Rafael Madrigal – SVL Cultura Ambassador


Rafael Madrigal is the International Sales Manager for Network Video Technologies (NVT) located in Menlo Park, CA whose responsibility encompasses directing all the affairs and the company’s efforts into Latin America, Asia Pacific, the Asian Subcontinent and Oceania. Rafael was born and raised on the peninsula of Mexican decent and categorizes himself not only as Latino, but more specifically Chicano (Mexican-American.) “Traveling extensively throughout Latin American and the Caribbean visiting most capitals, secondary and tertiary cities, there are certain aspects that bind everyone together from Tijuana to Tierra Del Fuego, but when you break it down, there are clear distinctions between those individuals bread and raised not only in each country, but regionally as well with in the same country. In my case, born into a Hispanic household with parents originally from Jalisco in the San Francisco Bay Area with all the typical religious, cultural and economic blessings (or condemnations, depending on the perspective and day of the week); and formally educated in English in an Anglo-Saxon culture doesn’t happen anywhere but in the US, hence the term Chicano. ‘Ni de aquí, ni de allá’.”


Rafael Madrigal - SVL Cultura AmbassadorRafael before starting his career with NVT, started officially working part-time at the age of 16 through High School and through college for a couple of auto-shops focusing on installing electrical equipment that converted factory cars into emergency vehicles, namely patrol cars, undercover police cars, ambulances and fire trucks. This helped subsidize his personal expenses while living at home and paying for college. “Despite learning responsibility, discipline, working in a team, managing time effectively, managing full projects at an early age, dealing with school and my social life; I was immersed in the world of electrical equipment which at the time I thought was just really cool. Who doesn’t like loud noises, bright lights and sometimes driving such vehicles to be delivered to their owners as a kid!”


After graduating with a Bachelor of Science from San Jose State in International Business in ’96, Rafael was hired at NVT when it was still a six person enterprise (from a stack of resumes he was later told.) “There where only three of us in the Marketing and Sales team at the time; however being such a small company I confirmed my suspicion that acquiring a job with a small company was a chance to learn many different tasks, see how things worked from a birds’ eye view and grow quickly as a professional. Joining this small team afforded me the opportunity to take part in most daily tasks; everything from operations, finance, marketing and sales.” A year and half later, Rafael was offered the chance to take NVT overseas into Latin America and the Caribbean. “At the time I was the entire marketing and sales department, customer service, tech-support, collections, etc., for the region. I was handed this enormous task with no predecessors that had initially paved the way, I was literally blazing a new path.” Nevertheless, given the success of the endeavor, several years later once again the opportunity for Rafael to develop from scratch the territories of Asia and Oceania presented itself. Again, Rafael stepped up to the challenge. “Having a Bachelor degree from an institution based in the heart of Silicon Valley, with no disrespect to others; I like to say I received my Masters in Business Development, Sales and Fiscal Austerity on the streets and seminar rooms of México City, Bogotá, São Paulo, Buenos Aires, Lima, Caracas and Santiago; and my Doctorate Degree in Negotiation, Distance Management, Culture and Relationship Building in the back alleys and C-suites of Seoul, Shanghai, Macão, Bangkok, Delhi, Singapore and Sydney.”


Today NVT is known globally for its world class transmission products in the Electronic Security Industry; and in many regions that Rafael is responsible for, the name NVT is a top recognized brand, well known for creating industry nomenclature and whose company’s products are referred to as an eponym. NVT to this day is a private organization with people located worldwide and completely funded organically. The regions developed and currently managed by Rafael in the early days represented less than 1% of sales, in 2013 sales where 25% of all revenue generated for the company. “Besides the success NVT has had over the years and continues to experience, one of the things I’m most proud of is having met and dealt with such a vast array of individuals who would have never in their lifetimes even seen a Latino, much less interact and deal with a Chicano from humble beginnings ‘con ganas y sin miedo al trabajo’.”


Rafael continues to live in the Bay Area with his wife and three children and is based out of the Global Headquarters for NVT at the Menlo Park office in California. Rafael welcomes the opportunity to connect via his personal email address at madrigalralf@yahoo.com or you can find him on LinkedIn.

Armando Castellano – SVL Cultura Ambassador


Armando Castellano is a musician, arts advocate and philanthropist who resides in the Silicon Valley where he wears many hats.

Armando Castellano - SVL Cultura Ambassador


As a French horn player he performs professionally in regional orchestras and chamber ensembles throughout the Bay Area.  Much of his time is also spent performing with and managing his chamber ensemble Quinteto Latino, an organization that advocates for classical music by Latin American and Latino composers through performance and education. As a music instructor and teaching artist he has taught in both English and Spanish, including San José City College and at many bilingual schools and institutions. In addition, through his work as a board member with his family’s foundation, the Castellano Family Foundation, he has had the opportunity to work with Latino non-profit  organizations throughout Silicon Valley dealing with issues around education, Latino leadership and the arts.

