Retired Air Force Master Sergeant Credits Military Skills as Foundation for His Pillar To Post Home Inspectors® Business
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Steven Cordova, Modesto resident and veteran, recently launched operations as a franchisee with the No. 1 home inspection company in North America, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors.

The 43-year-old services California’s Central Valley which includes Modesto, Ceres, Turlock, Oakdale, Manteca, Tracy, Ripon, Stockton, Lodi, Merced, Atwater, Bridgeport, Sonora, Mariposa, Yosemite Valley and Los Banos.

Cordova was a Master Sergeant in the United States Air Force for 24 years.  He served in both Iraq and Afghanistan as a part of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. He was stationed at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming, Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana, Travis Air Force Base in California and Dyess Air Force Base in Texas. In addition, he was stationed internationally at Anderson Air Force Base in Guam, Lajes Field in Azores, Portugal and Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa, Japan.

“I always had the ambition to operate my own business and the military provided me with the tools and discipline necessary in business,” said Cordova. “With Pillar To Post Home Inspectors’ startup program and franchisee support system, I knew that achieving my goal was obtainable. I look forward to what the future brings and the challenges ahead because I know that with the foundation the military has given me and the corporate team at my side, I will be successful.”

Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is the brand to which more than three million families have turned to for more than 25 years to be their trusted advisor when buying or selling a home. Consistently ranked for 23 years on Entrepreneur Magazine’s annual Franchise500®, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is enjoying its eighth consecutive year as No. 1 in its category on that coveted ranking. In addition, the company has 5-Star status with VetFran, a program offered by the International Franchise Association that provides discounted franchise fees to veterans.

A professional evaluation both inside and outside the home is at the core of Pillar To Post Home Inspectors’ service. Pillar To Post Home Inspectors input data and digital photos into a computerized report. All information is provided to clients in a customized binder for easy reference, allowing homebuyers or sellers to make confident, informed decisions.

About Pillar To Post Home Inspectors®
Founded in 1994, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is the largest home inspection company in North America with home offices in Toronto and Tampa. There are more than 600 franchises located in 49 states and nine Canadian provinces. The company has ranked in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise500® for 23 years in a row, the past eight years as No.1 in Category. Long-term plans include adding 500 to 600 new franchisees over the next five years. For further information, please visit www.pillartopost.com. To inquire about a franchise, go to www.pillartopostfranchise.com

A Look into Minority- and Women-Owned Businesses – Fresh statistics you should know
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The U.S. Census Bureau recently released new estimates showing 1.1 million employer firms were owned by women and 1.0 million by minorities. According to the 2018 Annual Business Survey (ABS), covering year 2017, 5.6 percent (322,076) of all U.S. businesses were Hispanic-owned and 6.1 percent (351,237) were owned by veterans.

Additional statistics released include:
In 2017, the sector with the most women-owned businesses 16.9 percent (192,159) were in the healthcare and social assistance industry, followed by professional, scientific and technical services 16.4 percent (185,649), and 11.7 percent (132,894) in the retail trade industry.

The top sectors for Hispanic-owned firms were construction with 15.6 percent (50,187) of all firms, followed by accommodation and food services 13.0 percent (41,817), and professional, scientific and technical services 10.6 percent (34,292). Hispanic firms in these top three industries employed approximately 1.2 million workers, had receipts totaling approximately $130.9 billion and an annual payroll of approximately $35.8 billion.

There were 555,638 Asian-owned businesses, with 23.9 percent (132,698) in the accommodation and food services sector. Asian-owned firms had the largest receipts ($814.8 billion) among minority groups.

Black or African Americans owned 124,004 firms in 2017 with 32.0 percent (39,714) of these firms in the healthcare and social services industry.

The ABS, sponsored by the National Science Foundation’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES), and conducted jointly with the Census Bureau combined the Survey of Business Owners, the Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs, the Business R&D and Innovation for Microbusinesses Survey, and the innovation section of the Business R&D and Innovation Survey. The ABS measures research and development for microbusinesses, innovation and technology, and provides annual data on select economic and demographic characteristics for businesses and business owners by sex, ethnicity, race and veterans status. Additional data on research and development and innovation will be released by NCSES in the coming months.

Source: census.gov

10 Essential Sites for Hispanic Business Owners
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By Maria Valdez Haubrich

Hispanic small business owners are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the US.

The number of Hispanic business owners grew 34% over the past 10 years as compared to 1% for all U.S. business owners, according to a recent study from Stanford University.

The following are 10 resources that advance, promote, support, and help Hispanic businesses to grow and thrive.

