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.)

 

 

Inspire Higher Panel featuring SHPE-SV members!

 

 

On April 7th Silicon Valley Latino held a very special Inspire Higher Panel featuring members of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Silicon Valley (SHPE-SV)

The Panel consisted of Roxana Ruvalcaba, Operations Finance at Intel Corporation, Mario Rincon, Senior Software Engineer formerly at Linkedin, Consuelo Cervantes, Senior Human Resources Manager with Intel Corporation and Lemuel Lebron a Silicon Architecture Engineer at Intel Corporation.

The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) was founded in Los Angeles, California, in 1974 by a group of engineers employed by the city of Los Angeles. Their objective was to form a national organization of professional engineers to serve as role models in the Hispanic community.

The concept of Networking was the key basis for the organization. SHPE quickly established two student chapters to begin the network that would grow to encompass the nation as well as reach countries outside the United States. Today, SHPE enjoys a strong but independent network of professional and student chapters throughout the nation. SHPE has been a long-time friend of Silicon Valley Latino with many shared members. We are certainly thrilled to be collaborating with this stellar organization. These professionals took time out of their busy schedule to spend time with students and community leaders at San Jose City College Milpitas Extension.  A special shout out to Adriana Fuentes President of SHPE-SV for helping coordinate this special event.

The panel shared their incredible stories of achievement and perseverance to a very captive audience. We are proud to share their stories here…

Originally from LA, Roxana Ruvacalba went to UC Berkeley to study Industrial Engineering and Operations Research. While at Berkeley, she had two summer internships at Toyota where she learned about the Toyota Production System and continuous improvement. Once she graduated, she joined PG&E through a rotational program where she worked on various projects including creation and implementation of new policy. After completing the rotational program, Roxana joined the renewable energy team negotiating contracts.

Four years into her career, she decided to go back to school to complete an MBA at UCLA Anderson. While at Anderson, she interned at Google in Finance Operations working on the renegotiation strategy for their outsourcing contracts. Upon graduation, she joined Intel through the finance rotational program. She is currently in Operations Finance at Intel.

Roxana is one of four siblings. Family support and a strong network of friends has been essential to her both professionally and personally.

Mario Rincón was born and raised in Santa Marta, Colombia. He is the first in his family to earn a college degree. Mario graduated from Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá with a B.S. in Computer and Systems Engineering. After working for the Central Bank of Colombia, he earned a scholarship to pursue graduate school in the U.S. at Carnegie Mellon University where he graduated with a Master’s degree in Information Security. Since then, Mario has worked in different areas of software engineering and software development in Silicon Valley for Cisco, Ooyala, and LinkedIn. Mario is also a husband and father, and an active member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE). In his free time, he enjoys writing, playing the guitar, and memorizing poetry. As a first-generation college student and Latino software engineer, he likes to share his journey to inspire others to pursue higher education and careers in software development.

Consuelo Cervantes is currently a senior HR Manager at Intel, supporting the data center sales team. She has over 15 years of deep HR experience managing talent, succession planning, total compensation, resource planning, organization design, driving culture change and building leadership teams across industries and geographies. She has global experience managing business groups and teams based in Latin America, Europe and Asia. She has led and managed through several mergers and acquisitions at Cargill, 3M and Intel. Consuelo holds a Master’s degree in HR and Change Leadership from the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis MN and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from DePaul University, Chicago. She is multilingual, fluent in Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch. Consuelo was born in Mexico and raised in Chicago. She currently lives with her family in San Jose, CA.

Lemuel Lebron is a first-generation Latino, born and raised in New Jersey to Puerto Rican and Dominican parents. He currently works at Intel as a System-on-Chip Validation Engineer designing the intellectual property for next-generation processors targeting the data center and high-end computing market segments. Lemuel received his Bachelors in Computer Engineering from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2011 just before relocating to the Silicon Valley to start his career. Lemuel uses his expertise in technology to give back to the community through mentorship, leadership coaching, and contributing to pro-bono web-development projects for non-profit organizations such as SHPE, Braven, and LSU. Currently, he is exploring new interests in machine learning and looking for ways to apply them in the hardware development space.

All four panelists shared the moments they drew inspiration from that one mentor who guided them in their professional careers.  One highlight being how eloquently Mario Rincón shared his fear of his first few months in the U.S.  A time filled with uncertainty and challenges. A time he sought solace in the software programming he so passionately loved. Throwing himself head-long into a language he felt universal and spoke to him, when few around him could due to language barriers. Driven by dreams, he turned hope into action in a land very far from home.

We identified with Roxana’s story of parents who put all their hopes and dreams into their children and raising them with strong civic approach in a safe, supportive home. While her parents worked long hours to provide the tools she needed. Overcoming obstacles that could have easily made them feel like giving up. They didn’t. Roxana never did…it shows.

