SJCC & SVL College Declaration Day 2018

 

On June 30th, Silicon Valley Latino had the pleasure of partnering once again with San Jose City College to produce the most recent College Declaration Day celebrating the accomplishments of the latest cohort of Academic Honorees at San Jose City College Milpitas Extension. San Jose City College and SVL have produced a total of three Declaration Day events including a co-sponsored event earlier in the spring with The Hispanic Education Foundation. In total, our current count of Academic Honorees is 40, which includes this latest cohort.

The nine students in the latest cohort honored on June 30th ,as the in the previous cohorts, showed amazing dedication under challenging circumstances in high school and are headed to notable universities across the country.

Both San Jose City College and SVL are proud to acknowledge this fine group of Latino students. This year’s class consisted of Mayra Luna of Cristo Rey High School who will attend Cornell University, Marlene Quintanilla of Downtown College Prep will attend UCLA, Daisy Rodriguez of Cristo Rey High School will attend Princeton University, Emily Calderon of University Preparatory Academy will attend Cal Poly SLO, Kenneth Madrigal of University Preparatory Academy will attend U. of San Francisco, Diana Juarez-Montano of Ceiba Schools will attend University of Miami, Cheyenne Mungaray of University Preparatory Academy will attend Texas Christian University, Arnulfo Castaneda Montiel of ACE Charter High School will attend UCLA and Max Luna of Bellarmine Preparatory will attend Santa Clara University.

The achievements of these young adults and the importance of their acknowledgment cannot be overlooked or overstated. These students have shown amazing dedication and are starting the most amazing journey of their lives. We are delighted to also offer these Academic Honorees networking and mentoring opportunities as well as social media coaching via our collaborator Oscar Garcia founder of Aspira.

We invite you to acknowledge and share their achievements. Additionally, we will ask you to help us further this initiative by preparing to nominate students for our 2019 College Declaration Days.

As you know, the end of summer is here and these students are off to school to begin their collegiate careers. We look forward to tracking their success and sharing their journeys with you so please stay tuned for more.

 

Author: Adam Mendoza

Silicon Valley Latino

 

Ysabel Duron SVL Latino Leaders Fireside Chat

 

Recently we were privileged to host Ysabel Duron at our 4th installment of SVL Latino Leaders Fireside Chat at San Jose City College Milpitas Extension.

It was a heartfelt homage to a woman who has trail blazed her way from the anchor desk to the boardroom. All in attendance were riveted by her insights and stories of overcoming stigmas and obstacles.

The atmosphere was friendly and familiar as the intimate conversation with Silicon Valley Latino CEO Alex Ontiveros covered a career dedicated to leadership, advocacy and highlighting the positives in our community.

A high profile figure, known for her 40 plus years in the television news media, more than half of them at KRON-TV in the San Francisco bay area, Duron’s current endeavor, the Latino Cancer Institute (LCI) was conceived in 2016, with an exploratory grant from the California Health Care Foundation. The Latino Cancer Institute focuses on three main objectives. It connects Latino cancer serving non-profits nationwide to share best practices and develop capacity. LCI convenes events for stakeholders in the cancer landscape to collaborate with cancer researchers focused on Latino cancer challenges. As well as advocates nationally to raise awareness of Latino cancer issues, promote policy, and attract major funding opportunities for investment into key initiatives.

Duron’s experience spans 17 years in the Latino cancer space with the development of two other non-profit agencies including the award-winning Latinas Contra Cancer (LCC). She drove the development of programs to address gaps across the cancer continuum from community education and screening to psychosocial support groups, end of life and survivorship.

In 2010, Duron successfully piloted a lay community navigator program in the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC) public health care system cancer center in San Jose, CA dedicated to providing support for the low income, Spanish speaking patient. By October of 2017 when she stepped away from LCC, over 500 patients have been served. As a result, SCVMC administration is considering expanding the role of community navigator to its other clinics. Ten years ago, she successfully launched the biennial National Latino Cancer Summit under the auspices of UCSF, bringing the community together with researchers to network, learn from each other and find ways to collaborate.

In 2016 the Summit spotlighted Precision Medicine to address concerns that the cutting-edge science would exacerbate disparities. In 2017, Duron won the Precision Medicine Challenge Award from Massachusetts General Hospital, the NHIT Collaborative for the Underserved, and the Consortia for Improving Medicine with Innovation and Technology (CIMIT) for her proposal to develop educational tools that inform the most vulnerable and underserved community on genetics and testing, and disseminate them online for the greatest impact. To that end, the Institute under Duron’s leadership is currently working on two related hereditary breast cancer projects with UCSF and Stanford researchers.

Duron, a cancer survivor, has earned a national reputation as a key opinion leader about Latino cancer issues including disparities that impact access, quality care and improved health outcomes. This year she has spoken at Duke University, at a UCLA hearing of the Governor’s Advisory Council, and at the Precision Medicine Leader’s Summit in New Jersey.

Duron currently serves on the Independent Review Board (IRB) for the All of Us Research Program of the National Institutes of Health (formerly President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative); the Community Engagement on Genomics Working Group for the National Human Genome Research Institute; and the Kaiser Permanente National Precision Medicine Advisory Work Group.

