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.

Welcome Daniela Alcaraz!

 

We want to welcome Daniela Alcaraz to our team as our new intern.  If you get a chance to meet her giver her a warm welcome.

Daniela Alcaraz was born in Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico, but has lived in Fremont California for most of her life. She is a recent graduate of Fremont’s Washington High School and is currently studying at Ohlone College. Her goal is to transfer to UC Berkeley where she wants to major in Psychology.

Daniela is the middle child of three siblings and one of the first in her family to pursue higher education. She enjoys life and where she is and what she is doing, she especially enjoys the vibrancy about her culture and being a 21st Century Latina.

Daniela is passionate about helping others and making a difference in people’s lives. She’s also excited about her new role as a Silicon Valley Latino Intern and is ready to roll-up her sleeves and contribute to the work the Silicon Valley Latino team leads.

Jorge Escobar recognized at HITEC 100 Awards Ceremony

 

Silicon Valley Latino is delighted to announce, SVL Cultura Ambassador and education champion Jorge Escobar, Vice President for San Jose City College, was recently recognized as one of the HITEC 100 Corporate Award Honorees.

For many years now, Silicon Valley Latino has enjoyed covering this special annual awards presentation where many of our Cultura Ambassadors are regularly recognized. Current and past recipients include Guillermo Diaz Jr. -CIO at Cisco, Jorge Titinger – Founder & CEO of Titinger Consulting, Diana Albarran-Chicas – GEO Product Line Manager at Spac Systems Loral to name a few.

Jorge Escobar currently serves as Vice President of Administrative Services at San Jose City College (SJCC). As a member of the Presidential cabinet, his portfolio includes the following strategic areas: bond program for facilities development and operations; campus buildings and grounds management; financial services; business services; technology; campus police and safety; and operational performance of the 55-acre campus.

Before SJCC, he served as Vice President of Campus Operations and as Executive Director of Operations at Laureate International Universities (LIU), at the National Hispanic University (NHU) in San Jose, CA, and St. Augustine Universities, respectively.   At different times during his trajectory, he was responsible for multiple teams at the campus and functional expert in areas of Bursar, Financial Aid, Operations, AP, Facilities, Real Estate, Risk Management, and Information Technology. As a Sr. Leader in the organization, he supported the attainment of University goals and objectives in accordance with the institutional mission and strategic vision.

Prior to joining LIU, Jorge worked for Princeton University, where he served as senior associate director of planning and operations for the Office of Development creating a resource request to launch the Aspire capital campaign. The $1.75 billion campaign required the development of strategies relating to the allocation of resources in support of strategic plans (short and long-term).

Throughout his career, Escobar, a certified Six Sigma Black Belt, has applied his broad expertise in operations and technology at large institutions worldwide. For almost 10 years at Merrill Lynch, he performed global business reviews in Toronto, Tokyo, and London and became Vice President of Global Business Strategies and Solutions managing initiatives in data strategy, systems integration, performance metrics, and cost savings.

Escobar is an advisor to the International Commission of Science and Technology in the Dominican Republic and works with SENACYT (Secretaría Nacional de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación) evaluating research and development projects funded by the Panama government and the Inter-American Development Bank.

Escobar has led the National Hispanic Employee Network at Merrill Lynch and volunteered for AARP, Habitat for Humanity, and other community-focused organizations. In addition, he is a board member for HISPA (Hispanics Inspiring Student’s Performance Achievement) a non-profit organization providing role models to students in middle school. Finally, Jorge spearheaded Latino Princetonians, an employee resource group at Princeton University.

Educationally, Jorge has achieved a Master of Education with a concentration in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment from Walden University; Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration, Thomas Edison State College; Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from Rider University, New Jersey.

Additionally, Escobar is bilingual in Spanish-English, he is highly trained and proficient in multiple technology applications and has completed relevant professional seminars and conferences including the Looking Glass Experience, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, Enterprise Architecture Modeling, Financial Reporting, Conflict Resolution, Advancement Services, Leadership Through People Skills, Results-Oriented Communication, and Market Data Management.

Jorge has also received numerous awards and commendations including a Special Recognition Award from Princeton University (2011), the Donald Griffin ’23 Management Award, Princeton University (2010), and the Special Achievement Award, Merrill Lynch (1997).

We would like to congratulate Jorge once again for being recognized as one of the HITEC 100.

 

 

Luis Villa – SVL Cultura Ambassador

 

Silicon Valley Latino is proud to feature our newest Cultura Ambassador, Luis Villa from San Luis Potosí in Mexico. Luis is driven by his latest entrepreneurial endeavor Villa C. Luis and his wife Marisol recently visited with us here in Silicon Valley and we were thrilled to visit with him at Stanford University along with some iconic Silicon Valley institutions such as the Facebook and Google campuses. While pitching potential investors for Villa C, Luis was able to visit the Bay Area and not only meet with potential investors; he was also able to meet with other Cultura Ambassadors who offered him encouragement and support. Luis was able to be inspired first hand at one of Silicon Valley’s Inspire Higher Panel Discussions.

