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.

 

Cultura Ambassador Tiq Chapa recognized by Voto Latino

We at Silicon Valley Latino are proud and encouraged with the work that Voto Latino leads for our community through its various initiatives  and Mission statement as a pioneering civic media organization that seeks to transform America by recognizing Latinos’ innate leadership.  They have recognized & awarded, through their “VL Innovators” video, Cultura Ambassador, Eutiquio “Tiq” Chapa for his Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative.

Tiq is the epitome of what it is to be a Cultura Ambassador. He along with the rest of his colleagues Dr. Jerry Porras (SVL Trail Blazer) and Remy Arteaga are doing an outstanding job in leading the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative and we look forward to sharing their success stories in the near future.

Tiq keep up the great work, we are very proud of you and delighted to support your efforts in empowering our entrepreneurship community.

Adelante!

 

About LBAN:

In 2012, Professor Jerry Porras and a group of Stanford Alums came together to form a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, the Latino Business Action Network (LBAN), focused on making America stronger through LBAN funded Latino research and education impact programs at Stanford University.

Cultura Ambassador Lisa Morales-Hellebo tech founder way ahead of all of us!

Cultura Ambassador Lisa Morales-Hellebo is highlighted via Verizon for being a tech finder that is way ahead of all of us!

Learn more about Lisa via this two part series that Verizon has put out.

Jose Armando Perez Vega – SVL Collegiate Cultura Ambassador

 

Jose grew up in Northern California in a small town called Windsor where he along with his parents and two older brothers emigrated from Mexico in 1994. He is a first generation college student and thanks his parents and both brothers for his success; if it weren’t for them he wouldn’t be where he is today. He strives to one day repay them for all of the sacrifice they have done for him.

Jose Armando Perez Vega - SVL Cultura AmbassadorHe enjoys playing soccer on his down time, as he used to play competitively before college, also a four-year varsity soccer player in high school. He enjoys running and staying in shape and enjoys spending time with his family, watching sports like soccer and basketball, and exploring San Francisco and the cities surrounding it.

He is an active member of two organizations Hermanos Unidos de SFSU and ALPFA at SF State. However, he is currently studying abroad in Madrid, Spain taking Business Administration classes.

Hermanos Unidos – a non-profit organization that engages in events like community service, academic, and social networking with the intention to break social Latino stereotypes. He took the leadership role of Community Service Chair during the academic year 2014-2015 where he planned community service events benefitting the Latino community in San Francisco.

ALPFA – a non-profit organization where he participates in workshops that improve skills in public speaking, networking, resume building and professionalism. He has taken various leadership roles, Director of Social Affairs Fall 2015, and currently the Director of Corporate Partnership.

action 1With the help of ALPFA he interviewed and was offered an internship with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for summer 2015 to join their Start Internship program. After completion he was offered and accepted an extension for this upcoming summer of 2016 where he will join the Start Master Internship. He also served as an informal liaison to PwC in bringing new talent from San Francisco State to join the firm. Two of his ALPFA referrals who are now members will be joining him at PwC in the summer.

He aspires to become a CPA (Certified Public Accounting) after graduation and towards the end of his career payback by first obtaining a master or PhD in education and teach High Schools students in his hometown of Windsor, CA.

 

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!

 

 

Monterey Bay Aquarium ¡Viva Baja! Life on the Edge

 

Monterey Bay Aquarium hosted VIP reception to inaugurate its newest exhibit  ¡Viva Baja! Life on the Edge on Saturday, March 20th.  From sun-soaked deserts to vibrant reefs, Baja California is a unique and fragile place.

king angelfish, Holacanthus passer, juvenile, Midriff Islands, Baja California, Mexico, Gulf of California, Sea of Cortez, Pacific Ocean

king angelfish, Holacanthus passer, juvenile, Midriff Islands, Baja California, Mexico, Gulf of California, Sea of Cortez, Pacific Ocean

One of the most important stories told in this new exhibit – and one that few Americans are aware of – is that the Mexican people, and the Mexican government, are deeply committed to conservation of Baja’s ocean resources. Jacques Cousteau said that life in these waters is so spectacular that it truly is “the world’s aquarium.” And the islands and marine reserves of the Gulf of California are a UNESCO World Heritage site.