 

  1. United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC)

The mission of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is “To foster Hispanic economic development and to create sustainable prosperity for the benefit of American society.” The USHCC promotes the economic growth, development, and interests of Hispanic-owned businesses. It also advocates on behalf of 260 major American corporations and serves as the umbrella organization for more than 250 local chambers and business associations nationwide. Twitter: @USHCC

  1. The Hispanic Retail Chamber of Commerce (HRCOC)

The Hispanic Retail Chamber of Commerce represents U.S. Hispanic retail businesses and their interests and priorities to the government and in the media. With Accredited Alliances in every state, the HRCOC serves members of every size and in many retail sectors, such as supermarkets and food & beverage distributors. Various membership plans are available. Twitter: @RetailChamber

  1. Hispanic Association of Small Businesses (H.A.S.B.)

The Hispanic Association of Small Business provides minority business owners, and aspiring business owners, with educational materials, business workshops, and English workshops to improve the success of the community. By advocating on behalf of individuals, small businesses, and entrepreneurs, the H.A.S.B. works to eliminate prejudice and discrimination against socially disadvantaged or underprivileged small businesses. Facebook: @hasb.org

  1. Hispanic Small Business Center from Hello Alice

The Hispanic Small Business Center is a microsite of Hello Alice, a free, multichannel platform that helps businesses launch and grow. Cofounded by Carolyn Rodz and Elizabeth Gore, Hello Alice encompasses a community of more than 200,000 business owners in all 50 states and across the globe. The Hispanic Small Business Center partners with enterprise business services, government agencies, and institutions to help grow small and medium-sized businesses. The website provides resources, how-to guides, and research. Twitter: @HelloAlice

  1. Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)

Part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Minority Business Development Agency promotes the growth of minority-owned businesses and helps Hispanic business owners access and connect with capital, contracts, and markets. The MBDA also advocates and promotes minority-owned business with elected officials, policymakers, and business leaders. Twitter: @USMBDA

  1. National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC)

The National Minority Supplier Development Council advances business opportunities for certified minority business enterprises and connects them to corporate members to encourage supplier diversity. You apply for NMSDC certification through one of its regional councils. The organization connects more than 12,000 certified minority-owned businesses to a network of corporate members who wish to purchase their products, services, and solutions. The NMSDC corporate membership includes many public and privately-owned companies, as well as healthcare companies, colleges, and universities. Twitter: @NMSDCHQ

  1. Grants.gov

Grants.gov is an e-government initiative operating under the Office of Management and Budget. The system contains information on more than 1,000 federal grant programs and vets grant applications for federal agencies. By registering with the website, Hispanic and other business owners can apply for any grants available, as long as the company meets the requirements of the grant. To apply you will need a DUNS Number, which is a unique nine-character identification number provided by the commercial company Dun & Bradstreet (D&B). Twitter: @grantsdotgov

  1. Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR)

The Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility’s mission is to advance the inclusion of Hispanics in corporate America at a level proportionate with Hispanic economic contributions in the areas of employment, procurement, philanthropy, and governance. With helpful programs, research, and virtual seminars, the HACR is committed to making a difference in the way Hispanics are treated and perceived in Corporate America. Twitter: @HACRORG

  1. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC)

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus is a Congressional Member organization, governed by the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives. The CHC addresses national and international issues and crafts policies that impact the Hispanic community. The Caucus is dedicated to voicing and advancing, through the legislative process, issues affecting Hispanics in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Twitter: @HispanicCaucus

  1. League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)

Founded in 1929, the League of United Latin American Citizens is the largest and oldest Hispanic organization in the U.S. LULAC strives to improve the economic condition, education, political influence, housing, health and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs. With more than 1,000 councils nationwide, the organization’s advisory board consists of Fortune 500 companies, which fosters stronger partnerships between corporate America and the Hispanic community. Twitter: @LULAC

Source: score.org

Sole Latina art studio owner in Gwinnett gets creative after losing 80% of business during pandemic
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Two children painting ceramic art

“Amarillo, rojo, azul, rosado,” six children, all under the age of 10, repeated after Joana Pratt, co-owner of Art for Life in Buford, meaning yellow, red, blue and pink in Spanish.

The children learned the words to different colors in Spanish and more during a recent Monday afternoon at the studio while dancing and singing and doing all sorts of activities until they finally settled down to work on their Frida Kahlo inspired self-portraits in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Children of all ages and of all backgrounds visit Art for Life four days a week for Pratt’s one-of-a-kind classes, where children learn to create art while also learning to speak Spanish.