Bringing craftsmanship and unique designs from talent around the world and giving them a global stage in the marketplace is what Villa C is all about. The idea was hatched when Luis shared software design courses with fashion designers at The Universidad Interamericana para el Desarrollo. Luis quickly realized that the genius that toiled in the classroom needed a marketing and sales platform to feature such young amazing talent. He quickly started putting together Villa C. A marketplace for International, young designers.

The idea is to take the necessary steps in finding quality, locally made garments and presenting them through their e-commerce website in a way that’s fair to market and in a way that gives merchandise a sophisticated brand look. The Villa C website coordinates taylor-made solutions for custom garments direct to customers.

Through Villa C, designers will have access to key distribution, manufacturing and collaboration tools and services normally available only in more sophisticated supply chain solutions.

Luis Villa and his start up Villa C are dedicated to offering unique designs from custom designers around the world. This revolutionary idea helps them reach an audience looking for locally made and hard to find goods in a new global market place. His venture is well underway and he certainly has bright horizons ahead as Villa C is expected to officially be launching soon, including the possibility of participating in the next Boot Camp at Manos Accelerator. Manos Accelerator is a mentorship-driven accelerator program that provides “hands-on” education, business resources, infrastructure, capital, and guidance for promising Latino led startup companies, moving them towards a fast track to success.

We are excited to share this journey with all our Cultura Ambassadors. Stay tuned for more exciting news on Luis Villa and Villa C.

 

 

Luis Noriega Tovar – SVL Cultura Ambassador

 

Luis G. Noriega Tovar is passionate about giving back to his community and being part of a movement that brings about positive change to the world. Growing up undocumented, Luis felt the pressures of being restrained from unleashing his true potential. However, after achieving a 4.0 GPA in community college, transferring to UCLA and eventually graduating with an Economics, Honors degree, he realized that the true limitations were just in his mind.

He also realized that hard work, confidence, and faith will take you a long way; especially after becoming a leader in his teams at Oracle where he did tech Sales & Marketing.  Now, Luis spends his days helping people make massive changes to improve their quality of life through his Life Coaching and Marketing Consulting business. He finally found his true calling after helping several people make massive breakthroughs in their lives & being told that he had an amazing gift of wisdom and deep understanding.

Along with Silicon Valley Latino, Luis truly believes in inspiring young Latin@s and underrepresented communities because there was always people in his life that helped him get to where he’s at today. Now it’s time to give back, now it’s time for positive and long lasting change.

Inspire Higher Panel at SJCC Milpitas Extension

 

On the evening of August 30th, Silicon Valley Latino and San Jose City College were delighted to present the first Inspire Higher Panel presentation to an open audience. Typically, the Inspire Higher program has been a tour involving select high schools in the South Bay. These schools have included the Luis Valdez Leadership Academy, Latino College Preparatory Academy, Cristo Rey, Milpitas High School and ACE Charter High School as well as ACE Middle School and Sacred Heart Nativity Schools. Through the Inspire Higher Tour, Silicon Valley Latino features four Latinos from the STEAM fields. Although STEAM is typically the acronym that represents Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math, through our definition the “E” also represents Entrepreneurship and Entertainment and the “M” also represents Media, Marketing and Management. We typically feature two Latinas and two Latinos from these fields through a one-hour moderated panel discussion. During this hour the panelists share their journeys in a very open, honest and authentic manner, they share the good, the bad and the ugly.  The panelists share in such an inspiring way that even though the students did not know them prior to the panel presentation they rush at them at the conclusion of the Q & A segment like groupies to rock stars, it’s such a beautiful thing to watch.

One of the challenges that Silicon Valley Latino has faced in the past years while presenting the Inspire Higher Tour is that these presentations have been rather exclusive to students of the select high schools participating. However, now through an established partnership with San Jose City College, these panel presentations will be offered to the general public (students, parents, professionals, etc) on a regular basis at the new San Jose City College Milpitas Extension. Both Silicon Valley Latino and San Jose City College are excited about this partnership and prospect of offering a variety of similar type activities for our community.

On August 30th, the first Inspire Higher Panel presentation at the San Jose City College Milpitas Extension featured a stellar line-up of Latino Cultura Ambassadors which included Diana Albarrán Chicas (GEO Product Line Manager at SSL and co-founder of Latinas in STEM), Rich Garcia (co-founder of Blyve.com), Nancy Rosales (Serial Entrepreneur and media & business consultant), and Ivan Reyes (Serial Entrepreneur and Executive Director for the Police Activities League in Redwood City).  As usual, these panelists shared their journeys in a truly inspiring manner and passed on lessons learned as well as what inspires them these days. We encourage you to watch our Inspire Higher recap video below.

Also, stay tuned to the next Inspire Higher Panel presentation at the new San Jose City College Milpitas Extension!

