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!

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

College Declaration Day 2017!

 

Once again Silicon Valley Latino is proud to shine the spotlight on stellar Latinos leading the way, this time however, it’s done through a strategic partnership with San Jose City College and the focus is on the next generation of emerging leaders.

On August 23rd, San Jose City College and Silicon Valley Latino collaborated in producing the inaugural “College Declaration Day” where eight honorees were featured and celebrated for their academic achievements. Our community, which included parents, students, family members, educators and Cultura Ambassadors, gathered at the new San Jose City College Milpitas Extension to pay tribute to eight exceptional high school seniors as they took their first steps into pursuing a college degree.

The festivities commenced with welcome and opening remarks by Alex Ontiveros, founder of Silicon Valley Latino.  He then introduced Jorge Escobar, Vice President of San Jose City College, who delivered passionate and encouraging remarks to our College Declaration Day inaugural cohort.  The enthusiasm continued as Adam Mendoza, Vice President of Marketing for Silicon Valley Latino introduced the evening’s master of ceremonies, Cultura Ambassador and serial entrepreneur, Nancy Rosales. Nancy introduced each honoree by reading their inspiring bios and announcing which school they are attending this fall. After each introduction, each honoree delivered heartwarming remarks of gratitude and appreciation for all who helped along their academic journey. They also declared that they give their best effort as they start the collegiate journeys and that they will find a way to give back to their community upon their graduations. The event was also streamed via Facebook Live in an effort to reach audiences beyond Silicon Valley, in fact, the live-stream reached over 6,300 people and had just under 2,000 views.  The other goal in streaming the event was to share these stories of commitment and perseverance in an effort to inspire others in our communities, especially young girls and boys so they could also see themselves as successful scholars entering the college of their choice. We are also optimistic that this will be the first of many College Declaration Day events and that the number of academic honorees will grow each year.

The inaugural College Declaration Day cohort includes:

  • Krista Arellano – Yale University
  • Daniela Cervantes – University of California at Berkeley
  • Gissel Neri Corcoles – Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
  • Apolinar De Jesus – University of California at Santa Barbara
  • Evelyn Lazaro-Ruiz – Vassar College
  • Yulissa Martin-Covarrubias – University of California at Berkeley
  • Anthony Bernard Tapiz – California State University at Monterey Bay
  • Josalyne Torres-Baez – University of California at Davis

We wish them all the best as they enter their freshmen year and look forward to providing our audiences with updates throughout their first year.

Lastly, we would like to give special thanks to Cultura Ambassador and education champion, Jorge Escobar, for seeing the vision of College Declaration Day and partnering with Silicon Valley Latino in producing this special event. We also want to offer a special acknowledgment to, Cultura Ambassador, Ileana Ortega Brunetti of Ceiba Public Schools for her assistance with the nomination process. Additionally, we want to thank San Jose City College and the Milpitas Extension Team including Michael Mooney, Director of the Milpitas Extension along with all our families, educators and Cultura Ambassadors that came out to support this special event.

 

Adelante!

 

Diana Albarrán Chicas – SVL Cultura Ambassador

 

28th Annual Summer Jazz Fest & A Farewell to Mr. Latin Jazz

 

For the past 28 years, the San José Jazz Summer Fest has brought a vibrant and exciting music festival to the San José community. What started out as a small party with a rather limited budget and mostly conventional jazz acts has now evolved into one of the most anticipated and comprehensive three-day jazz festivals going. One of the principal collaborators in shepherding the growth of the festival over the past thirteen years has been Board Chair Emeritus Arturo Riera, also known as Mr. Latin Jazz.

Riera is and has been a champion in the Latin Jazz movement for what seems to be a life time and that is what attracted him to San José Jazz over thirteen years ago. During his tenure with SJZ, he has been the Latin Curator of the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest. Through this role, he has spearheaded the growth of the number of Latin acts to twenty throughout the festival. You’ll be hard pressed to find another festival that offers close to twenty diverse and exciting acts in a three-day span. Maestro Riera has been active in cultivating key relationships for SJZ as well as securing key grants with the Packard and Castellano Family Foundations. His reach and influence have been an integral part of San José Jazz. So, if you see Mr. Latin Jazz this weekend at Summer Fest you may want to say “thanks” for his contributions the festival as this appears to be his last year with SJZ.

As for the Latin acts we are anticipating at this year’s festival, they include our friend Oscar Hernandez and Alma Libre, Bay Area Salsa All-Stars featuring Jimmy Bosch: A Tribute to “El Timbalero” Louie Romero, Angelique Kidjo’s Tribute to Salsa with Pedrito Martinez, Lily Hernandez Orquestra featuring Calixto Oviedo, Eddie Gomez & Jimmy Cobb and of course the Pacific Mambo Orchestra.

Silicon Valley Latino and our community also appreciates the tireless work the San José Jazz family (SJZ Board, staff and volunteers) dedicates to this exceptional festival each year. Additionally, we would also like to thank and acknowledge the contributions from our Silicon Valley Latino Cultura Ambassadors and SVL Honorees such as Tommy Aguilar, Mia Perez and of course the Castellano Family Foundation. We look forward to seeing you this weekend!

If you attend the festival go ahead and tag us (twitter @SVLatino/Instagram#SVLatino) to have your photos highlighted #SVLatino

 

SVL presents Declaration Day August 23rd

 

 

In partnership with San Jose City College, Silicon Valley Latino is proud to present its inaugural “Declaration Day” on August 23rd at the San Jose City College Milpitas Extension. Declaration Day is a unique and special event where local Latino scholars will be recognized for their academic excellence surrounded by their family and community.

This event was inspired by observing the manner high school senior athletes hold press conferences to declare which university and football program they have selected. In a similar fashion, Silicon Valley Latino will feature scholars who will also declare the universities that they have selected. The principal difference is that Silicon Valley Latino will feature these young women and men based on their academic achievements as opposed to those on a football field.

In addition to declaring their university selection, they will also declare that they will give their best academic effort earning their degrees and that upon graduation they will find a way to give back to their community. Silicon Valley Latino will make the commitment of stay engaged with these scholars and keep our community posted on their progress.

Silicon Valley Latino and San Jose City College invite the community to come out and celebrate these young women and men as they prepare to leave their homes and venture on their higher education journeys.  You may RSVP via Eventbrite link.

We look forward to seeing you then!