Orphan to Leader
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Dan Esterly

Being both young and Hispanic can feel daunting in America. Adversity can create obstacles and discourage young Hispanics from dreaming large. However, some young Hispanic-Americans are shattering the status quo. One of those people is Dan Esterly.

If you’re from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, you may be familiar with Esterly’s work. At the age of 28, he is a business owner, Ph.D. student, radio host, and is heavily involved in Pittsburgh’s non-profit community. Esterly wasn’t always a success story. He was born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and was given a two-day life expectancy from malnourishment at the orphanage. Despite the pessimistic health outlook, he was adopted and was raised in Pittsburgh. Esterly also battled depression and alcoholism in his young adult life.

After much adversity, Esterly was able to rise above the initial cards he was dealt. He entered the workforce at the age of 13, started college at the age of 16, and began graduate school at the age of 21. In 2008, Esterly saw an opportunity to start actively buying stocks. He was able to outperform most financial professionals and was sought after to advise financial professionals. Esterly stated, “My first experiences in consulting were accidental. A fund manager from Boston called me for input, simply from word-of-mouth from the Pittsburgh business community. I was truly flattered and stunned, because of how young I was.”

Esterly went on to earn an M.S. in Professional Counseling and an MBA in Healthcare Management. He attributes his education to building the foundation for his business in consulting. “I needed to master both fields to thrive. Business has various human elements, and counseling has a lot to teach us about organizations. The same principles that apply to group behavior also enhance an organization’s well-being.”

Esterly then went on to work as a lobbyist in biotechnology. One of his projects raised more than $34 million from the federal government to fund drug research. Regardless of his occupation, Esterly has always focused on increasing financial value for companies.

In 2016, Esterly decided to diversify his business. He founded Public Waves, LLC, which eventually became a successful consulting venture. “I have had clients from Texas to Pennsylvania. It’s truly been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my entire life.” Currently, Public Waves, LLC serves clientele including the Energy Innovation Center Institute, Community Liver Alliance, Water4Life Mozambique, and CSD Engineers, LLC. He provides consulting services ranging from workforce development & economic research to other organizational services.

Esterly also is a full-time doctoral student at Point Park University’s Ph.D. program in Community Engagement. “It’s somewhat of a leadership degree with a research focus on benefiting the community. The Pittsburgh community helped me to succeed and I am constantly looking for ways to give back.” He hosts a radio show through Point Park University, called Behavior Business, where he invites guests on the show from both the business and mental health community. Esterly also continues to self-manage his portfolio and consult on other larger investment portfolios.

In 2015, Esterly established a charitable investment fund called Esterly Fund. To date, the fund supports 17 non-profits in Pittsburgh. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Glade Run Foundation and Ten Thousand Villages Pittsburgh. “I truly don’t think my life would have turned out this way in Honduras. It’s surreal sometimes to think of my journey and how different things could have been. I am grateful for every day on this earth and hope to give back ten-fold.” Esterly is considered a young rising star in the Pittsburgh business community.

At the age of 28, Esterly insists he has only just begun. “It’s been my experience that businesses don’t care what race, nationality, age, etc. you are. If you can provide value for a company, companies will value your service. That’s the beautiful thing about America. You really can create or re-create your life here.”

 

Real Estate Developer Brings Diversity, Cultural Immersion To Early Education In DC Area With Tierra Encantada Business
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Mustafa Durrani seated at home office table wearing a suit and tie and looking confident

(Alexandria, VA) – For minority business owner and real estate developer Mustafa Durrani, bringing opportunity to area residents has long been a passion.

The George Washington University and Cambridge graduate has built market rate and affordable homes in the Washington, DC, metro region as a successful real estate developer. Today, he is expanding his business with plans to bring three Tierra Encantada Spanish-immersion preschool and day care centers to local residents of Northern Virginia. Opening in mid 2021, the centers will provide children ages six weeks to six years of age with a bilingual curriculum designed to foster early cognitive development and respect for diversity.

Durrani chose Tierra Encantada for its award-winning concept, experienced team and high demand, a unique combination that he knows firsthand is key to success. The franchise empowers the entrepreneur to join the fast-growing early childhood education market with his own Tierra Encantada centers, while providing the expertise and support to help Durrani succeed.

“I saw solid opportunity in Tierra Encantada’s concept, and the value of cultural immersion and diversity in early education. There is a constant demand for quality education and resources for parents and families. Tierra Encantada is among the best in the country,” said Durrani.