 

Miguel Garcia – SVL Jr. Cultura Ambassador

 

Silicon Valley Latino is excited to introduce our Jr. Cultura Ambassador program, which is focused on featuring stellar high school students. We are delighted to introduce our first Jr. Cultura Ambassador, Miguel Garcia.  Miguel is a junior at Cristo Rey High School in San Jose, California and an intern at Cisco. Through his internship, Miguel works in the IT department for Katty Coulson, IT Director (Regional IT Leader for Americas) where he has been doing an outstanding job on various projects.

Besides being focused on achieving his academic goals by taking AP courses, Miguel enjoys playing on the varsity soccer team and next year he plans to join the volleyball team.  In addition to academics and sport, Miguel has taken a deep interest in photography and video editing and plans to pursue a career in this field in the future. Miguel also enjoys working on bicycles and when he’s not fixing them he enjoys riding throughout San Jose. He also derives much satisfaction from working in landscaping with his father on a weekly basis.

We’ve also received several reports that Miguel is a great networker and enjoys meeting people from various backgrounds and learning about their journeys so don’t be surprised to see him at one of our networking events in the near future. This summer Miguel will be attending the Saints and Scholars program in Indiana at the Holy Cross College.  We will certainly keep an eye on Miguel and his up and coming senior year at Cristo Rey.

Interested in becoming an SVL Cultura Ambassador?  Reach out to us so that we can give you all the details on joining this growing community of professional latin@s.  email us info@svlatino.com

The Women and Men In The Arena

 

Regrettably for generations the narrative around the Latino community has strategically been a negative one, and most recently it has taken an even darker tone. However, the Internet and the various platforms that have emerged in the last decade have now allowed a more even playing field. We now have the opportunity to be part of the narrative, in fact, we can now write our own narrative.  We now write a narrative that is based on facts, on our own experiences, our very real experience. Furthermore, documenting these experiences allows us to capture the way we contribute and add value to society and in doing so we educate ourselves and the mainstream about who we are, what we do and how we do it.

 

In our latest video project, The Women and Men In The Arena, we’ve taken Roosevelt’s epic passage from his 1910 speech, Citizenship In A Republic, and have remixed it to pay tribute to some of the men and women who have devoted themselves to strive valiantly towards worthy causes. To those women and men in the arena, who despite your early challenges were able to succeed, we applaud you for your perseverance, tenacity, vision, and aspiration to achieve more than was ever expected. We thank you for having the audacity to envision a different reality, a better reality. We applaud you for daring greatly.

Because of the vision, commitment, leadership and faith in our community by these men and women, our society benefits from organizations like the National Council of La Raza, the Latino Community Foundation, Hispanics in Philanthropy, the Castellano Family Foundation, the Mexican Heritage Corporation, the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, Sacred Heart Nativity Schools, the Small Business Administration, the Avalos Foundation, Conexion, Latino Start-up Alliance, Hispanic in IT Executive Council and LISTAS to name a few.

It is with great pleasure that we release this video as we approach May 1st’s “Day Without An Immigrant” and it is our hope that as you choose to participate in these marches that you are fueled with more pride about who you are, what you stand for, and what you represent.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”


We look forward to producing more videos that will feature more of the countless leaders from our community who strive valiantly, stay tuned.

 

 

HITEC Making Great Strides – Pushing Up and Pulling Up

 

HITEC is the Hispanic IT Executive Council and one of the most relevant and impactful organizations in the country as they Push Up and Pull Up their members and the communities they engage in. It was founded to increase Hispanic representation in the diversity-challenged IT industry.  HITEC is also a premier global executive leadership organization of senior business and IT executives who have built outstanding careers in information technology.  Its premiere network spans the Americas and is focused on building stronger technology and executive leaders, leadership teams, corporations, and role models in a rapidly changing, flatter, and information technology centric world. These global leaders include executives leading Global 1000 corporations while others lead some of the largest Hispanic-owned IT firms across the Americas.  HITEC enables business and professional growth for its members and fills the executive pipeline with the next generation of Hispanic IT leaders.

This has all been made primarily possible through the vision and leadership of Andre Arbalaez (President) and Alberto Yepez (Chairman) as well as through the dedication and support from numerous distinguished Board of Directors many of which work for Silicon Valley High Tech companies. In addition to having excellent leadership awards and recognition events in markets like New York, DC, Miami and Silicon Valley (soon also in Dallas and Guadalajara, Mexico) they also offer their members a comprehensive emerging executive program. Most recently they’ve launched the HITEC Foundation that will provide scholarships to Latino students who are interested in pursing a STEM degree.

Silicon Valley Latino salutes the great work this organization has accomplished and continues to lead. We are also proud to note that many of our Silicon Valley Latino Cultura Ambassadors (Guillermo Diaz Jr, Ileana Rivera, Ramon Baez, Juan Carlos Gutierrez) have taken an active part in propelling HITEC to new heights while others (Pepe Gomez, Anne-Marie Olholm-Azzi, Jorge Titinger to name a few)  have been behind the scenes.

Once again, we congratulate and salute HITEC and look forward to collaborating with this great organization again in the future.

Adelante!