Business Journal’s Latino Leadership Summit


Business Journals Latino Leadership Summit 2014

SVL had the pleasure of covering the Silicon Valley Business Journal's Latino Leadership Summit featuring a panel discussion with Guillermo Diaz, Tamara Alvarado and Darcie Green.

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SVL had the pleasure of covering the Silicon Valley Business Journal’s Latino Leadership Summit featuring a panel discussion with Guillermo Diaz, Tamara Alvarado and Darcie Green.

This special event was sponsored by Wells Fargo Bank. SVL was especially proud to have covered an event featuring SVL Culura Ambassadors, SVL honorees and champions. They did an outstanding job addressing questions about leadership, engagement, mentoring and media coverage. We would like to congratulate all involved in producing this great event.

Seven Latino startups to pitch at Yahoo


Seven Latino companies from Manos Accelerator’s 2nd cohort will be pitching this coming week at Yahoo!

The makeup of this 2nd group at Manos Accelerator brings together seven tech companies of which three are from California and the other four from Latin America. Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras and Mexico.

With the success of Manos Accelerator’s first round sponsored by Google for Entrepreneurs other big tech companies are being attracted to jump on the train of Latino owned startups. Yahoo has joined the parade of sponsoring and supporting Manos Accelerator by holding this coming weeks pitch by the following seven companies:

From California:

FashionTEQ is a women’s jewelry to be connected to your wireless device.

Bandbazaar is an application that allows musicians to connect, sell, rent or offer different services is a platform that allows anyone to pose questions and or concerns to influential people like politicians or organizations and have them answered by these folks.


CoupleCare is the first app that allows couples to track their fertility goals


saySquare is a technology that will make cell phone payment via SMS a reality for Latin America


Cycle Money brings a platform of recycling electronics and building computers from the functioning recycled parts


My bigame is a betting platform for gamers.

We are elated that Manos Accelerator continues with its success of bringing Latin@ owned tech companies the education so that they may succeed.

We at SVLatino continue with our mission of highlighting these success stories so be on the lookout with continued coverage of Manos Accelerator and their 2nd Cohort.






5th Annual Sabor del Valle “A Taste of the Valley”

5th Annual Sabor del Valle

Debbie Gentry-Rao SVL Cultura Ambassador


Debbie Gentry-Rao arrived into the world in a small town in Texas, as a premature baby, weighing only 2 pounds and 14 ounces. She was raised in Rhode Island and discovered at a young age that she had congenital hearing impairment and learning disabilities. Against the odds, Debbie was determined to succeed. She was the first person in her family to graduate from college, while working full-time to support herself and pay for her own tuition. While attending college, she developed and brought to fruition, the first nationwide Collegiate Student Art Education Association. She obtained a B.S. Degree in Art Education (K-12) with a minor in Philosophy from Rhode Island College, and received an award for Honors in Teaching.

Debbie Gentry-Rao SVL Cultura Ambassador

Debbie always has demonstrated a passion for teaching and helping others. Over the next 20 years, she worked in both public and private teaching positions around the country, empowering children in grades K-12 with knowledge. She developed relationships with local news stations in order to launch programs to feature her students’ art work on the evening news. Her last teaching position was with Challenger School, where she taught for eight years.

For the past eight years, Debbie has selflessly committed her life to volunteering with the Red Cross. She has traveled and responded to more than 15 natural disasters across the nation, such as Hurricane Sandy, where she dedicated more than 150 days of her service in New York, and the recent mudslide in Oso, Washington, where she was personally enlisted by the Red Cross Headquarters office to serve as the Manager of Disaster IT Field Operations. Debbie has taken more than 50 classes in Disaster Training and was among one of 220 fully-certified driver/operators for the Emergency Communications Response Vehicle (ECRV) within the US. She was recently assigned by National HQ to a Special Task Force for the Deinstallation of Disaster Relief Operations HQ in Mississippi and Louisiana.

Debbie has served on the Board of Directors for the State of Vermont Art Teachers Association. She also served on the Development Committee for the Real Heroes Breakfast for the Red Cross and was also a member of the Clara Barton Breakfast Committee. She served on the Board of Directors for the SCVCC Women’s Club for two years. Debbie received a Volunteer of the Year award in 2006 from Presentation High School for her work in fundraising for the auction events, and for being a member of both the Parent Board and the Boosters Board. Recently, she was selected as a member of the Rotary Club of San Jose East/Evergreen, where she is currently Chairing the Family Supportive Housing community service project.

In addition to this, Debbie has exuded a spirit of entrepreneurship, especially in the industries of real estate, education and training. She has traveled to more than 13% of the world, which has driven her passion for Silicon Valley Latino (SVL). She is proud to be associated with SVL not only for its multicultural nature, but also because she finds shared core values within the organization of selfless volunteerism, fundraising and determination to make a difference in the lives of others.

In her free time, Debbie enjoys spending time with her two grown children, biking, traveling, and volunteering for Rebuilding Together in SJ and New Orleans.

Cecilia Enriquez – Enriquez Family Estates


We begin our Vino Latino wine series which will consist of interviewing Latin@ Winery Owners/Wine Makers over the next few weeks.  Thank you to Becky Tyner – Sandoval of Vino Latino for taking on this project for SVL.