A 43-year, award-winning journalist, Duron stepped away from a long TV career in San Francisco in 2013 and dedicated herself fulltime to focusing on the Latino cancer burden. Duron has received numerous journalism awards and community recognition, both local and national, including the Purpose Prize from Encore.org; the W.E.B. Dubois Award from the San Jose NAACP, the Juliette Gordon Lowe Award from the Girl Scouts, and the Latino Spirit Award from the California Latino Legislative Caucus.

We are truly grateful and honored to have had this Latina Legend join us for this memorable afternoon at the San Jose City College Milpitas Extension to share such an illustrious career and help us share the power of #CreoEnTi.

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

 

 

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

College Declaration Day with The Foundation for Hispanic Education

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is the list of honorees that evening…

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

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

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

#CreoEnTi

3rd Annual Latino Education Summit

Greetings Cultura Ambassadors and friends,

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

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

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

Register via the link below:

Register

We look forward to seeing you there!

 

 

 

Inspire Higher Panel at SJCC Milpitas Extension

 

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

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

Today we were delighted to feature another four exceptional Latinos:

Jose Benitez Cong – Co-founder & CEO @ Plause

Sonia Munoz – VP of Marketing @ Bill.com

Maritza Vallejo – HR Manager @ STG Partners, LLC

Rich Garcia – Sr. Software Developer @ Bill.com

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

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

Enjoy the video and photos from this very successful event!

 

Inspire Higher Panel at SJCC Milpitas Extension

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

#CreoEnTi #Adelante

Fireside Chat with Cisco CIO Guillermo Diaz Jr.

 

On February 24th, Silicon Valley Latino through a strategic partnership with San Jose City College, Milpitas Extension was honored to host an intimate and insightful interview with Cisco Chief Information Officer, Guillermo Diaz Jr. This was the second Latino Leaders Fireside Chat in its series.

Guillermo Diaz, Jr., is the Chief Information Officer responsible for Cisco’s global Information Technology organization, along with its strategy and services. His focus is on driving the business outcomes critical to the secure digital transformation of Cisco, and its customers and partners. Together with his team, Guillermo is responsible for strengthening Cisco’s foundational business capabilities, enabling new business models, and building the digital skills and talent that the organization will need in the future IT.

Since joining the company in 2000, Guillermo has been a major driver in the development of Cisco’s world-class IT organization. He has led initiatives that transformed significant business foundations, from the Cisco IT Networked infrastructure to primary business IT application areas. These application areas include Cisco’s $45B+ electronic commerce, technical services, professional services, service sales and marketing, customer service, Cisco Capital, and cloud/SaaS platforms.

Among other endeavors, Diaz is the executive sponsor of Conexión, Cisco’s Hispanic/Latino employee resource network, and a key leader on Cisco’s Diversity Council. His relationship building talent is what led him down the path of success, a path he was thrilled to share with our community.

Attendees were riveted by Guillermo’s story. Raised in the gritty east side of Pueblo Colorado, the Diaz family faced challenges early on with the death of Guillermo’s father at the age of 1 ½.  Diaz sites his mother as his hero in a town known as the “City of Heroes” due to the unusually large rate of Military icons born and raised in Pueblo. The hard work and determination of his mother coupled with the vision and encouragement of his grandmother guided “G” to excel in Martial Arts where he became a national champion in his division at the age of 14.  That same Diaz determination inspired Guillermo to enlist in the Navy with plans to leverage the GI Bill towards a college education. Through his mother’s guidance Diaz signed-up for the the Navy’s telecommunication networking job and just as he excelled with his black belt in Tae Kwon Do, he excelled in his new job.

Guillermo Diaz is a focused and determined man who never really sees obstacles, so much as assignments on a checklist of life’s “to do”.  As Diaz discussed his career moves, one thing was clear and not lost on his audience. Guillermo Diaz wakes up every morning determined to do his best, always steadfast in the resolve to make a difference. That is what makes him a great leader of people. At an early age, teachers pointed out how he possessed something clearly exceptional and it was then that he started his path towards being an effective leader.

So how does one go from setting up communication systems on an aircraft carrier of 5000 service men and woman to leading over 10,000 employees worldwide at CISCO?  Through effectively establishing and managing successful relationships.  Diaz possesses that humble confidence that makes each individual feel unique and empowered. He makes his team better. He makes those around him better. He’s making our community better.

Diaz shared a series of quotes and visual messages that spoke volumes about the keys to his success. One that resonated with most was a quote from North Carolina Basketball Coach Roy Williams, “It’s amazing what can be accomplished when no one cares who takes the credit”. A stark contrast to the “look at me” climate we seem to be so bombarded with on social media today. It’s so refreshing to hear one of the most powerful individuals in the IT world speak of truly connecting one on one with people and the beauty of each individual relationship. The audience was able to learn firsthand how empowering others empowers all.  And it’s for this reason that at the conclusion of the program, Diaz was presented Silicon Valley Latino’s inaugural “Creo En Ti” Champion Award.

As the audience gathered for Q and A, Diaz eloquently and patiently answered all questions and posed for photographs with attendees, a further testament to the selfless leadership that is Guillermo Diaz. We thank all those who took the time out of there busy lives on a Saturday morning to attend this heartfelt presentation. I know we are better for taking the time, that little extra time to learn from greatness. And as Diaz explained as he did during our inaugural Inspire Higher Tour, he was once in our shoes. He’s faced hardships and rose to prominence by never wavering, never giving up. We could not have said it any better. Creo En Ti!