Lorraine Yglesias – SVL Cultura Ambassador

After 20 years in the communications and entertainment industry in Los Angeles and San Jose, Lorraine Yglesias joined the Monterey Bay Aquarium as their first Hispanic Marketing Coordinator in June 2004.  In 2007, she was promoted to Senior Marketing Manager to continue oversight of Hispanic marketing initiatives in addition to development of sponsorships.  In 2014, she was promoted to Director of Marketing Programs to oversee integration of outreach initiatives involving both the Hispanic and general markets.

Lorraine Yglesias SVL Cultura Ambassador

Lorraine continues to serve as a liaison with the Aquarium’s advertising agency to ensure campaigns are tailored for Hispanic audiences and to identify cross over opportunities. She is also responsible for developing the Aquarium’s relationship with the local and regional Hispanic community through promotional and advertising initiatives.  She represents the Aquarium at community events and serves as a spokesperson for interviews with Spanish language media.

This position is an opportunity to put into use the various skills Lorraine has honed throughout the years, including working as a volunteer for the environmental movement in Los Angeles as a member of ECO (Earth Communications Office), to mentoring young Latinas graduating from her alma mater, Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.  Lorraine also volunteered for organizations assisting immigrants to the USA.  As an immigrant herself, she continues to seek ways to bridge the gap.

During her tenure in Los Angeles, Lorraine worked for independent television production and distribution companies, including Lorimar-Telepictures (later acquired by Warner Bros. TV) and the Hollywood Reporter (an entertainment industry publication).  Her duties included developing the US Hispanic and Latin American markets for her employers.

Lorraine relocated to Northern California for personal reasons.  After a short hiatus she returned to the workforce, joining Comcast Spotlight, the advertising arm of Comcast Cable.  As an Account Executive, Lorraine marketed the Spanish language cable networks to business owners in the San Jose and Monterey/Salinas areas.

She is a native of San Jose, Costa Rica, currently residing in the Monterey Peninsula area with her husband and two bi-lingual speaking children.

5th Latin American Business Conference “Scaling up Innovation”

5th Latin American Business Conference

LSA Innovator Summit

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QL Latin American Chamber Music Festival 3 events in 1 Day.

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QL Latin American Chamber Music Festival Event 2 San Jose

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SVL’s Latino Trailblazers & Emerging Leaders event

Save the date for Silicon Valley Latino’s Latino Trailblazers & Emerging Leaders event being held at Cisco Headquarters in San Jose, CA
We will be honoring 20 Trailblazers & 20 Emerging Leaders in the following categories:
Art & Culture
Health Care
Sciences & Technology
Small Business

I Am a Director: Movie Review

At the 23rd Annual Cinequest Film Festival running Feb 26 through March 10


LAUGHS – Don’t take life too seriously

What do you get when you cross ROCKY with THE OFFICE? You get a hilarious Puerto Rican send-up film called I Am a Director by Director Javier Colon Rios and starring Carlos Marchand and Joa Tous. In one funny scene, Carlos (the protagonist) describes his unmade film as having the colors of The Matrix and the camera movement of Memento. (What? Yes, it is that zany at times)

By Jose Posadas

I Am a Director (in Spanish with English subtitles) tells the story of Carlos (Carlos Marchand) a wannabe director whose complete (not to mention  unbalanced) enamoration of all that is Hollywood sets him off on a mission to create the best Hollywood picture ever made… in Puerto Rico.


Filmed in the style of The Office and other mockumenataries, Carlos, aided by producer/friend/love interest Joa (Joa Tous), set out on their mis-adventure in producing their very first film. The laughs in this film are quick and constant throughout this film beginning with the scenes of Carlos and Joa going on a sales pitch to promote their film to potential investors despite the fact they have no script and no measurable experience in film making.

As he speaks to one possible investor Carlos boasts about his experience living in Hollywood for all of two years and proudly states that his film will be made in English. Which is probably not with his Spanish-speaking potential investor wants to hear.

Early in the journey of making his film Carlos realizes the challenges in making his dream come true, from having to raise money, to getting permission to film on location as well as the film festival circuit he must undertake to promote his still undeveloped film. Faced with such seemingly insurmountable obstacles he likens himself to the Rocky Balboa of filmmakers.

In one scene, captured by their documentarian, Carlos admits, “I have no actors, I have no story, no money.. I have nothing”, yet ever the eternal optimist (or fool, take your pick) Carlos, channeling his inner Scarlett O’hara, proclaims, “I will get it done!”


Delivered with deadpan seriousness Carlos (the actor) gives a memorable performance as the ill-fated director. His costar Joa is equally as funny as she is beautiful.  She too delivers a wonderful comic performance both touching and sweet.