The popular early education franchise is also a natural fit for Durrani’s real estate investment and development expertise. As a lifelong resident of Virginia, it taps both his expert insight about local area communities and experience in bringing new development to the region.

“I will maintain my development business and the Tierra Encantada franchises in the DC metro area,” added Durrani. “I think the model will be very successful here.”

Bilingual and cultural immersion childcare is also at the forefront of where the market is going, enabling Durrani to enter a powerful niche at a key, early stage in the category. As a minority business owner, he knows the value and opportunity in America’s dynamic cultural diversity and multilingual population. Furthermore, Mustafa is a father of three young children and realizes the value of being multi-lingual at a very young age for a child’s development.  Finally, with Tierra Encantada, Mustafa, an advocate of Organic Food will serve only Organic meals and snacks to all his students.

“I plan to start with the three new locations in the region, and then expand to additional communities in the next five years,” added Durrani.

Tierra Encantada is the leader in Spanish immersion early education. For franchise information, visit franchise.tierraencantada.com.

How Can Business Schools Prepare Students for Jobs That Don’t Even Exist Yet?
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Latinos celebrating graduation throwing hats in the air with a blue sky background and sun shing through

Business schools and other higher education institutions are facing a conundrum. Technology is moving at lightning speed, which means churning out future employees with the necessary skills to not only survive, but thrive, is challenging.

What is even more difficult is the need for educational institutions to prepare students for jobs that don’t exist yet.

Dell Technologies Institute for the Future (IFTF), along with 20 experts, recently revealed that 85 percent of the jobs people will be doing in 2030 don’t exist yet. While that number seems awfully high, there is no question that plenty of new work is on its way.

As a result, the pressure for top graduate business schools to train future C-suite executives for unimaginable possibilities is high. No one expects professors and administrators to be mind-readers, but they should have insight and intuition about what the future may hold. Also, there are techniques to prepare students for whatever may come their way.

Frameworks for flexibility

Business schools need to incorporate teaching methods to train students to be flexible and roll with the punches just as they would teach them to read financial statements. After all, entire jobs and industries may find themselves eliminated while others emerge from the dust. With the right frameworks, future CEOs could have a better perspective on what to do when things shift unexpectedly.

Schools are in fact doing this in some instances, as simulations for courses and frameworks currently being taught have flexibility baked in. But this is a suggestion to make flexibility the main lesson and not just a byproduct.

For example, students could envisage what they would do should an entire department get replaced by artificial intelligence (AI). How would they react? What steps could they take to deal with the employees feeling abandoned and who lose their jobs? What would they do about training people who could help employ AI? It’s the age-old question: How do you get old dogs, themselves included, to do new tricks?

Providing them with a set of questions to ask and allowing them to take a more flexible stance in simulations is helpful. Professors could also include case studies where flexibility was necessary, asking students to discuss situations and gain insight into how others have handled the unexpected. While no one can truly anticipate these non-existent jobs, they can still look to past leaders for lessons in character and process. They can pull what is relevant from those experiences to try and handle these new prospects.

Relevant research

Many professors spend a significant period of time conducting research in areas of interest relevant to their teaching. Sometimes, they work with industry to ensure the research is useful, practical, and easily applicable. By conducting research about growing industries with an eye on the future (think big data, AI, blockchain, etc.), they can better prepare themselves and their students for what the future may hold.

Sometimes, the writing is on the wall. Many recognize, for example, that coal is dying and new, clean energy is the future. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management has long linked engineers with business students, so that commercialization of innovation is possible. Their professors – along with the research they conduct – are the link between the two groups. The point is, professors can help their students recognize such a trend and see something new is on the horizon. Then, they can train them for whatever is coming.

By studying these areas, some professors could become the creators of new jobs and thus able to train others for these roles. Or, they could simply be among those who are the first to know about emerging industries. Either way, they can better help students based on this insight.

Evergreen curriculum

The core curriculum, in general, will always be applicable. People need to know how to handle finances, and budgets and need to be savvy on how to optimize operations and inspire employees. Those skills will never go out of style and can be applied to any leadership role. Of course, professors need to stay on the cutting edge of industry to ensure the references and connections they use make sense to their audience. But they should never stop teaching those basic skills, which are a necessity for success. The good news is that accredited business schools are already doing this and many of them with verve.