Normally the studio would be filled with people listening to music as they painted, especially on the weekends for “Paint ‘N Sip” events, but over the last few months Pratt has had to rethink how she provides art classes for the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

She is the only Latina art studio owner in Gwinnett County, opening it along with her husband, Timothy Pratt, in December 2017.

Joana Pratt said the first year they opened the studio after moving to Gwinnett from Las Vegas was very hard, as this was the second time in eight years they were starting over someplace new. However, the second year was “a little better.”

“And then the third year business was growing in February and March (of 2020),” Joana Pratt said. “We started getting booked all of April and May. Then on March 13 everything shut down. I had to close the studio. I started to try to learn how to navigate again in a new situation for me.”

At 52 years old, Joana Pratt said she had to learn how to use social networks like Facebook and Zoom to conduct business. Timothy Pratt said they lost about 80% of the business within one month of the shutdown.

“We’re not even starting over,” Timothy Pratt said. “We’re just trying to survive now.”

When the couple moved to Gwinnett, they quickly noticed the county’s growing Hispanic community and saw an opportunity to transform Joana Pratt’s dream of owning an art studio into reality.

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that as of 2019 Hispanics make up 21.7% of the population in Gwinnett. But in October 2019, the Atlanta Regional Commission stated in its 2050 population projections for metro Atlanta that the largest group, at 28% of Gwinnett’s total population, is expected to be Hispanic. Whites will be the third largest group, making up 18% of the population.

“I thought opening an art studio would be a good idea for me,” Joana Pratt said. “I’m bilingual. This county is growing in the Hispanic community, and they don’t have a place to do art in their own language or bilingual. I thought it could be really good access for the community, but I didn’t want it to be like everybody else does it.”

Continue on to The Union Journal to read the full article.

Sacramento Hispanic Chamber launches tech assistance program for minority-owned businesses
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Business buildings in Sacramento

The Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is launching a wide lineup of resources and technical assistance to help minority-owned businesses during the pandemic.

The chamber announced the launch of its “#JuntosSacramento” campaign, which translates to “together Sacramento,” on Monday. The campaign is aimed at bringing together all corners of Sacramento’s Latino community, which includes immigrants and people who draw their heritage from a mix of countries and languages, said Cathy Rodriguez Aguirre, CEO of the Sacramento Hispanic Chamber.

Minority-owned businesses have been among the hardest hit during the pandemic, as they may have lower cash reserves and less access to banking resources to buoy their businesses.

The effort includes one-on-one consulting, resources on digital marketing and financial planning during the pandemic and job training programs.

The Sacramento Hispanic Chamber received about $615,000 in Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, dollars for the initiative. Those dollars arrived from a $3 million grant that the Sacramento Inclusive Economic Development Collaborative received from the city of Sacramento. The Sac IEDC was formed two years ago, and includes 15 groups within it like the Sacramento Hispanic Chamber and several property business improvement districts.

“Hispanic and minority owned businesses have been a historic pillar in the growth of Sacramento and our mission is to help the region recover from the impacts of Covid-19 by supporting the community through increased services and new, innovative programs,” Rodriguez Aguirre said, in a prepared statement. “Through our partnership with SAC IEDC we will be able to help foster more business development and spur economic growth.”

The program includes a free, six-part webinar series on topics like digital marketing, financial planning and disaster preparedness. The series starts on Oct. 23 and runs every other Friday, and will be conducted in Spanish and English.

Continue to the Sacramento Business Journal to read the full article.

McDonald’s Is Awarding $1 Million In Scholarships To Assist Hispanic Students During Pandemic
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McDonald’s is proud to announce the company’s “HACER® More Scholarship,” that is providing 100 additional scholarships for Hispanic students as an extension of the annual HACER® National Scholarship.

Through HACER, McDonald’s is committing $1 million to assist Hispanic students this academic year, by helping alleviate the stress ofhigher education costs.

According to the Pew Research Center, half of Hispanics said they worry daily or nearly every day about financial issues like paying their bills, the amount of debt they carry and the cost of health care, and more 1 . The increased financial strain caused by the pandemic has also created uncertainty as parents and students work to fund and continue higher education. As a result, McDonald’s created the “HACER® More Scholarship” to help more students pursue college degrees despite the pandemic. So, in 2020, 100 additional scholarships will be awarded, bringing the total to 130, versus 30 in 2019. The additional scholarship recipients will be selected from the 2019 HACER National Scholarship pool of applicants that meet the existing criteria for the scholarship and will be enrolled in school for spring of 2021. “HACER® More Scholarship” recipients will be selected in October, allowing them to use the funds for the current academic year.