 

Mexico and her people are leading the way in protecting the critically endangered vaquita porpoise, and fishermen in the Gulf of California are taking responsibility as stewards of marine life, especially in places like the marine reserves of Cabo Pulmo.

blue-spotted jawfish, Opistognathus rosenblatti, Cocos Island, Costa Rica, Pacific Ocean

blue-spotted jawfish, Opistognathus rosenblatti, Cocos Island, Costa Rica, Pacific Ocean

It was a truly exceptional evening, which included assorted culinary delights, wine tastings from Scheid Family Wines of Monterey, special cooking demonstrations by award winning chef, Javier Plascencia and festive music by a meandering mariachi trio. Julie Packard, Executive Director of the Monterey Bay Aquarium was delighted to host special guest IVES GABRIEL LELEVIERE RAMOS, Under-Secretary of Tourism-for Baja California along with many other guests to this special grand opening. The VIP guest list was extensive and many Silicon Valley Latinos including Teresa Alvarado, newly appointed Executive Director of SPUR San Jose, Hilda Ramirez, Director of PR at the Santa Clara County Association of Realtors, Sonia Munoz, VP of Marketing at Bill.com, Celina Rodriguez, News Anchor/Analyst at Rodriguez Media Group, Linda Castillo, Founder and Executive Editor at Modern Latina and of course our very own Alex Ontiveros, Founder and CEO of Silicon Valley Latino were present.

We would like to give a special thanks to Silicon Valley Latino Cultura Ambassador and Monterey Bay Aquarium Director of Marketing Programs, Lorraine Yglesias, for the invitation to this special event.

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.

Don’t just look for a Mentor: Develop your Personal Board of Advisors!

Article originally posted on LinkedIn by Cultura Ambassador Leandro Margulis

In this series, professionals thank those who helped them reach where they are today. Read the posts here, then write your own. Use #ThankYourMentor and @mention your mentor when sharing.

“You need a mentor.”

 

If you’re like most working professionals, this is one of the first pieces of advice you heard around college graduation or upon landing your first job.  (Stressed out at work? Get a mentor. Not sure how to navigate office politics? Get a mentor. Want to know whether going to grad school or switching careers is the right option for you? Get a mentor. Ad nauseum.)

But whether you received this advice from one of your professors, your mom, your neighbor, or a co-worker, finding a mentor is a lot easier said than done. (It’s not only hard to locate someone with the professional chops and time to help you out, it can be even harder for some people to ask for help in the first place.) And how do you know whether the mentor you do eventually hook up with is the right person to help you with your current challenges, let alone professional issues you encounter five or ten years from now?

Here’s the thing—you don’t.

The reality is that we need more than one mentor throughout our careers. We need many different mentors for many different things. We not only need different mentors over time as our careers grow and change, we also need different mentors at the same time.

Again, easier said than done, right? Well, not if you play your cards right.

You probably aren’t close friends with the all the people you spent every weekend with in high school anymore. Why not? Because you’ve changed a lot since high school, that’s why—you have an adult life with adult responsibilities. And just like you’ve moved on from several of your old high school friends, the close confidants you have at your current job or career stage may not be able to relate to you a decade down the road when you’re navigating the complex issues a top manager or executive faces, either.

Mentors are human—they have their own strengths and weaknesses, just like you do. They grow and change, just like you do. And the people you look up to as role models now might not be the role model you want a decade or even a year from now. Or you may find yourself needing help in a pinch for a unique business or personal situation that your current mentor has no concept of.

You Need a Team

This is where having a team of mentors, rather than just one, can come in handy. Take it from me—I once relied on only one professional mentor. But I soon found I needed more than that. So I eventually evolved past having just one mentor to having what I like to call a Personal Board of Advisors.

My advisors come from many different walks of life. Some are young—even students—while some are my age or older. Some work in my field, and some come from other fields. Some are still working, and some are retired. In all cases, though, they have a certain type of expertise or experience that I’m lacking—whether it’s a deep trove of professional contacts, financial acumen, the ability to speak frankly about difficult topics, or wisdom gained from many years of experience. (Or in the cases of my young/student advisors, it’s often youthful energy and a better understanding of new technologies like Snapchat, Periscope, or other emerging social-media platforms.) This allows me to have a variety of people I can choose from when I need specific advice about different topics at different times.

