Cisco’s 2015 Hispanic Heritage Month

 

Silicon Valley Latino had the pleasure of covering Cisco’s 2015 Hispanic Heritage Month .

Impacto Latino! That was the theme of Cisco’s first annual Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration  held on October 21, 2015 at its San Jose campus. Hosted by Conexión, Cisco’s Latino ERO, the event showcased the contributions made by Latinos, both at Cisco and across the globe, and also celebrated the unique Latino culture with food, music, art and dancing. The event coincides with the U.S. observation of HHM which is recognized from September 15 – October 15, the anniversary of independence for several Latin American countries.

Cisco Hispanic Heritage Month 2015Over 200 attendees joined locally and from remotes sites in Mexico City, Brussels, Raleigh, NC, Austin, TX, and Boxborough, MA to hear from the great line up of speakers, network with their peers and celebrate. The agenda featured several Cisco leaders including Guillermo Diaz, Jr., SVP & CIO and Executive Sponsor of Conexion, Shari Slate, VP, Chief Inclusion & Collaboration, and Maria Dincel, Director, Sponsor Marketing and Head of Olympic Games.  In addition, a professional development component was offered and Gina Rudan, leadership coach and author of Practical Genius, delivered a keynote.

Event speakers:

Guillermo shared the impact Conexión has made over the past 17 years and highlighted the continued efforts to develop the next generation of Latino leaders at Cisco. He also shared the impact that Conexion had on his career and encouraged the audience to disrupt themselves and inspire exponentially.

Maria shared Cisco’s sponsorship plans for the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics and the efforts Cisco is making in Brazil around country transformation.

Gina Rudan shared her 5 steps to leveraging your practical geniusand the importance of marrying the heart and the mind to create your genius.

Shari highlighted the power of partnerships to help unleash the power of our talent. She also shared the progress made by the Office of Inclusion and Collaboration to transform the company.

Following the main event, attendees in San Jose had the opportunity to network with their peers, learn Zumba, and connect with local Latino owned businesses – PONDL Winery, Vino Latino, Voces Wine, Tico Coffee Roasters, Teatro Vision, Ventana de Flores and Latino Art Expressions.  Conexión

Silicon Valley Latino looks forward to covering Cisco’s 2016 Hispanic Heritage Month event.

If you were a part of this event share your experience with the Silicon Valley Latino community.

Viviana Leija-Sysak – SVL Cultura Ambassador

 

Viviana Leija-Sysak is a visual artist born in Mexico City and currently living in the Bay Area. She holds a Masters in Fine Arts from the University of California in Santa Barbara (UCSB).

Viviana_Leija_Head_ShotShe is currently working as TV producer at CreaTV San Jose and has produced and edited Health Trust TV, Latino Focus and most recently Valley Politics which ranked #1 TV show in CreaTV this year. Her artistic work has been exposed in many venues, mostly in Mexico and USA. She has worked in the TV industry directing, producing, editing and animating shows and spots for several TV stations and production companies. In 2006 she directed and hosted “Mejora Tu Vida” a KPMR show in Spanish to bring fresh information to the Latino population in the Central Coast. Later in 2008, she produced, edited and hosted “Non-Profit Spotlight” a series dedicated to broadcast the best non-profit organizations in the area of Santa Barbara, CA.

She has also worked as a freelance graphic designer and video editor and joined the Marketing Department at The Metropolitan Transit District in Santa Barbara for a year as main graphic designer and producer.  In 2007, she edited the award winning documentary “The Shaken Tree” at the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival and in 2008, she published her first bilingual children’s book “My House is Full of Light“. Viviana has also worked as an art instructor for different organizations and volunteers as a music entertainer for kids.

Her latest artistic inspiration is combining her drawing skills with digital tools and recently initiated an art blog through Tumblr.com where she’s planning to post some of her personal artwork and comments about contemporary art and TV production.

 

Dream Tuner empowers unsigned Musicians

 

We had a chance to visit with Dream Tuner and ask them about their startup being accelerated at Manos Accelerator in San Jose.  Are you a closet musician waiting to be discovered?

  • Is this your first start-up venture? You could say that it is at this scale. I had a couple of businesses in college and during my MBA that would generate extra income such as getting web designers in South America to develop pages for US companies at a lower rate (2006-2010).