Ultimately, no one knows what the future holds. But business schools have an obligation to do some forecasting and prepare students for jobs they aren’t able to imagine yet. They have to help future leaders recognize value and the next big thing. Producing innovators is no easy feat, but by teaching flexibility, studying the marketplace, and providing knowledge of basic skills, business schools can at least begin to prepare students for the uncertainty the future job market holds.

Source: Top MBA

Why Diversity Matters: The Benefits of Recognizing Overlooked and Untapped Talent
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young boy holding sign that says latinos and blacks united with mother behind him and both wearing masks

By Santura Pegram

Growing up, most of us were taught that brilliant innovators of everything from electricity to the lightbulb, automobiles, pharmaceuticals-medical devices, materials, alloys like steel-iron-aluminum-copper, and everything else under the sun were created by European (white) inventors.

However, while such figures certainly deserve recognition for their creations, and ongoing generations should be grateful to those individuals for their contributions, what was omitted from such history lessons was the fact that equally skillful black people and incredible thinkers of other diverse backgrounds also played equally pivotal roles. These latter groups of people helped to create some of the greatest inventions, took others to the next level or devised a new product or service altogether that are still relied upon today.

Disappointingly, most schools and institutions of higher learning have failed to teach material that revealed such hidden truths – both then and now. Thankfully, recent developments in several industries are enlightening increasing numbers of people about the historic and almost unknown contributions of black and brown people throughout the world.

Most affluent Americans and countless others have little clue that it was black people alone who kept the automobile brand, Cadillac, afloat in the U.S. In the 1930’s, as America was struggling to recover from The Great Depression and as racism continued to ruin opportunities for everyone who held onto to such nonproductive beliefs, a low-ranking German immigrant – Nicholas Dreystadt – who worked for General Motors at the time boldly entered a boardroom after overhearing perplexed white executives discuss consideration of abandoning the brand due to increasingly poor sales. The problem: GM was relying solely upon white Americans to buy the cars. Yet, from his menial position as a service division employee, Dreystadt quickly recognized that it was large numbers of black customers who owned Cadillacs who often were found waiting for their vehicles to be serviced at GM dealerships.

At the time, Cadillac had a strict practice against selling any of their luxury cars to black customers. Interestingly, through his own experiences of interacting with many such black customers, Dreystadt learned that black people routinely paid a white person (i.e., a front man) a fee to go into a dealership and purchase the Cadillac of choice for them. Thus, determined to make his point and show what could happen if GM abandoned their discriminatory policy, Dreystadt was successful at implementing a new diversity marketing approach, which increased sales of Cadillacs by 68%, and helped to make the brand profitable within 18 months. His same strategy was later adopted by Mercedes Benz to include black people and increased sales of their once-struggling brand too.

Still not convinced that diversity makes a huge difference in the world? Then consider the story of Nathan “Uncle Nearest” Green and how he revolutionized whiskey. Green, a former slave in Lynchburg, Tennessee was the first black master distiller in America who taught Jack Daniel how to make the liquid gold. For more than a century, Nathan “Nearest” Green’s name was purposely left out of history books and absent from most conversations which tied him to the Jack Daniel’s brand. It would have likely remained that way had it not been for the relentless curiosity of Fawn Weaver, a California businesswoman, who in 2017 spearheaded the launching of what is now known as the Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey brand in an industry that generates $3 billion dollars annually.

If those two examples are not enough proof that the creative (yet often unwisely ignored) potential of black and brown people continue to be a legitimate factor to consider throughout every sector of business, then consider other little-known facts that prove minorities are capable of being far more than the brawn behind an endeavor, they can also be the brains too.

Did any of the schools you ever attended teach you that Dr. Domingo Liotta – a South American native – was the person responsible for creating the first artificial heart that was successfully transplanted into a human being? Did they teach you that Dr. Alejandro Zaffaroni – who was born in Uruguay – not only invented a bandage that administers medicinal drugs through a patient’s skin, but he was also responsible for helping to develop several other widely used products for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, including the nicotine patch used to aid smokers in breaking their nasty habit? Were you ever informed that it was an enormously intelligent medical doctor – Julio Palmaz, who was born in Argentina – that invented the balloon-expandable stent frequently used to treat one of the most common health conditions (cardiovascular disease)?

Do your research on Dr. Thomas O. Mensah, the engineer and genius inventor who played a critical role in the development of fiber optics and nanotechnology. While you’re at it, take a few moments to delve into the impressive educational program known as ‘Make Music Count,’ created by Marcus Blackwell which aims to eliminate the fear of math and simultaneously teach children between the 3rd grade and 12th grade how to perform better mathematically while enjoying culturally relevant lessons through music.

