Marcela Denniston – SVL Cultura Ambassador

 

Marcela Denniston is a Brazilian American living in California. Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil Marcela moved to New Jersey, United States with her mother at the age of 4.  Marcela is the first person in her immediate family to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in Computer Information Systems and an MBA: International Business.

At 17, she joined the US Navy where she began her career in Cyber Operations and Intelligence. During her military service, she received several medals, including a Joint Service Commendation Medal and a Navy and Marine Corp Achievement Medal for her work in the Navy Cyber Defense Operations Center and the National Security Agency.  After leaving the Navy, Marcela worked in several consulting roles, nationally and internationally supporting the growth and development of Cyber Security Operations and Products. Today, Marcela works as a cyber security consultant for government organizations, start-ups and venture capital firms.

Outside of work, Marcela is a passionate social activist supporting equality and inclusion for minority groups worldwide. She is an active member of several organizations focused on establishing meaningful connections between LATAM entrepreneurs and US investors including the Latino Start Up Alliance and BayBrazil. Marcela also participates in empowerment and education of STEM careers for young females through Girls Can Hack and IGNITE Worldwide.

Marcela is also a community contributor; she is a volunteer soccer coach for the American Youth Soccer Association as a girls U10 soccer coach. This opportunity allows her to help young girls build confidence and camaraderie with each other. Her team won the 2016 Hirschel Cup for the U10 girls age group.

Marcela currently lives in Foster City, CA with her husband and two daughters and hopes to continue her contributions to the Latino and female community through an initiative to empower, encourage and educate Latinas in technology and engineering fields called Poderosa. Marcela envisions her efforts will create a movement of young girls looking to pursue careers in technology fields and ultimately change the norm for women’s equality in business.

In The Making – The Ivan Reyes Story

Every once in a while we are fortunate enough to see an extraordinary talent unfold before our eyes. Well, fortunately for some of us in the Bay Area we have been able to witness the commitment, drive and passion of Ivan Reyes transform into the evolution of a true musician, an inspirational role model, a talented music producer and a visionary entrepreneur. Throughout his journey, Ivan has been committed to helping under-served youth through his work at places like the Boys and Girls Club and the Movimiento De Arte y Cultura Latino Americana MACLA.

Ivan is an accomplished musician and a truly talented music engineer and producer.  In addition, he possesses both solid non-profit experience and that of the commercial recording industry. Through his leadership and passion, many creative arts organization and entertainment companies/artists have benefited.

Ivan’s latest designs are two unique companies known as TempLo and Escena. TempLo is a team composed of talented music producers out of the San Francisco Bay Area innovating music production with their versatile skill sets. Beyond the music, TempLo helps musicians establish a brand within the music industry. Escena encompasses the multi-media and visual arts to deliver premier photography products and video services in the Bay Area.

His latest project, Untamed,  is co-produced with The BeatPushers. The album consists of 8 songs featuring different singers from around the states and sounds like a party!

We invite you to enjoy this short video featuring “In the making – Ivan Reyes”

 

 

 

Cultura Ambassador Tiq Chapa recognized by Voto Latino

We at Silicon Valley Latino are proud and encouraged with the work that Voto Latino leads for our community through its various initiatives  and Mission statement as a pioneering civic media organization that seeks to transform America by recognizing Latinos’ innate leadership.  They have recognized & awarded, through their “VL Innovators” video, Cultura Ambassador, Eutiquio “Tiq” Chapa for his Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative.

Tiq is the epitome of what it is to be a Cultura Ambassador. He along with the rest of his colleagues Dr. Jerry Porras (SVL Trail Blazer) and Remy Arteaga are doing an outstanding job in leading the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative and we look forward to sharing their success stories in the near future.

Tiq keep up the great work, we are very proud of you and delighted to support your efforts in empowering our entrepreneurship community.

Adelante!

 

About LBAN:

In 2012, Professor Jerry Porras and a group of Stanford Alums came together to form a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, the Latino Business Action Network (LBAN), focused on making America stronger through LBAN funded Latino research and education impact programs at Stanford University.