“Despite the difficulty of this time, students are showing their resiliency by continuing their education ,” said Santiago Negre, HACER® scholarship committee judge and head of McDonald’s National Hispanic Consumer Market Committee. “McDonald’s and our owner/operators are committed to our communities and customers, so we are honored to contribute to the educational pursuits of Hispanic students through the HACER® National Scholarship program, having done so for the last 35 years.”

The McDonald’s HACER® National Scholarship is one of the largest programs committed to college scholarships. Since 1985, it has awarded $31.5 million to Hispanic college students pursuing their higher education dreams. This year, in addition toreceiving scholarships, the 30 winners of the 2020 HACER® National Scholarship received a “tech backpack” that included a laptop, wireless mouse, and headphones—some of the tools needed to succeed in a virtual learning environment.

“It’s a huge relief to know even with the difficulties we’re all facing this year, like adapting to a new way of learning, keeping ourselves and our families safe, and more, that I no longer have to worry about the burden of tuition costs thanks to McDonald’s,” 1. “Coronavirus Economic Downturn Has Hit Latinos Especially Hard.” Pew Re search Center, Washington D.C. (August 4, 2020) https://www.pewresearch.org/hispanic/2020/08/04/coronavirus-economic-downturn-has-hit-latinos-especially-hard/ said Vladimir Rosales, one of the 2020 HACER® National Scholarship winners, awarded $100,000 to attend San Jose State University in California. “I’m thankful that this year McDonald’s is not only supporting me in achieving my higher education goals but is also giving another 100 Hispanic students the same opportunity.”

The McDonald’s HACER® National Scholarship is just one of many company initiatives created to educate the next generation of youth. This includes the Black & Positively Golden Scholarships for students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and the McDonald’s/APIA Scholarship program for Asian and Pacific-Islander American students. The Archways to Opportunity program for crew gives eligible employees at participating U.S. restaurants the ability to earn a high school diploma, receive upfront college tuition assistance, access free education/career advising services and learn English as a second language.

Hispanic college-bound high school seniors and their parents are encouraged to visit mcdonalds.com/hacer for additional college resources in English and Spanish and for details on how to apply for the McDonald’s HACER® National Scholarship.

The scholarship application period for the next academic year opens on October 5, 2020 and runs through February 3, 2021.
HACER and McDonald's logo
ABOUT McDONALD’S
McDonald’s USA, LLC, serves a variety of menu options made with quality ingredients to nearly 25 million customers every day. Ninety-five percent of McDonald’s 14,000 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by businessmen and women. For more information, visit www.mcdonalds.com, or follow us on Twitter @McDonalds and Facebook. www.facebook.com/mcdonalds .

The Importance of Employee Resource Groups
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Written by: Patty Juarez, head of Wells Fargo Diverse Segments, Commercial Banking with introductory remarks from Ramiro A. Cavazos, President and CEO, United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

For the past ten years, the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) has conducted the only Hispanic Employee Resource Group (ERG) Summit & Corporate Challenge in the nation. The USHCC was proud to award Wells Fargo and its ERG “Latin Connection” First Place in the competition during our 2020 National Conference.

More than 100 corporations have competed since our inaugural event, proving that ERGs are more ready than ever to provide value and impact their company’s growth. Since 2010, winners including Wells Fargo’s Latin Connection – have been recognized as the best ERG in the country during our National Conference. The USHCC continues to recognize the growing importance of corporate ERGs who increasingly demonstrate they have tangible impacts on employee growth and leadership development, community service, and create a strong network within each corporation where employees – especially employees of color— can meet, connect, and learn from each other.

Congratulations to Patty Juarez, Josephina Reyes, and the entire Wells Fargo Team at Latin Connection for their unwavering commitment to diversity, inclusion, and employee growth.

“Any time you have an opportunity to make a difference in this world and you don’t, then you are wasting your time on Earth.”Roberto Clemente

Supporting employees, communities, and business.
Employee resource groups (also known as ERGs, affinity groups, or business network groups) are networks of employees who join together in their workplace based on shared characteristics, life experiences, or ally aspirations. These groups are voluntary and employee-led, with a goal of fostering a diverse, inclusive workplace aligned with the organizations they serve. These groups are a key component for a business’s diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy. As president of Wells Fargo’s Latin Connection, I have seen first-hand the positive impact these networks can have on our Latino employees.

According to John LaVeck, program head of the Employee Resource Network program in the Enterprise Diversity and Inclusion Office at Wells Fargo, “Employee Resource Networks are formed around market and historically under-represented segments in leadership, and provide employees with personal and professional development, mentoring, leadership engagement, networking, and community outreach opportunities.”

