ALPFA’s Damian Rivera: The Power of Your Origin Story
LinkedIn
headshot of Damian Rivera, CEO of ALPHA

The journey from Spanish Harlem to the boardroom has been magical. I have the benefit of being able to look back at my 20+ years as a consultant for Accenture, along with my life growing up, to identify all of the “hard times” as a kid, which have made me successful in the boardroom.

As a Latino managing director in a global Fortune 500 company, I have always given back to my community, from serving on the board of non-profits to leading up Accenture’s Hispanic American ERG for six years. With all the experience I have gained, it is my mission to help others achieve their dreams.

With the opportunity of stepping into the role of CEO of ALPFA, I am honored and humbled to continue the legacy built by our members, countless volunteers, leadership teams from our professional and student chapters, and corporate partners that have made ALPFA what it is today. As I think back to my childhood growing up in Wagner Projects in Spanish Harlem, New York, in the 1980s, I can’t believe that in the same way the Latinx community helped give me opportunities in life, I am now in a position to do the same for others. What makes it even more exciting is I am not alone—I have an extended family of 80,000+ members focused on the same mission.

Everyone has an origin story, but the ability to really understand how your story gives you power is critical for Latinos as we strive to elevate in the corporate world. Hearing stories helps inspire, but knowing how your story gives you strength translates inspiration to action.

So, the question I usually get next is, “How can we learn to better understand our story?” There are four components/activities that I tell people to focus on: (1) Journey Line (2) Value Tree (3) Value Mantra (4) Purpose Framework. I’ll focus on the Journey Line and Value Tree here because they are the most critical. I recommend everyone develop their journey line, which is a drawing of your life, starting at any point going to present day. Your level of happiness is on the y-axis, and time is on the x-axis. As you think back on your life, you will plot out the highs and lows, and it’s in these moments that we learn our lessons of life. The high of highs and low of lows are where we build our character and grow the most. When people take time to develop the line, they start to see all they have accomplished and all they have persevered through to achieve success. Once you have done that, you begin to see the strength you have on paper. This is your origin story; it’s no different than a Marvel comic superhero. Once you have documented your journey line, you realize just as Superman had his hero’s journey, so did you. You may not be able to fly, but you definitely have developed your own version of superpowers in finance, accounting, or blockchain. When people work through this, they often have more confidence because it removes the impostor syndrome issues they encounter. They see their story and realize: I belong in the boardroom!

The second key piece is knowing your values. My values are legacy, opportunity, diversity, justice, courage, fortitude, energy, and industriousness. When people talk about being their authentic self at work, I believe that means sticking to your values. Through a person’s journey he or she will change. Everyone should be evolving as a person, and if you stay true to your value system, then you are being authentic as a leader. Know your origin story, enjoy your hero’s journey, and remember to help others along the way.

Where Are the Hispanic Executives?
LinkedIn
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
LinkedIn
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.

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
LinkedIn
A hand writing the word Inequality on glass board,

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
LinkedIn
nglcc logo

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.

7 Reasons to Participate in a Virtual Job Fair
LinkedIn
Back view of female employee talk with male businessman on webcam laptop conference, woman worker with man employer brainstorm on video call from home, online

Traditional job fairs can be a drag, requiring your recruiters to travel, set up an expensive display, and stay on top of their game when they’re tired and maybe even a bit overwhelmed by a crush of candidates. But if you need a good-sized pool of potential employees, you probably feel you have no choice but to participate.

Actually, however, that’s not completely true. Your business can reap many of the benefits of such an event without some of the drawbacks, thanks to the growth of virtual job fairs.

Here are seven reasons why your company should take part in a virtual job fair:

1. You can interact with potential employees from all over the world and a variety of disciplines.
In today’s job market, you can’t afford to limit your hiring pool to a small geographical area or a particular kind of person. A virtual fair can put you in touch with a huge variety of people quickly and efficiently.

2. Virtual fairs save you money.
When your “booth” is in cyberspace, you don’t have to pay for a big display or for your recruiters’ travel. Your team can manage everything from the comfort of their offices—or from their own homes, if you offer remote work options.

3. You can take advantage of pre-fair promotion.
These events are enthusiastically and broadly advertised by their sponsors, and your participation will allow you to piggyback on that promotion to build your brand—all without paying for advertising. You can’t beat that kind of opportunity to create awareness about your company and what you do.

4. You can manage and target your message.
When you’re participating in an online event, you can be sure that your talking points will be communicated consistently and will reach your intended audience. “All applicants will receive the same information, face the same questions, and confer with the same company representatives,” says an article from Getting Hired.

5. Virtual fairs allow you to use your time more effectively.
“You can have multiple conversations going at the same time with job seekers, so it is less time-consuming than traditional career fairs,” says an article from Right Management.