One Step Forward…Two Steps Back by Cultura Ambassador Maria Hernandez, PhD

 

The events of this past week weigh heavily on many of us—particularly the Latin@ professionals who dedicate their lives to advancing diverse and inclusive workplace environments. As if the national headlines are not enough, this month’s Harvard Business Review has published a series of articles with titles that suggest diversity training has not worked during the past 30 years—not quite a true depiction of the article’s content but sensational titles do help sell even in academia!   There is no question that the nation has made much progress in the past 40 years.  But clearly we just experienced the proverbial one step forward, two steps back.

For the better part of the past 25 years, I have had the opportunity to be invited into organizations that want to recruit, engage and advance diverse employees or to develop strategies to better compete for diverse consumer markets or serve diverse constituents. There are successes but no quick fixes.   Based on my experience, there are two key factors that I look for as a sign of potential success.   Executives who demonstrate a strong level of self awareness is key.  Since the majority of senior executives are white males, I look for that leader’s ability to be aware of their personal impact on others.  Do they understand that being a white male has an impact on their views, their leadership, and their own cultural reference point as they navigate their work life?  At some point the conversation of unconscious bias and its corollary of privilege lets me know if there is capacity for psychological insight necessary for authentic conversations.  This personal awareness coupled with clear data that points to how the organization is missing opportunities is the first step in moving forward.

One of the tools that many D/I professionals have pointed to is Implicit Association Test, which is useful to outline unconscious bias.   The harder construct to appreciate is privilege.  The Whiteness Project recently emerged as a resource for this discussion.  Take a moment to watch a few of these short statements. I’m sure you will find these remarkable young people describe how they have privilege with painful clarity.  They are not all men and not all white.  Privilege comes in different forms in our society despite our strong belief that we live in a meritocracy.  There is no more cherished value than a belief that each of us gets where we are by our own effort.  The possibility that gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion or skin color serves to either help or hinder our advancement in the nation is the hardest conversation.  It’s soothing to see the next generation may be ready to see this in clearer focus.

The next step is to introduce the idea that cultural humility requires that we look for ways to understand and see situations as others see them.  Empathy is the new gold standard for leaders.  The national conversations surrounding affirmative action, equality and equity are much easier to have when leaders can see the situations through diverse perspectives.  And as the global economy continues to dominate the financial success of multinational companies, the ability to be effective in other countries cannot happen if we think of American culture as synonymous with human nature.  There are many ways in which people across the globe see the world and we all need to appreciate those truths determine the context in which companies engage in a region’s market.

Once these conversations about self-awareness and cultural humility take place, the best news I can share with an executive is that the behaviors most associated with inclusive leaders across the globe can be learned.  The ability to navigate multiple cultures is a skill.  The ability to engage in authentic dialogue with a person different from yourself is a skill.   This week’s events call upon all of us to harness these skills and take two steps forward.

 

Cultura Ambassador Lisa Morales-Hellebo tech founder way ahead of all of us!

Cultura Ambassador Lisa Morales-Hellebo is highlighted via Verizon for being a tech finder that is way ahead of all of us!

Learn more about Lisa via this two part series that Verizon has put out.

How Advertising is Evolving: From “In Your Face Ads” to Sponsored Experiences

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What is a sponsored experience?
One of the examples that comes to mind from the “real” world, is the Sephora makeup session: When a customer walks into the store to get a free makeup session using the products from brands Sephora want to promote, that’s a sponsored experience.

How can we create sponsored experiences in the mobile world?
Advertising needs to evolve. Smartphone screens are very small (even though they have grown into phablets), and display ads take too much of that screen real estate. Hersh Choksi, VP Products & Strategy at Flightly, an exclusive Twitter advertising partner, agrees: “Mobile has been much faster to adopt native advertising, which aligns more with the idea of a sponsored experience rather than an interruptive ad.”