Explore the insightful exploration of incredible thinkers like Elijah McCoy, Granville T. Woods, Patricia E. Bath, Frederick McKinley Jones, Jessica O. Matthews, Jasmine Crowe, Diishan Imira and countless others.

Then, imagine what could be accomplished if people of all ethnic and cultural backgrounds throughout America and around the world were to put our heads together and entertain the thought of what has yet to be discovered? Quite possibly, that could include creating a cure for most (if not all) chronic diseases and health ailments. Maybe finding the answer to eradicate poverty, homelessness, and world hunger. Perhaps devise better public policy solutions focused on bringing people together instead of fanning insignificant flames which have only kept us apart.

Whatever the case and despite our achievements as segmented human beings, it’s not difficult to debate that we have only scratched the surface of everything that can be accomplished – if we will commit our hearts and minds to doing it together.

Santura Pegram is a freelance writer and socially conscious business professional. A former protégé-aide to the “Political Matriarch of the State of Florida” – the Honorable M. Athalie Range – Santura often writes on topics ranging from socially relevant issues to international business to politics. He can be reached at: santura.pegram@yahoo.com

The Wilke Family Foundation Grants $1 Million to American Indian College Fund to Grow Computer Science Programs at Tribal Colleges
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Jeff Wilke, CEO of Worldwide Consumer at Amazon, stands on top of stairway with hand on rail smiling

Jeff Wilke, CEO of Worldwide Consumer at Amazon, knows the difference technology can make. As a boy growing up in Pittsburgh, he learned to code. That skill took Wilke from public school to Princeton and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, opening doors to his current leadership role.

Wilke and his wife, the writer Liesl Wilke, both supporters of the American Indian College Fund for more than 20 years, are now giving Native American students computer science opportunities at selected tribal colleges and universities (TCUs) with a $1 million gift for The TCU Computer Science Initiative.

The timing could not be better. The outbreak of the Corona virus hit Native communities harder than others. The pandemic underscored the ways in which technology keeps communities connected and allows people to continue their work and education—but also highlighted the digital divide impacting Native communities.

The TCU Computer Science Initiative will address the TCUs’ urgent need to create or expand computer science programs to meet Native communities’ needs, including improved education quality and opportunities, social and economic development, better managed health care systems, and career opportunities. The initiative will begin by bringing qualified computer science faculty to the TCUs to increase, improve, and expand computer science programming to Native communities.

Liesl and Jeff Wilke said, “We are thrilled to see this initiative taking shape and moving forward so that it can deeply impact Native communities. The demand for computer science in many fields of work and study accelerates every year. We hope to help meet the needs of Native communities to flourish in the digital age, whether that means access to more jobs or the ability to program health care applications for a reservation or to preserve language, impact safety, or improve communication among community members according to their unique needs and desires. The opportunities are massive and very exciting.”

Cheryl Crazy Bull, President and CEO of the American Indian College Fund, said, “We are so appreciative, on behalf of Native students and their families, of The Wilke Family Foundation and its willingness to invest in our communities. We know that computer science education is foundational to many aspects of modern life – everything from databases to mapping our lands to creating technology resources that improve our quality of life. This investment helps create a thriving indigenous future.”

The College Fund will facilitate a selection process to choose four TCUs which can support hiring computer science faculty and program development. Each TCU will receive $250,000 over a four-year period to include the costs of faculty salary and benefits, professional development, coursework integration, and other costs.

About the Wilke Family Foundation

The Wilke Family Foundation supports organizations in the areas of education (with a focus on minority and underprivileged students, and both technology and art programs), health care (with a focus on research and models that disrupt what’s not working), and community support (with a focus on providing meals, housing, and safety for women and children, especially in new ways that have a longer-term focus when possible).

About the American Indian College Fund

Founded in 1989, the American Indian College Fund has been the nation’s largest charity supporting Native higher education for 30 years. The College Fund believes “Education is the answer” and provided $7.72 million in scholarships to 3,900 American Indian students in 2018-19, with nearly 137,000 scholarships and community support totaling over $221.8 million since its inception. The College Fund also supports a variety of academic and support programs at the nation’s 35 accredited tribal colleges and universities, which are located on or near Indian reservations, ensuring students have the tools to graduate and succeed in their careers. The College Fund consistently receives top ratings from independent charity evaluators and is one of the nation’s top 100 charities named to the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance. For more information about the American Indian College Fund, please visit www.collegefund.org.