6. Online fairs let you communicate the way your workers do.
“Whether you’re a millennial, a Gen Xer, or baby boomer, we all communicate online through messaging apps, such as Facebook messenger or through text messaging,” says an article from Brazen. “Online events and online career fairs offer the same form of communication. Take advantage of this shift.”

7. You can guarantee you’re capturing the information you need.
This is another point noted in the Getting Hired article. “A virtual career fair automatically captures the data of applicants, helping to ensure easier contact and follow up after the event, as well as retaining all candidates’ contact information for future roles and pipelines,” the article says.

Your company should explore opportunities to participate in these types of virtual activities. The savings in time and money, along with the ability to extend your recruiting reach nationwide or even worldwide, make them an obvious choice when you’re seeking the most talented workers to help your business grow.

Source: flexjobs.com

See the Best Cities to Live In for LGBTQ+ People
LinkedIn
A girl jumping in the air in a field, holding a LGBT pride flag

Whether it’s time to start a new career opportunity, find a place to retire, or change up your current environment, finding the right place to move to can be difficult. For LGBTQ+ people, this can be especially difficult, as there are still many areas that are not as progressive and accepting of the LGBTQ+ community as others.

Many of the big cities that are known to embrace the community, such as San Francisco and New York City, are great options, but are not at the pace that all people are looking for when it comes to settling down. Here is a list some of the best progressive and LGBTQ+ cities to live in, which you may not have considered yet.

Portland, Oregon

Gaining recent popularity, Portland has fast become a place of diversity and culture. The city is known for its great weather, growing college community, hipster businesses and the delight of having no state income tax. But most importantly, Oregon was voted as one of the United States’ most LGBTQ+ friendly cities by the Human Rights Campaign, achieving low rates of hate crimes and discrimination and high rates of safety, acceptance and relationship recognition.

Orlando, Florida

Not only is Orlando the home to a tremendous amount of activities, mainly being a tourist town, but has become the home to many progressive neighborhoods and a well-established gay community. The town maintains the same level of “things to do” as bigger cities, but also has low taxes and has a lower cost of living, making it a more intriguing place to settle.

Bloomington, Indiana

Bloomington is an especially unique city for the LGBTQ+ community. Being a more relaxed town, Bloomington has many recreational opportunities from exploring Brown County State Park in the beautiful Indiana weather to engaging with the cultural life created by the presence of Bloomington’s Indiana University. Best of all, Bloomington received a perfect score on Municipal Equality Index, meaning that they have some of the most inclusive policies and laws for LGBTQ+ people.

Yellow Springs, Ohio

Yellow Springs is another progressive, nature driven town, known for its progressive behavior since the 1960s. Although it is a small town, Yellow Springs has an intriguing downtown area where visitors can come enjoy an array of artistic galleries and publicly supportive of the LGBTQ+ shops. This is also the perfect destination for people who cold weather, as Ohio is known to get into low temperatures and receive quite a bit of snow.

Moab, Utah

Though small in size, Moab has served as one of the most supportive and engaging LGBTQ+ communities in recent years. Moab has its own Pride Parade, Visibility March, and Gay Adventure Week, all of which are quite popular among the town’s 5000-person population. The little town is more of an isolated destination about over 200 miles from Salt Lake City, but it is an outdoor lover’s paradise as it is close to the natural park and ideal for white water rafting.

Merck Virtual Engagement and Educational Experience and Virtual Business Opportunity Fair
LinkedIn
Merck business fair announcement

Merck’s Virtual Engagement Center will offer two tracks for Diverse Suppliers:

The Merck Global Economic Inclusion & Supplier Diversity Educational Experience (kick-off May 21, 2020) is a webinar series geared toward the developing the knowledge of diverse suppliers in the marketplace.

These monthly sessions will give diverse suppliers a leg-up and get them ready to pitch their capabilities and services, while learning how to set themselves apart and ultimately win the business.

Register Here

The Virtual Business Opportunity Fair, June 17, 2020, one of two LIVE events in 2020, that will provide the opportunity for diverse suppliers to engage with Merck’s supply chain professionals, Prime Suppliers and Advocacy Organizations during a virtual tradeshow.
Register Here

Supplier development and diversity are critical to our mission of Inventing for Life. We are excited to deploy these two exciting programs as part of the Virtual Engagement Center and hope you will join us.

¡Mi Triunfo!
LinkedIn

Meet the Latino and Latina Power Houses that are gaining the world’s attention.

Patty Rodriguez

Patty Rodriguez is best known for her role as on-air talent for KIIS.FM’s morning show with Ryan Seacrest.