In today’s digital world, we see a shift towards convenience and instant gratification. Sponsored experiences can be part of this mobile content, and would provide users a convenient experience on their smartphones without having to leave the mobile app or browser experience they are currently in. So how can we provide meaningful experiences for brands that relate with users?

Here are some examples and use cases for sponsored experiences in the mobile world:

1. Meeting Locations
Many of us use our smartphones to coordinate when and where we are going to meet with colleagues and friends. When we are searching for that cool restaurant or bar, wouldn’t it make sense for either the location apps or restaurants themselves to pay for placement right there, at your fingertips?

2. Transportation
Once we decide on the place and time, we need to get there! Why couldn’t there be a sponsored transportation experience at this time to take an Uber or a Lyft? This could be sponsored or subsidized by the transportation company, or for the transportation company could pay for the opportunity to surface at this time in the user’s screen.

3. Music for Fitness
Let’s assume you are one of those people that track their physical activity while exercising; using apps to track your ride or map your run, etc. Let’s also assume you like to listen to some music to “pump you up” and energize you while exercising. Today you need to open your fitness apps and then go and open another music app to find that music. What if Pandora or Spotify would offer you a sponsored “Work out music” option within the fitness app itself?

I wanted to show you through the examples above how sponsored experiences can be meaningful to users and not be considered interruptive.

How would you prefer to have Sponsored Ads served up to you?

 

Cultura Ambassador Laura Gomez takes aim at Diversity Issue

 

Silicon Valley Latino Cultura Ambassador and Advisory Board Member Laura I. Gómez is part of an amazing team of women who are tackling the Diversity Issue in Tech. Here is yet another article highlighting who they are and what they are shooting for.

How are you taking part in battling this issue?  Share your actions and thoughts here.

Congrats Laura and keep up the great work!
‪#‎Latina‬ ‪#‎LatinaMentor‬ ‪#‎LatinaLeader‬

Rewritten anti-nazi poem directed to all of us!

 

Today we share a rewritten version of what Pastor Martin Niemöller wrote sometime ago when an evil movement took hold of a large nation and eventually the entire world. The poem has been rewritten by Gideon Lichfield by making a call to all of us to (((raise our voices & take action))) to prevent this type of movement from occurring ever again. Being part of a diverse group as latin@s what will you do to make a difference?
Please share your thoughts and actions after reading this poem!

 

ITVS.org shining light on Independent Producers

We invite you to learn about this wonderful Independent Television Service (ITVS) that brings to light stories and points of view that are not covered by mass media.  As we, Silicon Valley Latino, are accustomed to highlighting and promoting the positives that Latin@s do within the community we wanted to share this organizations contributions and their similar Mission as ours.

http://itvs.org/films/visiones

 

Mission Statement

The Independent Television Service (ITVS) brings independently-produced, high-quality public broadcast and new media programs to local, national and international audiences. The independent producers who create ITVS programs take creative risks, tackle complex issues and express points of view seldom explored in the mass media. ITVS programs enrich the cultural landscape with the voices and visions of underrepresented communities, and reflect the interests and concerns of a diverse society.

Technovate brings High Tech to Alpha Public School in East San Jose

 

Only 4% of the tech workforce in companies such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Apple are Hispanics, according to a report published by the Wall Street Journal. Hispanics make up 27% of the population in Silicon Valley but are severely underrepresented in the tech industry.

 

Diversity in tech is not a talent pipeline issue. Several studies show that there are more Black and Hispanic computer science and computer-engineering students graduating from college than are working in the tech sector. Tech companies seem determined to address this contentious issue, but much more work and commitment is required to not only look at internal recruiting practices, but also culture in these companies. A very crucial first step is for tech companies to invest and engage with the communities around them. We at Silicon Valley Talent Partnership create opportunities for companies in the valley to do just that. Technovate, held on April 9th, 2016, at Alpha Public School in East San Jose, was an attempt to build that bridge between Silicon Valley and the communities it exists in.