 

Where Are the Hispanic Executives?
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latina business woman seated at conference table

By JD Swerzenski, Donald T. Tomaskovic, and Eric Hoyt

Many organizations have prioritized workplace equality and access to high-paying, executive level jobs for minority groups in recent years.

Several 2020 presidential candidates are putting forward plans to increase minority executive positions by diversifying corporate boards, punishing companies with poor diversity track records and increasing funding for minority-led business institutions.

However, according to our own 2019 analysis, white men still hold the majority of executive positions such as CEOs, management directors and financial officers.

As economic and communication scholars, we looked at Equal Employment Opportunity Commission employment data for executives at large and mid-sized companies. Our analysis shows that white men sit in 65.5 percent of these high-paying boardroom positions while representing only 38 percent of the U.S. workforce.

The dominance of white male executives, however, is by no means evenly distributed across the country. Our report tracks representation among Hispanic executives, city by city.

C-Suite Inequality
The gap between labor force and executive representation is wider among Hispanics than any other group.

Executive jobs offer salary—$155,586 on average—benefits and job security that simply are not available in lower level positions. They also offer the power to drive initiatives, including those focused on diversity.

So where do the Hispanic executives work? Pittsburgh is the only large city in the U.S. to nearly reach equity. Hispanics comprise 1.3 percent of the city’s executive workforce and 1.4 percent of its overall labor market.

That low overall representation is a trend among cities with the best equity.

Four out of five American cities with the most equitable representation—Pittsburgh, Detroit, St. Louis and Cincinnati—have Hispanic populations of less than 4 percent.

These findings fall in line with our earlier research showing that minority representation in executive positions is highest in areas with the lowest minority population.

The final city in the top five, Miami, stands out for its high representation of Hispanic executives at 24.6 percent and high percentage of Hispanics in the overall workforce at 44.1 percent.

Miami is also an anomaly among other large cities with Hispanic work forces such as Houston—43 percent overall labor force and 10.3 percent executive representation—and Los Angeles—34.2 percent labor force and 8 percent executive.

Driving Miami’s high representation is likely the city’s strong economic connections to Central and South America, which favors Hispanic cultural background and Spanish language capability among top executives.
This is especially true with regards to the many media-based companies located in Miami, such as Telemundo, which targets consumers throughout the Spanish-speaking world.

Trends at the Bottom
So how do things look at the other end of the scale?
New York City has the largest Hispanic population in the U.S with 2.3 million individuals. They comprise of 22.6 percent of the city’s total workforce, including 28.7 percent of its service workers and 40 percent of its laborer positions.

But only 4.5 percent of New York’s executives are Hispanic.

New York matters because of the large number of Hispanics who live there and the relative power of its executive positions. In 2019, 73 of the Fortune 500 companies were headquartered in the city, among them Citibank, Verizon, MetLife and many other major firms.

It’s unlikely that there is one key factor behind the lack of Hispanic representation in these jobs. One possibility is an entrenched corporate culture in New York dominated by white male executives. Further, unlike in Miami, Hispanic cultural and linguistic backgrounds are perhaps less valued in these boardrooms.

This, however, shouldn’t eliminate the possibility for change. New York’s trade workers—a group once dominated by white men—now includes 21.3 percent Hispanic workers, one of the highest rates in the country. Efforts to develop Hispanic executive candidates similar to Miami’s youth entrepreneurship program or Pittsburgh’s business incubator program centered in the city’s Hispanic Beechwood neighborhood might lead to greater diversification of New York’s corporate offices.

Rounding out the bottom five are San Jose, Salt Lake City, Hartford and Oklahoma City, all cities with at least 10 percent Hispanic representation in the labor force.

Diversity Matters
Research indicates that boardroom diversity can positively impact both profitability and job satisfaction within companies, particularly by bridging the divide between company executives and lower level employees.
With recent reports showing stagnation in the overall number of Hispanic executives nationwide, it’s particularly important for cities and companies to consider what more can be done to bring more Hispanics into the boardroom.

Cities might bolster Hispanic business participation and entrepreneurship by helping build business incubator programs, supporting Hispanic business development groups and promoting educational opportunities at area universities.

To make change, Hispanic workers need to be employed in positions that feed into to the highest company levels. Currently, 8 percent of all managerial and 6 percent of all professional positions in the U.S. are Hispanic, far below their labor market share of 17 percent.