Consuelo Cervantes’ carries a force within her that is undeniable. Failure was never an option for her. A strong work ethics and never depending on anyone but herself makes Consuelo a fierce Latina for her generation. Truly a role model for the young Latinas in the attendance that day.

Lemuel Lebron has been a long time SVL Cultura Ambassador, giving tirelessly of his talents to the youth of our community. His energy is infectious and we are always genuinely warmed by Lemuel’s effortless way of connecting with young people. Well, we must say, he’s done a lot in his young career. Doesn’t hurt that he still looks 19. Such a fresh face in the tech landscape.

All our participants took time to meet and greet with our audience and, as in the past, the post panel discussion became a friendly networking moment. Smiles shared, cards exchanged. New stories blossoming as our audience grows at Silicon Valley Latino.

 

#CreoEnTi

 

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

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.

SVL Latino Leaders Fireside Chat with Guillermo Diaz Jr.

 

San Jose City College & Silicon Valley Latino have the honor to invite you to be a part of and to “Be Inspired’ by Guillermo Diaz Jr. at our next Fireside Chat
Back in 2015 Guillermo was named the CIO at Cisco for his deep committment to his work as a technology expert and for being an inspiring and effective leader to his teams. However the element that we appreciate the most about him is his commitment to the Latino community especially our youth.
Guillermo will share his life story with a very intimate crowd of supporters and followers so we invite you to reserve your space ASAP as it is not often that we can all sit in front of such an inspiring leader.
We look forward to seeing you there!
#CreoEnTi

Personal Branding by Oscar Garcia @ SJCC Milpitas Extension

 

On January 27th San Jose City College & Silicon Valley Latino hosted a fantastic presentation Personal Branding by Mr. Oscar Garcia. He explained strategies on how to build and maintain your personal brand.

Oscar Garcia has a unique background with over 10 years of technology and nonprofit management experience. Oscar is the Founder & Chief Engagement Officer of Aspira, a community relations, economic development and training firm that empowers, engages and educates its clients. Oscar’s career journey includes business development roles at five startups, co-founding a nonprofit, Chamber President & CEO, TV host of Silicon Valley Business and Community Relations Manager at LinkedIn.

He has received various prestigious awards recognizing his leadership and community work, including the La Familia Award from the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley, the NFL Hispanic Heritage Award from the San Francisco 49ers, and was nominated for Chamber Executive of the Year for the Western Association of Chamber Executives, recognizing his successful and innovative efforts to strengthen the bonds between businesses, community, nonprofits and education in Silicon Valley. As Chief Engagement Officer, his goal is to empower and engage others so they perform at their peak in order to achieve optimal results.

#CreoEnTi

 

BeVisible’s Bay Area Holibay Meet Up!

 

BeVisible Brings Together Bay Area Latinx Professionals for a Holiday Meet Up!

 

BeVisible brought the Holiday Latinxmagic spirit to the Bay Area with their first San Francisco meetup on December 13th.  Over 60 Latinx professionals and friends gathered at Alma Cocina in San Francisco for drinks, socializing, and community building with the purpose to propel LatinX in the workplace.

The evening started out with mingling and introductions. Guest enjoyed delicious appetizers and sangria from Alma Cocina, a new Latin American/Peruvian cuisine restaurant in San Francisco. All around, Latinx professionals across the innovation sector, students, and trailblazers shared their passions and career interests. Members came together to link up to promote and uplift each other by growing their network to connect with new job opportunities and recruiters seeking mission-driven Latinx professionals of the BeVisible community.

“It was inspiring to witness the community we have built all these years and to see Latinx uniting and gaining increasing access to the networks that feed the innovation economy” is how BeVisible’s CEO and co-founder of the platform that connects Latinx to inspiring peers and job opportunities with forward-thinking organizations.

Special guest and BeVisible San Francisco Member, Marcela Davison Aviles, shared her experience working as the lead cultural consultant on the film of the season, Coco.

Marcela emphasized the importance of telling authentic stories by and from the comunidad and harnessing the power of the Latinx community.

Throughout the evening members were excited to share their career journeys, interests, and future goals.

“BeVisible provided a space for us to come together and build community as Latinxs on a personal and professional level. There was a buzz of excitement in the air, one you feel when you truly feel at home”  states Karen Lazcano, BeVisible’s Ambassador

 

About BeVisible

BeVisible is on a mission to connect Latinx to opportunity to propel their careers powered by the strength of community to build and thrive together.  BeVisible launched  BeVisible’s Job portal and partnered up with organizations doing remarkable work that are looking for great LatinX talent to power their company mission. Get connected by joining the community of LatinX changemakers on www.bevisible.soy

Images taken by: Josh Masenko Sanchez http://joshmasenko.com/

Enjoy the event video below!