From a career standpoint, an ERG provides mentorship opportunities to its members. Senior leaders are invited to share insights on their personal career journeys, allowing members to connect and seek their counsel. Sometimes, these connections mature into mentorships and sponsorships. Group members also have access to unique professional development opportunities, webinars, speaker series, and other educational opportunities. Many organizations host workshops aimed at enhancing and developing the skillsets of its members.

ERGs provide a number of benefits to a business and its employees.
 Internally, they provide networking platforms that encourage a sense of belonging. As businesses strive to create a sense of community among diverse employees, ERGs can often times be a bridge that closes gaps. They also open communications channels for leaders to foster and build involvement and engagement among employees and leadership. Allies are also key to impactful ERGs. Incorporating allies in the work allows for further education and expanded reach of an ERG. Senior leadership involvement is key to reinforcing a company’s commitment to supporting ERGs and all employees across diversity dimensions.

 Externally, ERGs have tremendous positive impact in diverse communities. At Wells Fargo, our Latin Connection members log more than five-thousand volunteer hours annually. It is amazing to see these teams making a difference in the communities where we live and work.

 Culture is another key to a strong ERG. It is often the shared stories and experiences that bring people together. We celebrate shared values, traditions, food, music, and backgrounds. In Latin Connection members celebrate shared holidays and the history of contributions of Latinos in our country and community. These celebrations allow members the opportunity to connect and celebrate who they are and what they represent. These celebrations also welcome and invite others to learn and share in the Latino culture.

ERG members are not one dimensional; many identify with multiple dimensions. It is important for ERGs to explore intersections. For instance, within Latin Connection, the group co-hosted an event with the Veterans Network, which celebrated the contribution of Latinos in armed forces. Group members represent a number of generations, including a growing number of millennials, and many are bi-cultural and have other diversity dimensions. It is important to meet members where they are in those areas of intersection, while addressing individual needs so they feel comfortable bringing their whole selves to work.

 The Latino market often represents a significant opportunity for businesses. ERGs represent the voice of a community or group – lending authenticity, value, and life experiences to shape the narrative for new strategies, testing products, and informing marketing campaigns, while ensuring our business is providing what the community wants and needs. This allows ERGs to also have a significant financial impact to a business’ the bottom line. Employee resource groups are key to the engagement and motivation of members and to business success. These groups will continue playing an important part of corporate culture and success.

In times like today, when COVID-19 is impacting the ability to be together in person, these groups serve as a critical bridge to maintaining and making new connections within our companies and our communities.

Against tough odds, Hispanic businesses are strengthening communities across America
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By Janet Alvarez

When Jennifer Rodriguez relocated to Philadelphia in the late ’90s, the once-bustling South Philly neighborhood of Italian Market was in decay.

“It was a place experiencing disinvestment, and many wondered what would become of what was a once-vibrant commercial corridor,” says Rodriguez, who is now the president of the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

That was, she said, until a wave of Mexican immigrants arrived – along with their small businesses. “They saw opportunity where so many others saw vacancy and blight.”

Today, the area is vibrant, attracting residents and entrepreneurs, and is among the most desirable neighborhoods in Philadelphia. To Rodriguez, it’s emblematic of the Hispanic community’s penchant for hard work and entrepreneurialism — even amid the Covid crisis.

“Our community knows how to find opportunity where others may not. We have done it before; we can do it again,” she says.

Rodriguez points to some key statistics regarding Hispanics and entrepreneurship – for example, data showing that Hispanic and immigrant entrepreneurs start more businesses than native-born Americans, and tend to grow revenue more quickly than the economy, as a whole.

Indeed, according to statistics from the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative, between 2009-2019 the number of Latino business owners grew 34%, compared to 1% for all business owners in the United States. And between 2018-2019, Latino-owned businesses reported an average revenue growth of 14%, outpacing the growth of the U.S. economy.

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we’ll take a look at a few of the Hispanic entrepreneurs who, in Philadelphia — like Latino entrepreneurs in much of the country — are working to strengthen their community and local business ecosystem.
From Argentina to Shark Tank

Silvia Lucci was not a born restaurateur — she became one by necessity and marketing wit. The Argentina native studied education and obtained a master’s degree in social and urban development in her native country, but found herself suffering a minor stroke some years ago. That’s when her husband, a chef, began preparing “healing foods” for her. Silvia credits the diet, which was vegan, organic, gluten-free, and highly nutritious, with turning around her health. It was also delicious.

“We Latinos like bold flavors, and don’t want to compromise taste for health,” she says.