Dream Tuner

What inspired you to do your start-up? I can say that music plays an essential role in my life, I still remember listening to The Beatles White Album and Let It Be with my mom and brother in our house when I was 7 years old, while She and my dad were getting divorced. Music became an outlet for my brother and I. He picked up the drums and I the bass guitar and for many years I guess that kept us sane from all the craziness that was going on.  Later on we had to go to college, get jobs and basically grow up, and left behind the instruments but we never left the music. The Aha moment came when I was visiting my family and my kid brother (ten years younger than me, from my mother’s second marriage) asked me to give him a ride to the local college station so that he could drop off a demo of his band to a DJ. That is when I realized that so much had changed thanks to technology and the internet but musicians were still dropping off their demos as had been done by young musicians since the early 60’s and 70’s.  I knew that I had grown up and had given up on the dream, but why should so many others follow that same path.

 

  • How do you see your star-up disrupting the space it’s in? Dream Tuner wants to empower the unsigned musician. We want to help them achieve their dreams while making it easier for their music to be discovered. At the same time we want to target listeners that label themselves as trendsetters, evangelists mavens. That one friend you have that is always promoting new music. We feel that both of these, the artists and these types of listeners are under served. We want music to be for the people and by the people.

 

  • What type of impact do you envision your start-up having in the market? We want to be the place to go for unsigned musicians to catapult to the next level. In baseball terms, we want to be the farm to help them make the leap to the big leagues. What product hunt is to app discovery we want to be to music discovery.

 

  • How did your team come together? Our team is composed of 2 brothers. A drummer and a bass player. I came up with an idea and called my brother in Los Angeles ( I was in Austin TX) to tell him that I had an idea in my head for about a month. it made sense to talk to him since he had studied music production and now worked at a music production company. We took it from there and kept developing the idea to a business plan even after I moved to Miami. After that, it just made sense that I should move to LA where my co-founder is and where so many musicians arrive every day with huge dreams and hopes.

 

  • How has your star-up journey been so far? It has been quite a ride. From a simple idea in Austin Texas, to winning a pitch contest in Miami, to developing the idea and then being in Silicon Valley. We never thought we would make it to where we are and the journey has always been uphill but exciting. We have learned a lot and have been questioned by many and have even been called naive by others for pursuing this dream, but we carry on. You learn to think fast, adapt, be persistent and know that for every 1 startup that makes it there are thousands that fail, in a way, it resembles musicians, for every one band that makes it there are thousand that see their dreams crushed.

 

  • What would you like to achieve during your time with Manos? Learn and keep learning. The ecosystem in Silicon Valley is like no other in the planet. The ideas that are generated here change the world and we want to be a part of it. We want to take full advantage of the opportunity Manos has given us to create a great product and at the same time collaborate with other startups. We hope to share our vision at Dream Tuner with the world soon.

 

  • What type of funding are you looking for? We are currently looking for angel investors to help with seed funding.

Katty Coulson – SVL Cultura Ambassador

 

Katty Coulson is the Regional IT leader for Latin America and Canada at Cisco Systems.

Katty Coulson - SVL Cultura AmbassadorLeader of a multi-country team, she is responsible for driving the strategy to enable Business & IT alignment and customer intimacy to enhance sales opportunities and business value across the region. Operationally responsible for increasing productivity and ensuring a superb user experience across the region in close collaboration with the service owners across the IT organization.

Katty is also an active member of Cisco’s Latino/Hispanic Employee Resource Organizations, having served as president from 2011-13.

As an innovative leader, Katty has created and implemented a variety of programs with game changing potential for the Hispanic / Latino community and the enterprise like Program Escuela and Stretch Assignment Marketplace.

Katty is a committed member of the community with special interest in promoting STEM education and improving opportunities for underprivileged students.  She currently is responsible for four Cristo Rey High School students being sponsored by Cisco during the current school year.

She was awarded “Cisco IT Manager of the Year” in 2012 and recognized by HACR, Young Hispanic Corporate Achievers program in 2013 for her leadership, professional success and commitment with the Latino Community. She was recently recognized by Cisco Sales Latin America as Support Function “Person of the Year” in 2014.

Katty Coulson -  SVL Cultura Ambassador

Katty is a born and raised Mexican. Today she resides in San Jose, CA with her husband and 3 children. She is an avid runner and enjoys giving back activities, traveling and spending time with her family.

Jorge Raziel – SVL Cultura Ambassador

 

International corporate trainer, speaker and entrepreneur Jorge Raziel Ortiz utilizes time-tested principles and the powerful psychology of success to strategically help his clients create measurable results while propelling his own businesses forward.