In this way, my personal board of advisors is similar to the boards of directors that advise CEOs at major corporations. Corporations make a point to build advisory boards where each member contributes according to a different specialty or strength. Why not have the same kind of board for your professional and personal development?

As my own personal board of advisors illustrates, not all mentors are gray-haired businessmen in drab suits. They are young and old, male and female, working and retired, in your industry and outside it.

Your own Personal Board of Advisors is out there, waiting to help you. You just need to go out and find them, and build those relationships. (Be prepared to mentor them in return, too—a big part of relationship-building is reciprocity.)

Cultura Ambassador Isabel Valdés appointed to U.S. SBA

 

We are excited to share that SVL Cultura Ambassador Isabel Valdés has been appointed to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Region IX Regulatory Fairness Board by SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet.

Isabel has been a long time supporter of not only our small business but many others and this comes as a result of all her hard work and dedication to the Latino Community throughout the country.

 

 

News Release

Untitled

 

 

Release Date:

Contact: Marlow Schindler (415) 744-6771
Release Number: Internet Address: http://www.sba.gov/news

 

California Small Business Owner Isabel Valdés Appointed to Federal Advisory Board

 

SAN FRANCISCO – San Francisco small business owner Maria Isabel Valdés has been appointed to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Region IX Regulatory Fairness Board by SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet.

Regional Regulatory Fairness Boards in all 10 of SBA’s regions represent the voice of small business on regulatory fairness issues. Each Board is comprised of five small business owners who serve as a resource and point of contact for small business owners who feel they have experienced excessive federal regulatory enforcement and compliance actions.

Regional Regulatory Fairness Board members advise the Acting National Ombudsman, Yolanda Swift. Together, The National Ombudsman and Board members host regulatory fairness hearings and outreach events nationwide where small business owners report concerns about burdensome federal regulations.

“With extensive multi-cultural communications and marketing experience working with Fortune 50 as well as 1000 companies, across business categories such as retail, healthcare, financial services and insurance, as well as entertainment and media, Ms. Valdés is uniquely positioned to understand and advocate for small businesses,” Swift said. “As a member of the Region IX Regulatory Fairness Board, she will play a vital role in insuring that the voice of small business is heard by federal regulators, while facilitating regulatory solutions that save small business owners time and money.”

As a Region IX Regulatory Fairness Board member, Valdés will serve as a local resource for small businesses and will work with small business trade groups and other entities to address regional concerns about federal regulatory enforcement and compliance issues. SBA Region IX includes California, Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii, and Guam.

Valdés is the president of IVC, a boutique marketing consulting firm. Valdés is also a VP of the Chile California Council (CCC) and is the Chair of the Center for Multi-Cultural Sciences, with previous positions with PepsiCO/Frito-Lay’s Advisory Board; The National Hispana Leadership Institute (NHLI); and The Latino Community Foundation (LCF) San Francisco. Valdés can be reached by email at isabel@isabelvaldes.com or by phone at (650) 444-3924.

The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA), created five-member Regulatory Fairness Boards in each of SBA’s 10 regions. As representatives of their local and regional small business communities, Board members provide insights and recommendations on regulatory challenges facing the small business owners they represent – perspectives that are critical to eliminating ineffective, duplicative, or outmoded regulatory business barriers to small business success. For more information about the Office of the National Ombudsman and the Regional Regulatory Fairness Boards, visit www.sba.gov/ombudsman.###

What’s the Secret to Great Networking? Become the Missing Link!

 

Article originally posted on LinkedIn by Leandro Margulis

Networking can be intimidating even to the most seasoned business people. It’s especially daunting when you don’t know anyone at the beginning of your career, or you’re starting out in a new industry (or country!) completely from scratch. But in today’s competitive business environment, the best opportunities often come to us from the people who already know and trust us. Without a solid professional network in place, you could miss out on these opportunities.

But how do you start building that professional network?

Let me tell you what’s worked for me. My name is Leandro Margulis and I am originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina. I moved to the United States twelve years ago to attend school and pursue business interests, and, at that point, did not know many people in the United States.