Overriding these discrepancies means acknowledging cultural blind spots that often exclude Hispanic workers, such as non-Latino employers recognizing unconscious biases in their communication styles and providing opportunities to professionally use Hispanic cultural competencies.

Source: theconversation.com

With An Eye For Design, New Biz Owner Brings #1 Mobile Flooring Franchise To Customers’ Homes
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Emilia Navedo standing in front of her work vehicle

Looking to grow as a professional, Emilia Navedo didn’t waste time taking baby steps to her goal.

Instead, she took one giant leap and is relishing the opportunity. With a wonderful background in design and experience in managing a business already in Mexico City, the 39-year-old Navedo recently opened Floor Coverings International Roseville, California. She visits customers’ homes in a Mobile Flooring Showroom stocked with thousands of flooring samples from top manufacturers. Floor Coverings International Roseville services Roseville, Granite Bay, Rocklin, Loomis, Auburn, Lincoln, Penryn and Newcastle, in California.

Her advice to others wishing to own their own business in a field they love, “Don’t be afraid,” said the Roseville resident. “Trust in yourself. If you dream it, you can do it.”

Navedo’s father was an architect and she credits him for her skills and love of design. She also has a passion for photography. But all of her experiences came full circle when she had the opportunity to study fashion and style in Italy. “Photography allowed me to obtain a certain perspective on details and taste that bled into my work with interior design,” said Navedo. “After I studied in Italy, that ultimately led me to build a children’s furniture franchise and start my career as an interior designer. I’m not really leaving my previous career, but rather expanding because I want to grow as a professional.”

In Floor Coverings International, Navedo – who is being joined by her father in her new venture – found a company that has tripled in size since 2005 by putting a laser focus on consumer buying habits and expressed desires, its impressive operating model, growth ability, marketing, advertising and merchandising. Floor Coverings International further separates itself from the competition through its customer experience, made up of several simple and integrated steps that exceed customers’ expectations. “I chose Floor Coverings International because during my research I learned what a great company it is in so many aspects,” Navedo said. “They are like a big family. They give amazing support, know how to build leaders and provide the best quality products to our customers.

ABOUT FLOOR COVERINGS INTERNATIONAL

Floor Coverings International is the #1 Mobile Flooring Franchise in North America. Utilizing a unique in-home experience, the mobile showroom comes directly to the customer’s door with more than 3,000 flooring choices. Floor Coverings International has 150-plus locations throughout the U.S. and Canada with plenty of opportunity for continued expansion in 2020. For franchise information, please visit www.flooring-franchise.com and to find your closest location, www.floorcoveringsinternational.com.

For the first time, Latinos are the largest group of Californians admitted to UC
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Cheerful multiethnic female student walking to school smiling
By Teresa Watanabe

In a historic shift, Latinos are the leading group of prospective freshmen accepted into the University of California for fall 2020, part of the system’s largest and most diverse first-year class ever admitted, according to preliminary data released Thursday.

Latinos slightly eclipsed Asian Americans for the first time, making up 36% of the 79,953 California students offered admission. Asians made up 35%, whites 21% and Black students 5%. The rest were American Indians, Pacific Islanders or those who declined to state their race or ethnicity. About 44% of admitted students were low-income while 45% were the first in their families to attend a four-year university.

Overall, the UC system’s nine undergraduate campuses offered admission to a record number of students: 119,054 freshmen, up from 108,178 last year. The campuses also admitted 28,074 transfer students from the California Community Colleges system.

“This has been an incredibly challenging time as many students have been making their college decision in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said UC President Janet Napolitano. “UC continues to see increased admissions of underrepresented students as we seek to educate a diverse student body of future leaders. The incoming class will be one of our most talented and diverse yet, and UC is proud to invite them to join us.”

UC Berkeley led all campuses in boosting admission offers to underrepresented minorities, accepting the largest number of Black and Latino students in three decades, more than a 40% increase over last year. The increase reflects an intensified push by one of the nation’s premier public research universities to open its doors more widely to students of diverse racial, ethnic and economic backgrounds. Berkeley also admitted more students who are low-income, lack immigration status or are the first in their families to attend college.

“These numbers are an important and gratifying indication that our efforts to advance and expand the diversity of our undergraduate student body are beginning to bear fruit,” UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ said in a statement. “But now, more than ever, we must not be complacent, and remain focused on building a campus community that truly represents the state we serve, and allows every student to experience a true sense of belonging.”