“I never saw myself on-the-air,” she tells HipLatina. After 13 years On Air With Ryan Seacrest, she finally became comfortable with telling stories of local heroes. “People on social media would always tell me, ‘oh you don’t have the voice for it’ and I guess I just believed it,” she adds. She didn’t pursue it for a long time because imposter syndrome was holding her back.

Rodriguez is co-founder of “Lil’ Libros”, a bilingual children’s publishing company, and founder of the “MALA by Patty Rodriguez” jewelry line.

Rodriguez found it difficult to find bilingual first concept books she could enjoy reading to her baby, and so she and her childhood friend Ariana Stein came up with the idea of “Lil’ Libros”.

Sources: Hiplatina.com, Lillibros.com, Malabypr.com

Sergio Perez

Mexican driver Sergio Pérez, also known as Checo Perez, has amassed more points than any other Mexican in the history of the F1. But Perez is yet to match his hero Pedro Rodriguez and take the chequered flag in first.

Perez recently committed to a long-term deal with Racing Point beyond 2021. Perez has been with the team since 2013, when he signed with the group, then called Force India. The group reformed as Racing Point in 2018.

“I feel very confident and very motivated with the team going forwards,” Perez said, “with how things are developing, with the future of this team, the potential I see.”

It was also recently announced that the Mexican Grand Prix, an FIA-sanctioned auto race held at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, in Mexico City, will stay on the F1 calendar for the next three seasons.

“It was great news,” Perez said of the renewal. “It’s a massive boost on my side to know that for the next three years I’ll be racing home. Three more years to have an opportunity to make the Mexicans very proud.”

Source: formula1.com

Juanes

The 2019 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year gala honored 23-time Latin GRAMMY and two-time GRAMMY-winning singer, composer, musician, and philanthropist Juanes for his creative artistry, unprecedented humanitarian efforts, support of rising artists, and philanthropic contributions to the world.

Juanes (born Juan Esteban Aristizábal Vásquez) is a Colombian musician whose solo debut album Fíjate Bien won three Latin Grammy Awards. According to his record label, Juanes has sold more than 15 million albums worldwide.

Source: Latingrammy.com, Voanews.com

Remembering Silvio Horta

Silvio Horta, best known as an executive producer of the hit ABC television series Ugly Betty, died in January. He was 45. Horta was an American screenwriter and television producer widely noted for adapting the hit Colombian telenovela Yo soy Betty, la fea into the hit series, which ran  2006–2010. Horta served as head writer and executive producer of the series.

Source: Wikipedia

Photo by Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

COVID-19 Highlights the Need for Increased Supplier Diversity
LinkedIn
A video conference with a diverse group of co-workers

By Elizabeth Vasquez

As global citizens prepare to fight against the current COVID-19 pandemic, I have been inspired by the individual stories of the women-owned businesses in the WEConnect International community and the resilience of my team and our supporters around the world.

As the CEO of a global nonprofit, I’m used to spending my life in airports and airplanes flying to meetings, speaking at conferences and meeting with our member buyers and the women business owners who supply a wide assortment of goods and services. But my intense travel schedule has ground to a halt as meetings have been canceled or postponed.

Earlier this month, I was fortunate to be at our WEConnect International South Africa Conference, Scaling Up in 2020 for Sustainable Growth, in Johannesburg. I met several exceptional women business owners and large buyers committed to inclusion.

Many are stepping up to help us all face the coronavirus challenge, like Refilwe Sebothoma, whose company, PBM Group, is supplying face masks. Belukazi Nkala, who owns Khanyile Solutions, is providing protective uniforms. And Judy Sunasky’s company, Blendwell Chemicals, is producing hand sanitizer.

In Singapore, Rithika Gupta is also increasing hand sanitizer production at her company, FP Aromatics, as is Sarah Sayed’s company, BX Merchandise, in the UK. WEConnect International educates and certifies women’s business enterprises based in over 45 countries, and women business owners such as these have registered with us in over 120 countries.

There are approximately 224 million women entrepreneurs worldwide who participate in the ownership of nearly 35 percent of firms in the formal economy. As traditional value chains shift, these business owners can step in to meet buyer demand.

Here in Washington, D.C., the WEConnect International Team has decided to hold our annual Gala and Symposium virtually. This is not a cancellation or a postponement but rather an opportunity for champions of diversity to leverage technology in support of inclusive global growth.

We are committed to creating opportunity in the face of adversity and have engaged our award winners, member buyers, women-owned businesses and strategic partners to join us for our first-ever 24-hour Cyber Gala culminating with the announcement of our Top 10 Global Champions.

Governments are taking the pandemic seriously and are working hard to protect their citizens through social distancing, while meeting the needs of those who fall sick. In addition to the human suffering, the virus has hurt domestic and international business. As a result, governments and business are working together to diversify supply chains to help mitigate future shocks to local and global economies.

 

HNM BLM

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