Technovate San Jose

At Alpha, where the demographic leans 88% Hispanic, students learn to code, build robots, and delve deep in computer science. John Glover, the founder and CEO of Alpha Public Schools in East San Jose, is all too familiar with the lack of diversity in tech and his vision with Technovate is to connect his students with Silicon Valley’s innovation community early on.

 

Technovate brought employees from Cisco, SAP, Google, Facebook, SanDisk, Oracle, Samsung, Microsoft, PayPal, Square and others to Alpha Public School in East San Jose. It was a full day event with speakers, demos, workshops and a speed mentoring session, which allowed middle school students and families to interact with individuals currently working in tech.

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Despite the rain, more than 400 students and families assembled at Alpha School early on a Saturday morning. Students experienced virtual reality with Google Cardboard led by Gabe Alatorre and Oscar Cullen, and Shawnee Baughman from Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab. Microsoft’s Technology and Civic Engagement Fellow, Andrew Hernandez, taught students how to code with Minecraft. SAP’s Vice President of Portfolio and Strategy, Dean Sivara, introduced the concept of Design Thinking to the students— who before Dean’s presentation thought SAP was just a venue for hockey and concerts. LinkedIn’s Oscar Garcia, Andrea Carlos, and Zach Roberts all took turns showcasing students various LinkedIn tools to navigate through college and career. We were very fortunate to have Gloria Kimbwala, a campus program specialist at Square, to lead workshops on career in tech and looking for scholarships for college. As a woman engineer of color in tech industry, Gloria understands the lack of diversity first hand. She is determined to be a force of change, to move that needle, to shatter ceilings. Parents found her advice invaluable and left motivated to stay involved in their children’s lives.

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A panel discussion on career in tech, featured Ricardo Benavidez from Google, Jessica Ruvalcaba from Samsung, Jorge A. Barrera from Cisco, Gloria Kimbwala from Square and Joseph Phan, Developer Support Engineer, Facebook. A parent in the audience felt that, “the speakers were very motivating and authentic in sharing their stories & experiences.” Speaking in both English and Spanish, panelists shared their personal stories of humble beginnings and their experience working in the tech sector.

 

The event concluded with an hour-long speed mentoring session where 27 mentors from various tech companies made themselves available to students and their families. Feedback from both the mentors and the mentees were enormously positive. Our takeaway from this event is that there is a massive need for engagements such as Technovate— and our communities are strengthened as of result of these activities. We invite tech companies to invest time in the Silicon Valley communities and actively participate in developing the next generation of talent pool, which is as diverse as the consumers.

 

For inquiries, interest and/or inspiration, please email us at info@svtpca.org.

 

Srijana Angdembey, SVTP Engagement Manager

Srijana@svtpca.org

You can see photo album of this  event here ==> http://bit.ly/1VXV4u1

 

About Silicon Valley Talent Partnership:

Silicon Valley Talent Partnership (SVTP) creates, sources, and manages innovative and meaningful partnerships between private-sector volunteers and civic agencies, capitalizing on the unique opportunity to restore public sector’s capacity to innovate, enhance service delivery, and ultimately improve the quality of life of residents and communities across Silicon Valley.

We must invest the same creative muscle and resources we put toward our products into neighborhoods. We must ask how to fulfill the very real needs of communities in ways that are relevant to our business, take advantage of our strengths while being cost-effective and, yes, potentially profitable.

 

About Alpha Public Schools:

Alpha Public Schools is a public charter school network serving grades 5-10 (eventually 5-12) that prepares low-income communities with the knowledge, skills, and character traits they will need to succeed in college and career. By focusing on building collaborative relationships, empowering teachers, and integrating technology with teaching, Alpha Public Schools aims to personalize student learning for each student to ensure that they have the skills ready for future success.

Alpha Schools serves 913 students in 3 schools where 88% of students are Hispanic and 8% are Vietnamese in the East Side of San Jose. 95% of students are on free or reduced lunch and 50% of the students are English language learners.