Real Director Javier Colon Rios does a marvelous job in telling the story of his protagonist as well as providing  genius comic touches like inserting quotes from both real and fictitious people (including himself) throughout the film.  The final credits (bloopers) and ending trailer are worth the price of admission alone- DON’T LEAVE YOUR SEATS OR YOU MAY MISS MAYBE THE FUNNIEST SCENES OF THE ENTIRE MOVIE!

Those who see this film will not be disappointed and you will find yourself cheering Carlos on and laughing your kidney off along the way.

To see the most current full lineup of films, ticket information and event schedule go to www.cinequest.org

I Am a Director will be shown Thurs 2/28 9:30pm and Mon 3/4 4:00pm

On Leadership: Effective Leaders Own the Message

Effective communication is critical for successful leaders.  An executive’s well-articulated vision to employees or a coach’s inspirational pre-game speech could make the difference between success and failure.  On a historic scale, the famous rallying cries of “Si se puede,” “The only thing to fear is fear itself,” and “I have a dream” gave people hope and promise for a better future.  Cesar Chavez, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Martin Luther King, Jr. were masters of using the media to move bold ideas, inspire a nation, and shape the course of history.

In Silicon Valley, history is definitely on our side.  A recent Santa Clara County Public Health report states that Latinos will make up nearly half of the projected 2.3 million county residents by the middle of this century, and our community is developing Latino leaders who have the smarts and ambition to guide the valley into the future.  Like visionary executives, motivational coaches, and inspirational national leaders, our next generation of leaders must have the ability to effectively communicate a vision for Silicon Valley to ensure success.

Despite the incredible growth of social media and other online platforms, the local newspaper is still the most influential media outlet with respect to shaping public policy that touches everyday life.  The newspaper endorses political candidates who in turn, as public policymakers, support initiatives and public activities advocated by the newspaper, and vice versa.  The local newspaper anoints those it deems smart, effective, and politically acceptable.  For those who are the anointed ones, it’s a pretty good deal.  If one doesn’t fall into that category, the chances of your message seeing the light of day in the newspaper are slim to none.

For Latinos, there’s a problem with this scenario.  We’re not exactly with the in crowd when it comes to the local press.  We’ve proven that we’re smart, effective, and politically acceptable to voters.  Apparently, however, the newspaper’s opinion-makers don’t see it the same way.  In the eyes of the local press, Latino activists and public officials are mediocre leaders who need to be monitored closely to ensure the public trust.

Whether through unintended inherent bias or well-planned institutional racism, the result is the same: newspaper readers are left to believe that Latinos can’t be trusted with the keys to local public leadership.  To address this reality, Latino leaders must find another way to effectively communicate to the public and influence public discourse.  That’s where social and online media can make the difference between success and failure.

For decades, Latino community leaders have been dragged through the proverbial mud by the local media.  Granted, some of it’s deserved because our leaders, like leaders of all creeds and colors, make mistakes.  We just have to realize that the while media has a microscope on public officials, it uses an electron microspore on Latino leaders.  The smallest indiscretion by Latinos will smudge a reputation, and real ethical lapses will land a Latino leader in court, or worse.  One could fill volumes citing editorials, news articles, and headlines providing evidence of this bias.  Unfortunately, there’s no space in this column for such an ambitious undertaking.

As we prepare Latinos to lead this valley into the future, we can address this disparity in one of two ways.  We can complain, protest, and shout racism at the top of our lungs, or we can do what political commentator Chris Matthews’ advises, “don’t get mad, don’t get even…get ahead.”  Of course, Matthews has it right.  We can no longer allow the media to tell our story or share our vision for the future from a perspective other than our own.  We can no longer allow the local press to define us and to perpetuate the insidious stereotype of the incompetent and untrustworthy Latino.

So how do we do this?  Like Chavez, Roosevelt, and King, we have to become masters of the media.  The media of mid-century Silicon Valley will be completely virtual and interactive.  But, we can’t wait until then to harness the limitless value of social and interactive media.  Our leaders should take advantage of every opportunity to learn how to use Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and other tools like SVLatino.com to create a platform that highlights our community and influences public life to make our entire valley stronger and more competitive.

For those who are scared or worried about a future Silicon Valley that includes Latinos leaders at the agenda-setting table, don’t fret. Today’s emerging Latino leaders are professionals who serve today as school principals, corporate, public, and non-profit managers, labor leaders, entrepreneurs, and elected officials. We don’t have a “Latino agenda,” rather we have a Silicon Valley agenda that includes a robust economy with good jobs, affordable housing, strong families, excellent schools, and quality health care.  So, despite what the local press might portray, our agenda isn’t really scary at all. And, this is great news for the entire valley.

On Leadership is a Column by  Eddie Garcia, LLA Co-Founder and President