need to take our place as owners of this country and stop asking for permission to belong. As my friend Ana Flores from #WeAllGrow said, don’t just get a seat at the table. Build your own table and create your own room,” she added.

 

Guendelman created the career platform after experiencing first hand the difficulties of making it in the workplace without the necessary support networks and mentors. The platform was born in 2014 to help Latinx millennials and Gen Zers connect with the innovative mentors and leaders needed to increase diversity and inclusion in the business world. Today, BeVisible, through #BeWokeSF, is taking a stance for women, people of color, LGTBQ, and non-gender binary individuals. Among the corporate partners were Google, YouTube, Disney, Tinder, Spotify, Airbnb, Adobe, Charles Schwab, Williams Sonoma.

“Participating in BeVisibile’s inaugural conference helped us connect with the talented community in the Bay Area while facilitating important, candid discussions about inclusion, representation, and mentorship,” said Lina Alcala, VP of HR at Tinder. “Engaging in these conversations is important to us as a global company, and crucial in effecting positive change across industries.”

 

Beyond the discussions, guests participated in an intimate and immersive experience where they connected and built a community committed to fostering a more inclusive workplace that reflects the diversity of America.

The program closed with an epic party that paid homage to diversity and multiculturalism. Performances from Smoked Out Soul, Deuce Eclipse of Bang Data, Afrolicious, DJ Umami, the exquisite rapper Aima the Dreamer, DJ Icon with a Silent Disco, and other installations kept the crowd going. BeVisible is just getting started and have big plans for more dynamic #BeWoke events in the near future.

 

Andrea, we look forward to your next event and continuing to support the work that you and your team lead in this space.
#CreoEnTi
(We are finalizing an event recap video, in the meantime please enjoy this event slideshow.)

 

 

SVL 2nd Annual College Declaration Day!

 

We are reaching to announce our 2nd Annual College Declaration Day!

This event-series was inspired by the press conferences held for stellar high school football players as they announce which college they’ve elected to attend.

Ours, however, are academically focused and we feature several students from various schools (as opposed to one) who have been accepted to and will be attending a notable university in the fall.

At this time, we ask you to participate in our process by nominating a stellar Latino student from the South Bay and by attending our 2nd Annual College Declaration Day the afternoon of June 30th.

Students may also self-nominate by completing our Nomination Form. We are looking for students who have achieved academic success, have developed and demonstrated leadership skills and are well rounded.

Nomination deadline is June 6th at midnight.

Here’s a look at a College Declaration Day that we produced in collaboration with San Jose City College and The Foundation for Hispanic Education.

 

 

We look forward to receiving your nominations!

 

#CreoEnTi

College Declaration Day with The Foundation for Hispanic Education

 

On Friday April 27th The Foundation for Hispanic Education (TFHE), San Jose City College and Silicon Valley Latino presented the first College Declaration Day focused on TFHE schools, Latino College Preparatory Academy (LCPA) and Luis Valdez Leadership Academy (LVLA), where 23 seniors declared their college selections.

The College Declaration Day is an opportunity for students to announce their college choices in a format similar to Collegiate Declaration Days presented by sports network channels and popular on social media. Only this event celebrates academic achievement, not touchdowns. Unlike highly recruited Football players, these students have been accepted to notable universities on academic, civic merit and Ganas. It’s our mission at Silicon Valley Latino to ensure these academic honorees are celebrated by our local community through this special event and that they are featured through our various platforms so that our online community may also celebrate them and take pride in their achievements.

With destinations across the country ranging from The University of Pennsylvania to UCLA, from Duke University to UC Berkeley, students from Luis Valdez Leadership Academy and Latino College Preparatory Academy are embarking on the opportunities of a lifetime. Many of these students will be the first in their family to go to college and for them and their families this is truly a significant event as many of them could not imagine such a day four years ago at their middle school graduations.

Four years of effort and focused determination have led these students on this illustrious path. The joy and sense of achievement was palatable that evening.

Dry eyes? Not many. Master of Ceremonies Jeff Camarillo (LVLA) and Jesus Rios (LCPA) delivered such eloquent and memorable remarks on each recognized student. Sharing stories first hand of trials and tribulations, hope and encouragement, laughter and tears, but most of all joy. The pure joy of their realizing the passion of each student’s path. Basking in the celebration of this very important milestone in their own professional lives and the lives of the students they have grown to bond and love these past four years.

As each student addressed the audience, you could really feel the sense of pride shared with their friends, family and community who had gathered to share in this exciting event. Speeches delivered by students gave recognition to the people who had supported them on their journeys. Students gave thanks, but more importantly shared the promise of one day giving back, just as they have been given.

Here is the list of honorees that evening…

Latino College Preparatory Academy: Brian Guevara, Duke University. Dalliana Banuelos, Santa Clara University. Alicia Brady-Sabioncello, University of California, Santa Cruz. Hugo Ayala, University of California, Santa Barbara. Anahy Jimenez, University of California, Merced. Lucydania Robles, University of California, Berkeley. Angel Jauregui, Saint Mary ‘ s College of California. Briseyda Aguilar, University of California, Berkeley. Melanie Mireles, University of California, Berkeley. Jazmin Dominguez, University of California, San Diego. Cristina Martinez, University of California Merced. Yeimy Ventura, University of California Berkeley.