Roberto Salazar is heading to UC Irvine as one of the 28,662 California Latino students admitted to UC’s fall freshman class. The Los Angeles High graduate migrated to Los Angeles from El Salvador at age 10 and did not speak English. He had no idea what college was and had no role models to adjust his perception that manual labor was the best way to earn a living. He got failing middle school grades.

But dedicated teachers and an inspiring biography he read about families that fought cancer convinced him “there’s more to life than being a bad student,” he said. He buckled down in high school, earned a 3.98 GPA and was selected as the class valedictorian. At Irvine, he plans to major in psychology

“My teachers really inspired me and told me what opportunities would open for me if I went to college,” Salazar said. “I felt I would be letting them down if I didn’t do my best.”

Audrey Dow, senior vice president for the Campaign for College Opportunity, said demographics are one reason behind the surge in admission offers to Latinos: They made up 51.8% of California high school graduates in 2018-19 compared with 42% in 2009-10, according to state Department of Education data. Equally important, the number of Latino high school graduates who met UC and California State University admission requirements hit 94,297 in 2019, an increase of about 7,000 students over 2017.

“Today’s students understand the value of a college degree and want to have their best shot at a four-year university,” Dow said. “They’ve rightly earned their spot at UC.”

Continue on to the LA Times to read the complete article.

5 Tips for Business Survival During the Pandemic
LinkedIn

As CEOs and executives struggle to deal with the fallout from COVID-19, internationally renowned business growth expert, UniSA’s Professor Jana Matthews, is encouraging companies to step back and carefully assess their businesses before making any radical decisions about their future.

“Whether a company will survive in times of uncertainty—and is positioned for growth on the other side—will largely depend on how CEOs and executives lead now,” Prof Matthews says.

“We’re all dealing with unprecedented uncertainty. And while it’s impossible to predict which companies will make it through all this, there are things they can do to increase their odds.

  1. Balance dollars with sense

Look at your accounts and project your cash flow over the next few months—do you need to collect receivables or delay expenditures? Are you in a position to lend your business personal funds? Can you ask some of your employees to take vacation days now or drop down to 80 percent, if necessary? Remember, government grants are available, so check those, too. If there’s still a shortfall, go to the bank to discuss a loan.

  1. Double down on your winners

Not every company will do it tough this year—if you produce products, such as hand sanitizers, soaps, toilet paper or ventilators, you may have your best year ever. Study which of your products or services have been selling, and focus your efforts on those. If you identify the customers who have been buying these, you can also target your marketing.

  1. Think laterally

Find out what people are buying and look for openings—can you make the straps that secure facemasks or key components in ventilators? If so, let the manufacturers know your capabilities, or alternatively, make the product yourself. If manufacturers need the product in a different way, look for alternatives. Now is the time to be flexible and adaptable.

  1. Look critically at your company

‘Strong Eye’ your company, people and products as if you were an outside investor. Are there any gaps, oversights or weak spots? Ask your employees to help scan, as these are the people in the ground, in the thick of it. What can you do better, more efficiently? Where are the double-ups? Be open and ready to listen, then take action. Also, think about what changes you—as the leader—may need to make.

  1. Have the courage, brains and heart to lead

It’s not easy to lead through chaos at this velocity of change. It takes brains to analyze and develop strategies to keep the company alive. It takes courage to stop doing what used to work and move into unchartered territory. And without question, it takes heart. Empathize with your employees who are worried about their jobs and futures, and remember to provide them with frequent updates—the good, the bad, and the ugly. Weed out any misfits, or non-performers, and do everything you can to keep your great people on board; you will need them to help you grow once we’re on the other side.

Source: Newswise

These Companies are Stepping Up in the Fight for Racial Equality
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When it comes to encouraging diversity, especially during the Black Lives Matter movement, here are some of the companies that are supporting racial equality.

Bank of America

On June 2, Bank of America announced they will be pledging one billion dollars toward community programs and minority-owned businesses over the course of four years. The money was pledged in response to both the death of George Floyd and the impacts of COVID-19. Bank of America hopes this money will further help minority-owned businesses thrive, improve health services in Black communities, and open up positions for more bank employees.

Uber

To encourage its users to support black-owned businesses in response to George Floyd’s death and the Black Lives Matter Movement, Uber has announced that it will be waiving all delivery fees coming from black-owned restaurants in the United States and Canada. This process will begin on June 5 and continue throughout the rest of the year. Uber has also stated they are planning to create an initiative specifically designed to aid black-owned restaurants, as well as other businesses.