Jorge Raziel - SVL Cultura AmbassadorJorge Raziel, president of Zealous Vision Enterprises LLC, earned his structural engineering degree from UC San Diego but after years in the industry, felt compelled to pursue his passions and strengths in the fields of training, speaking and business.
Aside from his multitude of business and personal development training, Jorge Raziel Ortiz also studied at the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching, recognized by the International Coaching Federation, one of the premier coach training organizations in the world. Jorge Raziel has now personally coached and trained hundreds of professionals and business owners throughout the country in the areas of strategic planning, emotional intelligence, leadership and the psychology of achievement.
Aside from providing training and speaking services, Jorge Raziel Ortiz is an entrepreneur at heart. He is currently serving as a Senior Partner with VelcroPay. VelcroPay is the world’s first Multi-Merchant Provider Marketplace. VelcroPay makes sure that the business is matched with the best provider for their business type and specific business needs. In the process, the business can expect to lower their rates, increase their profits, and enhance their technology to run a more successful business. Visit VelcroPay.com for more information.

Some of his clients include: US Marine Corps, Department of the Navy, Department of Homeland Security, The AIDS Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, GEM Equipment of Oregon, Central Contra Costa Sanitary District, Teledyne Controls, UPrinting, Hilcorp Energy Company, Hormel Foods Corporation, StrongMail Systems Inc., Provaliant Retirement, Rapid 7, POWER Engineers, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, InMobi and Youth Policy Institute to name a few.

Find out more about Jorge Raziel Ortiz and his services at www.ZealousVision.com.

Silicon Valley Latino 2014 Year In Review

 

Silicon Valley Latino 2014 Year In Review

Silicon Valley Latino would like to thank all the organizations who collaborated with us in creating a positive impact in our community. We enjoyed covering countless events and programs in 2014 and look forward to covering even more in 2015!

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Silicon Valley Latino 2014 Year In Review

Silicon Valley Latino would like to thank all the organizations who collaborated with us in creating a positive impact in our community. We enjoyed covering countless events and programs in 2014 and look forward to covering even more in 2015!
The following is a partial list of what we covered this year: The Latino Leadership Alliance Cohort 4 Completion Certificate Presentation, Red Carpet Premier of the feature film Hola Venky, The San Jose Jazz’s Be Sharp Silicon Valley Fashion Show, The Sacred Heart Nativity Schools’ 12th Annual Fiesta, Cinequest 2014, The East Side Sushi Premiere, Rotary Club of San Jose’s 100 Year Anniversary Gala, Sabor del Valle’s Celebrity Bartender Night, the 13th Annual Cesar Chavez Breakfast, Square Celebrates Latino Business in San Francisco, Content Magazine Pick Up Parties, SHPE Noche de Ciencia, LCPA Career Fair and Senior Decision Day, LIT College Tour, LOFT & Google’s Coding Jam in Collaboration with the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, Manos Accelerator 2nd Cohort’s Kick Off Reception and Demo Day, Mezlan & SVL Vines & Fashion Mixer, Sabor Del Valle’s 5th Annual Event, the San Jose Jazz Summer Festival, Silicon Valley Business Journal’s Latino Leadership Summit, Voto Latino’s Power Summit Silicon Valley, the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley’s 25th Annual Ball, Latinas in STEM “STEM 101 Conference”, the Q4 HITEC Summit & 100 Awards Gala, and Latino Magazine’s “Ahora Student Day”

We would also like to thank the following for their leadership:
Latino Leadership Alliance, San Jose Jazz, Sacred Heart Nativity Schools,
Cinequest, the cast of East Side Sushi, Rotary Club of San Jose, Sabor Del Valle, SHPE SV & SF Chapters, LCPA, LIT College Tour, the Hispanic Heritage Foundation & LOFT, Google, Manos Accelerator, Mezlan Store @ Valley Fair, Silicon Valley Business Journal, Voto Latino, Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley, Latinas in STEM, and HITEC.
We also want to thank all of our members and Cultura Ambassadors for your support!

Soon we will announce some exciting programs and partnerships that we will launch in 2015. Stay tuned and may you all have a prosperous 2015!

SVL Cultura Ambassador – Julissa Ramirez Lebron featured in Intel video

 

Maricela Castro – SVL Cultura Ambassador

Maricela Castro, was born and raised in San Jose, CA. She attended Andrew Hill High School and San Jose State University. She has been in the Human Resources industry for over 10 years and has worked at several high-tech companies and a CRO (Clinical Research Organization) in Silicon Valley. She is currently the Human Resources Manager at dB Control located in Fremont, an Electronic Technologies Group (ETG) division of HEICO Corp., that supplies mission-critical, often sole-source, products worldwide to military organizations, as well as to major defense contractors and commercial manufacturers. dB Control has a high number of Latino Engineers, Managers and Supervisors. Maricela is very proud to work with this very diverse workforce.
Maricela Castro 1-2-2012

She also takes great pride in helping our community and getting the entire organization involved. Each year dB Control participates in Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk, The Alameda County Community Food Bank Drive and they conduct a yearly Toy Drive and donate all the toys to a non-profit organization. She truly enjoys her role as a Human Resources professional and making a difference in the company and the community.