Soon, the couple found themselves selling the food at local farmers markets. That’s when a stroke of ingenuity occurred: Silvia printed cards with her business logo, and asked customers to drop them off at their favorite grocery store if they liked her food. The gambit worked. Dozens of cards were dropped off at a nearby Whole Foods Market, prompting the supermarket to invite her to pitch her LUHV Foods products. After a 15-minute “Shark Tank”-style pitch, Silvia and Whole Foods were in business. The rest is history.

Today, Silvia’s LUHV Foods are distributed in Whole Foods Markets throughout the mid-Atlantic region. She expanded her grocery delivery and catering businesses, and has opened two bistros in Hatboro and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Awards and accolades have followed. Full-page write-ups in the Philadelphia Inquirer. ”Best of Philly” Awards. A new, 24,000 square foot factory kitchen to expand her business nationally — despite the pressures of Covid.

Lucci credits her success in large part to her immigrant work ethic, and says it’s helped her navigate the vagaries of coronavirus.

“Being an immigrant is a virtue. This country was created by immigrants. We’re not foreigners; we’re new Americans planting roots here, and building a future. Now, when we’re in a pandemic, it’s when the virtues of hard work, creativity, and ambition that immigrants espouse really resonate. Our grandparents were all immigrants; that internal strength they had is what defines the future of this country.”

Though Luhv Foods now occupies most of Lucci’s time, her early years in the United States were filled with odd jobs cleaning houses and even longer hours. She arrived an undocumented immigrant in the 1980s, later obtaining her legal residency via the Green Card lottery, and became a citizen in 2000. Her undocumented immigrant housekeeper to U.S. citizen entrepreneur success story is heartening, but shouldn’t confound anyone.

“I am the face of an undocumented immigrant. People often think there are two types of Hispanics: legal ones and undocumented, but we are one and the same. We are all here to work hard and build a better future.”

Breakthrough technology for head injury

When Jessie Garcia played college rugby at Lehigh University, she suffered a concussion, but her coach didn’t recognize the symptoms and allowed her to keep playing. That worsened her condition and required her to take serious time off due to post-concussive syndrome. The problem, she says, was a common one: People just weren’t equipped to readily recognize head injuries, except for the most significant ones — but even mild concussions could have deleterious effects and warrant attention. That’s how her idea for Tozuda, a head-impact sensor that is cost-effective and easy-to-use, was born.

“I originally envisioned its use in organized sports such as college and professional teams, but Covid caused sports teams to stop for a while, so we had to look for other markets,” says Garcia, CEO of Tozuda, a manufacturing company that develops safety products for sports and industrial applications including the Tozuda Head Impact Indicator, a device that attaches to any helmet and indicates when a hit may cause a head injury.

Continue on to CNBC to read the complete article.

JPMorgan Chase Commits $30 Billion to Advance Racial Equity
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Today, JPMorgan Chase announced new long-term commitments to advance racial equity. The firm will harness its expertise in business, policy and philanthropy and commit an additional $30 billion over the next five years to provide economic opportunity to underserved communities, especially the Black and Latinx communities.

Structural barriers in the U.S. have created profound racial inequalities that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The existing racial wealth gap puts a strain on families’ economic mobility and restricts the U.S. economy. Building on the firm’s existing investments, this new commitment will drive an inclusive economic recovery, support employees and break down barriers of systemic racism.

“Systemic racism is a tragic part of America’s history,” said Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO, JPMorgan Chase & Co. “We can do more and do better to break down systems that have propagated racism and widespread economic inequality, especially for Black and Latinx people. It’s long past time that society addresses racial inequities in a more tangible, meaningful way.”

Over the next five years, the firm expects these new commitments, which include loans, equity and direct funding, to:

I. Promote and Expand Affordable Housing and Homeownership for Underserved Communities

A. Originate an additional 40,000 home purchase loans for Black and Latinx households. To do this, the firm is committing $8 billion in mortgages. Efforts include:

  • Improving key home lending products and offerings, including substantially increasing the Chase Homebuyer Grant in underserved communities.

B. Help an additional 20,000 Black and Latinx households achieve lower mortgage payments through refinancing loans. To do this, the firm is committing up to $4 billion in refinancing loans.

C. Finance an additional 100,000 affordable rental units. To do this, the firm will provide $14 billion in new loans, equity investments and other efforts to expand affordable housing in underserved communities. Efforts include:

  • Investing additional capital in vital community institutions and increasing funding for the construction and rehabilitation of affordable housing for low and moderate-income households nationwide.