Additionally, Uber has pledged to create more diversity within their employees.

UnitedHealth Group

UnitedHealth Group is donating a pledged ten million dollars to help the neighborhoods of Minneapolis rebuild any damage taken in response to the protests. This will include five million of those dollars being donated to the YMCA Equity Innovation Center of Excellence.

UnitedHealth Group has also pledged to pay for all of George Floyd’s children to go to college when the time comes.

Disney

Disney will be donating five million dollars to companies that stand for social justice, including the NAACP, which Disney has pledged two million dollars to. Disney employees are also encouraged to donate to social justice causes, as Disney has promised to match any donation made by a Disney employee.

P & G

The umbrella company for brands, such as Tide and Olay, P & G has created the “Take on Race” fund that will be distributing five million dollars to organizations that will advance education on race, better communities, and improve all healthcare systems. The fund will be working directly with large and small organizations, such as the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, the United Negro College Fund, and Courageous Conversation.

PLANNING FOR PRIDE INSIDE: LGBT Businesses Can Power Your Virtual Pride
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When the COVID-19 crisis began, the NGLCC said that it has never been more imperative to commit ourselves to shop local, shop LGBT, give back what we can to our community organizations, and support all those around us. We truly are in this together. Pride is the ultimate celebration of togetherness, even if we can’t dance in the streets this summer. From the safety of our homes, we will be able to celebrate all that makes our community so beautiful, so resilient, and so rich with diversity.

Pride 2020 will also be a time to develop innovative ways to celebrate and show our support for our community and our allies. As NGLCC shared with The Advocate when shutdowns began, we are all in the business of “Keeping the LGBTQ Community Financially Strong During COVID-19”. As you, your community organizations, and your companies plan for digital Pride celebrations, take extra care to rely on the resourcefulness of America’s 1.4 million LGBT business owners and the services they can provide to make this Pride season unforgettable:

Pride Gear: Rainbow sunglasses and T-shirts with your company brand on them, table and home/office decorations for your online parties, and everything else you can dream of are available from LGBT-owned custom print shops like Brand|Pride and many more who specialize in making Pride unforgettable.

Streaming Video Service: From online dance parties and celebrity video fundraisers, to Pride conferences, webinars, and corporate group gatherings, there are LGBT-owned event and digital solution companies, like American Meetings, Inc., ready to take your digital Pride celebration to the next level. Don’t forget to also source your graphics and custom videos from certified LGBT designers eager to support your Pride event.

Snacks and Drinks: Whether you want a snack or cocktail to enjoy while watching the online celebrations, or are looking for Pride gifts and giveaways for your clients, friends, or favorite nonprofit, LGBT-owned food vendors, distilleries like Republic Restoratives, and micro-breweries are all available for personal or commercial celebrations ahead.

Best of all: Everything you need can be sourced directly from our own community through the vast network of Certified LGBT Business Enterprise® suppliers and affiliate chambers across America. And helping LGBT Americans through this time is key to helping all Americans succeed. We can never forget that our community includes women, communities of color, people with disabilities, immigrants, veterans, and so many others with whom we must stand in solidarity for a stronger, more inclusive economy on the other side of this outbreak.

This is also the time to remind your favorite brands, TV networks, and magazines that LGBT-inclusive marketing has never been more important. Just because we aren’t waving at your float doesn’t mean we aren’t watching how you engage with our community.  As the economy regains its footing in the months ahead, leading with a commitment to diversity — as a business owner or consumer — can help supercharge our economy and our community back to where we should be with our $917 billion dollar purchasing power. Now is the time to be doubling down on inclusive advertising so that our communities feel seen, supported, and empowered throughout — and long after — COVID-19.

Now, in this unprecedented moment, we can take pride in our purchases by supporting our community through the goods and services that power our 2020 Pride celebrations. Every dollar you and your companies spend with our community helps all of us come out of this moment stronger– and that is something that should give us all pride.

Justin Nelson and Chance Mitchell are co-founders of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC).  NGLCC is the business voice of the LGBT community, the largest global advocacy organization specifically dedicated to expanding economic opportunities and advancements for LGBT people, and the exclusive certifying body for LGBT-owned businesses.

HNM BLM

 
*Please be sure to check event websites for latest updates on postponements or cancellations due to COVID-19 precautions.