Chilean startup Lab4U wins Intel Global Challenge 2014

For the second year in a row a Chilean startup has walked away with the Intel Global Challenge grand prize.
Let’s give them a big hand in bringing this educational tool to all who have a tablet or smartphone.

Voto Latino Power Summit Engages Millennials in San Jose

Last weekend downtown San Jose had a little bit more Hollywood star power than usual with the arrival of the Voto Latino Power Summit. College students, educators, civic leaders, and business professionals attended the two-day event to hear distinguished panelists discuss the power of the Latino vote.

Co-founded by actor and activist Rosario Dawson and led by Maria Teresa Kumar, Voto Latino is a non-partisan organization from D.C. that aims to inspire English-speaking Latinos to become invested in the political process. Over the last ten years, the organization has creatively used the power of the media, Latino celebrities, mobile technology, and social media to register nearly a quarter-million voters. Now, Voto Latino has the support of entities such as PG & E, Southwest Airlines, The MacArthur Foundation, The Kapor Center for Social Impact, and Silicon Valley Community Foundation and of course Silicon Valley Latino.
Rosario Dawson-Voto Latino Power Summit San Jose

“It’s nice to be home,” said Kumar, a native of Sonoma County who is Voto Latino’s CEO and President. According to Kumar, it was important to include San Jose in the tour not only because the city is the hub of new technology, but also the home to a large Latino community. It was through her friendship with Assemblymember Nora Campos that Kumar realized bringing the Summit to San Jose would be “an opportunity for incredible change.”

Actor and Voto Latino Artist Coalition co-chair Wilmer Valderrama agreed by stating, “In order to empower this community, in order to empower our culture, we have to go where they live.” Valderrama added, “I feel like that’s the biggest issue that local government has is that they don’t bring the conversation where people are.”

What kind of conversation did the Voto Latino Power Summit bring to San Jose? The workshops and panels held at the San Jose State University campus tackled different topics—from how to build your own website to the dos and don’ts of networking. However, the main conversation that surfaced from all these different discussions was clear: Latino Millennials have the potential to enact change in this country and to be more than just sought-after consumers.

Indeed, according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth, the U.S. Latino purchasing power is approaching $1.5 trillion this year. In 2010 it was $1 trillion. Companies and marketers are noticing this trend.

During a panel discussion, Dawson encouraged the Millennials in the audience to take that leap from being consumers to being creators. “What would you like to see yourself doing?” she asked them. “You’re not just consumers—you are innovators.”

A dynamic speaker, Dawson explained to the audience, “The next generation is going to be reading about you in our history books—the ones who created that thing, that promoted that thing, that changed the face of the world.”

When it comes to Silicon Valley’s tech industry, the sobering reality is that only seven percent of tech workers are African American or Latino (see Working Partnership USA report). This means that only a small percentage of underrepresented minorities are in the position to make decisions about new technology. It also means only a few Latinos are working in an industry where the average annual salary is $70k.

One way for Latino Millennials to change those statistics and to generally become more empowered is through the political process, said Assemblymember Nora Campos. “We need to encourage ourselves and our family members and others that we need to start seeing civic engagement as a must, not an option,” stated Campos.

Another way to enact change is through technology, which Latinos are quite comfortable using. According to Kumar, Latinos went to their mobile devices in 2006 to help bring together 2 million people to march peacefully for comprehensive immigration reform. They were “the first people in the world to organize using technology in our streets,” she said.

Voto Latino Power Summit San JoseState Senator Alex Padilla, who was on the same panel, concurred: “Latinos are diverse, we’re young, we’re old, we’re in the East Coast and West Coast. Our parents may not have email but we’re on Facebook, Twitter and other social media.”

And sometimes a young person can become empowered just by doing something as simple as networking. Indeed, one of the biggest aims of the Voto Latino Power Summit was to create opportunities for participants to share their stories, exchange information, and network with each other.

Sarahi Espinosa, a student from Cañada College in Redwood City, appreciated the panel on how to “schmooze.” Silicon Valley Latino founder, Alex Ontiveros, was delighted to have participated in that panel as he and the other panelists shared numerous insights on effective networking which include the use of social media platforms. Sarahi will start incorporating these tips soon as she plans to become a leader in local politics. She attended Voto Latino because she wanted to “network with the right people.”

“A lot of the times I feel that we take a super long way to try to get somewhere when we just could have gone straight,” said Espinosa before she left for the next panel.

While the Voto Latino Power Summit tour reached its conclusion in San Jose, it is clear that Kumar and her team will continue to engage and inspire the next generation of Latinos for years to come.