Featured Winery: Enriquez Family Estates

Location: Petaluma, California (Sonoma County)

Varietals: Pinot, Tempranillo, And White Blend


At first glance you would probably not guess that Cecilia Enriquez is the CEO of her family’s vineyard and winery.  It’s not because she’s a woman, or because she’s a Latina, or because she’s about 5 feet tall, but it’s because she’s only 26, but she looks about 18.   As is with most things in life, what you see is not what you get.  Inside that cute little frame is a powerhouse full of determination, desire to learn, and success!

Cecilia Enriquez

Cecilia’s family bought the winery and vineyard in 2011 after the families visit to Sonoma.  While wine tasting Cecilia jokingly said to her father, “You should buy a winery and let me run it.”  A year later, her father did exactly that.  Cecilia’s reaction was, “I was joking!” But it’s obvious her parents knew more about her ability to succeed than she did, so they continued with the purchase and sent their young daughter to California to learn the wine business.  Since then Cecilia has learned to negotiate the sale of her grapes, pick barrels, choose blends, and come up with her own ideas on winemaking.  With each vintage, the Enriquez brand continues to improve and grow along with its young CEO.


SVL: I’m sure the wine business keeps you very busy, but when you have it, what do you do in your spare time?

Cecilia: Not work! Ha-ha.  I find a lot of joy in playing with my puppies, Riley and Tyler.  I also enjoy traveling, including going to Mexico as much as possible to visit family.  I’m also active in the local 20/30 club that is a lot of fun.

SVL:  Your mom and dad are from Mexico.  Where in Mexico are they from?

Cecilia: My mom is from Culiacan, Sinaloa, and my dad is from Guadalajara, Jalisco.

SVL: I know your parents are back east in New Jersey.  When you go home which of your mom’s dishes do you look forward to the most?

Cecilia: I love my mom’s tacos dorados and her chilaquiles are really yummy too.

SVL:  Did you grow up with wine in your home?

Cecilia: Yes, my parents love California Pinots and often had them at our dinner table.

SVL: You produce Pinot, Tempranillo and a white blend, so we know you enjoy those varietals.  What is your favorite varietal that you don’t produce?

Cecilia: I love Cabernet Franc and Sangiovese.

SVL: What wine region would you like to visit?

Cecilia: I would love to go to Champagne because not only do I love sparkling wines, but I also have a friend who lives there and it would be wonderful to see them!

SVL: Which of your wines is your favorite?

Cecilia: I don’t have a favorite.  I love them all.  But I’m most proud of my rose` of Tempranillo because it’s unusual.  There isn’t a lot of tempranillo produced in the USA and to have one made as a rose` is even more uncommon.

SVL: What would you pair with the Rose` of Tempranillo?

Cecilia: A hot day, flip-flops, and a pool.

SVL: Thank you so much Cecilia for sharing with Silicon Valley Latino.  We wish you continued success and happiness.

Cecilia: You are so welcome!  Let’s eat!



Edward Avila – SVL Cultura Ambassador


Edward Avila is the CEO of Manos Accelerator, a first-of-its kind accelerator targeting the development of Latino entrepreneurs.  He is a native of San Jose and has worked in Silicon Valley over the last 20 years as a Human Resources Professional, Executive Coach with companies such as Philips Semiconductors and Intersil Corporation and as an Entrepreneur.

Edward Avila - SVL Cultura Ambassador

Edward graduated from Bellarmine College Preparatory. He also earned a Master’s Degree in Organization Development from the University of San Francisco and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Loyola Marymount University.

Edward has been recognized by PODER Hispanic Magazine as a Top 20 Latino Entrepreneur and also as a Game Changer by Hispanic Executive Magazine and has also been featured on ForbesTechCrunch, and The Wall Street Journal.

He is also proud to serve as an Advisory Board Member to Silicon Valley Latino.

Beatriz Pratt – SVL Cultura Ambassador


We want to salute today’s SVL Cultura Ambassador Beatriz Pratt:

Beatriz Medina Pratt was born and raised in Southern California. It was there that her parents raised her and her four siblings with proceeds from the cleaning business they ran from their garage. A big accomplishment given that Beatriz’ mami and papi had a 3rd and 6th grade education respectively when they left their hometowns in Mexico.

BeatrizMPratt_Feb2014_highresBeatriz is currently an Operations Program Manager at Cisco Systems, a global leader in information technology. She is responsible for managing operations & leading program communications for the corporate quality organization. She relocated to the Bay Area in 2003 when she joined Cisco through the Linksys acquisition. Prior to Linksys, she held sales and operations positions at several IT companies, including Kingston Technology.

While her operations work is rewarding, she is passionate about working with Latino students in Silicon Valley to achieve equitable representation of Latinos in corporate America. To this end, she is Co-President of Conexión, Cisco’s Latino Employee Resource Organization (ERO), where she manages the strategy and direction of a global 950-member team. Under her leadership, Conexión has been recognized by Latino Magazine, LatinaStyle and other organizations for their programs aimed at encouraging students to pursue careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Last year, over 1500 Latino students benefited from these programs.