Like many working professionals, I did not have a strong network.

As time went by, I discovered that interacting with other people energized me, and I wanted more of that. I enjoyed bouncing around ideas with others, as well as learning about other people’s customs and culture.

I also discovered that not everyone felt the same way about networking as I did. Some people preferred to avoid interaction with others altogether. Some were shy, some feared rejection, and some had other reasons not to connect, like family obligations that took up a lot of their time. These people had even more difficulty building networks than most—but I’ve found that everyone has networking challenges to some degree.

This discovery showed me that I could add value to both individuals and organizations by helping to connect people I met in different places and through different sources. Sometimes one person I met was looking for what another person I knew could offer. But these two people would not have met unless I made the connection, because they frequent different circles.

In other words, I became their “missing link.”

The Missing Link As Snowball Effect
Everyone in the professional world should constantly be asking themselves this question: how do I add value? When I was thinking about what tagline to use on my LinkedIn profile, I realized that the best way to describe my personal business value is to show how I can connect people in ways that can benefit both them and their businesses.

I also realized that the more I connected people, the more events I was invited to. Each connection led to many more connections, snowballing upward and outward at a rapid pace. People started coming to me for referrals when they had trouble finding the expertise they needed. Not only that, people from my network began to call me for advice on an array of different issues.

In other words, I had not only managed to grow my network on a grand scale, I had also become a trusted advisor to my network. My personal brand as a connector of people continued to grow, too—attracting even more professional connections.

By leveraging my personal interest in meeting and socializing with new people and places, I became an essential business asset to my network. Being resourceful earned me access to contacts I did not have before. It also helped me enhance my reputation among different clusters of people. I became the “go-to” person for finding talent and ideas across wide groups—and the more people who consulted me, the more my credibility grew.

It didn’t happen overnight, of course—but networking is something that tends to build upon itself over time. You get out of it what you put in.

The Weakest Link Is Also The Strongest Link
Another term for “the missing link” is “the weakest link” Think of the person in your cluster of contacts who seems the least engaged. Maybe that person is only someone you run into occasionally at the coffee shop or gym. Maybe it’s the person on your work team who is the most reserved and least outgoing. Maybe it’s a person you worked with several years ago and liked, but have since lost touch with.

That person might seem like the weakest link in your network. But if you take the time to reach out to this person and find out more about what makes him or her tick, you might discover he or she has hidden talents, interests, or contacts that are exactly what you or someone else you know is looking for. By exploring the weakest links in your network, you might discover stronger links in their network. Or you might even find that the so-called weakest link can do something someone in your own network is dying to find.

For example, what if the shy software developer who never speaks up in weekly department meetings has a great idea for a new product or service one of your other contacts might be interested in? What if your former secretary who retired last year has relatives in the venture-capital world that could fund a startup? What if the intern who makes your coffee and organizes your files knows something about the sharing economy in Brazil because she backpacked there last summer?

The possibilities are endless. You never know until you ask.

Believe it or not, there is science supporting this theory. When I was a student at the Yale School of Management I learned about learning to leverage the weakest links in our networks  from Joel Podolny, who is now Dean of Apple University. (Talk about building great connections!)

During his research on the subject, Podolny created a graph similar to the one below to illustrate how the weakest link in one social cluster could be the strongest link between two or more social clusters:
Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 9.15.43 AM

The so-called “weakest” link might even be you! Contrary to its name, it’s a very strategic position to be in, both personally and professionally.

Do you want to become the missing link that could solve other peoples’ business problems? It’s easier than you think. Start out by learning to hang out in many different crowds across both your personal and professional lives. Keep your eyes open for new contacts—even unusual or shy ones—and actively listen to what people are saying. More than that, learn to read between the lines. (Your best friend’s rant at the bar last night about what a hard time he’s been having at work might be a clue that his business needs a smart consultant to help them solve a problem!)

And most of all, become the “go to” person everyone wants to invite to their meetings, parties, and social gatherings. Have the information and insight that people are looking for. Make introductions, and also seek them out. And never turn a blind eye to someone with an interesting story to tell, even if it’s not work-related. You never know where these contacts might lead you!

Share your thoughts with us and tell us how you become the missing link!