II. Grow Black- and Latinx-owned Businesses

A. Provide an additional 15,000 loans to small businesses in majority-Black and -Latinx communities. To do this, the firm will deliver $2 billion in loans. Efforts include:

  • Launching a new program designed to help entrepreneurs in historically underserved areas access coaching, technical assistance and capital.
  • Accelerating a digital lending product to better support the needs of small Black- and Latinx-owned businesses seeking quick access to capital.

B. Spend an additional $750 million with Black and Latinx suppliers.

III. Improve Financial Health and Access to Banking in Black and Latinx Communities

A. Help one million people open low-cost checking or savings accounts. To do this, the firm commits to hiring 150 new community managers, opening new Community Center branches in underserved communities and materially increasing marketing spend to reach more customers who are currently underserved, unbanked or underbanked. Other efforts include:

  • Continuing to open 100 new branches in low-to-moderate income communities across the country as part of the firm’s market expansion initiative.
  • Building awareness and trust in Chase Secure Banking to meet the needs of Black and Latinx unbanked and underbanked households and expand access to traditional banking.

B. Invest up to $50 million in the form of capital and deposits in Black and Latinx-led Minority Depository Institutions (MDI) and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI), and continue to mentor and advise select MDIs and CDFIs to help them achieve future success.

IV. Accelerate Investment in our Employees and Build a More Diverse and Inclusive Workforce

A. Continuing to build a more equitable and representative workforce and hold executives accountable by incorporating priorities and progress into year-end performance evaluations and compensation decisions for members of the Operating Committee and their direct reports.

B. Providing financial coaching services to the firm’s U.S. employees.

The firm will also provide $2 billion in philanthropic capital over the next five years to drive an inclusive economic recovery and support Black, Latinx and other underserved communities. This extends and increases the firm’s current five-year $1.75 billion philanthropic commitment made in 2018. It will also include an emphasis on supporting Black- and Latinx-led organizations.

A fact sheet detailing JPMorgan Chase’s new commitments is available here.

Holding Ourselves Accountable

Measuring impact and ensuring accountability is central to these new commitments. Progress will be tracked regularly and shared with senior leadership across the firm, as well as externally with the Chase Advisory Panel, to assess performance and hold the business accountable. These efforts will further allow for maximum impact and bring an enhanced equity lens to the firm’s business.

Comments on the Importance of Advancing Racial Equity

“We have a responsibility to intentionally drive economic inclusion for people that have been left behind,” said Brian Lamb, Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion, JPMorgan Chase.The COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated long-standing inequities for Black and Latinx people around the world. We are using this catalytic moment to create change and economic opportunities that enhance racial equity for Black and Latinx communities.”

“To ensure the Latino community can thrive, we must work together to break down persistent obstacles to opportunity created by systemic racism,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO, UnidosUS. “JPMorgan Chase’s new commitments will help ensure that the American dream is accessible to more Latinos today, create a multiplier effect through generations, and lead to a stronger country with greater shared prosperity.”

“America’s racial wealth gap has been a persistent injustice, and it can no longer be tolerated as business as usual,” said Marc Morial, President and CEO, National Urban League. “I am heartened to see JPMorgan’s specific, measurable commitments that we believe will address decades of systemic racism toward Black communities – and will bolster the wellbeing of families across the country, as well as our collective economy. We are proud to work alongside JPMorgan Chase to make these changes and help craft conditions for lasting racial equity.”

“All Americans deserve equitable access to affordable housing and the physical, emotional and financial security it represents,” said Lisa Rice, CEO, National Fair Housing Alliance. “JPMorgan Chase’s new commitments will help make owning or renting a reality for more Black and Latinx families, whose housing access has been impeded by decades of systemic racism and are now disproportionately affected by the impact of COVID-19. Addressing the affordability crisis, now overlaid with the pandemic, will require many players on many fronts, and these commitments are concrete, meaningful steps in the right direction.”

“This moment requires leaders and their institutions to shake off the husks of complacency and to stand in transformative solidarity with the more than 100 million in America who face the burdens of a democracy and economy that does not yet allow them to participate, prosper, and reach their full potential,” said Dr. Michael McAfee, President and CEO, PolicyLink. “JPMorgan Chase is beginning the journey to answer this call. It’s targeted investments in black and brown communities, and its leadership advancing public policy that ensures all people in America participate in a just society, live in a healthy community of opportunity, and prosper in an equitable economy is the type of creative spark that will usher in America’s renewal.



About JPMorgan Chase

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $3.2 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of customers in the United States and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.

LatinxPitch: The Twelve Authors Creating Diversity in Publishing
LinkedIn
Grid photo of the twelve LatinxPitch authors

According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, about 25% of the United States’ children are a part of the Latinx community, yet they are the most underrepresented ethnic group in children’s books.