Luis Valdez Leadership Academy : Abisaid ‘Abby ‘ Esquivel, University of Pennsylvania. Angela Rascon, Saint Mary ‘ s College of California. Aylin Velazco, Bryn Mawr College. Roberto Alvarez, Sacramento State University. Cheyenne Ferranti, University of California, Los Angeles. Lesley Sanchez Garcia, University of California, Merced. Ivette Mondragon, University of California, Davis. Oscar Diaz, University of California, Merced. Andrew Garcia, California Baptist University. Emily Espino, UC Riverside.

¡Felicidades! to all the students who were honored that evening. Viva Class of 2018!

#CreoEnTi

3rd Annual Latino Education Summit

Greetings Cultura Ambassadors and friends,

We would like to invite you to attend The 3rd Annual Latino Education Summit: Silicon Valley scheduled for this Saturday, April 21st at Santa Clara University.

Featured speakers and presenters include Dr. Byron Clift Breland, SJCC President, Keith Aytch, Interim President at EVC, Roland Montemayor, VP of Academic and Student Affairs at SJCC, Felix W. Ortiz, CEO of Viridis Learning,  Dr. Fabio Gonzalez, District Academic Senate President, Jesus Covarrubias, Academic Senate President, and our very own Cultura Ambassador and Education Champion Jorge Escobar, VP of Administrative Services of San Jose City College.

The summit’s focus is on Language, Culture, and Identity in the Education of LatinX Students

Register via the link below:

Register

We look forward to seeing you there!

 

 

 

Inspire Higher Panel at SJCC Milpitas Extension

 

This past week we delivered another successful Inspire Higher Panel presentation at the San Jose City College Milpitas Extension. With over 100 students in attendance, it was standing room only.

Silicon Valley Latino’s Inspire Higher Initiative engages numerous successful and inspiring Latino professionals. We ask them to share their journeys primarily through “The Inspire Higher Tour” – a high touch/high impact panel of diverse Latino professionals that visit schools with predominantly Latino students. Our end goal is to inspire Latino youth throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and expose them to exciting and rewarding careers in STEAM.
Through the Inspire Higher Program, we Inspire, Impact and Ignite our youth to aspire beyond the dreams they’ve previously had. Through this special program, we have sparked the interest and dreams of hundreds of youth over the last few years and we continue to build on this program through key strategic public/private partnerships.

Today we were delighted to feature another four exceptional Latinos:

Jose Benitez Cong – Co-founder & CEO @ Plause

Sonia Munoz – VP of Marketing @ Bill.com

Maritza Vallejo – HR Manager @ STG Partners, LLC

Rich Garcia – Sr. Software Developer @ Bill.com

They all shared their life’s journeys in a very open, honest, authentic and inspiring manner. We want to thank San Jose City College Milpitas Extension, once again for sponsoring and presenting another exceptional panel.

Special thanks to MUSD Superintendent Jordan and her team for collaborating with us in making today’s Inspire Higher program a truly impactful event for our youth!

Enjoy the video and photos from this very successful event!

 

Inspire Higher Panel at SJCC Milpitas Extension

If you are interested in bringing our Inspire Higher program to your school please reach us at info@svlatino.com

#CreoEnTi #Adelante

Latino Leaders Luncheon in Silicon Valley

 

Latino Leaders Network Honored Maria Echaveste and Convened Silicon Valley Leaders

On Wednesday, March 21st the Latino Leaders Network (LLN), a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing leaders together, convened its 53rd Latino Leaders Luncheon Series event to honor Maria Echaveste with the Eagle Leadership Award. Nearly 300 local San Jose/Silicon Valley leaders were in attendance, including guest speakers Mayor Sam Liccardo of San Jose and Ron Gonzales, President, and CEO of the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley.

Maria Echaveste is the Policy and Program Development Director at the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy. Echaveste joined University of California Berkeley School of Law as a Lecturer. She previously co-founded a strategic and policy consulting group, serving as a senior White House and U.S. Department of Labor official. From 1998 to 2001, she served as assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff to President Bill Clinton. Among her responsibilities in this role was overseeing issues relating to Mexico and Latin America. She has worked as a community leader and corporate attorney. She is also a Senior Fellow with the Law School’s Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Race, Ethnicity, and Diversity.

“We were proud to honor Maria Echaveste with the Eagle Leadership Award for her outstanding service to our community,” said Mickey Ibarra, Founder, and Chairman of the Latino Leaders Network. “I was proud to work alongside Maria at The White House for President Clinton and the American people. Her powerful personal story inspires us to dream big, work hard, and lead by example.”

Mickey Ibarra, book co-editor, also introduced his new book featuring the powerful personal stories of national Latino leaders, Latino Leaders Speak: Personal Stories of Struggle and Triumph.

“Our Latino community has role models, inspiring heroes, and outstanding leaders,” said Mr. Ibarra. “Their stories need to be told. Readers of this book will be inspired to dream big, get prepared and get ready to lead.”

LLN’s luncheon community partner was the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley. Event sponsors included PG&E, PepsiCo, Southwest Airlines, Fernandez Government Solutions, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America, and Google.

LLN hosts six annual events throughout the country honoring prominent Latino leaders. The book features 33 keynote addresses delivered at the Latino Leaders Luncheon Series by leaders from a wide variety of occupations, including government, sports, entertainment, education, journalism and more.

Silicon Valley Latino founder and CEO, Alex Ontiveros, was delighted to have been present for this special event as well as to see many SVL Cultura Ambassadors and SVL Honorees in attendance. We look forward to attending and supporting future Latino Leaders Network events in the future” said Ontiveros.

For more information about LLN and Latino Leaders Speak: Personal Stories of Struggle and Triumph, visit www.LatinoLeadersNetwork.org.

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.