Beatriz is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and received her B.S. in Human Services from California State University Fullerton. In April 2014, she was recognized by the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) as a Young Hispanic Corporate Achiever™ for her leadership and contributions to the Hispanic community.


She loves reading, music in any language and as a mom of two girls, is in constant pursuit of the perfect homemade cupcake frosting.


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.

Ivonne Valdes – SVL Cultura Ambassador


Ivonne Valdes

VP WW Go-To-Market Technology Services Sales, Marketing & Operations

Hewlett-Packard Company


As Hewlett Packard’s worldwide Technology Services Go-to-Market leader, Ivonne and her team are responsible for driving sales of HP’s premier Technology Services at Hardware point-of-sale.

Ivonne is an instrumental leader within the HP Enterprise Group, advocating solution selling and developing Go-To-Market programs that garner lifelong customers while staying in step with the changing IT landscape.

She works closely with HP customers to understand the needs of the market and strives to go above and beyond by working across HP to create go to market programs that exceed customer requirements.

Ivonne Valdes - SVL Cultura Ambassador


Ivonne is a highly-accomplished executive and is experienced in building and leading successful global sales teams. With over 25 years of experience, Ivonne takes a creative approach to solving problems of the CXO and has exemplified an excellent ability to link technology to business impact and ROI. Additionally, she has the proven ability to develop and implement strategies that deliver organizational efficiencies.  Throughout her career, Ivonne has demonstrated success building rapport across cultures, levels and functions and has guided virtual teams through complex business challenges.  Prior to joining HP, Ivonne held numerous global sales leadership positions at Sun/Oracle.


Currently based in Los Gatos, Ivonne holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Clinical Psychology from Caldwell College. In 2014, Ivonne was recognized as one of the TOP 100 most influential Hispanic Professionals in the Information Technology Industry.  Most recently, Ivonne completed the Latino Board Leadership Academy and is an active supporter of the Silicon Valley Hispanic Foundation and My New Red Shoes.  In her spare time she enjoys traveling, reading, family-time and donating her time toward philanthropic activities.

Al Camarillo – SVL Cultura Ambassador




Al Camarillo was born and raised in the South Central Los Angeles community of Compton. After attending the Compton public schools, he entered the University of California at Los Angeles as a freshman in 1966. He continued his education at UCLA in the Ph.D. program in U.S. History where he received his doctorate in 1975 and where his dissertation was nominated that year as one of the best Ph.D. theses in the nation in American history. Camarillo was appointed to the faculty in the Department of History at Stanford University in 1975, a position he still holds. He has published seven books and over three dozen articles and essays dealing with the experiences of Mexican Americans and other racial and immigrant groups in American cities. Camarillo is widely regarded as one of the founding scholars of the field of Mexican American history and Chicano Studies.

Al Camarillo - SVL Cultura Ambassador

Two of his books, Chicanos in a Changing Society: From Mexican Pueblos to American Barrios (Harvard University Press, 1979, six printings; Southern Methodist University Press edition, March 2005) and Chicanos in California: A History of Mexican Americans (Boyd and Fraser, 1984, four printings) have been widely read. His most recent book, comparing the history of various major ethnic and racial minority groups in American cities, entitled The Racial Borderhoods of America: Mexican Americans and the Changing Racial/Ethnic Landscapesin Cities, 1850-2000, will be published by Oxford University Press next year. He is currently working on a book entitled Going Back to Compton: Reflections of a Native Son on Life in an Infamous American City.

Over the course of his career, Camarillo has received many awards and fellowships. Awards for research and writing include a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship and a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship; he was also a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and at the Stanford Humanities Center. His awards for teaching are also numerous. He is the only faculty member in the history of Stanford University to receive the six highest awards for excellence in teaching and service to undergraduate education and the Stanford alumni. At Stanford’s Commencement in 1988 and in 1994 respectively, he received the Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award for Outstanding Service to Undergraduate Education and the Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching. In 1997, he was awarded the Bing Teaching Fellowship Award for Excellence and Innovation in Undergraduate Teaching. In 2005, Camarillo was awarded the Miriam Roland Prize for Volunteer Service, an award that recognizes a Stanford faculty member who “over and above their normal academic duties engage and involve students in integrating academic scholarship with significant volunteer service to society.” He and his family members were selected the “2007 Family of the Year” by the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley for the award that recognizes extraordinary contributions to community service. Most recently, he received two awards from Stanford, both in 2011: the Richard W. Lyman Award from the Stanford Alumni Association and the President’s Award for Excellence in Diversity.

In addition to teaching and research, he has occupied several administrative positions: founding Director of the Stanford Center for Chicano Research (1980-1985); founding Executive Director of the Inter-University Program for Latino Research (1985-1988); Associate Dean and Director of Undergraduates Studies in the School of Humanities and Sciences (1991-1993); founding Director of the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity (1996-2002); and Special Assistant to the Provost for Faculty Diversity. In 2002 he was named the Miriam and Peter Haas Centennial Professor in Public Service. He is a past President of the American Historical Association-Pacific Coast Branch (2006) and is currently the President of the Organization of American Historians.