In a study by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, they found that only 5% of the thousands of children’s books available had Latinx main characters. This is not only odd in terms of the importance of representation and racial equality, but economically as Latinx community makes up for about $1.5 trillion of the United States’ buying power.

One of the main beliefs for this underrepresentation appears to come from the publishing industry itself. Over 70% of publishers are Caucasian and as a result, create stories that are more familiar to their own stories or are out of touch with the Latinx community.

To combat this underrepresentation, twelve authors of the Latinx community have come together to form LatinxPitch, an organization dedicated to creating proper Latinx representation in literature and increasing the number of Latinx people in the industry. Beginning on September 15th, the first day of Hispanic Heritage Month, the group invited Latinx authors to use their Twitter platform to pitch ideas for children’s and young adult stories of varying genres. At the same time, LatinxPitch also invited Latinx publishers and agents to browse the pitches in search for new clients to represent. The work being done through LatinxPitch is not only working to create more representation, but is providing Latinx people a place to receive work, network, and make their ideas known.

The LatinxPitch is made up of twelve founding members: Mariana Llanos, Jorge  Lacera, Sara Fajardo, Cynthia Harmony, Ana Siqueira, Mona Alvarado Frazier, Ernesto Cisneros, Nydia Armendia, Darlene  P. Campos, Stephen Briseño, Denise Adusei, and Tatiana Gardel.

To learn more about their work and upcoming projects, visit their website by clicking here.

New Research Reveals the Ideal Age to Start a Business
LinkedIn
group of hispanic entrepreneurs seated at a conference table

By Jeff Haden

Actually, where startup success is concerned, there are two great times to launch a company. During a speaking gig, I asked the audience who was better positioned to start a successful business: A twenty-something entrepreneur or a fifty-something entrepreneur.

Not surprisingly, the majority voted for the twentysomething, clearly ascribing to the Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Brin/Page, Richard Branson, et al paradigm.

Turns out they were right.

And also wrong: New research shows the rate of success for people who launch a business in their 20s is the same as for those who become entrepreneurs in their 50s.

According to the research, there’s a balance at play. While younger startup founders tend to be more tech savvy and less risk-averse, older startup founders benefit from greater experience, business skill, connections, and access to capital (if only their own.)

Unfortunately, founders in their 30s and 40s are significantly less likely to enjoy startup success. The researchers theorize that “midlife,” and all that comes with it — family responsibilities, increased risk aversion, etc. – create significant hurdles. (Not that there’s ever an easy path to entrepreneurial success.)

Those findings run somewhat counter to an earlier study indicating most successful

entrepreneurs tend to be middle-aged, even in the tech sector. The average founder age of the most successful tech companies was 45.

Generally speaking, the study showed a 50-year-old entrepreneur was almost twice as likely to start an extremely successful company as a 30-year-old, and a 40-year-old entrepreneur was more than twice as likely to found a successful startup as a 25-five-year-old, and a 60-year-old founder was three times as likely to start a successful company as a 30-year-old.

While that study didn’t include a focus on gender, the more recent research found that older female entrepreneurs tend to be significantly more successful at launching a company than younger ones.

“Our findings suggest women should not give up too readily,” Zhao says, “because their chance of success increases as they move to later life stages, and their perseverance ultimately tends to pay off.”

Of course, that’s true for men and women, especially since willpower and perseverance are traits that can be developed. Grit can counterbalance a lack of youthful enthusiasm, and so can experience.

Which is the real point.

What research can’t determine, at least in this case, is what is right for you.

The more data points studied, the more likely the law of large numbers will apply. As Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman) says in Ozark:

“As individuals, people are completely unpredictable… one person making one bet, I couldn’t possibly tell you what they’re going to do. But the law of large numbers tells me that a million people making a million bets: That is completely predictable, completely ordered.”

Thousands of people starting companies? Studied in aggregate, the results will be reasonably predictable.

But if one person starts a business? If you start a business?

No statistical analysis can predict whether you will succeed.

Which is all that really matters.

If you’re in your 20s and believe in yourself, go for it. If you’re in your 50s and believe in yourself, go for it. If you’re in your 30s or 40s and believe in yourself, forget the U-shaped curve and go for it.

Because your ideas, your drive, your skills, your creativity, your determination, who you are and how hard you’re willing to work, will always matter more than your age.

Jeff Haden is a keynote speaker, ghostwriter, LinkedIn Influencer, contributing editor to Inc., and the author of The Motivation Myth: How High Achievers Really Set Themselves Up to Win.

Air Force Civilian Service

Air Force Civilian Service

Robert Half

ALDI